Edition Maldives - EN


The hidden meanings behind Famous Brand Names

18 April 2017 - 16:19


Travel enthusiast and market analyst, committed in promoting positive community growth.

Ever wondered how famous brands of today got their names?

These brands are well known all over the world, and there are hidden meanings to the choice of their names. While we may not be aware of its origin, each derivation has a fascinating fact. 

Below are the world’s largest and most oddly named companies. 

1. IKEA: The founder of the company, Ingvar Kamprad combined his initials, I.K with the first letters of Elmtaryd Agunnaryd, which was the farm where he grew up in. 

2. ADOBE: Named after a creek that ran behind the co-founder, John Warnock's house, called Adobe Creek

3. NIKE: Name for the Greek Goddess of Victory. The swoosh signifies her flight

4. STARBUCKS: Named after a character in Moby Dick, Starbuck. Originally the name 'Peqoud' was suggested, the name of the ship from the novel. When it got rejected, they settled for 'Starbuck', the chief mate of that very ship.

5.SKYPE: Originally the idea was 'Sky peer to peer', which later became Skyper and finally Skype.

6.CANON: Originally named Kwanon (Japanese name of Buddhist Goddess of Mercy). It was changed to Canon in 1935 to appeal to the worldwide audience.

7.LEGO: Derived from Danish words 'Leg Got', which means to 'play well'. Lego also means 'put together' in Latin, which they claim is actually a coincidence.

8.SONY: Derived from the Latin word, 'Sonus' for sound and slang expression “Sonny boy” which in 1950s Japan described as “Smart presentable young men”

9.REEBOK: Derived from the Afrikaans spelling of an African Antelope, 'Rhebok'.

10. WD-40: After failing 39 times in the lap, the water-displacing spray was developed in the 40th try. Thus the name. 

11.YAHOO: It is an acronym for “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle” and an imaginary species described as rude, noisy and violent in Jonathan Swifts “Gulliver’s Travels”

12. AMAZON: CEO Jeff Bezos wanted a name starting with 'A'. He chose Amazon because it is the biggest river in the world, just what he wanted his company to be.

13. COCA COLA: The two main ingredients were Coca leaves and Cola berries.

14. ADIDAS: Named after owner Adolf Dassler whose nickname was Adi.  Adi Dassler became Adidas

15. PEPSI: From the digestive enzyme 'pepsin'. Although pepsin is not an ingredient in the drink.

16. GOOGLE: Derived from 'googol' which means 1 followed by 100 zeros. Signifies owners Larry Page and Sergey Brin's mission to provide innumerable info to all users.

17. VIRGIN: Because the business was new and the team members were virgins at business. This was suggested by a girl in Richard Branson's team.

18. BLACKBERRY: The name was created in 1999 because the keys on the blackberry phone resembled the drupelets on the blackberry fruit

19. IBM: Founder TJ Watson wanted to be a step ahead of his former employers 'National Cash Register', so he decided to call his company 'International Business Machines'.

20. VOLKSWAGEN: Means 'People's car' in German. There was a time when only very expensive cars used to ply on German roads. Volkswagen was a revolution.

21. TOYOTA: Named after founder Kiichiro Toyoda. The name was changed to Toyota because Toyoda literally means, 'fertile rice paddies'.


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