July 12, 2024
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Volvo: The Ancient Origins Behind ‘I Roll’ and the Iron Emblem

In the world of automobiles, Volvo stands out as a brand with a rich history and a name deeply rooted in classical origins. The word “Volvo” itself is Latin for ‘I roll,’ and its distinctive logo—a circle with an arrow pointing out—is an ancient chemical symbol for iron. These elements come together to create a unique identity for Volvo, one that not only reflects its Swedish heritage but also pays homage to the enduring legacy of iron in Western culture. In this blog, we’ll delve into the fascinating backstory of Volvo’s name and logo.

  1. Volvo: ‘I Roll’ in Latin:

    The name “Volvo” traces its origins to Latin, a language renowned for its influence on many modern European languages. In Latin, “volvo” is the first-person singular form of the verb “volvere,” which means “to roll” or “to revolve.” This simple yet evocative word captures the essence of motion, which is fundamental to the automotive world.

  2. The Iron Emblem:

    Volvo’s logo is iconic—a circle with an arrow extending outward. However, its design goes beyond aesthetics; it carries a deep historical and chemical significance. The symbol is derived from an ancient chemical symbol for iron (Fe). Iron has played a pivotal role in the development of civilizations, and its strong, durable nature mirrors the qualities Volvo vehicles aim to embody.

  3. Historical Significance:

    The circle with an arrow is one of the oldest ideograms in Western culture, with a history dating back thousands of years. It was used to represent Mars, the Roman god of war, whose attributes included strength and courage. The choice of this symbol by Volvo reflects the brand’s commitment to safety, durability, and the strength of its vehicles.


Volvo’s name, “I roll,” and its iron emblem are more than just marketing gimmicks; they are powerful symbols deeply rooted in language and history. These elements encapsulate the brand’s dedication to quality, safety, and endurance, making Volvo more than just a car manufacturer—it’s a tribute to the enduring legacy of iron and the timeless value of motion. So, the next time you see a Volvo on the road, remember that its name and emblem carry a story that spans centuries.

Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright


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