People who drive for a living (taxi drivers, delivery workers, etc.) are often fond of their cars and give them affectionate names. These names can stem from the car brand or model (such as a Beetle for Volkswagen Type 1). However, I'm looking for a more general name that can be given to any car. The name should show how the driver cares for its car.

In Russian, a typical name for a car that you can hear from taxi drivers is ласточка (literally, a swallow).

An example usage:

-- Hey, I'm running late for the train, can you take me to the station?
-- Sure, my [affectionate car name here] will take you there in no time.

  • 1
    Nice question. Difficult to answer. In America, cars are often named with bird-names, but these names are meant to connote power and speed, or freedom: Firebird, Falcon, FireHawk, Thunderbird, RoadRunner, Skylark, Sunbird, Eagle. You're looking for a pet name, a name that is not the name of a predatory bird, that shows the owner feels his car has grace and speed. But you need to have the name not sound like a car model name dreamed up by an American ad agency.
    – TRomano
    Apr 9 '16 at 12:17
  • Guys generally give them a gal's name, and vice-versa. Other than that, the subject is wide-open (and purely a matter of opinion).
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 9 '16 at 12:28
  • 1
    Not "purely" a matter of opinion. The choices are wide, but there are some constraints. The OP's requirements are that it be an affectionate name and that it connote the idea that the driver does not mistreat the car or subject it to risk and keeps it clean and in good mechanical condition.
    – TRomano
    Apr 9 '16 at 12:39
  • Charlotte? Suzie Q? Alphonse? Dante?
    – Drew
    Apr 9 '16 at 14:59

I would nominate "Baby" Sure, my [Baby] will take you there in no time.

  • 3
    This suits the OP's need for a generic name that everyone would understand quite well.
    – TRomano
    Apr 9 '16 at 12:41
  • 2
    I think this is the best choice - "Get a load of this baby!" is something folks say as well, although it isn't just about cars
    – ColleenV
    Apr 9 '16 at 13:43
  • 1
    But he would have to say "my baby" (as the answer has it) not "this baby". I would not count on arriving at the airport safely if the driver said "this baby". In American idiom, that would suggest he thought of the car as a hot-rod and that he was a risk-taker as a driver.
    – TRomano
    Apr 10 '16 at 12:32

I'd guess the most common name for a car is Betsy (that's a link to dozens of written instances of "car named Betsy" in Google Books). I never named any of my cars, but I've known a couple of people who used that name.

Here's a typical excerpt showing someone simply assuming that a car will be called Betsy...

TJ cleared his throat. “Well, I've got to get going. Let's take a look at old Betsy, and you can see if she looks good enough for you.”
“Betsy? Since when is my car called Betsy? ” asked Maureen.
“She just seemed like a Betsy to me.”


How about workhorse?

: something that is markedly useful, durable, or dependable


To those who had the nerve to steal my car, I am hoping that someone will read this to them and then proceed to beat them:

You cannot possibly conceive of all you have done in raping my 13-year-old hunk of steel.

I worked during school for four years to save up to buy my car on my own--no help from my parents aside from encouragement. I continued to work for five years thereafter to keep my good old workhorse healthy and strong. In exchange, it provided me with an independence I could not have had as long as I was asking Mom for her keys. [...]

Anger at Car Thieves - LA Times

I scratched my workhorse Lexus RX 450 [...]

North State Custom

  • Would you call your sports car "workhorse"? Would you call a pet "workhorse"? The OP's looking for an affectionate term.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Apr 10 '16 at 13:44
  • @Mari-LouA I would. :-) google.fr/…
    – Elian
    Apr 10 '16 at 13:46
  • With "good old" added in front though, anything that is prefaced with "food old/ole" becomes an affectionate term e.g. "good old banger" and bangers could refer to old cars or sausages!
    – Mari-Lou A
    Apr 10 '16 at 13:55

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