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September 15, 2020


And then there are the companies who so dominate their field that their name becomes generic. That is, causality runs the other way. For example, Xerox.

Well, this is maybe just an odd name, but my letter of acceptance to the University of Michigan back in the day was signed by Otto Graf.

Dr. Pein, a German dentist (Pein is also an old-fashioned word for pain and was once the German standard word for torture).
German hairdressers have a thing for bad punning, e.g. Hairy Krishna, Wellkamm (Kamm = comb), creHaartiv, Hairoin, 4 Haareszeiten (Jahreszeit = season), James Blond, Hairport, Kaiserschnitt (lit. emperor's cut = Caesarean section), SaHaaRa...

A local breakfast cafe for some years, which did a particularly nice spice bread: The Rising Loafer

Hartmut's comment reminds me that I once had a dentist (pre-internet) who liked to go through the national directory of dentists finding names like Dr. Toothaker. Now that Google exists, you can find rafts of these.

One last fave before bed (description from Wikipedia):

Early Wynn, baseball pitcher, member of the 300 win club

Well, that reminds me of Herb Score.......

Oh no, wait, baseball opens so many cans of worms...maybe Thullen can take over. But another baseball phenomenon connected to names is people who were named after professional baseball players who became pros themselves:

Ryne Duren -> Ryne Sandberg (who became not only a player but a Hall-of-Famer)

Jackie Robinson -> Robinson Cano

In 1886, workers at an armaments complex on the Thames formed a football* club known as "Royal Arsenal" or "Woolwich Arsenal", after their place of employment. In 1913 they moved ten miles northwest to Highbury, north of the City of London, using the name "The Arsenal", later simply "Arsenal".

The club has long been among the leading teams in England, but its outstanding modern period of success came when it finally appointed an aptly named manager, the Frenchman Arsene Wenger, who brought in sundry French stars and the Russian Andrey Arshavin.

The club has been less successful in the last few years, but now has a new manager, Mikel Arteta (the spelling is Basque), and is showing early signs of revival.

*the round-ball game

Berlin has two special cinemas that carry the name. The Zeughaus-Kino is located in the former Berlin state arsenal (Zeughaus), the other is named after the film by Alexander Dovzhenko (the cinema has a tradition with early Eastern European movies. Since both cinemas closely cooperate since German reunification, there is probably some confusion for newcomers due to the related names.

My childhood dentist genuinely was called Pain.
He was also myopic, and had fingers like overstuffed bratwurst.

Nice guy, though.

my wife had a Dr called Dr Tickle.

for you Kiss fans, my MiL has a Dr Love.

hairdressers are always great. we have a "Curl Up and Dye".

there's a cake maker around here called "I Like Bug Bundts"

If only there were a Japanese-Mexican restaurant where I could get a "taco taco", it would be so satisfying, on every level.

Mmmm....tentacles and salsa.

During visits to Japan last millennium, I encountered a product with the brand name "Creep". Or maybe it was spelled "Creap". You could find it next to every office coffee machine.

"Gender reveal" parties were foisted on the world by a woman named Jenna Karvunidis. The name means something like "charcoal maker" in Greek.

My all-time favorite corporate name: a demolition company in the Boston area called "Edifice Wrecks".


that's "I Like Big Bundts"


TP -- Edifice Wrecks is priceless.

And I wish we could pile up some charcoal to burn the entire concept of "gender reveal" parties. What the ever-loving fnck. ;-)

I too love Edifice Wrecks.

(This thread reminds me of the guy I heard calling in to a radio show about funny pet names, saying he had always longed for a pet impala so he could call it Vlad. Further to which, the late lamented Jenny Diski had a heroine in one of her novels call her goldfish Gefilte.)

Other brilliant business names that I have noticed over the years seem to have taken a deep dive into the grey cells, will report back if any surface.

Also, on Pro Bono's mention of Arsenal, don't their fans call themselves the Gunners?

There seems to be an inordinate number of jerks named Dick...

there's a seafood place in Moorehead NC called "Sanitary Seafood" and one in Wilmington called "Something Fishy".

there's a septic service around here called "Aawww Crap"

In my youth, Perry Mason made mincemeat of the prosecutor in court every week on TV. The prosecutor's name was Hamilton Burger. Get it? Ham Burger?


The mention of seafood joints reminds me of that Boston instituton, Legal Sea Foods, which has an interesting naming history.

Before looking it up, I would have said it was "Legal Seafood" -- learn something new every day. But I was bemused, in the last year or so before I retired, to find that the younger generation folks were calling it "Legals." Or "Legal's"? That was certainly not true when I was young, and I don't know where it came from. It doesn't belong to someone named Legal, and plural "legal" makes no sense.... They laughed at me when I pulled a copy editor face at them.

There was also the recently late and fondly lamented "No Name" on the Fish Pier in Boston. When I first went there fifty+ years ago it was about the size of a tiny diner and the seafood platter was almost as big, and I could inhale a bowl (not a cup!) of well-stocked seafood chowder and have the seafood platter as a chaser, all without gaining an ounce of weight.....ah, the good old days.

Greasy Tony's was a late-night drunken-munchies pizzeria in my school days. Alas, gentrification wiped it off the map. New Brunswick got snooty after I left.

At least Stuff Yer Face is still there, so not completely snooty.

...Arsenal, don't their fans call themselves the Gunners?

Yes, or "Gooners".

There's a brewpub/restaurant in Hallowell (not too far away from me) called The Liberal Cup -- I think the pun is intended, but I'm not sure. Their food is good and it used to be a nice place to go for lunch or dinner, but I haven't been out to eat in the pandemic era. I just checked their website and was reminded of the creativity of brewpub brew names (not a beer person myself, but I like words):

BREWS Brewed on the Kennebec Drunk on the Kennebec

On Tap

Bug Lager
Milleni-Ale NEIPA
1762 RyePA
For Richer or Poorter
State Budget Red Ale
Summer Bitter Summer Not

Hallowell is adjacent to Augusta, which is the state capital, and it's very much a town (one of those NE river towns) where the bars and restaurants are places to gather, to see and be seen, by/for/with people working in or connected to state govt. Hence (I assume) "state budget [in the] red"...sigh.

They always have a beer-cheese soup on the menu -- rotating different beers and different cheeses. I've never had one that wasn't yummy.

I went with a friend when she took her cat to the vet, Dr. Katz.

Tallahassee has a humbly named joint, Decent Pizza.

Apropos my comments on the Kosovo War, are all the Albanian boys with the name Tonibler or Klinton saddled with an aptonym or an antiaptonym?


I remember Edifice Wrecks from Rocky and Bulwinkle, I wonder which one was first, though I have no problems with the theft in either direction.

Creap is here, rivaled by the terribly appropriate sweet named Collon


A tiny bit reminiscent of fafblog. A tiny bit. More angry and less cartoonish, but there's something there.

A barbershop across the street calls itself "The Temple of Groom."

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