What’s in a Name?

The only  Japanese car name that appears to be global is Prius. All the other cars around these parts have the strangest names which I believe are endemic to Japan. For example my car is called a March hereabouts whereas it is, I believe, called a Micra elsewhere.

At least it only has one syllable, which is rare.

Most cars have  two-syllable names that have no meaning.

Nearly a faithful Indian. Sold as Kemo Sabe in Australia.

Why are they all written in Romaji – like English alphabet – and never in Kanji, hiragana or katakana? I mean, this is Japan.

A fine name for a car. Marketed as the Stab in Bielorussia

Maybe there is a law. ” No cars  names can be written in Kanji.”

Pleo is an animatronic pet dinosaur toy designed to emulate the appearance and (imagined) behavior of a week-old baby Camarasaurus.

Tea? Sold as the Paca in France

3 syllables!

Enema? Known as the Antidisestablismentarian in Ireland

A few rare singles.

What you get when you drive it I suppose.


This I believe is also sold in the US. Very cool here.
a backronym for Leading, Environmentally friendly, Affordable, Family car

My favorite!

Who makes up these names? I do not think it is a human. I think a computer churns out a mixture of meaningless phonemes which Japanese car companies then slap on the back of their products.

Mind you I think most European and US cars  are now just called sequences of letters and digits.



This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to What’s in a Name?

  1. Mike Taylor says:

    I wonder what they call the Moco in the Spanish-speaking world, where it means snot.

  2. Mike Taylor says:

    Then there was the VW Sharan (perfect for dyslexic Essex girls looking for a bit of mobile slap and tickle in the rear – of the vehicle) in spite of VW UK’s entreaties to find another more marketable name for their market, originally supposed to be large families, a few years after the fun in the back.

  3. Alf says:

    Neil, you forgot the Move, the Wish and the That’s (and there are more I am forgetting now).

  4. Mike Taylor says:

    My charming daughter, just back from Mexico, informs me that Pajero (Mitsubishi, those Japanese cars again) means, erm, w*nker, over there.

  5. Alan says:

    Don’t forget the Cedric, always good for teasing their owners in the UK. Apparently the Nissan CEO was a devotee of Little Lord Fauntleroy. I’m told it’s still being made as a taxi so you might yet see one. The Gloria wasn’t a much better choice of name.
    The Leaf’s on sale over here in Europe but is just a tad on the impossibly expensive side at £30,990. Even the Government grant of £5,000 doesn’t help a lot given what you can get for £25,990 elsewhere.

    • Mike Taylor says:

      Apparently the Cedric was replaced in 2004 by the FUGA which according to Wikipedia “was inspired by the fugue, a composition musical form. The name Fuga was chosen to suggest that the long, storied histories of the Cedric, Gloria, Cima, and President are being combined into a new vehicle that continues to provide the prestige and heritage of those vehicles”.
      I hope somebody out there understands all that.

  6. Mike Taylor says:

    And the Datsun/Nissan Cherry which all those teenage tearaways were always trying to lose/pop, on the back seat I suppose.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s