Have you ever noticed how many famous brand names do not describe the product or company?
Test your naming knowledge right here – and send us others you may know about.
|Starbucks||Not as abstract as many people think. In Moby Dick, Capt. Starbuck liked his coffee.|
|Kinkos||The founder’s nickname from school, because of his kinky red hair.|
|Motorola||From Motor and Victrola – as originally they made car radios.|
|Xerox||An abbreviation of the word xerography – their underlying original technology.|
|eBay||Official story now differs, but we still think it was from strong East Bay connotations.|
|Volkswagen||Literally “the people’s car” – a term supposedly coined by Adolf Hitler.|
|Nike||Round about evolution from Phil Knight – the founder – as proposed by one of his employees. The name was drawn out of a hat full of other submissions. That particular employee apparently awoke in middle of the night and said it had to be Nike – Greek for Victory.|
|Hitachi||The two characters used to write it mean “sun” + “stand.” By extension, it also could be translated “land of the rising sun.”|
|Nobel Prize||The famous peace and science prizes, named after Alfred E. Nobel – who invented dynamite!|
|A variation on the mathematical term googol – a very, very, very big number.|
|Yahoo||From the dictionary, when founders were looking for names like YACC (Yet Another C Compiler) – a very inside story for Unix hackers. Dictionary says it means a slightly crazy cowboy.|
|BMW||Of course they are initials. But in this case for words that are almost unpronounceable in English – Bayerische Motoren Werke.|
|Oracle||Code name of their first big government project.|
|Snapple||One of their original flavors: Spice N Apple.|
|Chevrolet||Ironically, one of America’s greatest car companies is named after a man born in Switzerland, who only had a short association with the car company and never lost his French accent.|
|Tiffany & Co.||This famous jewelry brand is not named after a lady, but rather Charles Tiffany, one of the founders. It used to be called Tiffany & Young.|
See also Famous Name Changes. Yes, many famous brands started life with different names.
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