May 16, 2004

Beyond the Nova: Ugly old women and small...

Remember the Nova? It didn't do well in Spanish-speaking countries, probably because Nova was too close to no va (doesn't go). Recent twists on this story, from BBC News:
Buick 'masturbation' car renamed
Red-faced officials at General Motors in Canada have been forced to think of a new name for their latest model after discovering it was a slang word for masturbation.

GM officials said they had been unaware that LaCrosse was a term for self-gratification among teenagers in French-speaking Quebec.

They are now working on a new name for the LaCrosse in Canada. The car will go on sale next year to replace the Buick Regal.

More recently, Mitsubishi had to change the name of its Pajero model in Spanish speaking countries, where the word is a slang term for "masturbator".

While Toyota's Fiera proved controversial in Puerto Rico, where fiera translated to "ugly old woman".

And Ford didn't have the reception it expected in Brazil when their Pinto car flopped.

They then discovered that in Brazilian Portuguese slang, pinto means "small penis".

Story link

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