Does your vehicle live up (or down) to its name?
A perfect name can summarize a car or truck's personality: Mustang, Ram, Impala. But the wrong one can send a message the automaker never intended.
Sometimes, automakers seem unaware of an embarrassing name. Despite having a name that means “a seizure in which the victim loses consciousness,” Honda has not changed the name of the Fit back to Jazz, which is what the hatchback is called in other countries.
Maybe this is why automakers avoid proper words when naming their vehicles; it avoids unintended consequences. You'll understand why when you see what your vehicle's name means.
Here's a sampling of model names and their definitions, along with the automaker that uses them.
• Accent: a way of pronouncing a language, associated with a country, area, or social class. (Hyundai)
• Cayman: or caiman, a Central and South American crocodile. (Porsche)
• Civic: relating to a city or town. (Honda)
• Enclave: a minority culture group living as an entity within a larger group. (Buick)
• Eos: the Greek goddess of dawn. (Volkswagen)
• Equinox: the time or date at which the sun crosses the celestial equator and when day and night are of equal length. (Chevrolet)
• Equus: Latin word for horse. (Hyundai)
• Escalade: the scaling of fortified walls using ladders, as a form of military attack. (Cadillac)
• Fiesta: a religious festival, especially a saint's day. (Ford)
• Fit: a seizure in which the victim loses consciousness. (Honda)
• Focus: the center of interest or activity. (Ford)
• Forester: a person or animal living in a forest. (Subaru)
• Forte: the strongest part of the blade of a sword, between the middle and the hilt. (Kia)
• Fusion: a fusing or melting together. (Ford)
• Genesis: the way in which something comes to be. (Hyundai)
• Golf: an outdoor game played on a large course with a small, hard ball and a set of clubs. (Volkswagen)
• Insight: the ability to see and understand clearly the inner nature of things, especially by intuition. (Honda)
• Juke: outmaneuver by feint or other deceptive movement. (Nissan)
• Rio: Spanish word for river. (Kia)
• Rogue: a person or thing that is defective or unpredictable. (Nissan)
• Sequoia: a redwood tree. (Toyota)
• Sierra: A range of hills or mountains having a saw-toothed appearance from the distance. (GMC)
• Sonata: a composition for one or two instruments, usually consisting of several movements. (Hyundai)
• Soul: an entity that is regarded as being the immortal or spiritual part of the person and is credited with the functions of thinking and willing. (Kia)
• Touareg: or Tuareg, a nomadic African tribe. (Volkswagen)
• Tundra: a vast, flat, treeless Arctic region of Europe, Asia and North America in which the subsoil is permanently frozen. (Toyota)
• Vantage: a place or position affording a good view. (Aston Martin)
• Volt: A turning movement or gait of a horse, in which it moves sideways around a center (Chevrolet)
Larry Printz is automotive editor at The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Chevron settles fatal shale gas well fire lawsuit for $5M
- Task force to plot ways of easing gas glut in Pennsylvania via pipelines
- IRS cybersecurity breach touches lives of homebuyers, others
- Pitt study suggests health law attracting young to balance insurers’ risks
- UPMC offering buyouts to 3,500 employees in cost-cutting move
- Many Americans have no retirement savings, Fed survey shows
- Shoppers pay premium for organic chicken
- Shareholder vote causes ATI to review executive pay packages
- Tesla home battery at $7K, partnered with rooftop solar system, may help reduce power bills
- Automakers do U-turn on infotainment systems
- Exxon, Chevron shareholders reject big oil restrictions