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trade names into words
Posted: 27 July 2007 09:30 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I’m sure we’ve had at least one thread like this before, but I can’t find any.

The recent UK floods and mention of bowsers for drinking water made me look up the dispensing sense of “bowser”, which I thought might be related to the word “booze” but isn’t.  It’s from

1921 Trade Marks Jrnl. 26 Oct. 2060 Bowser...Oil and petrol pumps. S. F. Bowser & Company Incorporated...Fort Wayne..State of Indiana.

(OED).

Which other trade names have become generic for a product?  If we’ve had them before, maybe you’d be kind enough to list them here again, for the benefit of people new to this site.  I can think only of Hoover.

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Posted: 27 July 2007 09:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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band-aid, kleenex, xerox, laudromat, kitty litter, jacuzzi… there must be a list of them somewhere.

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Posted: 27 July 2007 09:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Frigidaire - Davenport

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Posted: 27 July 2007 09:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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One of many previous discussions.

Edit: Another.

[ Edited: 27 July 2007 11:31 AM by Dr. Techie ]
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Posted: 27 July 2007 10:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Here’s another one,

A new one is ‘Tomtom’ which is a brand of car navigation systems. At least in Holland, any of such systems is called a tomtom.

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Posted: 30 July 2007 02:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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hoover

biro

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Posted: 30 July 2007 11:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Here’s a list culled from all those links (thanks everyone). Not all the names are familiar to me in the UK, so if they’re wrong, please tell me and I’ll amend.  If you have a burning issue with any one particular word, it’s probably best to start another thread.  I’ve also tried to keep the thread title snappy, but if you think another is more appropriate, I’ll consider renaming.  Or if you know of any more, I’ll add them.

Alka Seltzer
Allen wrench
Aqualung
Aspirin
Atari
Biro
Bisquick
BMX
Bowser
BX
Caroid
Cellophane
Celluloid
Chapstick
Cheerios
Coke
Cola
Comptometer
Cool Whip
Coolaid
Cornflakes
Crapper
Crescent wrench
Crock pot
Davenport
Diesel
Doberman
Dry ice
Escalator
Frigidaire
Frisbee
Gatorade
Gramophone
Granola
Halls
Heroin
Hi-liter
Hoover
Hula hoop
Jacuzzi
Jake brake
Jeep
Jello
Jungle gym
Kerosene
Kitty litter
Kiwi fruit
Kleenex
Lanolin
Laundromat
Lava lamp
Lego
Linoleum
Listerine
Lycra
McCleod
Merry widow
Milk of magnesia
Mimeograph
Montessori
Muzak
Nylon
Pepsi
Photostat
Pianola
Pilates
Plasterboard
Podcast
Pog
Pogo stick
Popsicle
Pop-tart
Post-it note
Pullman
Q-Tips
Rice Krispies
Rolodex
Saran wrap
Scotch tape
Sellotape
Skilsaw
Spam
Spam
Spandex
Stetson
Styrofoam
Tabloid
Tarmac
Tarmacadam
Thermos
Thermos
Tivo
Tom-tom
Touchtone
Trampoline
Twizzlers
Tylenol
Vaseline
Velcro
Vicks
Wah-wah pedal
Walkman
Webster’s
White-out
Yo-yo
Zeppelin
Zip code
Zipper

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Posted: 30 July 2007 11:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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The Irish-born Battle of Britain pilot, in full spate describing his experiences to an enraptured classful of children: ‘The fokkers were everywhere - coming out of the sun, diving from above and shooting at me from below...’
The class-teacher explained helpfully: ‘Fokkers are a type of German aeroplane, children.’
‘Yes,’ agreed the ace. ‘And some of the fokkers were Messerschmidts...’

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Posted: 31 July 2007 05:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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some of the fokkers were Messerschmidts

Believe it or not, but we even did that one (I felt compelled to reveal my real life first name in that one).

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Posted: 01 August 2007 09:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I don’t know about others, Eliza, but out of your list I would reckon only the following to be genric in my experience, i.e. I have used them or heard them used in a generic fashion without any suggestion of their being a brand name.  I’m not saying the others don’t appear in the dictionary as generic, but that to me, at least, they still sound like a brand name.

