Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Creative names

The diuretic Lasix is so named because it Lasts Six hours.

Statler and Waldorf, the old hecklers in the opera box on "The Muppet Show," are named after hotels. Waldorf's wife is named Astoria.

Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's last name is a combination of his birth name, Villar, and his wife's maiden name, Raigosa.

The sleeping pill Ambien helps people feel well in the morning (A.M. bien).

The ice cream store Baskin-Robbins takes its name from founders Irvine Robbins and Burton Baskin, who flipped a coin to decide whose name would be first. After his retirement from the company, Robbins named his boat "The 32nd Flavor."

The shoe company adidas is named after founder Adolf "Adi" Dassler.

The Taser stun gun takes its name from Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle, one of a popular series of children's books published in the early 20th Century about a MacGyver-like inventor.

In the Midwood section of Brooklyn there are Avenues A through Z with certain exceptions, including Avenue Q. Between Avenue P and Avenue R is Quentin Road, named for the youngest son of President Theodore Roosevelt.

Gatorade takes its name from the University of Florida, where it was developed for the football team.

When the patent on the heartburn drug Prilosec was nearing expiration, its owners reëngineered it and spent $500 million advertising its replacement, Nexium (their "next" drug).

The housewares retailer Bed Bath and Beyond takes its name from the well-known blog Ben Bass and Beyond.


Anonymous said...

1. appropriately reflecting the infinite vanity of advertising creatives, the marshall & mcgearty tobacco lounge is named after the two guys at the ad agency who thought it up.

2. drug naming is a big production involving a lot of research at pharma companies. according to what i have read, they come up with nonsense words with syllables that hint at the benefit of the drug. they want it to sound appropriately incomprehensible like an advanced chemical, but effective in a familiar way like say, a cleanser. they use focus groups to help determine the winner, which makes sense since they then market the product directly to consumers. ask your doctor.

3. one of the most insulting names for anything developed recently is "altria," for the rebranding of the philip morris holding company (that owns PM cigs, kraft foods, et al.). i need not point out the brazen hypocrisy of misusing the root of the word "altruism" for a company directly and willfully responsible for the deaths of arguably more humans than any other single entity, but i just did.

Anonymous said...

"The housewares retailer Bed Bath and Beyond takes its name from the well-known blog Ben Bass and Beyond."


-- Lisa

andrea acmenaming michaels said...

Is it too late to be posting this from the future?
As for the Barack! Are you the new Zelig?

Ben said...

@Andrea Aida Michaels (sorry, old habits die hard):

Are you asking where Tin Pan Alley got its name, or preparing to tell me?

Never too late, you can post here whenever you like.

Yes, I have come to feel quite Leonard Zelig-like as I continually find myself surrounded by notable characters. Not the least of which is ACM visiting my blog!