Dutch nicknames for cars



Here is a short list of car nicknames the Dutch and Flemish use.

  • Kever (beetle): Volkswagen (1938)
  • Kattenrug (cat’s back): Volvo PV444/PV544 (1944)
  • Eend and Lelijke Eend (duck and ugly duckling, the Netherlands): Citroën 2CV (1948)
  • Geit (goat, Belgium): Citroën 2CV
  • Snoek (pike) and Strijkijzer (clothes iron): Citroën DS (1955)
  • Rugzakje (backpack, the Netherlands): Fiat 500 (1957)
  • Bolleke (ball, Belgium): Fiat 500

Note that the car later officially branded as Volkswagen Beetle used to start out as simply Volkswagen.

I’ve ordered the nicknames by the year the car was introduced. As you can see, there appears to have been a sort of golden age of nicknames in the two decades following the Second World War.

I’ve tried Googling for more nicknames with the inevitable result of ending up on car blogs where the bloggers asked their readers if they knew more than the usual suspects. The readers would then comment that “the X is also called Y” while curiously omitting the phrase “in my family”. German and English lists can be found on the web.

(Photo by Klugschnacker, some rights reserved)

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