When I was a kid, I developed a fascination with cars. Not just any cars, but antiques and foreign cars in particular. Although my preoccupation has faded with the years, I can still tell when a pick-up was made based on its lights and I still feel giddy whenever I see a Model T, a DeLorean, or the rare (in America, anyway) Peugeot on the road.
So, feel like going for a drive? Here are some actual, current baby names that are also names of car brands or models.
Bentley: A British vehicle that became a popular name after an MTV show. In 2015, 4287 boys and 183 girls were named Bentley in the U.S., not counting variant spellings. For more information, I wrote a longer profile on this name several weeks ago which you can read here.
Ford: The brand name of the quintessential American car, after its creator Henry Ford. Last year this was given to 324 boys and 5 girls.
Edsel: Speaking of Ford, Edsel Ford was the son of Henry Ford and the namesake of a car model. 9 baby boys last year, but between the World Wars, Edsel was a top 1000 name (likely because of Ford).
Benz: The less commonly spoken-of other half of Mercedes. 13 boys were named Benz last year.
Aston: How dare we forget about the Aston Martin, choice of 007? 178 boys and 10 girls were named Aston in the U.S. last year, and unfortunately there’s no data about middle names so I can’t determine how many of them were actually named Aston Martin.
Audi: I kid you not, but 18 girls and 10 boys were named this in 2015.
Denali: The GMC Denali and most people with this name probably have the Alaskan volcano Denali (a.k.a Mt. McKinley) in common as a namesake. Last year, the name was given to 62 girls and 28 boys. Curiously, Denali also ranks in Alaska’s top 100 (though barely).
Mercury: I don’t think they make the car anymore, but last year there were 9 boys and 5 girls named Mercury. If I may hazard a guess, the planet or the deity is a more likely namesake.
Camry: A Toyota model, and the name of 20 baby girls last year. Years ago I saw this one woman on the news who gave birth in the family Camry, landing her daughter with the middle name Camryn…somehow, this blog post is all I can find about it now. Google-fu, you have failed me.
Mercedes: The history of Mercedes as a name long precedes the luxury German vehicle. Mercedes means “mercies” in Spanish, and belongs to a character in The Count of Monte Cristo and has associations with the Virgin Mary. 236 girls were named Mercedes last year. Some of them were probably named after the car, but I’d bet that many of them were so named because of its other history.
Lexus: 70 baby girls in 2015. The car apparently also gave rise to a spelling variant of Alexis – Alexus. While I will not disparage any names, my existence as the “Well-Informed Namer” dictates that I let you all in on an unfortunate joke I once heard: “they named her Alexus because they couldn’t afford the car.” That in itself may be a turn-off for some parents. I recommend sticking to Alexis.
Chevelle: For some reason I thought the Chevelle was a classic Pontiac model, but it’s actually a Chevrolet. Anyway, it’s been a baby name since the 1960s, and it’s been growing more popular over the last several years. Last year there were 133 girls and 11 boys named Chevelle.
Jetta: Volkswagen model, and the name of 37 baby girls last year. This could make an interesting alternative for Jenna if you find that’s still too popular.
Minerva: You’re probably wondering why a Roman goddess and Harry Potter character is on this list. Minerva was an early 20th-century Belgian producer of cars and motorbikes. 51 American girls were named Minerva last year, presumably all after the war deity or Professor McGonagall.
Acadia: Another GMC! 45 girls named Acadia last year.
Tempest: As in, the Pontiac Tempest. This classic car gets a mention in the movie My Cousin Vinny. As far as name goes, 19 girls were given this word-name last year (a tempest is a kind of storm. Also a Shakespeare play).
Ferrari: 7 girls were named after this Italian sports car, though I’m surprised there weren’t more. It’s a surname too.
Tesla: 166 girls and 5 boys were named this last year. I can say from personal experience that the car is absolutely amazing and if you love roller-coasters you should go for a test drive. The acceleration is BOSS.
What do you think of these names? What do you think of cars as baby names? And in case you’re looking for even more car names, here’s a link to a great list by one of my favorite blogs, Nancy’s Baby Names.