Why do we name our cars?
Here’s a list of names:
The Red Lady
The Rust Bucket
The Messy Box
These are just some of my friends’ and family’s car names. And I know, OH I KNOW, you’ve named your car too (and if you haven’t, I’m betting that you know someone who has).
So why do we dub our cars?
1. It’s now a member of your family
Pop – you’ve got a new baby. You telling me you aren’t planning on naming it? Exactly! Your new car is your baby, there’s a bond, a sense of attachment and new found love. You probably waited in anticipation for months (or years) for it so why shouldn’t you name it? Also, naming something gives you a sense of responsibility over it and you’re probably feeling that sense of responsibility now that you have to think about road tax and car insurance.
2. You’ve entrusted your life to a hunk of metal
So it’s probably a good idea to think of your car as your friend. We spend many hours each week in a car and well, accidents happen. Naming your baby makes travelling through this dangerous world a little more like an adventure – Ritz and Royal, You and The Red Lady, John Doe and Empress Spaz – don’t we sound like we’re off on a marvelous quest, ready to brave the roads together?
3. To spread our personality
Hundreds of models, dozens of colours – and yet, this isn’t enough. For those of us who can’t create a one of a kind, customized car, there’s naming it. It’s how we add our personality onto it – how we give it a little of ourselves. It’s also an extension of how people see us! First impressions are everything and when they hear about Ol’ Betsy or Silver Bullet or The Beast, they’ll get a glimpse of your personality.
Anthro – say what now? This is just a fancy way of saying that we’re giving non-human entities, human like characteristics. So why do we do this to cars, specifically? Well, we tend to this because it helps us simplify complex entities (how many of us REALLY know how the insides of a car works?) and because of a car’s likeness or similarity to humans. They breathe, they get scratch up, they break and bend and pass noxious gas, just like any other person you know – they feel… alive… Don’t they?
And so we bestow names upon our cars. If you thought you were the only one – you’re not. We humans, we’re all a little weird and this is just one our ways to show how much we care for something, how close we are to something.
So what did you name your car?