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What do the following have in common:

Zip,  Vitality,  Looxor, Phantom,  LibertyVivacityFlipper,

Joy-max,  Movie,  MajestyForesightPantheonHeroism,

Cinderella,  Sportcity,  Duke,  Typhoon,  Cygnus,  Atlantic,

Skyliner,  Steed,  Forza,  Xciting,  @,  Nikita,  Elkon,  Password,

Joyride,  Phantom, People, Hornet, Runner, Beverly,  Agility,

Byte, SkipperFiddleCarnabyNakedSquab, Stalker, Booster

If you haven’t already guessed, here are some more:

Burgman,  Dink,  Silver Wing, Geopolis

Still guessing?  Here are the giveaways:

Spasso, Scarabeo, Il Mio,  Vivio,  Vespa

That’s right!  They are ALL names of various models of motorini (scooters). If you doubt me, take a look at the logos of all of these over on the right in Moto Models under Photographs.  (Proof, if you needed it, that I have far too much time on my hands.)

We’ve always been entertained by the Italian fascination with English words.  A few years ago tee-shirts with nonsense English were all the rage; you still see quite a few.  They say things that make no sense, like “Princess University – at Top Scale.”  Huh?  When I’ve  translated for the wearers of such shirts, they are always amazed for a moment, then just shrug.

I digress.  Back to the Motos (about which there will be more posts – stay tuned).  I took pictures of every name I found (not counting letter-number combos, like X-150), and as you can see, they are

Photo by Alfredo J. Martiz J.

Photo by Alfredo J. Martiz J.

predominately English.  My favorite has always been Dink because it sounds so silly, and because of Stoker-Dink, cat extraordinaire.  Who would want to drive a ‘Dink’ when he could have a ‘Steed?’  Lots of people, it turns out.

What I wonder is this: are the names regional?  I’ve seen few Burgmans here in Rapallo, but zillions in Genova – here we seem to favor People, Dink and, of course, Vespa, the classic, classy and ubiquitous Piaggio model.  (Vespa so quintessentially says ‘motorscooter’ that it has become the generic name for a moto.  Even people who drive Dinks will say, “Now where did I park my Vespa.”)  Those of you who live in other parts of Italy, do you see other names on the scooters?  How about in the States?  Elsewhere?