Monday, April 2, 2012

B ~ Bil = Car


google image


The word for today is “bil” which means car. It's pronounced “beel” as in the slithery creature, preceded by a b. This word is significant, because my maiden name was Bilen. The adding of the “en” at the end or a Swedish word is like the English use of “the” before a word. In other less English teachery-words, our name meant “the car.” Pronouncing our last name was a source of much explanation over the years.  The best we could get Americans to do was "bill + en(d)" as in pretend the second word is end, just don't say the "d".  

Having this last name was not only interesting, but significant because when “The Swede” moved us to the USA, he didn't look for a teaching job. He looked for any job, and after a brief stint in customer service at a bank, got a customer service job at Volvo. From there he climbed the corporate ladder many rungs at a time, and retired as vice president in 1998 at age 57. People always think he had the Volvo job when we moved here, but that's not the case.  

The car in this post card is almost exactly my first car.  I don't have any digital pictures of it, so I grabbed this one from google.  Just erase the groovy racing stripes and there ya' go.  I got it in 1985, with 100k miles on it.  We finally gave it away in 1995 with over 250k, to a friend who needed a car.  By then it had been joined by a yellow version.  We had fruit salad cars.  Mine was blueberry...


49 comments:

Mum of One said...

That is one very cool looking car! 10 years is a pretty good lifespan for a first car too!

Gail M Baugniet - Author said...

It is always interesting to hear people comment about a name, whether to ask the nationality or pronounciation. It does break the ice in starting a conversation.
http://gail-baugniet.blogspot.com Theme: A World of Crime

Ermie said...

Love the car and amazing mileage!

A Daft Scots Lass said...

That car is massive!!!

KarenG said...

My husband would love this car! Great B word, Tina. (And yes, Celery Tree is my baby.)

Enjoy the Challenge, my friend!

KarenG

Laurita said...

That's a great car. I mean bil. ;)

Have I said already how much I love your theme?

Retro-Zombie said...

Digging the B word... and the post.

Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]
A to Z Co-Host
IZOMBIE: Visit the Madness

jabblog said...

The first car is never forgotten - it's even more special than the first boy or girl-friend;-)

Stephen Tremp said...

My first car was a Dodge Demon. My uncle gave it to me for $100. Ah, memories of our first cars.

Shannon Cyr said...

Stopping by for the A to Z challenge. GREAT theme and love the bil! :)

Daisy Carter said...

This is great! I've been looking for a name for my car - maybe she's a Bil!

Matthew MacNish said...

I forgot you were going to be doing it this way. What fun to learn these foreign words!

Jackie Briere said...

that is very interesting. Thanks. I would have pronounced it bill too.

loverofwords said...

Every one should have at least one car in their life that they lust over, mine was a little red Fiat, but I did not buy it, too expensive to maintain. Now we have a Subaru Forester, LLBean model. It's great for camping, but that little Fiat. . . .

Wendy Tyler Ryan said...

Very interesting post. Unique!

Lori Butterfield said...

Dean really loved that lil' yellow car too....:)

Although on one trip up the mountains, I was a bit concerned she wasn't going to make it....but of course, she did!!

cherie said...

So cool to learn new words!

sulekkha said...

Thank you for this informative post. I wish I had thought of some theme before starting my challenge now I am going with my personal stories, trials and tribulations.

I am at http://sulekharawat.com/2012/04/02/best-friend/

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Fruit salad cars - funny!

Texas Playwright Chick said...

I've always wanted a Volvo, but, alas, still no Volvo in the garage. I think the older ones are so cool looking too, would love a vintage Volvo!

Danielle B. said...

I'm loving these new words and great looking bil's and this one is cool!

Carole Anne Carr said...

Fascinating new words. Enjoying everything Swedish on English tv at the moment.

Dazediva said...

Nice post and I like how you combined it with a bit of history and back ground.

Bilen doesn't seem like a hard name to pronounce if one were to say it phonetically.

Can't wait to learn another new word from you :)

CoachWalsh3 said...

My favorite car was alwaya a 1968 Chevelle... Loved that car!
Best of luck through the rest of the challenge!
Cheers
*\o/*
CW3
readysetyoubet.blogspot.com

Cassie Mae said...

I'm totally saying this to the hubs to see if he knows what I'm talking about. If he doesn't, then I'm rubbing it in his face I know something about cars that he doesn't. :D

Kathy said...

Cool car, and I love how you compare the colors of your cars to fruit salad. Made me smile!!

Kathy
http://gigglingtruckerswife.blogspot.com

Jaycee DeLorenzo said...

