pile into a car

Cub Pilot

Senior Member
When my friends and I ranked the world's prettiest girls, I listed Lindsay first, just ahead of Demi Moore and Pam Anderson. Lindsay had learned of a modeling recruitment event at a Dayton hotel, so Mom, Mamaw, Lindsay, and I piled into Mamaw's Buick and headed north.
(J.D. Vance, 'Hillbilly Elegy')
Hello,
what's meant by piled up into Mamaw's Buick in this context. Please help. Thanks in advance.
 
  • Cub Pilot

    Senior Member
    The entry reads
    7. to move as a group in a more or less confused, disorderly manner
    They piled off the train.

    But your interpretation could work: to move in a more or less confused, disorderly manner into the Buick. But I'm not sure this is the correct meaning here.
    I don't even know what pile off the train means. Please help.
     
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    cidertree

    Senior Member
    Béarla na hÉireann (Hiberno-English)
    Entry 7 reads "to move as a group in a more or less confused, disorderly manner"

    The example given is "They piled off the train." It could equally well have been "They piled onto the train."

    It's the correct meaning.

    X-posted.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I agree it's the right one but it's just one aspect of that use.

    Here's Merriam-Webster.

    Definition of pile in

    of a group of people, animals, etc.
    : to move into a place or vehicle quickly
    She parked the van and we all piled in.

    It suggests a lot of people in a small space. It wouldn't work if there was only one person.
     

    Cub Pilot

    Senior Member
    Thank you. I've got the idea it could mean something like they squeezed themselves into the car, maybe in a confused and disorderly manner. Does that work for/with(?) pile into a car in one way or another? Thanks again

    X-posted
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Sometimes, but not always, there might be physically squeezing. Four people in a Buick probably had plenty of room. But the word is just a casual way to say, "when the time came to go we all loaded up in the Buick and took off together".
     

    Cub Pilot

    Senior Member
    OK :) - I think I understand now. There is lots of room in the Buick, they bounced into it, there might be some squeezing (and shouting and cheering:) ) on their way into the car but all in all each one find their places, and off they go.
     
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