By on July 14, 2009

“People don’t want cars named after hungry old Greek broads! They want names like ‘Mustang’ and ‘Cheetah’ — vicious animal names,” according to Homer Simpson’s automaker brother Herb. Yesterday I learned another good rule of thumb for car naming: if it doesn’t sound hilarious with the word “anal” in front of it, it’s probably not a great car name. Think about it… Commander, Wrangler and Legacy good; CTS, MKT and Optima bad. It may not be safe-for-work, but dammit it’s the truth.

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45 Comments on “Daily Podcast: What’s In A Name?...”

  • avatar

    if it doesn’t sound hilarious with the word “anal” in fron of it, it’s probably not a great car name.

    I agree.

    Probe? Escort? Caravan…This is fun…It’s like ending every fortune cookie with “in bed.”

    “The days in front of you will be full of joy…” In bed.

  • avatar

    Maybe my next SUV will be called a “Canyonero”.

  • avatar

    I always liked:

    The anal:


  • avatar

    That just made my day.

    ___ Fusion sounds like a pretty miserable condition.

    ___ Highlander for the Scots in the audience.

    ___ Range Rover for the randy cowboys.

    ___ Explorer.

  • avatar

    ____ Discovery

  • avatar

    Clearly the Ford Probe was the high water mark for model naming then.

  • avatar

    ___ Amigo.

    VW’s famous ___ (insert name of wind here – i.e., Passat, Vento, etc.)

  • avatar

    No wonder GM is killing ____ Vibe!

  • avatar

    In that case the Mazda LaPuta is a great name.

  • avatar

    Watch out for the deadly ___ Viper.

  • avatar
    new caledonia

    I’m trying it out on cars I’ve owned and cars I grew up with:

    ____ Vista Cruiser almost works, as does ____ Chieftain. ____ Cutlass is too S&M. ____ Sundance is an alternative film festival.

    Best so far:

    ____ Grand Prix, which sounds like a Fire Island marathon.

    (Yes, I’m ashamed of myself.)

  • avatar

    Anal Explorer

    Official Car of the American Osteopathic Board of Proctology.

  • avatar

    “Anal Explorer

    Official Car of the American Osteopathic Board of Proctology.”

    “Ass Man” vanity plates are mandatory…

  • avatar


    Commander, President, Dictator and Champion. Courtesy of those studs at Studebaker.

  • avatar

    Ford has always been the winner of this game, maintaining their lead with the recent Flex. The Pontiac Torrent was a noble attempt by GM, as was the old Protege by Mazda. This game just keeps on giving!

  • avatar

    I like names that actually describe the car. The Mercedes-Benz trunk nomenclature has always beat all others hands down.

    The number denotes the engine size: 300=3 liters, 230=2.3 liters, etc.

    The letter describes the body style, series, or special features/capability.

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    Gotta love this thread. Former British Leyland brands are good for a few more:
    _____ Triumph
    _____ Bugeye
    _____ Princess
    _____ Elf
    _____ Magnette
    _____ Countrymen
    _____ Maestro
    _____ Kimberley
    _____ Ambassador
    _____ Freeway
    _____ Lancer

    Buddy of mine noted that Toyota named two vehicles after recent movies – Highlander & Matrix. He’s still waiting for the Toyota Gladiator.

  • avatar

    Anal Probe has long been a fovorite of mine!

    Uhhh… The name that is :)

  • avatar

    By Edwards’s measure, the Lincoln Blackwood wins.

  • avatar

    Sorry, but I have to disagree with the statement that all Pintos were death traps and you took your life into your hands if you were in an accident in one. I hit the side of a semi truck that made an illegal turn in front of my 73 Pinto wagon. I was going approximately 50 mph when I hit, and I walked away from it with minor injuries. This picture shows the before and after.

  • avatar

    You guys stop this or I’m not going to be able to get to work!

    Whats the matter with naming cars after Greek women?

    Mercury Medea
    Hupmobile Hera
    Altair Nano Artemis
    Chrysler Clytemnestra
    Pontiac Persephone
    Honda Harmonia
    Buick Electra

  • avatar

    I like BMW’s nomenclature since it refers to the engine. Caddies is decipherable because it’s based on previous names. Most of them. I also can’t remember Lincoln’s for the life of me.

    Infinity is no better.

    I do like how both Caddy & Lincoln have a real name for their full-sized SUV’s, however.

  • avatar

    ____ Rendezvous

    ____ Pathfinder

  • avatar
    new caledonia

    @Richard Chen —

    +1. ____ Bugeye made me do a spit take.

    Looking at the cars up and down my street:

    ____ Voyager
    ____ Odyssey
    ____ Escort

    Yes, I’m acting like a twelve-year-old.

