Tuesday, November 4, 2014

What Weird Car Names Mean

2015 Toyota Camry XLE. Image courtesy of Toyota.
"What's in a name?" That famous question was posed by Juliet. While the young lover trivialized the meaning of names, the fact is that there is a lot in a name. Just think if someone you know were to have a child and name him Adolf Hitler (that's happened).

There are a lot of interesting and downright weird car names out there: Integra, LaFerrari, Achieva. Some other names are normal, but still are weird choices for cars (Ford Aspire, anyone?). Jerry Seinfeld (who happens to be a huge car guy) even complained about this once.

Instead of just sitting around and puzzling about what some cryptic vehicle names mean, Toyota UK has given everyone a helping hand and revealed how the automaker came up with the names of some of its most iconic vehicles.

First off is the Yaris, which is a mashup of the Greek "Charis" for elegance and beauty and the German "Ya" for "Yes." Supposedly, the name was to reflect how Europeans would react upon seeing the car's exterior. Weird...

The Corolla gets its name from the botanical world. It is the term for the petals in the center of a flower. The name is supposed to signal that the car is small and beautiful. Prius is Latin and means "previous" or "prior." Supposedly, it was to symbolize that no other mass-produced hybrid had preceded the car. Celica is Spanish for "celestial," because that's how it feels to drive the car (depending on who you ask).

One of the most puzzling names is Camry, a car that is wildly popular with consumers and roundly hated by enthusiasts. It comes from the Japanese word "kanmuri" which means "crown." Considering that the model has been called the king of midsize sedans, the name is rather prophetic.

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