Naming a new car is one of the biggest decisions you'll never make. Unlike that spoiler you installed after watching Fast And The Furious, you can never take it away. That name is going to be with the car forever. So here are some helpful tips to ensure you can live with your choice.
1. How creepy does it make you sound?
Creepy: "Get into my van." Not creepy: "Let's get into the Mystery Machine!"
The most popular car-naming strategy is to pick the name of a beautiful woman. It makes sense: you love your car, you're going to treat it right, and it's got beautiful curves. But naming your car after a woman can also make you sound like a real perv if you're not careful. If it sounds too much like a real person, you run the risk of saying something like "I think I'm going to trade Kaitlin in for a newer model" or "I need to vacuum Elizabeth, she's full of crumbs." Not sure whether your car's name makes you sound like a creep or not? Here's a trick: Go to a crowded bar and try saying, "Do you want to go to the parking lot and get in _______ with me?" If you feel uncomfortable, don't name your car that name.
2. Consider the make and model of the car
Take a page from The Hoff's book and take your car's make and model into consideration. The Knight Industries Three Thousand becomes KITT.
Maybe ever since you were a little kid, you wanted to name your car Elsa, after your childhood crush, or that girl from Frozen. Then, you grow up, and you get a Tesla. Sure, you could name that car Elsa, but then you'd have a Tesla Elsa and everyone would think you have a speech impediment. Also, sexy cars should have sexy names. If you have a Ferrari 488 and you name it "Warren," just... what are you doing, man?
3. Don't use the name of a dead pet or relative
Naming your car after Mr. Mittens might seem like a great way to pay tribute to your best friend. But now, instead of letting yourself move past his tragic and untimely death, you're faced with a daily reminder of your heartbreak. Driving should be a happy experience; why tinge it with regret? Herbie: Fully Loaded would have been much sadder if you found out Herbie was named after a deceased kitten. And don't forget: no car is forever. Can you really deal with the death of Mr. Mittens TWICE?
4. Get a sense of this year's trendy names
Every year, the Social Security Administration rounds up the year's most popular baby names. It's an interesting piece of cultural history, but if you were born in 1980 and your name is Jennifer, then you're bound not to feel very special. What's the point of giving your car a name if there are six other "Kevins" on the lot? Do some research in advance. Go to auto shows, find out what other people are naming their cars, and see if you can spot any trends. Your car is special to you, it should be special to everyone else, too. How many Chitty Chitty Bang Bangs do you think were floating around?
5. Employ wordplay selectively
You have to walk a fine line with funny names, because you'll get sick of most puns within about two weeks. Your best bet is to make it something subtle so it can go away when you want it to. "Otto" doesn't leave you with a lot of alternatives. But if you go with "Otto Von Bismarck"? Then you can always call back on "Von." Werner Herzog fan? Try "FitzCARraldo." Scientologist? What about "Veyron Hubbard"? Get creative! The General Lee was general-ly a good car. (Thanks, folks, I'll be here all week).
6. Name it like a cool plane
Think of all the cool things you can name a plane. The Blue Bomber. The Flying Fortress. The Delta Dagger. Isn't that better than "Nicole"? Something like "Lightning McQueen" will ensure that you've got the coolest mode of transport on land or in the air.