The Jeep Wrangler is one of America’s most beloved vehicles. They are American made, fun to drive, fun to own, and are extremely capable in a number of situations. But, where did the Jeep name come from? In today’s blog here at TopLift Pros, we briefly dive into the Jeep name and its three most likely origins.
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You can’t talk about the history of the Jeep Wrangler without talking about where the Jeep's name came from. Believe it or not, the origin of the Jeep name is actually highly-debated, and no one knows for sure exactly where it came from. The three most prominent theories, however, are from the Popeye comic series, the GP military acronym, and the military slang used during the WWI period.
There is a character in the popular comic book series Popeye whose name is Eugene the Jeep. Eugene the Jeep is a character from another dimension who is supremely intelligent and is known for his powers of teleportation. In other words, he could go anywhere — just like the vehicle can.
Another popular theory is that the Jeep's name came from the slang used back in World War One. During the time period, new recruits were referred to as “Jeep.” New recruits were untested and you couldn’t be quite sure what exactly they were capable of. The same thing is said to have applied to the Willys Jeeps of the time. They were new and untested. Or perhaps, someone was referring to a soldier in the vehicle and somebody else mistook them for referring to the Willys Jeep. Either way, Jeep was common slang during the time period and it’s thought to be where the name Jeep came from for Jeep Wranglers.
Perhaps the most popular theory of how Jeep got its name is though the name GP. The G represented government, and the P identified the wheelbase. It is also thought to have stood for General Purpose, which the military Jeeps of the time were certainly known for. Regardless, GP, when spoken and slurred, can very easily turn into Jeep with some time, repetition, and mishearing.
We may never know for certain exactly where the origin of the Jeep name came from, but we are sure glad it stuck.
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