Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Where do car names come from?

Heres a excerpt from todays AWAD:
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The very first car I owned was a black hatchback Volkswagen Scirocco.
Before I plonked down my hard-earned graduate-school allowance for this secondhand (euphemistically also called pre-owned or pre-loved) automobile, I made sure its air-conditioning was A-OK. With a name like Scirocco (hot, dry wind), I felt I just had to.

How do automakers come up with names for their cars? Some christen their models with feminine sounding names (Ford Festiva, Chevrolet Lumina), probably following the traditional way of naming boats, while others go for macho names (Mitsubishi Galant, Nissan Armada).

Some prefer animal names, as a way of ascribing those qualities to their cars (Mercury Cougar, Dodge Viper, Ford Bronco). Others name their cars after cities (Dodge Daytona, Chevrolet Corsica, GMC Yukon). Still others take the easy way out and use what appears to be a jumble of letters and numbers though these often indicate engine capacity or some such characteristics.

Here are some interesting auto tidbits:

o Camry is an anagram of "My car".
o "A TOYOTA" is a palindrome, and forms a mirror image.
o Chevrolet named a car Nova. In Spanish "No va" means "It doesn't go."
o Then there was the unreliable Yugo which earned the nickname "You no go."
o Saab is an acronym for Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget (Swedish Aircraft
Company Ltd); BMW is Bayerische Motoren-Werke (Bavarian Motor Works).
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I thought it might make interesting Reading (and I haven't posted in a while :)

Have a great week,

James

3 comments:

N said...

Camry is an Americanization of a i believe Japanese? word meaning Crown. (i read about it in motor trend)

James said...

Thanks for that 'N'

Yes, this article also seems to confirm you suggestion that Camry comes from the Japanese word for "Crown"

http://www.blonnet.com/iw/2002/11/03/stories/2002110300301000.htm

BTW: Normally you would talk about a word being imported to English as 'Anglicisation' rather than 'Americanization' unless I guess the Americans were the ones to come up with the name before the Japanese did...

Toyota IST For Sale said...

Some things in here I have not thought about before.Thanks for making such a cool post which is really very well written.will be referring a lot of friends about this.