The Chrysler 300 is Called the Obama in Iraqi Kurdistan (the BMW 3 Series is Known as Chowbrow)


Because nicknames roll off the local tongue more easily.

Not long after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003, free trade and economic gains came to Iraq’s Kurdistan region. That means name brand products of all prices have flooded the market. Cars and SUVs are no exception. According to The Wall Street Journal, local Kurds often times have trouble pronouncing some brand names, so they instead opt for a nickname that's easier on the tongue. For example, the Toyota Land Cruiser isn’t called a Land Cruiser. It’s called a "Wanawsha."

People there won’t even know what you’re referring to if you don’t use this nickname. "Some people can’t pronounce the names, so we come up with beautiful names," stated a local car salesman. Not long after Barack Obama became President of the United States, the Chrysler 300 went on sale in Iraq’s Kurdish north. And because people knew he drove one before he became president, the nickname made all the more sense. Locals will actually say something like "I drive an Obama." Even the Toyota Corolla has been renamed after a Kurdish actress. It’s now referred to as the "Sabaw."

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An old BMW 3 Series? It’s the "Chowbrow," meaning eyebrow, due to its angular front end. But perhaps the most, shall we say, interesting name previously given to the Land Cruiser in the late 1990s, was the "Monica," as in Monica Lewinsky. Bill Clinton had no comment.