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    @BlueBrat: Infiniti copied BMW initially, but using a letter instead of a number. Q instead of 7 for sedans, and then using two digits for displacement, i.e. Q45, 745.

    Of course, there’s not a total lack of correlation between engine displacement and name, so the mid-90’s Infiniti Q45 and a 4.1L V8, as did many BMW’s such as the 323 having a 2.5L I6. Things are a little more confusing now – “X6 xDrive35i”.

  • avatar

    The Hummer H2 and H3 always confused me, the H2 is the huge one and the H3 is the “small” one.

  • avatar

    I’m not sure if “Dongfeng ____ Crazy Soldier” really adds or detracts from the original, and as the Peoples Liberation Army is neither asking nor telling, I suppose I’ll never know.

    Which is Ok by me.

  • avatar

    ___ Gremlins will get you every time.

    ___ Rabbits = the results of too many Genesee Cream Ales?

  • avatar
    new caledonia

    ____ Chery


  • avatar

    Avalanche FTW!

  • avatar

    Isuzu had quite a run too

    ____ Trooper
    ____ Rodeo
    ____ Axiom
    ____ Hombre
    ____ Amigo

    There is always the ____ Rambler

  • avatar

    Oh this is fun:

    ____ golf
    ____ cruze
    ____ safari

    Dodge names are even more so:
    ____ calibre
    ____ magnum
    ____ avenger
    ____ journey
    ____ nitro

    I should note that games like these can get very, very creepy whenever anything relating to family gets tossed out. I’ve had a fortune cookie with: “You will always have the love of your family”

  • avatar

    Ford Europe is up there with the best:
    ______ Fiesta
    ______ Focus
    ______ Galaxy
    ______ Connect
    ______ Transit

  • avatar

    Don’t forget about Mercury…

    ____Marauder (gay porno)
    ____Cougar (straight porno)
    ____TurnPike Cruiser (h*rshey hwy nickname?)

    Best thread ever! F’ing hilarious!

  • avatar

    Sorry, but the porn titles keep on popping up (so to speak) in my brain…


    and traveling back in time…


  • avatar

    If you’re old and British…

    Humber ____ Snipe

    The German…

    VW ____ Bug
    VW ____ Thing

    Trivia buffs can look up the…

    Mohs ____ Ostentainne Opera Sedan

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    ___ Applause
    ___ Bee
    ___ Charade
    ___ Consorte
    ___ Grand Move
    ___ Fellow Max
    ___ Materia
    ___ Midget
    ___ Move
    ___ Naked
    ___ Rocky
    and last, but not least:
    ___ Scat

    ___ Cappuccino
    ___ MightyBoy
    ___ Twin

    ___ Crossblade
    ___ ForTwo
    ___ ForFour
    ___ ForMore (so good, it got cancelled)

    ___ Beat
    ___ Legend
    ___ Life Dunk
    ___ Partner
    ___ Pilot
    ___ Saber
    ___ Stream
    ___ Today
    ___ Vigor
    ___ Zest

    Rolls Royce’s hood ornament is bent forwards, with some versions kneeling:
    Spirit of ____ Ecstasy

  • avatar
    Paul Niedermeyer

    Um, Paul Bunyan “lived” in the big woods of northern Wisconsin and Minnesota, not the NW.

    And, um, I did mention (twice) the Pinto’s “ignition” problems. Just to let you know I’m listening (and enjoying) your banter, but will keep you honest.

  • avatar

    Older Volvos were very logically named,, first digit was platform series, second digit was number of cylinders, third digit was number of doors.

  • avatar

    ___ Century
    ___ Quest
    ___ Westfalia
    ___ Town & Country
    ___ Vision (Eagle)
    ___ Fit
    ___ FJ Cruiser
    ___ Town Car
    ___ Fury

    Lots and lots of good choices

  • avatar

    ___ Armada

    ___ Eclipse

    ___ Laser

    ___ Aerio

    Though I have to say that really only seems to work with English words.

    ___ testarossa – I know one

    ___ miura

    ___ countach

    Do these really work for anyone?

  • avatar

    The game that keeps on giving!

    Dodge________ Swinger
    Land Rover_____Discovery

  • avatar

    C’mon guys!

    The winners have to be the Dodge ___Ram and the more emphatic Dodge ___Ramcharger.

  • avatar

    In Canada Buick dealers are very excited about their _____ Allure. I wonder if they might bring back the _____ Special.

  • avatar

    Ah, but you all missed the finest of all, with its massive, perfectly balanced, long-stroke engine, the Bugatti ____ Royale with its hood ornament elephant, rearing up and trumpeting in glory

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