Lincoln Nautilus etymology: What does its name mean and come from?

In 2018 the second generation Lincoln MKX was facelifted, and given a new name (Lincoln Nautilus). What does its name mean? And where does it comes from?


Lincoln is slowly moving away from the alphabet soup it adopted in the mid-noughties to more recognisable and evocative names.

As part of this process, the facelifted 2019 version of the second-generation MKX was rechristened as the Nautilus.

The word Nautilus is Latin for sailor, and comes from the Ancient Greek word ναυτίλος (pronounced, roughly, as naftilios).

Given the luxury marque seems to be moving to names with a travel theme — there’s the large Navigator SUV, the Continental sedan, and the upcoming Aviator that will replace the MKT — it’s possible it’s named after the Nautilus submarine from Jules Verne’s novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

Verne’s fictional Nautilus was named after Robert Fulton’s Nautilus, which is widely considered to be world’s first working submarine. Fulton, interestingly enough, was an American, but he lived in France and created the Nautilus under commission from Napoleon Bonaparte.

The name has since been used on a seemingly countless number of ships and submarines.

Scientifically, the nautilus name is used by a species of mollusc (see below) that live in the Pacific ocean. Their natural habitat are the steep cliffs surrounding coral reefs, and they are usually found several hundred (980+ feet) below sea level.

We at Between the Axles do not recommend taking your Lincoln Nautilus under water.




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Derek Fung

Derek Fung

Editor-at-large — Derek has a lifelong love for all things automotive, from the dullest Camry to record shattering Bugattis. Prior to starting up Between the Axles he was a reviewer for CNET Australia and the founding editor of its Car Technology channel. [Read more]


Lincoln Nautilus etymology: What does its name mean and come from?