car = she or it?


Senior Member
Once one of my friends told me that he has heard a lot using the pronoun [she] for the word [car]
I didn't believe him. But, have you ever heard in a context where [she] is used for the word [car] instead of [it]?

For example:

She (the car) is so fast.
instead of
It (the car) is so fast.

Have you ever heard [she] referring to a car?

Thank you
  • funnyhat

    Senior Member
    American English
    It is indeed fairly common - especially for men - to refer to cars as being female. I've heard a lot of conversations like this:

    "How do you like your car?"
    "Oh, she rides like a dream."

    But this is an informal usage. "It" is more proper. Even those who like to call their cars "she" will refer to them as "it" in formal contexts.

    Boats are also frequently referred to as "she". In that case it seems more generally accepted, even in formal contexts - although "it" is always acceptable.
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    Senior Member
    I agree with Funnyhat - it is the normal pronoun. But I must admit that I call my current car "she." I've had other cars that I thought of as "he," and I think of other people's cars as "it," but my current car is named Gracie and she is (in my mind) definitely a "she." I'm not pretending this makes sense, by the way. :)
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    Senior Member
    English - England
    Mine's male as it has a name (the first car I've named) "Tudge" (which 'sounds male' and is a phonetic representation of the letters of the license-/numberplate) but desirable cars are invariably referred to as "she" (The same is true of ships and aircraft.)

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Lloyds of London (the marine insurance company) stopped officially calling ships "she" several years ago. But informally, some people gives a sex and even a name to all sorts of machine. I don't.
    I agree that is fairly common but very informal to refer to these machines in the feminine sometimes. While I have never have, and many others never have, it wouldn't be out of the question for someone to spontaneously cry out "Look at her go!" at some car/boat/motor cycle race where the excitement is high because one machine is pulling ahead of the others.