Naming your car: it’s more normal than you think


Photo provided

Senior Katie Stanley with her car Black Betty.

“Shane died.” Those were the words spoken by a teenage girl on a cold winter night. It was easy to depict that she was upset by the loss. She, on the other hand, walked away with a few scratches. Still, she had to put up with her best friend being lost forever—to a junkyard. She had rolled her car on ice, therefore, totaling her car that she endearingly named Shane. 

Naming objects is traceable to a time where massive wooden ships sailed the sea. This trait has carried on to modern times, but for cars. As the movie Cars portrayed, there are features on cars, such as the grille, headlights, and front fender, that can be compared to human features. The look can make it easy to give a human name to an inanimate object. 

So, how far reaching is the process of naming a car? According to, 42% of people have named their cars. Furthermore,  Oct. 2 is even National Name Your Car Day. Both genders are inclined to name their cars, but women are 10% more likely to do so. When it comes to naming cars, inspiration can come from a multitude of areas. Thirty one percent of people that name their cars are inspired by the color or appearance. Others can use the car make or model to determine a name. 

For me, my Dodge Charger is nicknamed the Silver Bullet. While it is indeed silver, I did not name it for that reason. My grandpa had a 1968 Dodge Charger for his first car, and his friends named it the silver bullet for its flair. He helped me pay for my car, so I named my car as a tribute to him. As for the rest of the cars in my family, their names have ranged from Black Beauty to Betty White. 

Senior Katie Stanley said, “My car is named Black Betty, or just Betty for short. Black Betty is a 2009 Pontiac G6, and she got this name because of the iconic “Black Betty” song by Ram Jam. She even has a license plate frame as her nameplate, of sorts. Betty is also nicknamed the “Pontiwack,” because an old woman backed into me, and I used to have a bad habit of driving over parking stumps.”

Junior Haley Nelson stated, “I named my car Chester. I named him Chester because when I went to the 2019 HOBY (Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Foundation) seminar there was a chant that we did all the time and it had the word Chester in it. I want to always remember my experience at HOBY and Chester is that reminder.” 

Caleb Wolfe, a junior, said, ”Yea, her name is Poppy. My friend gave her a random name and I thought it was funny. Now, she’s named Poppy because her tire popped one day on the way to school and it fits now.”

Across the nation, the most popular name to use on a car is Betsy. The most popular car models to be named are Ford Mustangs and Honda Civics. Overall, Ford is the most named car make. 

Regardless of if you have or have not named a car, both choices are normal to do. However, if a car is given a nickname, when the time comes, it can be a little harder to say goodbye. In the end, nicknames are a fun way to refer to and connect to a car.