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5 Really Stupid Car Names

Updated on January 15, 2012
Ford Focus.  At least this one is in Focus.  Clearly, I can see it.
Ford Focus. At least this one is in Focus. Clearly, I can see it. | Source
Buick LaCross, the choice for The Crook.
Buick LaCross, the choice for The Crook. | Source
Honda Element, wreck with four other colors to form Voltron.
Honda Element, wreck with four other colors to form Voltron. | Source
Nissan Rogue.  It'll cut your throat and steal your goat.  In that order.
Nissan Rogue. It'll cut your throat and steal your goat. In that order. | Source
Toyota Sequoia, clearly the largest tree in the world.  Wait, no, that's some sort of Stupid Ugly Vehicle.
Toyota Sequoia, clearly the largest tree in the world. Wait, no, that's some sort of Stupid Ugly Vehicle. | Source

People buy these things?

For years auto makers have come up with some weird names for cars. Honestly, I could grab a dictionary, open it to a random page, and with my eyes closed come up with a new name. Give me a second here. . . Ok, maybe not. Using an Encyclopedia of Military Biography I hit Lyman L. Lemnitzer. Unless you're marketing it in eastern Europe, I don't think the Lemnitzer is going to go over big. That was my 2nd, more successful try. The first, in my Big Ol' Dictionary, was Superfecundation; that would be how you get non-identical twins, if you're wondering. We won't try that again, but you'll see where I'm going.

In classic, defunct production models, we had the Chevrolet Nova. Nice, 70s space theme, until marketed in Spanish speaking countries where No Va means, No Go. Yep, the Chevy No Go. Hopefully the marketing guys now run the names by a panel of folks who speak more than American English before sending Detroit's finest abroad. Except they don't, well, at least Tokyo doesn't. The Nissan Murano comes surprisingly close to the Spanish word for Pig. So, I doubt they're lining up south of the border for their Muranos.

1) Ford Focus. Focus? Have you been drinking? Smoking something you shouldn't ought? Are your prescription meds giving you problems? Or are you just ADHD? Really, Ford, Focus? It sounds like something that the head of marketing told his brainstorming group: Focus, we've got to come up with a name for this car or we're all fired.

2) Buick LaCrosse. I had this vague notion it was a game played with a net and a stick. Yep, it is. American Indians played it. The French name for the game stuck. It means..."The Crook." Not only have you just bought a Buick, whose average owner (based on looking at them as they drive by) is 95 years old, you bought one called The Crook. Hopefully, you're either a lawyer or used car salesman. In fact, that would make the name downright ironic, wouldn't it?

3) Honda Element. Are we talking about the periodic table here? Is it the wrong group of people, i.e. a bad element? Perhaps we mean it in the sense of things can be broken down into their individual components. If this is the case, I can further deduce (since it comes from Japan), that you absolutely do not--ever--want to have a wreck with multiple, differently colored Elements. Not if you don't want to form Voltron.

4) Nissan Rogue. Back when I played Dungeons & Dragons, weren't Rogues some sort of thief? They'd take your stuff and cut your throat. I think that's what they did. Rogue elephants have been known to be pretty dangerous. They kill people, too. Then, in biology, a rogue is "a usually inferior organism." Good job Nissan, you've brought out the Murderous Idiot for the New Year.

5) Toyota Sequoia. Sounds grand. Majestic, even. Then I think of that trip to San Francisco from Seattle when I was a kid. I saw some big trees. They were Sequoias. The Toyota Tree? It handles like a log? Does it float in water? I really don't know. I'm just waiting for the Ford Mesquite, myself.

This is hardly a definitive list, things like the Volkswagen Golf just missed the list. Golf, small car driven by young people, who don't play golf. They should have bought a Rabbit, if they were still available. I can at least see VW's logic with Rabbit, it replaced the Beetle. They should have tried Cricket. That's a fine name for a small car. Like a Beetle, it too can be crushed easily underfoot.

I won't even go into Dodge and its Calibers and Magnums. The names of these things and their marketing strategy seem to be, "Did nature fail to endow you? Did you always want to be a MAN? Buy one of our cars or trucks and your dream will come true."

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    • profile image

      Kropotkin 6 years ago

      Heavy congrats, Doug, for coming with such ingenious stuff on the basis of some pretty innocuous car names. What you could've done with Toyota's Runx, Ractis and Raum I dread to think... Runx: a runt but with an X factor? A sexy runt? A runt with attitoood?

    • Bronterae profile image

      Bronterae 6 years ago from Nor Cal

      Finally something entertaining, thanks. Voted up and funny!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 6 years ago from Dubai

      This is a new way of looking at car names. HaHa!!!Great hub. Voted up.

