This week’s Chelsea Flower Show is set to bring together some of the country’s most beautifully breath-taking horticulture; highlights of recent years have included a stunning display of orchids contributed by the debuting Taiwanese delegation, and TV presenter Diarmuid Gavin’s Irish Sky Garden; the first ever garden to be suspended above the rest of the exhibition with the aid of a giant crane.
With such wonders of nature on display, sometimes flower experts can get a little excitable in naming their contributions; the Mimosaaculeaticarpa for example is better known as the ‘Wait-a-minute bush’ because once you’ve walked through one in the wild, you’ll have to wait a minute to extract yourself from its particularly clingy thorns! Such oddities of naming have also arisen in the world of cars; here are a few examples of some of the more unusual names given to them.
Released just three months into the 1970s, the Gremlin was affordable, lightweight and exceedingly fuel-efficient for its time. Consumers were taken with its list of affordable extras and, considering that it was designed with only economy in mind, its above-average performance. Two of the USA’s future presidents, Clinton and Bush Jr, owned Gremlins in their youth – but didn’t it occur to the marketing department that the definition of a gremlin refers not only to a mythically ugly creature, but also one that gleefully and systematically breaks things?
Isuzu Mysterious Utility Wizard
In an old Bill Bailey routine, the comedian riffed on consumerism and just what it is that people look for in their brand names; going so far as to christen an SUV the ‘Super Thunder Patrol Meister’. It’s probably the Mysterious Utility Wizard that tipped Bill off as to the sometimes pretentious nature of car names. Just what is so mysterious about this car? And what magic powers could it possibly possess? Isuzu has a reputation for losing its car names in translation; this one takes the cake!
It isn’t so much the name itself – given to a car that was intended to dictate the standard for other automobile companies – but this offering from the late 1920s and early 1930s suffered from incredibly unfortunate timing. Between the world wars, countries in Europe were witnessing the rise of dictators such as Mussolini in Italy and, at a later point, Hitler in Germany. The name didn’t seem to bother American buyers at the time, but it was hurriedly renamed for European sale as the Commander.
May 24, 2012