We always had a soft spot for the Michelin Man! The French call him “Bibendum.” BTW, “Nunc est bibendum” means “Now we must drink.” (Horace). What that has to do with tires, we don’t know. Seems like the wrong message… Good thing nobody speaks Latin anymore! Interactive site Link

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One Response to The Michelin Man has a name…

  1. Florian says:


    I’m french so I know a little about Michelin.

    As you said, we call the Michelin man “Bibendum”. This name comes indeed from “Nunc est bibendum” as you can see on this Poster : http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fichier:Michelin_Poster_1898.jpg

    So here is the explanation :
    On the picture, Bibendum holds a glass full of glasses pieces and nails, everything that makes a tire flat. The writings says : “A votre santé (which is french for “Cheers!”), le pneu Michelin boit l’obstacle” which means “Michelin tire drinks the obstacles”

    Now you know what drink has to do with tires :)
    OK the joke is not so funny, but keep in mind the poster is from 1898 ^^

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