When you find yourself with a new baby, the process of naming them then begins - if it hasn't started the moment that the whole future birth thing hits realisation. And if you want something to stand out from the crowd - not that the newborn will thank you later in life - then that's even harder.
A whole host of belebrities find new and inventive ways to burden their offspring with names that they might regret; Dweezil, Apple, Zowie and Blanket immediately spring to mind. And last year in New Zealand, a whole host of 'unusual' names were blocked by the registrar's department.
Some weren't that bad (Justice, Prince, King, Princess) while others were simply absurd. Messiah, III, Queen Victoria, Matra No Fear, V8, Sex Fruit, Yeah Detroit, Keenan Got Lucy, Anal and even '*' were stopped before registration took place.
Where were these people when Talulah Does The Hula From Hawaii was born? Luckily she went to court aged 9 in 2008 to change it.
So what are the future car names that will be hitting the streets, and what pitfalls should they look out for that have happened in the past? Coming to a showroom near you are the Up!, the Twingo, the Juke, the Mii, The Joy and the Jimmy. Can you really hear yourself saying at a BBQ in the summer "Yeah, well, I've just got myself a new Jimmy." Perhaps they've run out of good names. But for every Fiesta there's a Wartberg, every Corsa there's a Javelin and for every Punto there's a ramcharger.
But it's not just the style of the name that has to be considered. Look at the translation in other countries. In the past there have been some hilarious accidents.
Mazda LaPuta: The name actually comes from the book Gulliver’s Travels, but in Spanish, it means “the whore.”.
Mitsubishi Pajero: Actually, in Spain they released it as the Montero, but Pajero is a derogatory term indicated by a certain hand gesture to mean (if I’m being polite) self-abusing idiot.
Nissan Moco: Released in Japan as this. Good job, because in Spain it means ‘bogey.’ (Not a good name to pick really!)
Buick LaCrosse: Released in Canada, in French "LaCrosse" means “self-abusing teenagers.” And the main language of French-speaking Quebec? Whoops!
Chevrolet Nova: Not that bad a name, you might think, but “No Va” in Spanish means “It doesn’t go,” and selling this in Central and South America?
Opel Ascona: Again a bit of a spanish problem with a little portuguese thrown in. Ascona is a descriptive word for er… ladies genitalia.
Honda Fitta: To show it’s not just Spanish that is the problem, in swedish and norweigan ‘Fitta’ is a very rude 4 letter word to describe the same as Ascona. Same problem, apparently with the word ‘Vito’ when Mercedes launched that there.
And dare I mention the Daihatsu Charade (honestly I drive a real car – it’s not pretend), the Dodge Swinger (does it have lots of drivers? Maybe two or three at a time?) and the AMC Gremlin (No comment: But do they go mad when they get wet?)
As Abba so correctly said, that's the Name of the Game.