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Here are the origins of the names of several well known businesses:

  • 7-Eleven convenience stores were originally named U-Tote’m stores.  In 1946, the name was changed  to reflect their newly extended hours, 7:00 am until 11:00 pm.
  • Bally’s, famous for its pinball games, casinos and health clubs, was originally Lion Manufacturing.  The name change came about as a result of the success of its first popular pinball machine, Ballyhoo.
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods was named after its founder, Dick Stack, who opened a bait and tackle shop in 1948 with a $300 loan from his grandmother.
  • The founders originally wanted to call by the name “Diggnation”, but that was considered too long. They chose “Digg”, because users are able to “dig” stories, from those submitted, up to the main page. The site uses two g’s because the domain name “” was earlier registered, by Walt Disney.
  • Google came from an originally accidental misspelling of the word googol and the founders settled upon it because was unregistered.
  • Jeff Bezos renamed his company Amazon from the first name of after the world’s most voluminous river, the Amazon.
  • LoJack is the well promoted stolen-vehicle recovery system was coined as a pun on the word “hijack,” the term used to steal a vehicle.
  • Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory was changed to Canon in 1933. This new name derived from the name of the company’s first successful camera, the Kwanon, which was named for the Japanese name of the Buddhist bodhisattva of mercy.
  • Research In Motion was known as the manufacturer of a successful two-way pager. The BlackBerry name was chosen because of the similarity of the keyboard buttons to the drupelets that form the blackberry fruit.
  • While the logo bears witness to the old Mission Bells of Spanish American architecture, Taco Bell is actually named after its founder,  Glen Bell.

— Various Sources

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