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Date:         Sat, 10 Jan 2009 15:27:36 -0800
Reply-To:     Robert Fisher <refisher@MCHSI.COM>
Sender:       Vanagon Mailing List <>
From:         Robert Fisher <refisher@MCHSI.COM>
Subject:      Re: VW car names ...
In-Reply-To:  <8728655942EF4BFB8C2E41D95A2E3B14@gp207joel>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

Many years ago I read an article about how most of the 'natural' product names in English have been trademarked, whether there was ever an actual product or not- sort of like the movie studio practice of registering movie titles regardless of whether they ever intend to make said movie. The trademarked terms or phrases become commodities in their own right. One of the results of this is that there are companies out there that specialize in creating or putting together new brand and/or company names out of other words ('Verizon', for example) and often to associate by connotation due to a resemblance of sounds. Evidently what we're seeing is a result of 'creativity' as a response to a scarce resource.

Cya, Robert

-----Original Message----- From: Vanagon Mailing List [] On Behalf Of joel walker Sent: Saturday, January 10, 2009 2:48 PM To: vanagon@GERRY.VANAGON.COM Subject: Re: VW car names ...

>> Back to VW start a whole movement and craze with the VW >> Rabbit >> car in the 70's........brilliant, but then turn around and call it >> a >> 'golf'...... >> what the heck is that about ??? Why not call it the Golf Ball, or >> the >> Baseball. > > Actually, once you look up "Golf" and find it means "Gulf" in > German... OK, so it still doesn't make any sense.

it sorta does. if you're a german car-namer. ;) vw decided to name all its models after winds. yup. winds. so Passat ... a tradewind. Golf ... the wind that comes along with the Gulf Stream Scirocco ... a variation of Sirocco, a hot dust-laden wind that blows from the Libyan desert toward Italy and Malta. Jetta ... a fast wind? not the Jet Stream, as you might think (unless it's a familiar name for it), cause that (jet stream) is Strahlstroemung ... and i really don't think you want to hang that name on a car! ;) Touareg ... the name of indigenous folks in the Tenere desert, in Niger, and likely the name of a wind in that area. and of course, Eurovan ... the name of that sucking wind that escapes from your wallet when you buy cars from a vw dealer. ;)

the rest of their names are just ... well ... goofy. Sharan ... is a Persian word meaning 'carrier of kings'. Touran ... is a combo of "tour" and Sharan. Tiguan ...since a 'tigon' is a result of mating a Tiger and a Lion, i can only assume a Tiguan is the result of mating a Tiger and an Iguana. i'd pay money to see that one. either that or it's just "tiger droppings" as in Tiger Guano. Beetle ... is a bug. Rabbit ... aw, who cares. :) Fox ... what chases Rabbits? Routan ... Routine and Sharan (?) :) GTI ... Golf This Isn't. Eos ... the ancient Greek goddess of the dawn. perfect name for a small car, don't you think? New Beetle ... a new bug. New Beetle Convertible ... a new bug that won't stay the same. CC ... no, really. it's a car. probably stands for Car-Car, from that old Peter, Paul and Mary song about "take me for a ride in your car-car". Polo ... short for Polizei Ordnung or Police Rules. either that or it's the name of that game with the horses and sticks. Phaeton ... a four-wheel horse-drawn carriage. now there's a $80,000 name for ya.

so their names are not much better than the american ones. i mean, Mercury Marqui? as in Marqui de Sade?? oh, that'll make you want that car! Chevy Cobalt? wonder if they meant to call it the Chevy Cobol, to compete with the soon-to-be-released Ford Fortran. (old programmer's joke). ;) Dodge Demon ... riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. Chevy Nova ... we all know that story, right? Ford Fusion. lemme see now, fusion is the pushing together of two atoms under tremendous pressure. so we can expect this car to push itself into other cars?

but i guess they make as much sense as M-Class or S-Class or XC-70 or some such. actually, the bmw's and the old volvo system of name was, to me, a lot more sensible ... 325. 3-series body, 2.5 liter engine. then they started cheating and putting 2.8 engines in there. volvo was even better ... 265 ... 2nd body series, 6-cylinder engine, 5-doors (station wagon).

i do wonder sometimes, if car makers are just desperate by the time the car is almost ready, and they'll grab at anything those pot-smoking 'stylists' in california give 'em. :)

unca joel

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