How did Volkswagen come up with the name Golf?

December 22nd, 2016 by

Where do Volkswagen car names come from?
Every VW enthusiast knows that Volkswagen means “the people’s car,” but what about the specific car names? The brand hasn’t opted for particularly German sounding names, but it also doesn’t go for aggressive names or ones based on animals. So where do Volkswagen car names come from?

Volkswagen model name meanings
Though it may seem that between the gulf stream, jet stream and trade winds, that Volkswagen centers on a sort of nature-based theme, but as you can see below, the actual naming structure is mixed.

Atlas: Atlas is a Greek titan that held up the sky, while the VW Atlas has a lot resting on it as the first seven-passenger SUV in the lineup.

Read More: Volkswagen expands its lineup with the VW Atlas

Beetle: Called the Kafer, or Beetle, in German, it was quickly translated into English. Basically, the model looked like a Beetle and they pulled from its nickname.VW Pink Beetle Logo

CC: This was originally an offshoot of the Passat, and the CC was called the Comfort Coupe for its upscale feel and coupe-like lines. Eventually, Passat was dropped from its name.

Eos: Though discontinued, the Eos name came from the Greek god of dawn.

Golf: Though many confuse it with the sport, the Golf actually takes the name from the Gulf Stream. Why the spelling difference? Because that’s how it’s spelled in German.

GTI: Performance cars are called grand turismo iniezione in Italian, but GTI is easier to say.

Jetta: Jetta is the German name for the jet stream.

Passat: Passatwinde is German for trade winds, but this wind pattern was a coincidence more than a plan.

Tiguan: They say it’s a combination of the German words for tiger and iguana, but it also happens to work that way in English too.

Touareg: This large SUV was named after the Tuareg people.

We only listed the VW models you can find in America, but there are plenty more over in Europe with their own naming histories.

Read More: Common VW Abbreviations

Which VW name is your favorite? Let us know by leaving a comment below, and be sure to check back here at the Compass Volkswagen Blog for more on all things VW.

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