Is Jeep named after a cartoon character?

If you ask four 4×4 fans where the Jeep name came from, you might get four separate answers. A popular theory is that WWII GIs nicknamed their 1/4-ton 4×4 Jeeps after Popeye’s cartoon sidekick: Eugene-the-Jeep. The only problem is that the military used the word jeep years before Popeye’s comic books – but even within the military it meant something completely different than it does today.

What is the original meaning of Jeep?

The word jeep was originally military slang for a new, untried soldier. It also came to mean a new, untested vehicle. The first records of its use date from World War I, according to MotorTrend. So the word jeep actually preceded the WWII 1/4-ton 4×4 that would become synonymous with it.

Leave a Comment