There is a long tradition in this country of applying names to inanimate objects. Tin Lizzie, you may recall, was the nickname given to Ford’s Model T. Some people still use the term when referring to their car.
During World War II, pilots and troops would regularly give a name to their vehicle or aircraft. Probably the best-known name from that era is Enola Gay, the B-29 that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Pilot Paul Tibbets named his aircraft after his mother.
Why four-wheelers name their vehicles
Four-wheelers are no different. Naming their off-road vehicles is done for sentimental and practical reasons. Owners become really attached to their vehicles after all that time spent together.
That vehicle is an extension of the driver. The make and model, how it’s decked out – even the condition it’s in – are a reflection of its owner.
Do you have your vehicle wear a name tag or not?
A unique name or moniker provides instant recognition. You learn something about the vehicle and, often, the owner. Vehicle names come in handy in social settings. Four-wheelers may not recall personal names, but they can remember vehicle names.
This is Pickle – he will get you out of a pickle.
Color played a big role in the names I chose for my Jeeps. The green one is Pickle, the yellow one is Parkay, and the silver Jeep is Ashley. My red Land Cruiser is called Titanosaurus, due to its size.
Seems everyone knows those nicknames. If I call the mechanic to ask if Pickle is ready, he knows which vehicle I’m talking about. And, no, he won’t make any wisecrack about burgers and fries.
This naming business is serious stuff. October 2 has been designated National Name Your Car Day. So now you have a good reason to celebrate at least once a year.
This is Parkay ( she is not butter, banana, or mustard).
How to name your vehicle
There is no official process for this. First, though, you should determine its gender. You need to know whether to refer your vehicle as a ‘he’ or a ‘she’. To determine its gender, put the vehicle up on the rack and look underneath.
To determine its gender, put the vehicle up on the rack and look underneath.
Once you have that settled, you can move onto a name. These traits will help you decide:
- Color (Red Devil, Snow White, Pickle)
- Vehicle behavior, personality, quirks
- Model name (some variation, like Ruby Belle for a Rubicon)
- Size or shape (engine or vehicle: Big Red)
- Reputation, especially if negative (Stinky, Oily, PITA)
The sky’s the limit on names, but keep it clean. Kids and others with sensitive ears will often be nearby.
Short names are preferred. You want a name that quickly rolls off the tongue. And it should be unique, just like you. Try to avoid one already in use.
Spouses sometimes offer a name, such as Money Pit or The Other Woman. Appropriate, considering that you’re always buying something for your vehicle.
Many four-wheelers develop a trail name over time. Why shouldn’t your Jeep – your trusted partner – also have a name?
Sharpen that pencil and start brainstorming. Craft a clever and memorable name for your 4WD vehicle. Then hit the trails proudly with your Betsy, or whatever you decide to call her.