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Mitsubishi Pajero – Double Meaning Word of the Week

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The Mitsubishi Pajero. One of the most famous four wheel drive cars in the world.  It’s even more famous now… Read on!

Mitsubishi Pajero - Spanish For Wanker. Off Road 4Wd

When I first learn any semblance of a language (including Australian Slang), the initial words I always become skilled at are the swear words.   I know how to speak a bit of Spanish, as it’s an easy language to learn, plus it’s invaluable in Spain and Central/South America.  I highly recommend learning Spanish, as your experiences in Spanish speaking countries will be enhanced by knowing a few words – the locals love it!

Anyway, one of the funniest Spanish words is Pajero (pronounced ‘pa-he-ro’).  When I first came across this word, I noticed the spelling was identical to a popular four-wheel drive sold in Australia (and many other English speaking countries) by Mitsubishi Motors.  This car has even won a few Dakar Rallys.

Mitsubishi Pajero Photos

Photos of the Mitsubishi Pajero are shown below.

Mitsubishi Pajero - Spanish For Wanker. Off Road 4Wd
Mitsubishi-Pajero-Side

Mitsubishi Pajero – What It Really Means!

The word Pajero in English is a ‘nothing’ word – it doesn’t mean anything.  It just sounds good.  I still remember as a kid when the Mitsubishi Pajero was first launched in the early 1980s.  The marketing campaign showed a stuntman thrashing this four wheel drive across a barren landscape, but the commercial ended with a family having good times next to a campfire.

However, Pajero in Spanish directly translates to the rather derogatorily expressive ‘wanker’ (For those who don’t know what this word means, check it out here on Wikipedia).  If you still don’t believe me, even Wikipedia talks about how the Mitsubishi Pajero is named.

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I wondered at the potential consequences of such an amusing translation, figuring that the ‘Mitsubishi Wanker’ wouldn’t be a global sales favourite.

I guess the name was apt when coupled with the adrenalin producing commercials Mitsubishi produced that would involve the trashing of five brand new vehicles to successfully complete just one unrealistic fish tailing manoeuvre.  However, the Mitsubishi Pajero didn’t make my list of The Worst Drivers In The World.

In most Spanish speaking countries, the Mitsubishi Pajero is rebadged as the ‘Montiero’ (which is roughly translated as ‘Mountain Warrior’).  I guess they don’t want to drive around in a ‘Wanker’!

I love pointing out this irony to many English speakers who have no idea that one word could mean totally different things in two languages.  I can imagine native Spanish speakers wetting themselves in laughter the first time they lay eyes on a Mitsubishi Pajero!

Oh well!

I just hope that no-one from Mitsubishi hunts me down for writing this article!  Sorry if I spoilt any previous appreciation you had of the Mitsubishi Pajero!

And yes, Pajero did make my rather silly list of Spanish Swear Words, Slang and Expletives!


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12 thoughts on “Mitsubishi Pajero – Double Meaning Word of the Week”

  1. Avatar Of Anders

    You mioght want to check out the Honda Fitta, which in Swedish is directly translats to a womans vagina.

    Makes marketing fun! Want to drive a cunt? *lol*

    //Anders
    Honda salesrep Sweden

  2. Avatar Of Carid

    at least guys at Mitsubushi guessed to market Pajero differently in the Spanish-speaking countries unlike General Motors that once screwed up by trying to sell the Nova brand in Central America – “no va” means “doesn’t go” in Spanish.

  3. Avatar Of Tyler Muse

    Hilarious. Spanish curse words are by far my favorite…like you said, pajero is just fun to say! Never thought knowing this stuff could come in handy if, say, you were the guy put in charge of naming Honda’s new model.

  4. Avatar Of Peter Grindley
    Peter Grindley

    I’ve been a Toyota Prado fan for many years – since 1996. I swore I’d never buy a Pajero because of the name (I’m an Australian).
    However, due to many reasons – mostly wife and family – I have bought a new Pajero Sport. It fits all my requirements (off-road, 4-wd, rear wd, low ratio etc) and it fits all my wife’s requirements. We have the Exceed model and it has all the bells and whistles.
    I’ve got to tell you that (thankfully) Australians don’t speak Spanish and the Pajero Sport (exceed) is a fucking good on-road and off-road vehicle!

  5. Avatar Of Miguel Alarcon
    Miguel Alarcon

    It will make more sense, if General Motors made the Chevrolet Nova in Yugoslavia to sell in Latin America, that it will be built in the same factory that Yugo is made, but for Latin America the Yugo will be sold as a Chevrolet Nova so the name Nova truly rimes in Spanish.

  6. Avatar Of Alext

    You may add the Audi e-Tron to the list, which pretty much translates to turd in french

  7. Avatar Of Adrian

    Kia in Hebrew means vomit… They rebranded it as Kaya for the first 5 years in Israel until it changed dealer and the new one was confident People won’t puke and brave enough to return to original Kia…

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