More Origins of Famous Company Names

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Here is another collection of the origins of famous company names:

Cellular Telephone Company Sprint was named for the division of its parent company it came from, The Southern Pacific Railroad INTernal Communications. Originally, using pipelines and railroad tracks was the cheapest place to lay new communications lines, as the right-of-way were already leased or owned.

Merchant Chuck Williams was living in Sonoma, California when he opened his first Williams-Sonoma store.

Grocery store chain Trader Joe’s is named for the original owner, food buyer and broker Joe Coulombe.

Say My NamePEZ, the candy dispensed from the hinged head container, is an abbreviation using the first, middle and last letters of the German word “Pfefferminz”, or “peppermint”.

Red Hat Linux is named for the college days of company founder Marc Ewing. He was given a Cornell lacrosse team cap, featuring the famous red and white stripes, by his grandfather. He was the “go to guy” when people had computer problems, so they referred to as “The guy in the red hat.”  When he finally wrote the instruction manual of the beta version of Red Hat Linux, the cap was now lost, so Ewing also included an appeal for readers to return his Red Hat if anyone found it.

Rickenbacker Guitars are named after founder Adolph Rickenbacher, who anglicized the spelling of his last name. The company actually began in 1931 as the Electro String Instrument Corporation.

Sega Games was an acronym of Service Games of Japan. It was founded by American Marty Bromley who wanted import pinball games from the United States to Japan for use on American military bases.

Skype was the evolution of the name was Sky-Peer-to-Peer, which described the peer-to-peer method of communication between computers. This later changed into Skyper, and now ultimately Skype.

TCBY was originally “This Can’t Be Yogurt”.  A lawsuit from rival “I Can’t Believe It’s Yogurt!” forced TCBY to create a new backronym for its initials: “The Country’s Best Yogurt”.

It was originally going to be called Twitch.  Co-founder Jack Dorsey says: “We looked in the dictionary for words around it and we came across the word ‘Twitter‘ and it was just perfect. The definition was ‘a short burst of inconsequential information’, and ‘chirps from birds’. And that’s exactly what the product was.”

Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers is based upon the nickname “Wendy,” given to founder Dave Thomas’ daughter youngest Melinda; who dad first dressed in the gingham dress and pigtails for the opening in Columbus Ohio in 1968.

Yahoo! – The first instance of the word Yahoo was by Jonathan Swift in his book Gulliver’s Travels. It originally meant a person who is repulsive in appearance and barely human. Yahoo! Co-founders David Filo and Jerry Yang jokingly considered themselves yahoos. Yahoo also means an interjection of joy. Yahoo is also sometime jokingly referred to by its backronym, Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle.

— From Various Sources

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