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Nicknames For Cars

General Lee

General Lee

There’s something about cars – at least cars that have been well designed by human beings rather than computers and algorithms – that makes them into a sort of mechanical animal. Given that we spend as much time with our cars as we do with our pets, it’s no surprise, therefore, that we give silly nicknames to our cars.  Some of us go to the point of getting a personalised plate with the name on.

Oddly enough, even if you decide to give your car a nickname, it might not stick.  Over the years, I have attempted to christen several of the vehicles owned by the family but only a handful of them have stuck.  These have been Goldbug (Morris 1300), Suzy (Isuzu Bighorn), Roger The Blute (blue Nissan Navara ute) and Dinky-Wee (Daihatsu Charade).  Why these nicknames stuck while others didn’t is uncertain. My attempts, for example, to christen the Saab I used to own and the Volvo I currently drive The Valkyrie and Hilda respectively, never quite came off.  However, somebody else referred to that Saab as The Eurobeast and that name stuck.  Sometimes, I wonder if the car itself has a say in its naming.



How cars acquire nicknames is another story.  Colour, make and the letters on the licence plate all seem to play their part.  My grandmother, for instance, used the letters on the licence plate to christen her Alfa Romeo Lorenzo (plate had LZ in it) and the red Fiat Uno Orlando (plate with OR) (Italian names for Italian cars – my grandmother was nuts about all things Italian).  Sometimes two factors get used: our Roger The Blute takes its name from the licence plate letters (RJ) and the colour (blue), with “blute” being a portmanteau word combining “blue” and “ute”.




Research seems to support this hunch. One survey in the UK found that 30% of people who gave their cars nicknames used the licence plate, while 27% used the car’s “personality”, 16% used the make or model name as a starting point, 8% used the colour and another 8% just chose something they liked. The same study found that 50% of female drivers and 33% of men gave their cars names, and that those aged 18–24 were most likely to name their cars: 70% of this age group in the study had done so, compared to 30% of those over 65.

That same British study found that the most popular nicknames for cars were as follows:

  • Names with ‘Blue’ in them (Bluebell, Blue Boy, Bluey, etc.)
  • Fred, Freddie or Freda
  • Betsy
  • Babe/ Baby
  • The Beast
  • Penelope/Penny
  • Names starting with ‘Little’ (e.g. Little Ripper)
  • Bertie/Bert
  • Bessie/Bess
  • Bertha
  • Katie
  • Names starting with ‘Old’


Other people have turned to movies or TV shows to find the right moniker for their car. Herbie, Bumblebee, Kitt, General Lee, and Lightning McQueen are all fairly high in the popularity stakes for VW Beetles, Ford Camaros, anything sleek and black, Dodges and anything sleek and red respectively.  Batmobile is also a contender for slick black vehicles.  We’d have to include Daisy or Miss Daisy here, which is either a reference to Daisy Duke or to Driving Miss Daisy.



What about you?  Do you have a nickname for your car?  What is it?  How or why did you choose it?  Let us know in the Comments below!

Safe and happy driving,

Megan (one of several drivers of Roger The Blute)