What’s in a name?

I still don’t have a name for the camper. My 1972 VW bus that was my first car was named Bessie. Until the fire, I still had a pillow that a girlfriend had cross stitched.

One idea is to go with some name that seems more appropriate for a person, like Joe, or Bob, or maybe Irving.

Another idea is The Tan Van. That would make me the Tan Van Man. Say that ten times fast.

I thought about Charlie, in honor of Steinbeck’s steed, but one reviewer suggested that was a bit too corny. Of course that guy wanted me to name the camper Tyrone.

I initially thought that people who hadn’t actually met my camper wouldn’t be qualified to suggest a name, but it’s been a while now, so I need to try something else. What do you think?

The camper

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32 Responses to What’s in a name?

  1. cindy says:

    “Farley”, “Farley Pfaffman”, think about it….

  2. B says:

    Bert. That van definitely looks like a “Bert” to me. It’s short for LiBERTy.

    Rock on.

  3. MS says:

    We tend to name cars in my family also, but usually the first letter of the name corresponds with the model of vehicle. So for your VW Westfalia, a W name is what we would suggest. I think he looks a bit like a Walter…kinda grandfatherly, in a wise way.

  4. Ginnie says:

    Van Go?

  5. Sheri ROuse says:

    Beethoven . . . as in Camper Van

    Bwahahaha! l slay myself!

  6. Marissa says:

    I really like the name Beulah. She looks like Beulah.

  7. LAB says:

    How about Hol-VAN Caulfield? Madama Bo-VAN-y? Van Eyre? Alex-VAN-der Portnoy? Vicomte de VAN-Mont? Or my personal favorite, Van of Green Gables?

  8. Mandy says:

    Dr. Nathan Westfellow…The Westfalia for all’a’ya

  9. kate says:

    Love it! One of my all-time favorite bands! That gets my vote for sure.

  10. Brett says:

    since you are going a wandering, I’d like to suggest Wanda (and it’s gotta be a girl’s name).

  11. Jerry says:

    The winner gets to have you, Thor and The Van in their driveway for a week or two.

  12. Kathy Rankin/Sasso says:

    Dan the Tan Van! Love all that you are sharing and doing. Go for the heater! Cold is never good. Give Thor a hug! Hope to see you before you leave Tn.!

  13. Marissa says:

    I like this a lot too. Wanda sounds very good. I’ve never met a Wanda I didn’t like!

  14. jeneria says:

    I’m a geeky professor (at a school that doesn’t believe in tenure) who specializes in science fiction so you’ll have to forgive the names I throw out here.

    Michael Valentine. You can call it Val for short.
    Molly Millions from Neuromancer.
    Panther Modern from Neuromancer.
    Hiro Protagonist from Snow Crash.
    Ripley. Could be a male or a female.
    Serenity. 😉
    Hal, Leeloo, s.s. Heart of Gold, Maria (from Metropolis), Dorfl, Bender.

  15. MrsK says:

    Cars, like boats, are always female in my neck of the woods. So Wanda or Valerie.

  16. pfaffman says:

    Except, it’d be spelled Pfarley.

    – Jay

  17. pfaffman says:

    Isn’t there some saying about fish and guests after three days? But maybe if they’re only in your driveway it’s somehow different.

  18. pfaffman says:

    At least most of the cars that I’ve named have been female names, like Bessy and Penny, though after Penny came Red, a red Honda Civic, who was sort-of named after Red Barber. That was a male name.

    Part of the attraction of a name like Bob is that it breaks that convention in a way that is jarring.


  19. pfaffman says:

    A scifi name is a good idea, though I somehow couldn’t get into Neuromancer, which made me feel like a loser of the geek that I think I am.

    I was a believer in tenure until sometime around the time I didn’t get it. I didn’t disagree with the reasons that I didn’t get it (hell, I thought I should have gotten more papers published), but in retrospect, I think that my institution might have been better off keeping me than bringing someone new. For my successor’s sake, I hope I’m wrong. And if I’d gotten tenure, I’d very likely not be writing this. Though I wish neither on anyone, In my experience, divorce and denial of tenure can be real blessings.

  20. pfaffman says:

    And Wally the Westy also has a nice ring.


  21. pfaffman says:

    Thanks, Ginnie, but I have both of my ears. OTOH, both of Thor’s ears are surgically altered. It could be a nickname, though.



  22. pfaffman says:

    decals are a great idea. You think anyone would want one of these?

    I Live In My Van.come

  23. pfaffman says:

    I looked trhough my bibliography to see if anything jumped out, but since I don’t have emacs on my cr48, I couldn’t figure out how to search just authors. The best I came up with was VANderbilt, which don’t seem quite right.

  24. PH2 says:

    eVANder … I mean it is e-quipped with e-mail and other e-things … and it will be wanDERing around the country … it’s your e-van-der

  25. mike says:

    Mel – As in Road Warrior
    Herb – As is Herbie, another 70’s VW.
    Groove – AS in Groovey
    ATLAS – All Terrain Land Automotive Sleeper
    John – Jay’s Overland Home Navigator

  26. B says:

    That would look mighty fine on my guitar case.

  27. pfaffman says:

    I’m really not sure what to do with them. :-)

  28. pfaffman says:

    I’m going to go to one of those sites that lists all the names. I like the Walter/Wally thing. And I think I’d try to match the font and stencil the name on the top after Westfalia, so it’d be Westfalia Wxxxx, like Toucan Sam…

  29. MS says:

    Love the matching the font and stenciling the name idea…run with that! And def get the heater. I also hate being cold. Creature comforts are a good thing.

  30. Debby says:

    The van is definitely a Martha.

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