25 True Stories Behind Company Names

Posted by , Updated on June 27, 2018

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If you’ve seen our article on 25 famous logos with hidden images, then you’re aware that companies like having fun with their names and logos. But where do they get the ideas in the first place? Pay attention because when you get around to starting your own Fortune 500 Company, you’ll probably be interested in knowing how these 25 True Stories Behind Company Names.

25

7 Eleven

711

In 1946, it changed its name from U-Tote’m to 7-11 after the new store hours of 7 AM to 11 PM went into effect.

24

Nintendo

nintendoSource: https://kotaku.com/nintendo-probably-doesnt-mean-what-you-think-it-does-5649625

This famous company name comes from the Japanese name “Nintendou.” Roughly translated “Nin” means “entrusted” and “ten-dou” means “heaven.” In other words, it means “Leave luck to heaven.”

23

Pepsi

pepsi

The Pepsi founders were evidently a bit nerdy. The name of their world famous product is derived from the digestive enzyme pepsin.

22

Atari

atari

Atari is taken from a Japanese word used in the game “Go” that signals when an opponent’s pieces are in danger of being captured. This is much like the word “check” is used in chess.

21

Nabisco

nabiscoSource: https://www.thoughtco.com/history-of-nabisco-1991760

It might seem fairly simple, but this classic cracker and snack manufacturer is just short for the original name – National Biscuit Company.



20

Sony

sony

Derived from the Latin word sonus, meaning “sound,” they chose this word because it’s so easy to pronounce in most languages.

19

Adidas

adidas

This company’s name came from the nickname of founder Adolf “Adi” Dassler. Rudolf “Rudi” Dassler, his brother, also started a shoe company called “Ruda,” which later turned into Puma.

18

Nokia

nokia

This international company started out as wood pulp mill just outside the Finnish town of Nokia.

17

Arby’s

arbys

Although some people believe that the enunciation of Arby’s stands for “roast beef.” This isn’t true. It actually stands for the initials of its founders, the Raffel Brothers.

16

Sega

sega

Short for Service Games of Japan, this company originally imported pinball machines onto US military bases around the Pacific Rim.

15

Sharp

sharp

The company’s first product, the ever sharp pencil, is actually where this multinational corporation got its name.

14

Starbucks

starbucks

Not many companies dive into the world of fiction literature to find inspiration for their brand, but Starbucks is not just any company. Its name comes from a character in the story of Moby Dick.

13

Adobe

adobe

This company was named after a body of water (Adobe Creek) that ran through the property of founder John Warnock.

12

Reebok

reebok

Reebok is actually a type of antelope found on the savanna in Africa. These days, it’s also the inspiration behind the name of an international brand.

11

Coca Cola

cocacola

Allegedly, its name was taken from the coca leaves and kola nuts used in the original ingredients.

10

Amazon

amazon

For this one, you should check out our list on 25 famous logos with hidden images as it explains the Amazon logo perfectly. Essentially, however, Jeff Bezos wanted to convey the idea that you could find anything you were looking for…from a to z.

9

Virgin Records

virgin

Although it may be hard to believe, this name was suggested to Richard Branson by his friend who noted that they were “complete virgins at business.”

8

Ebay

ebay

Because it was owned by Echo Bay Technology Group, the name was originally supposed to be Echobay. The URL, however, was already taken by a mining company, so the founders had it shortened to eBay.

7

CVS Pharmacy

CVS

While the name was originally Consumer Value Stores, it was shortened to CVS in 1996. CEO Tom Ryan decided that the name would now stand for “customer, value, service.”

6

AMC Theatres

amc

Standing for American Multi-Cinema, AMC is a pioneer in multi-screen theatres.

5

Volkswagen

vw

If you speak German, then you already know Volkswagen literally translates to the “people’s car.”

4

Ikea

ikea

By combining his own initials (Ingvar Kamprad) and the initials of the place he grew up (Elmtaryd Agunnaryd), Ingvar came up with his company name.

3

Wendy’s

wendys

Founder Dave Thomas decided to name the chain after his daughter Melinda, well his daughter Melinda’s nickname to be exact.

2

Kia

kia

Very appropriately named, the word “kia,” roughly translated from Hanja, means “rising from Asia.”

1

Lego

lego

Lego is a mashup of the Danish phrase “leg godt,” which means play well.

Photo: Featured Image - Daniel Iversen, Largest Consumer Electronics Companies, CC BY 2.0, 1. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 2. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 3. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 4. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 5. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 6. wikimedia commons (Public Domain), 7. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 8. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 9. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 10. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 11. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 12. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 13. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 14. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 15. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 16. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 17. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 18. pixabay (Public Domain), 19. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 20. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 21. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 22. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 23. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 24. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 25. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain)

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