The Volkswagen Beetle has Adorable Nicknames Across the Globe
Alas, the Volkswagen Beetle is no more, having been officially discontinued this year. From a business perspective, the move makes sense. It was declining in global popularity among other small VW cars, and the brand is making an unprecedented push into the all-electric vehicle market.
So, as we wave goodbye to an iconic and evocative little car, I thought it would be fun to look at some of the adorable nicknames it managed to collect over the years.
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The first and undoubtedly the most popular is actually the Beetle. When the model was introduced in Germany, it was originally called the Volkswagen Type 1. After the public started referring to it as a Beetle or a Bug due to its appearance, someone at Volkswagen realized that they were sitting on a marketing goldmine and adopted the term as their own.
Calling the Beetle by the regional translation of its actual name or Bug was popular in numerous countries like Austria, Estonia, Bosnia, and Hungary, just to name a few. France, Haiti, and others took the idea one step further and dubbed it the Ladybug. Another insect term pops up in Colombia and Mexico in the form of ‘Flea.’
Referring more specifically to the shape of the VW Beetle, citizens of Norway and Finland took to calling it the Bubble, while the good folks of Iceland named it the Bell. Some in Denmark began to combine the Danish word for bubble with the direct translation of Volkswagen to create the name I think the brand should have gone with all along: the Bobbelfolkevogn.
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Graduating from simple shapes and insects, many regions went the route of amphibians and reptiles. The term Turtle pops up in Bolivia, Bulgaria, Malaysia, and Turkey, while different iterations of Frog or Frog Car appear in a number of cultures from Indonesia to Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, drivers in Poland and the Philippines took a more direct route, simply calling it Hunchback Car.
If nothing else, the fact that the Volkswagen Beetle’s character and appearance connected with so many people from around the world proves that the German automaker crafted a car that will never be forgotten. Maybe while they take the world of EVs by storm, they’ll come up with another design as iconic and instantly recognizable as the Bobbelfolkevogn.
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Aaron was born in a suburb of Toledo, Ohio and has managed to traverse most of the state between college and various shenanigans. Having majored in video game development and minored in film studies, he is a considerable fan of both forms of media. Additionally, he is available to explain why Mad Max: Fury Road is one of the best feminist films of all time at the drop of a hat. His aspirations include — but are not limited to — not accidentally adopting any more cats and developing a responsible sleep schedule. See more articles by Aaron.