September 20, 2022

Name That Car Game

A few weeks ago, I tweeted about a car game in which players call something out when they see a Volkswagen Beetle and then hit the person next to them. The game is known by a few different names, and I’m wondering if there’s any sort of geographic distribution to the names.

Whether or not you’ve played the game or even heard of it, would you mind answering a short survey about it? Once I’ve gotten enough replies, I’ll blog about the results.

Edit: Please respond by the end of the day on September 27th. After that, I’ll close the survey and then start going through the responses. Thanks!

Sociolinguistics, Varieties of English 9 Replies to “Name That Car Game”
Jonathon Owen
Jonathon Owen


9 thoughts on “Name That Car Game

    Author’s gravatar

    Thank you Jonathon
    Sounds a crazy game to me.
    Kind Regards
    David Grieve
    Devon UK

    Author’s gravatar

    My daughter and her friends here in Northern California call it “Punch Buggy.” There was a subtle reference to it with this name in the Disney film “Lilo & Stitch.”

      Author’s gravatar

      I should have also mentioned that there are variations of the game, including “Taxi, No Punchbacks” when you see (1) a taxi in any form or (2) a yellow vehicle, as as well as “Out of State Plate,” which warrants a punch to the arm when you see a car with, not surprisingly, a license plate from a state other than where you are. The trifecta is an out-of-state yellow Beetle.

    Author’s gravatar

    The version I know here in Mexico that I and my sons would always engage in when traveling by car has no name that I’m aware of , but it would simply involve being the first to see a yellow VW bug and claiming it by saying “Vocho amarillo.” You get to hit the other(s) (gently) on the arm if you’re first. I remember seeing the same game in an episode of Two and a Half Men, but the bug had to be blue. Obviously, the hitting is not the point. In fact, there is no point.

    Author’s gravatar

    It was just “beetle bug” — no punching (I was usually playing with my mom, who was *driving*!) — but beetles were worth 1 point and out-of-state or vanity license plates were worth 2 points.

    Author’s gravatar

    Do similar car games with different actions (still physical) and targer cars count, or are you specifically asking for this variant?

    Unrelatedly: for accessibility, please up the contrast for field names and entered text. This is barely readable.

      Author’s gravatar

      I’m just interested in games involving VW Beetles, but the action isn’t really the important part. I mostly want to know about the different names for the Beetle-spotting game.

      And yes, you’re right that I need to fix some of the text contrast (and size). I customized a theme I found online, but some parts definitely need some more work.

    Author’s gravatar

    “Yellow car” was referenced in the Martin Freeman/Benedict Cumberbatch radio series “Cabin Pressure.” Not something you want airline pilots going at during flight.

Leave a Reply to A.Beth Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.