How 20 Top Companies You Know Well Got Their Names
You've probably heard the story of how you got your name
at least once or twice (were you named after your great cousin,
twice removed? The city where your parents met? Your mother's
favorite romance novel character?). Well, people are not the
only ones that come with interesting naming stories.
The Frisbie Baking Company's pie pans spurred the name
of the popular flying toy, the Frisbee.
Founders of companies go to great lengths to come up with
the quintessential company name, which can at times make or
break them. There's a rumor, for instance, that Haagen-Daz
ice cream became so successful so quickly because it had a
"foreign sounding" name that added prestige.
So what's in a name? As you'll see in this list of how 20
well-known companies got their names, a lot more than meets
Pepsi: Pepsi was named after dyspepsia (indigestion),
which it was originally promoted to help relieve.
Apple Computers: Founder Steve Jobs named the
company after his favorite fruit -- apples -- and possibly
for the time he worked in an apple orchard. The name was
reportedly decided while he was down to the wire and three
months late in filing a name for the company.
Frisbee: Named for the Frisbie Baking Company,
whose pie plates were the first version of the now popular
Google: Originally named Googol (1 followed by
100 zeroes) for the huge amount of information the search-engine
would search. The founders then reportedly received their
first funding check from an investor made out to "Google,"
and the name stuck.
Adidas: Named for their German maker Adolph Dassler,
who was called Adi by friends. Adi, plus the first three
letters of his last name, makes Adidas.
Hotmail: Hotmail was so named because it includes
HTML (the language used to write Web pages), along with
"mail." It originally included uppercase letters
to show this: HoTMaiL.
Mars: The Mars candy company was named for Forrest
Mars, the company's founder.
LEGO: The popular toys are named for the Danish
phrase "leg godt," which means "play well."
Hewlett Packard: Named for founders Bill Hewlett
and Dave Packard, who reportedly flipped a coin to decide
whose name to list first.
Reebok: Named for a type of African gazelle, the
LEGOs, anyone? LEGOs got their name from the Danish
phrase "leg godt," or "play well.
Microsoft: Bill Gates came up with Microsoft for
MICROcomputer SOFTware (it originally had a hyphen: Micro-Soft).
Sony: Named for "sonus," the latin word
for "sound," and "sonny," the slang
term referring to a bright youngster.
McDonald's: Named for Richard and Maurice McDonald,
who converted their barbecue drive-in with car hops into
the world's first McDonald's in 1948.
Arm & Hammer: Named for founder Armand Maccabee.
Maccabee, a biblical Hebrew name, means "hammer"
Atari: In Japanese, "atari" describes
a position in a board game where your opponent is in danger
of being captured (similar to "check" in chess).
eBay: The creator of eBay, Pierre Omidyar, had
a Web consulting company called Echo Bay Technology Group.
Echobay.com was already taken when he tried to register
it, so he settled on eBay.com instead.
Lotus Software: Founder Mitch Kapor was a teacher
of transcendental meditation, as taught by Maharishi Mahesh
Yogi. He named his company for the position known as the
"lotus position" or "Padmasana."
Motorola: Named when founder Paul Galvin's company
started making car radios. Many audio equipment makers
used the "ola" ending to convey "sound"
or "motion" (like the Victrola phonograph),
so motorola was born.
Nabisco: First named The National Biscuit Company,
the company shortened its name to Nabisco in 1971.
Starbucks: Named after Starbuck, a character in
Herman Melville's novel, "Moby Dick."
You Have What it Takes to Start a Successful Home-Based Business?
You Need to Know About ... Interpol
Identity Blog: List of Company Name Etymologies
in a Name?
To get more information about this and other highly important topics, sign up for your free subscription to our weekly SixWise.com "Be Safe, Live Long & Prosper" e-newsletter.
With every issue of the free SixWise.com newsletter, you’ll get access to the insights, products, services, and more that can truly improve your well-being, peace of mind, and therefore your life!