Allen wrench (as Allen key)
Aqualung
Aspirin
Biro
BMX
Bowser
Cellophane
Celluloid
Cola
Crapper
Diesel
Doberman
Dry ice
Escalator
Frisbee
Gramophone
Heroin
Hi-liter (But if you’ve only heard it, it could have been spelt highlighter)
Hoover
Hula hoop
Jacuzzi
Jeep
Kerosene
Kitty litter (only as cat-litter)
Kiwi fruit
Kleenex
Lanolin
Lava lamp
Linoleum (as “lino")
Lycra
Milk of magnesia
Muzak
Nylon
Photostat
Pianola
Plasterboard
Podcast
Pogo stick
Pop-tart
Post-it note
Q-Tips
Sellotape
Skilsaw
Spam
Spandex
Stetson
Styrofoam
Tabloid
Tarmac
Tarmacadam
Thermos
Touchtone
Trampoline
Vaseline
Velcro
Wah-wah pedal
Walkman
Webster’s
Yo-yo
Zipper (as “zip")

Some of that list, like diesel and plasterboard were a complete surprise.

How about Tannoy, Stilson wrench, Mole grip, Acrow prop, Stanley knife?

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Posted: 02 August 2007 01:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Expanding bullets of any kind are often called “dum-dums”, after the British arsenal in India of that name where such bullets were first manufactured in quantity. Not exactly a trade name, true, but at least a product name that’s lost its initial capital, and gone generic.

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Posted: 02 August 2007 09:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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As I said, some of those names were unfamiliar to me and obviously also to bayard.  We’re both in the UK, so really the question should be whether others recognize those that bayard left out of his list as generic?  I’ve also included bayard and lionello’s new suggestions.  Some of the words I find surprising, either because I thought that’s commonly known, or because I’d never heard of them, either.

Acroprop
Alka seltzer
Atari
Bisquick
BX
Caroid
Chapstick
Cheerios
Coke
Comptometer
Cool Whip
Coolaid
Cornflakes
Crescent wrench
Crock pot
Davenport
Dumdums
Frigidaire
Gatorade
Granola
Halls
Jake brake
Jello
Jungle gym
Laundromat
Lego
Listerine
McCleod
Merry widow
Mimeograph
Mole grip
Montessori
Pepsi
Pilates
Pog
Popsicle
Pullman
Rice Krispies
Rolodex
Saran wrap
Scotch tape
Stanley knife
Stilson wrench
Tannoy
Tivo
Tom-tom
Twizzlers
Tylenol
Vicks
White-out
Zeppelin
Zip code

I don’t necessarily agree with all of the omissions, so I’d appreciate more comments.  I’ve tried hard not to get mixed up with my cutting and pasting, but I’m not infallible.  And thanks to all for your suggestions.

[ Edited: 02 August 2007 10:09 PM by ElizaD ]
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Posted: 12 August 2007 02:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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I note that nylon appears in Eliza’s list. It was never a trademark, although a lot of people think it was. It probably should be added to the Big List.

We’ve discussed this before, so I’m not going to start a new thread. I’m also too lazy (actually it’s way too late at night) to google for a link, so you’ll have to look up your own.

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Posted: 12 August 2007 05:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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dtilque - 12 August 2007 02:33 AM

google for a link, so you’ll have to look up your own.

Commercial sites are not generally good sources for origins of terms relating to their businesses but in this case I’m inclined to believe them.  It’s in the third paragraph.

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Posted: 12 August 2007 06:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I believe “mason jar” should be added to the lists.

THE MASON JAR

Although hundreds of men and women obtained patents for fruit jars, probably the most well known in the industry has been the Mason jar. Many independent manufacturers included the name Mason with their logos on some jars.

Here is a link to a brief history.

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Posted: 12 August 2007 02:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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When I said “google for a link”, I meant look it up in the archives for the old messageboard. You had to use Google for that, although I forget exactly how.

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