How popular is the baby name Miata in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Miata and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Miata.
The Italian island of Capri has been inhabited for millennia, but very few Americans were naming their babies “Capri” before Ford introduced the Lincoln Capri in the early 1950s:
- 1955: 6 baby girls named Capri
- 1954: 5 baby girls named Capri
- 1953: 7 baby girls named Capri [debut]
- 1952: unlisted
The car was on the market from 1952 to 1959 and, as far as I can tell, it was the very first car-inspired baby name to appear in the data. Since then, many different cars have inspired baby names (e.g., Camry, DeLorean, Miata, Porsche).
These days the name Capri is given to close to 200 baby girls per year, which puts it pretty close to the top 1,000.
The origin of the island name “Capri” isn’t known for certain, but it could be derived from the ancient Greek word kapros, meaning “wild boar,” or from the Latin word capreae, meaning “goats.”
Do you like the name Capri? Would you use it for a baby girl?
The baby name Wrangler debuted on the U.S. baby name charts in 1987.
So here’s the mystery: What caused the debut? Was the name inspired by Wrangler Jeans, or by the Jeep Wrangler? Or both?
Wrangler Jeans, which have been around since the 1940s, were available in trendy, tight-fitting “designer” styles during the ’80s (just like Jordache and Murjani). Wrangler commercials from that time period (e.g., 1, 2, 3) all featured the same catchy “live it to the limit in Wrangler” theme song.
The Jeep Wrangler was introduced in 1986. The Jeep Wrangler ads weren’t as eye-catching as the Wrangler Jeans ads, but it’s hard to overlook the correlation between the year the car came out and the year the name debuted, and the fact that new cars with decent names often do inspire baby name debuts (e.g., Chevelle, Allante, Miata).
My opinion? I think both products had some influence here.
A small number babies born prior to 1987 were named Wrangler, and I’m sure a few of them were named with the Jeans in mind. (Favorite example: James Levi Wrangler Dunlap, born in 1984.)
But I think the Jeep Wrangler is what gave the name enough of a boost in 1987 for us to see it on the baby charts.
What do you think?
(Interestingly, the baby name Wrangler was only on the SSA’s list once in the ’80s and a few more times during the ’90s, but it has appeared consistently on the charts since the turn of the century. Its best showing so far was in 2011, with 16 baby boys named Wrangler that year.)
Last month, Joy Lowther of Norfolk, England, went into labor while shopping in a local supermarket. Ten minutes later, she gave birth to a baby girl.
She and her boyfriend decided to name the baby Porsche, as one of their older children is called Mercedes. The other two are Frank* and Alfie — who’s now called Alfa, says Joy, “because the girls are named after cars.”
Joy plans to have one more baby. If it’s a boy, he’ll be called Bentley (a name that’s very trendy in the U.S. right now thanks to reality TV).
Joy didn’t mention what she’d name another baby girl, but I know of a Porsche in Texas who has sisters named Audi and Lexus, so there are two ideas. Another possibility is Cressida, which might be picking up steam soon. Other car names that have been used as girl names include Camry, Jetta, Miata and Kia.
*Poor Frank. He’s the only sibling without a car name.
On that note, here’s a question for you: If you had a bunch of siblings (4+) and all but one of you had a name that fit a pattern, would you want one of the “in” names, or would you rather be the odd one out?
Source: Alfa, Mercedes and now Porsche! (via Abby)
Love cars? Here are some car-related names that have been used as baby names:
- Allante, from Cadillac Allante.
- Aston, from Aston Martin. Inspired by Aston Hill in England.
- Audi, German manufacturer. The name is a Latin translation of Horch, surname of founder August Horch.
- Avanti, from Studebaker Avanti. The word avanti means “forward” in Italian.
- Bentley, British manufacturer. Named after founder W. O. Bentley.
- Camry, from Toyota Camry. The name is based on kanmuri, which means “crown” in Japanese.
- Capri, from Lincoln Capri.
- Caprice, from Chevrolet Caprice. Named after a New York City restaurant.
- Catera, from Cadillac Catera.
- Celica, from Toyota Celica. The name is based on caelica, which means “celestial” in Latin.
- Chevelle, from Chevrolet Chevelle.
- Chevy, nickname for Chevrolet.
- Civic, from Honda Civic.
- Cooper, from MINI Cooper. Named after auto racer John Cooper.
- Cressida, from Toyota Cressida.
- DeLorean, from DeLorean DMC-12.
- Diamante, from Mitsubishi Diamante.
- Dino, from Fiat Dino or Ferrari Dino. Both named after V6 engine designer Alfredo “Dino” Ferrari.
- Dodge, a division of Chrysler. (I know of two babies named after Dodge Pickup Trucks specifically.)
- Elantra, from Hyundai Elantra.
- Elise, from Lotus Elise. Named after Elisa Artioli, granddaughter of Italian entrepreneur Romano Artioli.
- Elva, British manufacturer. The name is based on elle va, which means “she goes” in French.
- Florian, from Isuzu Florian. Named after the fictional horse in Florian, the Emperor’s Stallion by Felix Salten.
- Ford, American manufacturer. Named after founder Henry Ford.
- Hudson, American manufacturer.
- Jazz, from Honda Jazz.
- Jeep, a division of Chrysler.
- Jetta, from Volkswagen Jetta. The name is based on the phrase “jet stream.”
- Jimmy, from GMC Jimmy.
- Kia, South Korean manufacturer.
- Lexus, a division of Toyota. The name has no specific meaning, according to the company.
- Lincoln, a division of Ford. Named after former U.S. president Abraham Lincoln.
- Martin, from Aston Martin. Named after founder Lionel Martin.
- Mercedes, from Mercedes-Benz, a division of Daimler AG. Named after Mercedes Jellinek, daughter of Austrian entrepreneur Emil Jellinek.
- Miata, from Mazda Miata. Possibly means “reward” in Old High German.
- Millenia, from Mazda Millenia.
- Mondeo, from Ford Mondeo. The name is based on mundus, which means “world” in Latin.
- Morgan, British manufacturer.
- Porsche, German manufacturer. Named after founder Ferdinand Porsche.
- Renault, French manufacturer.
- Royce, from Rolls-Royce. Named after founder Henry Royce.
- Scion, a Toyota marque.
- Shelby, from Shelby American. Named for founder Carroll Hall Shelby.
- Tiburon, from Hyundai Tiburon. The word tiburón means “shark” in Spanish.
- Toyota, Japanese manufacturer. Named for founder Kiichiro Toyoda.
- VW, short for Volkswagen.
Blog readers have also told me about babies named Riviera (after the Buick Riviera) and Axel (because of its similarity to the word axle).
Update, 2016 – Here’s a baby whose middle name, Megan, was inspired by a Renault Megane.
Know any babies that were named for automobiles?
[Psst! Were you looking for a post about giving a name to your car?]