Last Updated on September 10, 2022 by John K. Clifford
Outside Germany, most people know any BMW car as a beamer. Together with beamer, other spellings are bimmer and beemer. And while these are common BMW nicknames, most people don’t know how they came to be.
The word beamer car refers to a BMW. Most people use it because it’s easier than pronouncing B-M-W. Try it yourself. You’ll see that your tongue will have some minor trouble when you say the W.
In this article, you’ll know why BMWs go by snappier, more fantastic nicknames. Also, you’ll see the origin of those nicknames. On top of that, this post will explain the BMW name and its history. In the end, you’ll get a suggestion of names you can call your BMW apart from beamer.
Read on and get all things beamer!
Something Worth Noting
It is incorrect for you to call a BMW a beamer car or a beemer car. Any BMW automobile feels better when you call it a bimmer. Beamer and beemer only apply for the BMW motorcycles, initially.
But really, that will only matter if you’re writing. When you’re speaking, all the nicknames sound the same. Don’t they?
Where The BMW Nickname Beamer Comes From
Beamer was born in Great Britain. And at the time, fans used the name to distinguish BMW motorcycles from Beezer. This was a British motorcycle company.
And why did Great Britain give BMW motorcycles that name? Well, they achieved great success on GB’s racing scene and became fan favorites.
The Races That Called BMW Motorcycles Beamers
In 1939, a non-British rider won the Senior Tourist Trophy. One George Meier used the BMW 255 Kompressor, and after that, many BMW riders won. Until 1976, the BMW motorcycles had won more than 26 times.
A BMW motorcycle on the 1976 Tourist Trophy Championship.
After BMW’s success in the races, motorsport fans and riders coined beemer. As noted, this was inspired by the British company Beezer. Since it is troublesome to say BMW, you understand why Britain had to go with beemer.
So, BMW is to beemer as Beezer is to, well, Beezer.
How Beemer Became Beamer
There’s no reasonable explanation for beamer. It emerged as an alternative spelling that worked like beemer.
But things never changed in Germany. For them, BMW feels good on the tongue. Instead of Bee-Em-Double U, the German pronunciation is Bee-Em-Vee.
Why don’t you surprise other BMW enthusiasts with that excellent German pronunciation? Go for it!
Now, Here’s How Beemer Became Bimmer
In the 1970s, BMW cars were the in-thing in the US. And like the rest of the world, Americans called BMWs beamers. They had formed BMW clubs, and one of them was the Boston Chapter BMW club.
Since the 1970s, the Boston Chapters named their newsletter Bimmer. That move made the bimmer name famous.
On top of the newsletter, there was another magazine printed for BMW fans. When that hit the US shelves, the bimmer variation was the best. It was the most preferred, and it won over beamer and beemer.
Now, even Germans use the word beemer. How about that?
What Is Short For BMW? (The Name And Where It Comes From)
There’s no short for BMW, maybe beamer, beemer, or bimmer. But, BMW is short for Bayerische Motoren Werke, which is as German as it can get. And as mentioned, it’s Bee-Em-Vee for Germans, not Bee-Em-Double U.
Now, it’s time for you to know the story of BMW.
BMW (The Explanation)
Bayerischhe Motoren Werke GmbH is one of the biggest German automobile companies. In English, the phrase loosely translates to Bavarian Engine Works Company.
GmbH is the German equivalent of LLC, a limited liability company.
The name points to the origins of the company, which is the state of Bavaria in Germany. Also, it shows you that BMW was first in the business of making engines for different functions.
BMW And Plane Engines
The company you know today came from Rapp-Motorenwerke. Rapp was a World War I producer of plane engines to the German Empire. Since automobiles were not popular, Rapp’s did not produce car engines.
You’ve seen it in movies. In the early 20th Century, most people move by train. If they wanted to travel long distances, it was the only available option.
But times changed, and so did Rapp-Motorenwerke.
How Rapp-Motorenwerke Came To Be BMW AG
Here’s a table showing the journey the ‘beamer’ company took:
|1917||Rapp becomes Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW) GmbH|
|1918||BMW becomes Bayerische Motorenwerke AG (BMW AG)|
|1920||BMW AG became Knorr-Bremse. This is a company that makes braking systems.|
|1916/1922||Bayerische Flugzeugwerke AG (BFW) gets its name from two companies:Gustav Otto Flugmaschinenfabrik (1916)Knorr-Bremse (1922)|
|1922||BFW goes back to BMW AG. To date, that is the official name of the beamer car.|
A Little Rapp-Motorenwerke History
Rapp had headquarters in Munich. There, they fitted engines into planes through a company known as Gustav Otto. But when Otto went bankrupt in 1916, it changed to BFW.
Rapp also followed, and it became BMW. Again, if you look at the logos together, you’ll see the resemblance:
More on about BMW’s history here: How the BMW name came to be
What Should I Name My BMW?
So, your BMW is a beamer. But they’re many beamers out there, so you want yours to be unique. If you love cars, you know about personalization. That’s when a car owner gives his vehicles cool names. And that’s what this section is all about.
Here, you’ll get a list of the best BMW nicknames and how they rank among car lovers. We’ve ranked in alphabetical order, and you also get the yes/no votes.
As you can see, beemer/bimmer/beamer is the most popular nickname for BMWs.
|Name You Can Use||Yes Votes||No Votes|
|The Millennium Falcon||5||10|
You now know why people call BMW a beamer car. It all points back to the motorcycles, and it has never changed.
Beamers are beautiful, and so is their name. If you can’t say BMW, use any of the nicknames. I’m sure you’ll connect with people more.
On top of the nickname, you can personalize your BMW (if you have one). From the table, pick any name and christen your vehicle. I’m sure you’ll impress other motorists when you call out your BMW as the Millennium Falcon.
And that was it!
Thanks for reading all the way. I’d love it if you shared it with other car lovers. But before you do, check out these other related articles: