Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Origin of the word golf

As I drove along today, I passed a Volkswagen Golf, and wondered why they named it that.

I thought I recalled that Golf is the German word for a gulf. (I checked it on my great little Franklin electronic translator, and I was correct.

Wikipedia gives this etymology of the name:
The Golf name is derived from the German word for Gulf Stream and the period in its history when VW named vehicles after prominent winds, including also the Passat (after the German word for Trade wind), Jetta (after the Jet stream), Bora (after Bora) and Scirocco (after Sirocco). "Golf" is also a sport, a theme that is shared with the Polo and Derby.
Here in Australia, and apparently in most of the world, it's called the Golf, but in America it's called the Rabbit. says:
Why did Volkswagen decide to call the new front-drive small car it called the "Golf" everywhere else in the world the "Rabbit" in America? Go ahead and guess, because VW has never offered an official (much less believable) explanation.
Anyway, to get back to my musing as I drove along...

I began to wonder where the sporting name golf originated. I probably wouldn't have followed this up, except that today's Grammarphobia post was about this very word.

And an interesting read it was, too!

So now I know. Or I don't, really, seeing the origin is obscure.

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