text saying "BMW explained'

Where do BMW’s nicknames come from?

Origins of BMW’s nicknames 

There are a few nicknames for BMW – “beamer,” “beemer,” and “bimmer.” Ever wonder why? They don’t sound anything like BMW. Today we will be diving into what it means and how its origin comes from motorcycle racing. 

a historical photo of people riding BMW motorcycles

The origin of Beamer or Beemer 

The word “Beamer” comes from Great Britain and was used to distinguish from a British manufacturer who had motorcycles nicknamed “Breezer.” BMW motorcycles had a lot of success in the Bristish racing scene. Over the years, most fans coined the nickname “Beemer” for BMW motorbikes because it was a lot snappier and easier to say.  

How “Bimmer” came into the scene 

The name “Bimmer originated in the 1970s. BMW vehicles were gaining popularity in the United States. While Americans called BMW vehicles “Beamers” at the time, it all changed after a newsletter from the Boston Chapter BMW club called the vehicles “Bimmer.” Once a magazine with the same title came out with the same name, Bimmer became the preferred name, even in Germany. 

The Chinese nickname 

As a little fun fact, the Chinese call BMW a “precious horse.” In China, the nickname for BMW is “bao-ma” which translates to precious horse. Horses are regarded as sacred creatures and signify a competitive edge over rivals in Chinese culture. The BMW brand is often associated with wealth and prosperity.   

Read more about BMW: The history behind BMW and its name

Check out our online BMW inventory 

To see our current selections of our BMW inventory, check out our online inventory. If you have any questions about which BMW vehicle would best suit you, please contact us. We would love to help you find the perfect BMW for you. 

Read more BMW posts: Can I connect my Android phone to my BMW vehicle?