Car Names: Test Drive These For Your Baby
Two weeks ago I had my first experience shopping for a car. While in high school, I had been given a 1992 Dodge Dynasty by an uncle, and after I graduated and was pregnant with my oldest son, my grandparents gave me their 1995 Ford Taurus. My Taurus finally gave out on me two weeks ago, so my father, my husband and I set out to find me a car.
While walking around the used car lot, it struck me just how unique some of the names of these cars were. Some were unique in a way that just seemed far-fetched. Some were unique in a way that could be considered daring, but at the same time up-and-coming or trendy. And then there were some that years ago would have been a stretch, but now seem commonplace. Much like baby names.
Naturally, being the name enthusiast I am, this led to me researching car names as soon as I got home with my newly-purchased 2008 Dodge Caliber. What I didn’t expect was how many options there were beyond the standard car brands like Ford, Lincoln, Mercedes, Porsche and Romeo, all names we’ve heard before. Branching out into the models issued by individual car brands, I found so many options, and many trends I did not expect.
Here, for instance, are car names that were used for babies first:
Then there are the car names that are similar to up-and-coming baby names, and might provide a fresh twist on too-trendy choices:
DEX (DAX, DEXTER)
DUSTER (DUSTY, DUSTIN)
ISETTA (ISABELLE, VIOLETTA)
There are lots of car model names derived from place names, and some of these are used for babies as well. Others – Daytona? Denali? – might make fresh options.
Other car model names might not fit so easily into one of the above categories, but may work just as well for a child.
ERIN FREEMAN lives in Massachusetts with her husband Chad, who is her high school sweetheart. They have two boys, Cody Ryan, 5, and Logan John Whitman, almost 2. Erin has been an avid name-enthusiast since high school. In her family’s spare time, they love taking the boys to the beach and the park, and spending time with their very large extended family.
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on June 7th, 2010 at 6:16 am
Ha, this post reminds me of the Ramona Quimby books, where Ramona brings her doll Chevrolet in for show and tell and is made fun of for her naming taste!
Interesting read (the post – though those books were wonderful, too)
on June 7th, 2010 at 8:42 am
My older cousin let her spouse name her youngest child because she had been the primary namer for her first two children, and he chose “Shelby” after the car. I love her, and her name suits her, but I’ve quietly been a little sad that she was named after a motor vehicle.
on June 7th, 2010 at 9:16 am
The ultimate NE test….Do something with these:
on June 7th, 2010 at 9:24 am
I think Sonata is very nice. Regal! Liberty is a great name as well for those with a patriotic bent.
on June 7th, 2010 at 9:50 am
We name our cars, so far we have had a- Ruby, Esmeralda, Emril, and a Meredith.
My old friend use to say (when he was seven) that he wanted a daughter named Corvette! Hah!
I personally could never see intentionally setting out to name my child after a car, it just wouldn’t make me happy to tell them that story one day.
on June 7th, 2010 at 10:40 am
Interesting… save for names that were people names first, I’m not a big fan of the car-name-for-kids thing… Zoe, yep, sure, Camry? Erm, not on my kid!
Of course, there are a number of car makes and models available in other parts of the world that aren’t here in the states! Here are some from my time in England (I am not suggesting they be used for children!):
Xsara (new twist on Sarah/Zara?)
Ibiza (place name)
Mini (Minnie – baby name first)
Cooper (baby name/surname first)
Megane (baby name first/alternative for Meghan)
Riva (place name)
Samara (baby name first)
on June 7th, 2010 at 12:33 pm
I knew children named Cougar (boy) and Odyssey (girl). They were both ADORABLE and even though neither is my style of name, I really liked the names on those particular children.
on June 7th, 2010 at 1:25 pm
Thank you Maj! I haven’t read the Ramona Quimby books in quite some time. I may need to pick them up for a re-read 🙂
on June 7th, 2010 at 1:49 pm
GREAT JOB ERIN! If I ever have another baby I’ll come to you for some name choosing inspiration for sure! For now, I’ll pass ’em on to my daughter…she could use some help on her dolls!! 🙂
on June 7th, 2010 at 1:57 pm
these remind me of a short story i once read in which the main character, aspiring to a better life and higher social status, named her child Diamante, after the car, which she thought was the height of class and elegance.
on June 7th, 2010 at 2:37 pm
I’m really surprised that some idiot has not named her child Camree yet! 😀
on June 7th, 2010 at 3:29 pm
I was in Italy for a while, and I thought the car name Lancia (whether pronounced LON-cha, like in Italian or LAN-see-a, like in English) would make a great name for a girl! I thought I was kind of nuts to even consider a car name to human name transfer, but now I feel somewhat justified, 🙂
on June 7th, 2010 at 5:22 pm
Macy from 16 and Pregnant and Teen Moms named her son Bentley. The name works very well for him.
Car names aren’t that bad.
on June 7th, 2010 at 10:26 pm
what about Kia?
on June 9th, 2010 at 12:04 am
I don’t think I saw Avalon (Toyota) on that list!
on June 9th, 2010 at 5:24 pm
I used to nanny for a sweet baby named Solara, who was born right before the Toyota Solara came out. I was constantly asked if she was named after the car. I also know a pair of brothers named Tucker and Austin, after vintage car brands.
on March 15th, 2011 at 4:19 am
a lot of car names are from people for example Shelby was a mr Shebly who design the car. i chose this for my girl (partner loves the car) was thinking Ghia for baby on the way glad to see it on the list lol. my cousin went further they are holden lovers so their children arent just named after cars but also after holdens.
on June 7th, 2011 at 7:35 am
my son is 11 mths old and we called him aston (after aston martin) although his middle name is jay.
on September 22nd, 2011 at 10:19 am
My husband is a passionate ‘car guy’ and I’m into names that are different. In looking to come up with a boy’s name for our soon-to-be baby, I let him try out some car-related names. His final verdict was Holden, Australian car company and a strong name for a boy. But in our quest we also came across Noble, which I think is another great car-related name.
on April 4th, 2012 at 1:42 am
More car names taken from peoples given names:
Cedric (originally produce by Prince and continued for many years after the merger with Nissan)
Gloria (a sister car to the Cedric—Nissan in Japan once maintained different products for the original Nissan and former Prince dealer networks)
Silvia (another Nissan)
Carol (a Japanese Mazda)
Mercedes (the daughter of a dealer)
Dino (in memory of a son of Enzo Ferrari)
Edsel (in memory of one of Henry Ford’s sons)
Pontiac (the anglicized form of Obwandiyag, a leader of the Odawa or Ottawa)
Mercury (after the god)
Minerva (another god)
Aurora (goddess of the dawn)
Eos (another dawn goddess)
Antoinette (after the founder’s daughter)
Surnames used as car marques often used as first names (or deriving from first names)
Lincoln (after the president)
Antoine (the founder, Victor Antoine)
Dietrich (an 17th C foundry founded by Jean de Dietrich which later produced cars in Alsace and Lorraine)
Clinton (a Canadian company)
Russell (after Thomas Russell)
Lambert (two separate French companies and one American each named for their founders)
Lloyd (separate British and German companies)
Morris (after William Morris)
Andre (after T.B. Andre)
Austin (after Herbert Austin)
Bentley (W.O. Bentley)
Clement (after Adolphe Clément-Bayard)
Lea-Francis (founders Richard Lea and Graham Francis)
Riley (after owner William Riley)
Scott (after founder Alfred Angus Scott)
Jensen (the Jensen brothers)
Christie (after Walter Christie)
Earl (after Clarence Earl)
Franklin (after Herbert Franklin)
Frazer (after executive Joseph Frazer)
Jeffery (Thomas Jeffery)
Henry (general manager D.W. Henry)
Harrison (William Harrison)
Graham (Graham brothers)
Paige (Frederick Paige)
Jordon (after founder Edward Jordon)
Cameron (Everitt Cameron)
Lewis (William Lewis)
Lindsay (T. J. Lindsay)
Martin (James Martin)
Mason (Edward Mason)
Nash (Charles Nash)
Nelson (Emil Nelson)
Owen (R.M. Owen)
Ross (Louis Ross)
Thomas (Erwin Thomas)
Stanley (Francis and Freelan Stanley)
Tucker (Preston Tucker)
Sheridan (after Gen. Philip Sheridan)
Walter (founder William Walter)
Xander (founder John Xander)
Car names taken from place names also used as first names
Aston (Aston Hill in Buckinghamshire)
Ashley (after the owner’s house)
Flint (the Detroit suburb)
Gaylord (a Michigan city)
Holly (after Mt Holly NJ)
Lorraine (located in Lorraine in France).
Luverne (Minnesota town)
Napoleon (after a town in Ohio, but using an image of Napoleon Bonaparte in advertising)
Wilson (after Wilson, NY)
on January 2nd, 2013 at 9:16 am
[name]Mercedes[/name] is another name for a girl
on June 22nd, 2018 at 9:35 am
My fiancé’s kids are Shelby and Alexus. We also have friend whose kids are named Chevelle and Mark
on May 8th, 2019 at 2:09 pm
We all love names and it is thouroughly entertaining to read about it but I believe that in order to do justice to the people who carry them, I need to clarify something you’ve writen in your post.
Alhambra, Arosa, and Altea are names of places and people long before cars even existed. Some are names of places because they were the name of people in antiquity, like Altea (Althea in English). SEAT uses names of Spanish cities, towns and places of interest for its cars and in some instances, they are very very ancient names. The names of the SEAT cars you write under ‘names of cars similar to up-and-coming baby names’ are not names taken from car names, they are the Spanish name (so the real name as they are in Spain) of very ancient and beautiful places. Alhambra is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and an Arabic word remanent of the seven centuries of Moorish culture embeded in Spain. Arosa is to Rosa like Manchester could be to Chester and Altea is not similiar to Althea but it is Althea in English (and Greek). Altea was a Queen in Greek Mitholgy and the name of a beautiful coastal town in Spain crossed by a river believed to heal like Altea was believed to do in Greek times.
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