    • hecate-horus profile image

      hecate-horus 6 years ago from Rowland Woods

      "Murderous Idiot for the New Year." LOLOLOLOL! Loved this hub!

    • againsttheodds profile image

      againsttheodds 6 years ago

      I always thought Oldsmobile was the worst car name ever. I understand the founder's last name was Olds, but who wants to go buy a new car called an Oldsmobile? Apparently the brand did pretty well, what do I know?

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      this is terrific. I've thought often about the silliness of car names, but never thought to put them in a hub. Great work!

    • profile image

      rorshak sobchak 6 years ago

      Neat Hub. These were some funny names. I wonder who thinks of these things? :)

    • i_am_monk profile image

      John Crozier 6 years ago from Newcastle, Tyne and Wear, England

      Great hub, I never really thought about it but you're right there really are some stupid car names out there.

    • GusTheRedneck profile image

      Gustave Kilthau 6 years ago from USA

      Howdy Doug - Truer words were never driven.

      Gus :-)))

    • Tom Koecke profile image

      Tom Koecke 6 years ago from Tacoma, Washington

      You're showing your youth, Doug. How about Fury?

    • DougBerry profile image
      Author

      DougBerry 6 years ago from Abilene, TX

      I was surprised when Ford announced the end of the Crown Victoria that there wasn't a rash of the elderly diving out of windows to their death. I honestly don't know what car will make me think, "82-year-old or cop?" in the future.

    • profile image

      Kieran Gracie 6 years ago

      When I said that VW has now produced the 'Up!' I now see that it should be spelled 'up!'. It makes a huge difference to the appeal of the car, y'know!

      Thank goodness that BMW and Mercedes Benz have stuck to numbers. But I could suggest quite a few 'suitable' names for them to use if they wanted. How about the BMW Zeppelin? Or the Eindekker? Or the Fart?

    • DougBerry profile image
      Author

      DougBerry 6 years ago from Abilene, TX

      It was actually amazing the number of manufacturers that are out there that never make it to the US.

      From my Midnight Oil memorie: "Holden wrecks and boiling diesels/steam at 45 degrees" I didn't actually realize what a Holden was until I started looking at going to Australia and went, "Oh, it's a CAR!"

    • Tom Koecke profile image

      Tom Koecke 6 years ago from Tacoma, Washington

      If you don't like the Magnum or Caliber, you can always Ram it.

      There was once a German car manufacturer that made one and two cylinder, three wheel cars called Goliath. I saw one once. It didn't run.

      Johnny Carson once joked about the Czek, a small car that was going to be marketed in America for about $3,000 or so. He said it was for those people who weren't quite ready to step up for a Yugo.

      Good hub!

    • Joelipoo profile image

      Joel 6 years ago from Ohio

      Very entertaining. VW actually did begin producing the rabbit again a few years back.

    • DougBerry profile image
      Author

      DougBerry 6 years ago from Abilene, TX

      Thanks, I think it is about time I start the follow up to this Hub. P'raps tomorrow.

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Lololo! Absolutely hysterical and truthful! Those names are absolutely ridiculous. I am so glad I do not drive any of them. I knew there was a reason why I didn't care much for any of those vehicles. It was the names! Great read. Thumbs Up! :)

    • DougBerry profile image
      Author

      DougBerry 6 years ago from Abilene, TX

      I see I'm going to have to research the cars outside of the US and write a sequel. I did just hear a story that The US division of Volkswagen is repositioning itself to try to take over the #2 spot world-wide. It's currently held by Toyota.

      VW's plan is to start making cars that cater to American driving conditions (and drivers). Basically, they're going to make them more comfortable for extended drives by throwing some cup holders and seats for fat people.

    • profile image

      Kieran Gracie 6 years ago

      And now there's the Volkswagen Up! The exclamation mark is their's, not mine (!)

    • Angie Jardine profile image

      Angie Jardine 6 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

      And you haven't even started on the far eastern car companies, Doug! Kia cee'd or Sportage or Carens or Soul or Venga anyone? Venga, are they serious?

      Thanks for the laugh ... and the exceptional writing.

      Welcome to HubPages.

    • DougBerry profile image
      Author

      DougBerry 6 years ago from Abilene, TX

      Coming out of the Coin-Op business, my brain related it automatically to Jukebox, but yes, Joke it is. The Ford Focus, when I was still at my Dad's tire store, was often referred to as the F--K Us by the mechanics.

    • profile image

      Kieran Gracie 6 years ago

      My own favorite name disaster, at least in Europe, is the Nissan Juke. Since it is incredibly ugly most people automatically call it the Nissan Joke!

