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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What's in a name?

I was in a traffic line recently and notice the two cars in front of me... a Yapta and a Passat. Not being a car buff, I didn't realize that one was a Toyota and the other, a VW. Where do they get these names? Remember years ago, Chevy tried to market its Nova in South America and it did terrible? Then, someone let them in on a little secret. In Spanish, Nova means No-Go. In other countries, Mazda makes the Bongo, Toyota has a Deliboy and a Toyopet. Mitsubishi markets its Delica Space Gear, Daihatsu has the Naked and Volugrafo (Italian, of course) sells the dickins out of the Bimbo.

Sports nicknames can be fun... especially fantasy sports teams: Sons of Pitches, The Beer View Mirrors, Victorious Secret, French Toast Mafia and The Razzle Dazzlers of Fantazzmagazzles, to name a few.

High School team nicknames, designed to drive the opponents crazy with fear, include the Sidney Lanier Poets, the Conway Wampus Cats, the Dunn Earwigs, the Key West Conches, IVC's Grey Ghosts (ok, I've got to hand it to the Grey Ghosts. I'm scared already), The New Berlin Pretzels, the Hoopston Corn Jerkers (get your mind out of the gutter), the Cobden Apple Knockers and the Fisher Bunnies. (Note: If you are familiar with Monty Python and the Holy Grail... and who isn't, I'm sure you know what bunnies can do. Be very afraid.)

In the first year of the Peoria, Illinois pro hockey team, fans suggested the most fiersome nickname imaginable... the Peoria Prancers. Other teams drooled at the thought of that match-up. (ed. note: Nickname lasted one year.)

If you are cool, friends will call you The Brain, or Awsome McAwesome, Spanky, Pork Chop, Jelly Bean or Minty Cow Girl (not cool, however, if you are a guy). A high school friend once tagged me with Sparkle. I'm sure it was meant as a compliment, though.

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