I first heard the term Triwheeler or Tri-Wheeler about 2 years ago and it sounded so weird. I knew what the people using it were referring to but only because of what the conversation was about.
As I am English my language is English and the term Triwheeler just did not seem correct and as I have been into three-wheelers (commonly know as Tuk Tuks or Auto Rickshaws) for over 40 years I would have thought if it was the name for them I would have heard it before.
Triwheeler in the Dictionary
So I decided to research it first stop was the Cambridge Dictionary I entered Triwheeler and it came up with nothing, so I thought OK maybe it is a word used incorrectly in the USA. Switched to US English and still no such word in the Cambridge Dictionary.
Cambridge Dictionary Result for Triwheeler
Every Dictionary was the same. There is no such word.
So I thought OK maybe it should be Tri-Wheeler not Triwheeler put it in to the dictionary and still it found no such word.
So next I tried the Oxford English Dictionary and again no such word. I even tried Webster Dictionary even though I hate it with a passion because it is full of mistakes in English, but even that did not have the word Triwheeler or Tri-Wheeler.
So it clearly is not an English word. So next I tried a Filipino Dictionary as it was Filipinos that used it, but still nothing found. I went on to try to find it in many other languages but still nothing.
Triwheeler or Tri-Wheeler are not words
Up until this point I have called Triwheeler a word or a term which clearly it is not it is no more than a jumble of letters put together.
It is pretty normal for young children to make the mistake of thinking that you can put any letters together to make a word however by the age of 6 years old most of them realise there are set patterns of letters that make up words in a language.
No wonder I had never heard this jumble of letters before the reason being it is not a word.
Using that jumble of letters does show a lack of knowledge about the vehicle. In an age where the internet is at everyone’s finger tips it also shows a lack of research. It would take less than five minutes to find out the real names of the three-wheeler they are talking about.
But it is a Tri-Wheeler because it has Three Wheels
This is an argument that has been put to me many times and it really does not stand up. We don’t call cars with four wheels Quad-Wheelers or eight wheeled trucks octō-Wheelers. So why would you put a load of letters together and use something that is not a word to describe a type of three-wheeler that already has two names? It makes no sense to do so.
What about Tri-Wheel?
After much research, I did discover there is a patent where the inverter called his invention a Tri-Wheel and it is a trolley design to climb stairs, the reason for him calling it a tri-wheel is it has three wheels in one wheel so to speak. So on the flat, it uses the bottom-most wheel at the time, then when it reaches the stairs the whole wheel turns so the next wheel goes on the next step.
Calling his invention a tri-wheel makes sense as the wheels are like a triangle design.
So unless your Bajaj, TVS or Piaggio has wheels like in the diagram or its wheels are not triangles it is not a Tri-Wheel.
If I search Triwheeler on Google it comes up
This is another argument that has been used to try to say Triwheeler is a word. However, if you understand how Google works you will understand why that proves nothing.
Google simply crawls websites and outs on its search whatever it finds on websites. So if you make a webpage and just put any jumble of letters together in the tittle of that page then that jumble of letters would show up on Google.
I am going to be honest now and tell you I wrote this page just to prove that point. Very soon if you search Triwheeler on Google this page will come up in the search results. It does not make it a word and does not mean there is such a thing, it just means I used it on this page and Google crawled it.
Update: In just 2 hours of the time I published this it was number 2 on Google if you searched “Triwheeler” clear proof that just because you can find it on Google it does not mean it is a word.
While I did write this page to prove a point everything I said in it is true, and that is there is no such thing as a Triwheeler or a Tri-Wheeler.
Why does it matter?
The reason it matters is that many Tuk Tuk owners have been in a long battle with enforcers that think incorrectly that anything with 3 wheels is a tricycle. Many owners get tickets because enforcers think it is a tricycle and when you say Tri in any form they think tricycle and we will lose the battle. So please do not say Tri Wheeler, Tricab or any other such words with Tri in them. There are already names for Tuk Tuks such as Three-Wheeler, Auto Rickshaw and Tuk Tuk so you do not need to make your own up.
So is it a Bajaj Triwheeler, a TVS Triwheeler or a Piaggio Triwheeler? The simple answer is no, it is gibberish. In case you do not know what gibberish means it means: unintelligible or meaningless speech or writing.