    • PierAllegro profile image

      PierAllegro 6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      NOVA, first and foremost, means NEW in Latin. New brings to mind the idea of novelty hence the well-studied name. marketing is based on studies and not on random dictionary choices. I like your No Va though. Some people purposely mispronounce Ford for Fraud. Skoda, a Czech car manufacturer, means 'damage' in Polonad, a neighboring country.

    • KathyH profile image

      KathyH 6 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Congratulations on your hubnugget nomination! :) Very funny stuff, I always thought the Nissan Leaf was a dumb name, but I decided to leaf it alone... make like a tree and "leaf?" I didn't think so! ;) Voted up and funny!! :)

      And welcome to HubPages! :)

    • DougBerry profile image
      Author

      DougBerry 6 years ago from Abilene, TX

      I did add a companion piece to this a few days ago: "5 Stupid Classic Car Names." Here's the link:

      http://hubpages.com/t/2c8370

    • DougBerry profile image
      Author

      DougBerry 6 years ago from Abilene, TX

      One of my wife's coworkers got a new Murano not too long ago. One of her other coworkers (a bilingual, hispanic guy), walked in and asked, "Who bought the pig out there?"

      I'm sure Pontiac thought the same thing way back when they named the Catalina, but 99.9% of us think 'Salad Dressing based on ketchup", not "Island."

    • everymom profile image

      Anahi Pari-di-Monriva 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Congratulations on your Hubnugget nomination and thanks for my morning laugh! As a native Spanish speaker and translator, I've known about the Chevy Nova for a long time (along with the Coca-Cola marketing campaign in Asia - I believe, perhaps, either China or Thailand - where "Coke adds life" was translated to something akin to "Coke brings your ancestors back from the dead;" an oldie, but a good cautionary tale that marketers just don't seem to heed).

      I do, however, take exception to your naming the Murano. I believe the marketers for Nissan were just being Eurocentric and trying to find a chic place name for it, as in the island of Murano, off the coast of Venice, Italy, famed for its high-end glass art and other products. I think they were just trying to go luxe and decided not to name it the St. Tropez or Ibiza; just trying to cut them _a little_ (though perhaps undeserved) slack! :-)

    • videogameviking profile image

      videogameviking 6 years ago from California

      Great article! It's unique, interesting, and fun to read.

    • DougBerry profile image
      Author

      DougBerry 6 years ago from Abilene, TX

      Donna,

      Thanks. I never thought about the comedy circuit. I mainly just sit down and write whatever flits through my head.

    • wonderingwoolley profile image

      wonderingwoolley 6 years ago from Madison, WI

      This was a really fun read. Way to be engaging and informative. Thanks for sharing!

    • DonnaCosmato profile image

      Donna Cosmato 6 years ago from USA

      The title of your hub hooked me in, but I wasn't really sure where you could possibly go with this until I started writing. Have you considered going on the road as a standup comic in addition to being an excellent writer? I mean this as a compliment because you are way funnier than some of the comedians that my family favors:)

      Congratulations on being nominated for a Hubnugget award, and best wishes for winning. I voted this up and shared it on my social net.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 6 years ago from USA

      Congratulations on your HubNuggets nomination! Well deserved - this is funny. I think the these teams might be able to do better by using a dictionary or encyclopedia.

    • DougBerry profile image
      Author

      DougBerry 6 years ago from Abilene, TX

      Thankss ripplemaker and et alia. I appreciate the nomination!

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hahahahha :)

      These car names are a hit as your hub has been nominated on the Hubnuggets! Check it out and be sure to participate okay? http://enellelamb.hubpages.com/hubnuggets6/hub/Hub... Have a wondrous year ahead of you!

    • profile image

      Theo Godfrey 6 years ago

      Great job Doug! You entertained me.

    • DougBerry profile image
      Author

      DougBerry 6 years ago from Abilene, TX

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 6 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      HA HA! Cute Hub.Congratulations!

    • profile image

      o_o 6 years ago

      ur not funnie

    • DougBerry profile image
      Author

      DougBerry 6 years ago from Abilene, TX

      Well, it's actually two different cars. I guess the closest thing would be a large SUV with an electric unicycle in the back. As you know, twins always think one got the short end of the stick; it is always the one you're talking to.

    • Eric Newland profile image

      Eric Newland 6 years ago from Dayton, Ohio

      So what kind of mileage does a Superfecundation get? I'm assuming it's a hybrid.

    • aslaught profile image

      aslaught 6 years ago from Alabama

      Never thought about this, but you're absolutely right!

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