What’s in a name?


I’ve been thinking about the names of various businesses and the images and information they project. Some names seem designed to increase consumer interest,  for example  Best Buy (why would you want anything but the best, after all?), Volkswagen (German for the car of the people), Cheerios (start your day with that cheery feeling), Frito’s (people love anything that’s free, although why they would want toes is beyond me. Maybe the name of the pastry “ladyfingers” exposes this oddity in human culinary choices. Yuk though.)

Some business names just make it clear what they offer, Toys ‘R Us, until it closed, where it was obvious you could go to buy children’s stuff, Ace Hardware for hammers and power drills, and Amazon if you’re looking for a strong woman warrior, hopefully for legal and moral purposes.

And if you want something particular, why not go to the “Land” that advertises it. Until recently, one of the grocery store chains in my area was called Foodland. Can’t get much better than that. You want food, the answer is obvious—go to Foodland. You want ice? Iceland. Need a tie? Thailand. Got a taste for seafood. Finland sounds like the ticket. Want to date a girl named Sue?  Sudetenland is just the place.

In fact the tourist industry in Swaziland has been greatly hampered by the fact that no one knows what a Swazi is.

I said “until recently” a bit ago  because the Foodland stores have been bought out by a grocery store chain that goes by the name “Piggly Wiggly.” I know this chain has been in existence for years, but how they’ve managed to attract people with a name like that is beyond me. I mean, if you want to see a pig wiggle, wouldn’t you more likely go to a farm?

I wondered where  such an unlikely  name for a  grocery store could have come from?  As it turns out, one day this little piggy went to market, liked what he saw, and . . . well, I’ll let you figure it out from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s