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HD: Odamaki & Selection of Tradenames
Posted: 03 January 2012 02:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Just to be sure, I will be thinking of Colombian drug cartels the next time I buy a Coke.

Why shouldn’t you? Isn’t it true that when Coca-Cola was first marketed, there was no FDA, and the original formula contained significant amounts of the stuff the Colombian drug cartels deal in? An American friend tells me that 100 or more years ago, some African-American citizens who were by law restricted in their purchase of alcohol, could get high on Coca-Cola, which they affectionately called “dope”. I wonder what would be in Coke today, if there were no FDA.

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Posted: 03 January 2012 02:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Joe McVeigh - 03 January 2012 11:57 AM

What I want to know is who named a brand of cigarettes ”Smart”.

RJ Reynolds?  They sold a brand called Bright in the US in the early 1980’s.  They were peppermint flavor, as I recall.  And why not call a cigarette Smart as long as you put a lot of pastel green on the box like every other product cashing in on the “natural/renewable/earth-friendly” craze?

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Posted: 04 January 2012 01:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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lionello - 03 January 2012 02:06 PM

An American friend tells me that 100 or more years ago, some African-American citizens who were by law restricted in their purchase of alcohol, could get high on Coca-Cola, which they affectionately called “dope”.

Where and when were African-Americans legally restricted from buying alcohol? In any case, I doubt that they turned to Coca-Cola; according to Snopes, for example, it isn’t known how much cocaine the drink originally contained, but health concerns meant that it was reduced to a trace amount before being cut out completely.

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Posted: 04 January 2012 04:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Bimbo means cheap or poor in Japanese though I cannot say if this is relevant to the bakery name. Cut-price?

Bimbo is a Mexican company, not Japanese.

I remember reading an article in Time or Newsweek many years ago about unfortunate translations and I think the Nova one was included, but the one that has stuck in my mind is the slogan “Come Alive with Pepsi” which they said had been rendered in Taiwan as “Pepsi Brings You Back from the Dead” which I find hard to believe unless it works there in their idiom in which case it shouldn’t excite comment. Maybe an ad agency had put it in English under their faultless Chinese-language slogan.

A pure urban legend with no truth behind it. First, the English slogan was “Come Alive! You’re the Pepsi Generation,” so the legend doesn’t even get that much right. Second, no one has been able to supply the actual Chinese into which it was allegedly translated. I write about it in Word Myths. The Coke/wax tadpole legend at least has a grain of truth behind it; Coca-cola can be interpreted as “bite the wax tadpole” in one Chinese dialect, although Coke never used that particular transcription in its marketing.

which they affectionately called “dope”.

Some sodas, or more particularly the syrup with which carbonated water is mixed, have been called dope. In fact, that’s the original meaning of dope. The drug connection comes from the syrupy mix of opium that is injected. But it’s from Dutch settlers in the Hudson Valley of New York, not African Americans.

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Posted: 04 January 2012 02:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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jtab4994 - 03 January 2012 02:30 PM

RJ Reynolds?  They sold a brand called Bright in the US in the early 1980’s.  They were peppermint flavor, as I recall.  And why not call a cigarette Smart as long as you put a lot of pastel green on the box like every other product cashing in on the “natural/renewable/earth-friendly” craze?

Why not is right. They call soda diet and beer lite and nobody bats an eye. Might as well advertise light cigarettes as “the healthier option.”

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Posted: 04 January 2012 02:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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In Boulder, Colorado there used to be a bakery called the “Sanitary Bakery”.  I always thought that was a particularly terrible name.  Kind of like calling a restaurant the “Non-Ptomaine Restaurant” or a car dealership the “Non-Broken Down Car Dealership”.

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Posted: 05 January 2012 01:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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In Boulder, Colorado there used to be a bakery called the “Sanitary Bakery”.  I always thought that was a particularly terrible name.  Kind of like calling a restaurant the “Non-Ptomaine Restaurant” or a car dealership the “Non-Broken Down Car Dealership”.

Yes. Quite apart from ‘sanitary products’ being a standard euphemism for menstrual pads and tampons - a particularly unhappy association with food production - it’s always a mistake for a name to evoke the possibility of its opposite. In Romford (west Essex, on the outskirts of East London) there’s a general practitioner partnership called The Modern Medical Centre. I’ve never been to it, but I inescapably imagine it with peeling paint, flyblown filing cabinets full of dog-eared ‘Lloyd George’ patient records, and stethoscopes with rubber perished by age....

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Posted: 05 January 2012 04:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Does anyone have any idea when the Sanitary Bakery was founded? In the nineteenth century, sanitary had a sense of “healthful, promoting health,” and was not limited to cleanliness. (The association with menstruation is twentieth century.)

But I note that the Sanitary Bakery has changed its name and is now the Boulder Bread Company.

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Posted: 05 January 2012 08:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Google gave me this Pennsylvania bakery that changed its name to Sanitary in the 20th century:

“The name of the business was originally “Navy Sliced Bread” and our name was changed to Sanitary Bakery in 1948”

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Posted: 05 January 2012 12:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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The wording here tripped me up at first:

Odamaki’s etymological commentary is accurate, but he makes the error that most such discussions make: the meanings of trade names simply don’t matter.

My initial interpretation was that the idea that trade-name meanings don’t matter is the error made by Odamaki (and most such discussions).  Reading further showed that the opposite is intended - i. e., the error lies in assuming that they matter - but I was briefly confused.  Am I the only one who read it that way?

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Posted: 05 January 2012 02:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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I did too.  It’s poorly phrased, IMHO.

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Posted: 05 January 2012 02:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Thanks. I’ve amended the wording to make it clearer.

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Posted: 05 January 2012 03:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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There was a time when tourist traps in Nogales, Sonora sold “Horse Shit Cigarettes”. I bought a pack and was a long drag into smoking the first one before I figured out that they really were horse shit. But the name sold briskly as best I could tell.

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Posted: 06 January 2012 03:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Novelty brands like this are a different story. Their sales are based entirely on the outrageous name. Such cigarettes are not for smoking; they’re for showing your friends the package.

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Posted: 16 January 2012 04:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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The Thai name for the non-indigenous guinea pig is gatsby, a loanword. I asked Thais about this, including a vet (a bit like asking an English vet about the etymology of horse, I now realise - there is no reason why they should know), and no one had any idea. I was in Thailand when a Japanese company launched a line of male-grooming products under the name Gatsby which is a good name if you think Robert Redford in the film version and haven’t read the book, and I watched to see if Thai males would be happy wearing an after-shave meaning guinea pig. They were. Maybe the pet name is not widely known or no connection was made as with Bimbo. I’d love to know where the name came from - an impish or impious exporter choosing an inappropriate name for a laugh?

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