Why Is A Car Called A Whip?

Have you ever been curious to know why a car is referred to as a “whip”? ‘Whip’ is a common slang term for a car, but where did the term originate from?

It isn’t straightforward, but tracing the phrase back to its roots can be quite interesting. In this article we will explore the etymology of the term and discover the connection between cars and whips. We already know that cars are a common pairing with whips, but have you ever questioned why?

Let’s dive into why a car is sometimes referred to as a “whip”.

Why Is A Car Called A Whip?

Cars have been affectionately referred to as whips, or “the whip” for many years.

But why? The origin of this phrase is as mysterious as the term itself. Here, we look at various possibilities as to why cars are called whips, and some other interesting facts about the phrase.

Possible Reasons For Why A Car Is Called A Whip

  • The acceleration of a car has been compared to the cracking of a whip, thus the name.
  • In the early days of cars, the term whip referred to the early cars that were low to the ground, lightweight and had limited range. they were known as “whips” because they were so agile.

  • In the 1920s and 30s, the term “whips” was often used to refer to fast and fancy cars – in essence, the perfect car of that era. So the term “whips” became associated with the perfect car.

  • The term may also come from the slang term “whip-tie,” which referred to early convertibles that were suitable for racing.

Other Interesting Facts About The Phrase “Whip”

  • The term “whip” is often used to refer to any well-loved and well-maintained car, regardless of its make, model or features.
  • The term has made its way into the car culture of today’ and many people affectionately refer to their cars as their whips.

  • The term “whips” has also been used in numerous hip-hop songs, most notably Tupac’s song “Whips Ain’t Nothin But Photoshoots & Magazines”.


Although the exact origin of the phrase “whips” is uncertain, it is clear that it has become a beloved term in the car culture of today.

There are many possible explanations as to why cars are called whips, and the term has become associated with all well-maintained and beloved cars.

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