Behind the Name



The old-style signs of profession outside each store in central Germany


Did you know?




3M
Originally sold the mineral corundum to manufacturers of grinding wheels under the name of Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company. Changed to 3M when company changed its focus to innovative new products.

7 Eleven
Changed from U-Tote'm in 1946 when new 7:00 am until 11:00 pm hours went into effect.

Adidas
Taken from the nickname of founder Adolf Adi Dassler. His brother, Rudolf Rudi Dassler, went on to found his own shoe company called Ruda, which became Puma.

Adobe
Named for Adobe Creek, which ran behind the house of co-founder John Warnock.

Atari
Taken from the Japanese word for when an opponent's pieces are in danger of being captured in the game Go. (Not unlike the term check I'm chess.)

Bridgestone
Named after founder Shojiro Ishibashi. His last name translates to bridge of stone.

Canon
Named after Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory's first camera, Kwanon.

Coca Cola
Named for the coca leaves and Kola nuts originally used as flavoring.

eBay
Originally part of the Echo Bay Technology Group. The URL EchoBay dot com was already taken by a mining company based out of Echo Bay, Nevada.

IBM
After leaving National Cash Register, Tom Watson Sr. one-upped his former employers by calling his company International Business Machines.

Nabisco
Shortened from the original name of National Biscuit Company.

Nintendo
From the Japanese name, Nintendou. Nin can be translated as to entrusted and ten-dou means heaven.

Nissan
Shortened from the original name Nippon Sangyo which means Japan Industries.

Nokia
Started as a wood-pulp mill which later started producing rubber products in the Finnish city of Nokia.

Pepsi
Named from the digestive enzyme pepsin.

Qualcomm
Short for Quality Communication.

Reebok
Stylized form of rhebok, which is an African antelope.

Sega
Shortened from Service Games of Japan, which originally imported pinball machines into Amercian military bases in Japan.

Sharp
Named after the company's first product, the ever-sharp pencil.

Sony
From the Latin word sonus meaning sound. Chosen because it could be pronounced easily in many languages.

Verizon
Combination of the Latin word veritas, which means truth, and the word horizon.

Vodafone
Short for Voice, Data, Telefone.



Nikon


Nikon
Shortened from the original name, Nippon Kogaku, which means Japanese Optical.




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