Great car and it's fun learning the language!

Happy Monday!

My A-Z

Donna Cameron said...

Cool story. Our oldest has a 1992 240 4dr red brick for her first car! One of her other friends has a 1994 brick in green. Sorry to your parents for massacring their name for all these years! Look out for the red volvo missing its front grill around town!

Arlee Bird said...

That's a lot of miles on a car, but I guess I'm heading for that with my van.


Lee
An A to Z Co-Host
Tossing It Out

ediFanoB said...

In Germany a lot of people use volvo as a synonym for a very safe car.

I belong to the minority of men who are not interested in cars.

MAJK said...

I have a thing for trying to learn to pronounce names right. I wish more people did it. To me, bothering to learn the right way to say someone's name or last name is a point of respect because our names are such a huge part of us.

I loved your post, what a hard working man your husband was. I look forward to more of your writing. May life always be Good for you both.

*~MAJK~*
Safireblade.com
A to Z Blog Challenge

Gossip_Grl said...

LOL on the fruit salad car :) I think that will be my next choice. My Saturn which died recently was dark green and so were lots of others. I was pulled over right after I got it at the time I TG I didn't have red hair. I don't know what she did, but they were looking for her. Another time I was at work and my car was spotted. My next will be totally different. :)

Brandi said...

Love the blog, Love the car!

Tracy Jo said...

Love that car. Wish you could hear me because I keep saying "Bil" out loud. Lol! :-)

Sharkbytes said...

Well the little language lesson was fun! I just signed on to the A-Z challenge, nearly at the last minute, but I'm trying to visit every blog at least once.

Monkey said...

:) Nice to meet you! That looks like a great old car.. They don't make them like they used to. :)
~Blog Hopping from A to A Challenge~
http://monkeyangelasblog.blogspot.com

Lynn Proctor said...

you made me miss my metallic blue bucket seat corvair--thanks :)

Cheryl said...

Sweet memory of the car. What is it about Americans with boring last names who can't learn to pronounce less WASPy sounding names? Mine isn't difficult but it's misspelled, mispronounced, and mangled every day.

Heather Murphy said...

What a great story and a great car. I bet this was fun for you to review your history so that you realize or re-realize the significance. How fun!

klahanie said...

Hey Tina,
How lucky are you? Yep, life is good and it just got 'gooder'. Of course, my next eagerly anticipated comment on this much loved, for reasons beyond my comprehension, alphabet challenge, is now being formulated at this ridiculous hour of almost three thirty on a Tuesday morning in lil' ol' England.
And speaking of irony, here's me doing my satire posting about the A to Z over at my poorly written blog and some folks actually think I'm a part of this alphabet challenge. Good grief, that backfired. Of course, I did give links back to the challenge on my not worth reading posting about this here good golly fun n'stuff, challenge.
Okay, where was I? Oh yeah, now that's better. Your posting for the letter 'B' was just about right in length in this fast-paced blogging world.
Aha a Volvo, neat car and I'm so glad they aint shaped so much like a box these days. You note my comment, which was way too long had loads of rambling, incoherent musings. What do you expect for three thirty in the morning from lil' ol' England? Take care, have fun and I will 'C' you again....Gary, the supposedly official 'Anti-A to Z spokesman'....

Debra Harris-Johnson said...

Love the new word. My first car was a Chevy Vega 1974. You never forget your 1st car.
dreamweaver

Rebecca Bradley said...

I love your first car. It's funny how we remember the first one with such fondness isn't it. I absolutely loved mine.

50 foot QE said...

1965 Cadillac Sedan de Ville
was mine but I know many a friend who loved their volvos long.

Anita said...

I find names fascinating & thanks for explaining! My first car was a Smart :)

Heather M. Gardner said...

At least that is a short name to explain.
I like how these tie in with your life!
HMG

Diligent Writer said...

I can't believe that car had so many miles on it. That's cool. I have had my current car for a year and promised myself I was going to run it in the ground.. we will see!

Scribbles From Jenn said...

Looks peaceful.
ScribblesFromJenn
Happy A to Z-ing!

Kittie Howard said...

My Volvo went forever. Loved that car. Many kids say beel when learning to talk.

Anna said...

Vilka bra ordförklaringar du har i dina inlägg. Och uttalet! Du skulle kunna undervisa! Det är det du gör nu, fast på ett roligt och underhållande sätt! Bravo!
Snyggt åk du hade. Jag önskar jag hade bil - vadsomhelst för sort!
Kram,
Anna