Did you know that “Lego” is a combination of the Danish words “leg godt”, which translates to “play great”? Some world-class names have become so familiar that it does not occur to look for a hidden meaning in them, but fans of etymology are not asleep. And they bring out interesting stories about the appearance of certain names.
How brand names appeared: Ikea, Lego, Pepsi, Reebok, Skype, Sony, Canon, Google – 15 stories about the origin of the names of famous companies
The founder of the company, Ingvar Kampard, has put maximum authenticity into its name. He took his initials, I.K., and added the first letters of the words “Elmtaryd” and “Agunnaryd” to them – the farm and village where he grew up.
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When Larry Ellison and Bob Oates were still working for the CIA, they were tasked with creating a unique database. Literally, an information storage system that could “answer any question.” Exactly like the mythical Oracle, without taking into account the fact that he liked to play it safe and often formulated his thought so that the questioner did not have any complaints about the answer.
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Caleb Bradham was a dreamer, so when he took part in the rebranding of a little-known drink, he decided to combine science and superstition. He took the word “dyspepsia”, which means indigestion, and removed the prefix “dys”. This gave rise to the myth that the new Pepsi is healthy and good for your appetite.
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The inventor has consistently failed 39 attempts trying to achieve the desired effect in the laboratory. And only the 40th was crowned with success, which became a kind of landmark moment. Therefore, the new composition, without further ado, was called Water Displacement – 40th Attempt (water repellent – 40 attempts).
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In Afrikaans and Danish slang, there is the word “rnebok”, which refers to a species of antelope. It also serves to denote the concept of “harmony, grace”. But its euphony for native English speakers is so-so, so the term was somewhat refined and turned into “reebok”.
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The initial concept of the messenger was formulated by the expression “sky peer-to-peer”, that is, an environment, a space for one-on-one communication, directly. Colleagues called those who worked on the project “skyper’ami”, according to the first letters of the technology name. In a natural way, “r” fell off, as we would say, dodged in the language, and we got the well-known Skype.
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The Latin word “sonus” means “music, sound”. In the 1950s. in Japan, the slang expression “sonny boy” has taken root – this is how smart, presentable young people were called, opposing them to the usual “majors”. The founders of the newly-minted company started the business with audio systems and simply followed the fashion, slightly correcting the popular word.
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At the beginning of his career, Richard Branson’s innovative approach caused both bewilderment and irritation among colleagues. Someone once in their hearts threw that “we’re complete virgins at business” (we are totally inexperienced, the very innocence in this matter) and the boss liked this statement. A non-standard way to declare yourself without too much guile.
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According to one of the versions, this is an abbreviation of the catch phrase “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle” – “Another Hierarchical Uncouth Diviner”. Well-aimed self-criticism of the new project, which was positioned as a “Guide to the Internet”. Yahoo! In general, healthy humor is inherent and many call themselves “yehu” in honor of the characters in “The Adventures of Gulliver” – a race of stupid, primitive humanoid creatures.
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Many hours of brainstorming of the founders of the brand did not lead to anything, and Daniel Eck began to have problems with concentration and self-awareness. As he later sarcastically, he needed “spot” (point, place) “identify” (definition, identification). It turned out to be “spotify”, but Martin Laurentson hints that it was a spontaneous choice, a chaotic set of letters, to which a clear interpretation was added in hindsight.
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It was originally the name of the sea wolf from the novel “Moby Dick” by Herman Melville, which served as a model for the brave navigator for the founders of the brand. A kind of romantic image of a traveler and a trader in overseas curiosities, first of all, super popular coffee.
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Jeff Bezos relied on two things – the letter “A”, as the beginning of the alphabet, and symbols that would indicate the great potential, the intentions of his brainchild. He began flipping through an explanatory dictionary and came across the Amazon, one of the largest and most important rivers in the world. Not a bad association, Bezos thought.
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In 1935, the enlightened Western world was poorly familiar with Buddhism and the name of the deity “Kwanon” would not tell anyone anything. Therefore, the company’s management decided to rebrand and simplify the original name to Canon.
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If there are 100 zeros in the number, then according to mathematical rules it should be called “googol”. The future search giant claimed to work with such incredible data sets, so the term turned out to be very useful. It was only slightly simplified, on the assumption that Google would soon be spoken in dozens of different languages.