Why Are Cars Called Whips? (9 Reasons Why)

Do you know why cars are called whips? You probably think that it sounds like a cool name, or they were named after some hot celebrity.

Well, it’s not quite that simple. However, there is a logical explanation behind your car name, so quit messing around and learn more about how the name came to be!

Why Are Cars Called Whips?

1. Speeding Off

A car has many features that make it very fast, and these features include its engine, tires, and motor.

Since the engine is a car’s power source, this helps accelerate the vehicle at different speeds. Thus, the term “whips” came from how powerful cars would go faster and faster.

In addition, whipping can mean driving swiftly, reversing, or speeding up as a form of a car’s movement.

As a result, because of how quickly they could accelerate, vehicles were also referred to as “whips” due to the manner they moved!

2. 90’s Old School Slang

Another explanation for why cars are called whips is that the term came from an era when people used to explain technical captions with slang or colloquialisms.

Furthermore, this was especially true in the 1990s when people were trying to better understand what things meant and how technology functioned.

Subsequently, “whips” is a car slang term. Hence, the language is still applicable even though it isn’t as frequently used as it was in the 90s.

Overall, the majority of this generation will understand what you mean when you say whips!

3. Referred To As Wheels

Back then, the term “whips” was used to describe fast and luxurious cars.

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Subsequently, “whip’s” origin can be traced back to the early 1900s when people started using it to describe expensive cars.

In fact, the terminology “whip” was first used in the 1920s by the French automotive magazine Le Journal Automobile for such vehicles as wheels.

Over time, it was later adopted by Americans who used it to describe luxury cars with top speeds of more than 100 mph using its wheel acceleration!

4. Used In Hip-hop Music To Refer To Expensive Cars

Hip hop musicians frequently refer to costly vehicles with high price tags using the phrase “whippy.”

Additionally, these musicians believe that cars stand for wealth and status. The vehicle itself is a costly object that garners admiration.

Also, some artists, including producers and DJs, collaborated on music and jaw-dropping car collections entitled “Wraps, Wheels, and Whips.”

No wonder these circles of entertainers identify cars as whips!

5. Mercedes Benz Logo Resemblance

Mercedes Benz Logo Resemblance

Anywhere a Mercedes-Benz appears, the logo alone is enough to draw attention.

As such, this is because the distinctive 3-point star Mercedes-Benz symbol is one of the most well-known in the world.

In recent years, musicians have noticed that the Mercedes Benz logo resembles a steering wheel, sometimes known as the whip.

Consequently, the word “whip” was restricted to Mercedes-Benzes for some time. However, today, anyone can use the word to describe any vehicle.

6. Whiplash

Whiplash is a collar injury caused by the neck moving violently1 back and forth, much like a whip.

Besides that, sports-related mishaps, physical abuse, and other traumas like falls can also cause similar injuries.

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Under these circumstances, it can result in swelling, including headaches, stiff muscles, and numbness or tingling of the arms and legs.

Undoubtedly, if you’re driving fast, your body feels like it’s being whipped around by the steering wheel, which can lead to severe accidents.

7. Horse And Buggy

A horse and buggy, often known as a horse and carriage, was a form of transit for two people made populare in the late 20th century. The buggy created in England with two wheels, known as a roadster.

Back then, a snapper, typically the tasseled tip of a buggy whip, was used for horses. Eventually, the whip term was reused for cars.

As you can see, to steer the horses in the appropriate direction, you would use a whip or reigns.

As a result, because a steering wheel guided the car in the same way that reins did for a carriage, the steering wheel used in early vehicles was sometimes referred to as the “whip.”

8. Identified As Steering Wheels

In some cases, they might note that they drove the “whip” rather than the “car.”

Apart from this, when you whip a car, the steering wheel is controlled. In other words, you’re turning the wheel quickly, causing the vehicle to move swiftly.

Above all, someone who instructs you to “whip it” may be directing you to perform a donut, swerve, or drive quickly.

9. Driving Erratically

Whipping a car refers to acting obnoxiously while driving. For example, you might accelerate quickly, apply the handbrake, or operate your vehicle recklessly.

On the same note, whipping entails driving neglectfully and crushing the steering wheel, sometimes leading to a bad reputation.

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If you were to go around and interview people about why cars are called whips, you would find that many people have a negative impression of what a car is like.

Overall, people tend to think of them as driving carelessly and irresponsibly.

To know more, you can also read our posts on why cars are called whips, why cars stall, and why cars need gas.


Whip is a perfectly appropriate term for a vehicle since it is flexible and allows for many different interpretations and meanings.

If you saw the term “whip” by itself, your initial impression might be of rushing off, 90s slang, or even wheels.

After all, there is no definitive answer to why cars are called whips, but we believe we have come close!

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