Archive for the ‘Trade names’ Category

Sniff my leather, Boy!

August 7, 2022

(Racy-raunchy topic, probably not to everyone’s taste, but not actually into sexual organs or man-on-man sex.)

From the annals of commercial naming: today’s entertaining ad flashing by me on Facebook, for Leather Daddy cologne:


(#1) [ad copy:] “Dominate your day with a scentsational blend of Leather, Scotch, Vanilla, & 18 Erotic Spices 😈”

A narrowly targeted product with a carefully chosen name: not just leather, referring to a scent widely perceived as both erotic and highly masculine (so used in colognes and after-shaves from all the high-end men’s fragrance companies — Tom Ford, Ralph Lauren, Cartier, Fendi, John Varvatos, Giorgio Armani, Christian Dior — and plenty of others besides); but leather daddy, evoking the BDSM world of rough, commanding daddies (in their leather gear) and their subservient boys. That’s Way Gay that you’re soaking in, Blanche.

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Z fudge

August 1, 2022

🐇 🐇 🐇 🇨🇭🇨🇭🇨🇭 Hail, Caesar Augustus! (rabbit rabbit rabbit for the 1st day of this month, August) Hail, Helvetia, unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno!

Swiss flags for Swiss National Day, August 1st; I am of course wearing my Swiss-flag gym shorts — plus a rainbow-heart tank top, since I cheer for Team Queer as well as Team Helvetica.

But wait! I also cheer for Team Z, of everything named with a Z, from zucchini and zithers, through Zerlina (là ci darem la mano) and Zippy & Zerbina, to Zoroaster / Zarathustra and Zuckerberg, with a special fondness for ZW names: zweiback, zwölf of anything, Die Zwitscher-Maschine, die sieben Zwerge (und Schneewittchen), Zwingli, Zworykin. And, in the food world, I cheer for Team Savory, embracing umami, meaty, fermented, fragrant, and flavor-intense (taking in dark and bitter chocolate). And, in the word world, I cheer for Team Fuck, embracing vocabulary from what I’ve called the profane domain (see my 5/7/18 posting with that title).

So what would catch the eye of someone who cheers for Team Z, Team Savory, and Team Fuck too?

A fudge company with a Z name.

And so, one appeared, in an ad in my Facebook feed, about a week ago. (To anticipate your unspoken query: no Swiss or queer connection I could find. Well, nobody’s perfect.) This ad, for Z. Cioccolato:


(#1) An attractive ad, for a genuinely local company, offering very traditional plain fudges (dark chocolate, milk chocolate) and fudges with nuts (walnuts, pecans, peanuts, almonds, coconut), plus entertaining inventions, eventually working out to confections that would have to be called fudge-adjacent (bottom left above: “7 layer peanut butter pie” (which I would describe as containing some fudge, but not being itself fudge)

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The second-greatest of these is monosyllabicity

July 8, 2022

Zippy’s guide to food-buying in today’s strip: packaging, monosyllabicity (hereafter 1-icity), and collectibility, in that order:


(#1) As ever, thoroughly steeped in pop / mass culture: in the 3rd panel, not just the orange-flavored drink mix Tang, but also the astronaut allusion (“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”); it then turns out that the panel also takes us to orangutans (which are neither orange in color — ok, some reddish tones, but not orange, see #3 below — nor have a tang in their name, but but …)

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From the annals of commerce: Doggie and Whippy do it in a leather bar

June 18, 2022

(This is obviously going to go where no kids or sexually modest people should go, and it’s going to get there fast.)

The commercial names Doggie Diner and Mr. Whippy, both surely conceived in all innocence, but, to the prepared mind, easily evoking sexual images (as it happens, my mind is prepared for man-on-man sexual images, so that’s where I’m inclined to go): the doggie / doggy position for anal intercourse; and a leatherman master whipping a leatherman slave.

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Cool [ʍɪp]

May 9, 2022

Voiceless /hw/ (phonetically [ʍ]) in a surprising place (the name of the artificial whipped cream Cool Whip), a place where even W-WH contrasters like me never have it. Made into a standing joke on The Family Guy. Which will cause me to tell you more about voiceless /hw/ in English than you might have wanted to know.

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Four cartoons on familiar themes

November 10, 2021

… in recent days, covering a wide territory: in chronological order,

—  from 10/31, a Mother Goose and Grimm Psychiatrist cartoon with a Halloween theme and some puns

— from the 11/1 New Yorker, a Desert Crawl cartoon by David Sipress

— from 11/3, a Zippy strip with Zippylicious repetition (onomatomania)

— from 11/9, a Rhymes With Orange with a notable POP (phrasal overlap portmanteau)

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Annals of commercial naming: Bear Naked Granola

June 18, 2021

Brought to me by Facebook in recent days, advertisements for two playful trade names: one — for the Boy Smells company, offering scented candles, unisex fragrances, and (unscented) underwear, all for LGBT+-folk — covered in my 6/16 posting “Annals of commercial naming: Boy Smells”; and now, for the Bear Naked® Granola company. The two cases turn out to be very different.

Boy Smells belongs with a series of postings on this blog on dubious and unfortunate commercial names — some clearly unintentionally racy, some playfully suggestive, some openly, even brazenly, suggestive, given the nature of the establishments (Hooters). The Boy Smells company is almost painfully earnest about its LGBT+ mission, which makes its name — so evocative of teenage pong — especially unfortunate.

Bear Naked Granola, in contrast, is knee-deep in playfulness, starting with the pun on bare naked, so that on the one side, you get a reference to bears, with their fondness for nuts and fruits and honey (all relevant to granola); while on the other side, you get bare naked, suggesting purity and simplicity. And you also get the pop-culture view of bears, as cute and entertaining.

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Annals of commercial naming: Boy Smells

June 16, 2021

Smells like queer teen spirit.

Ads for the Boy Smells company have been popping up with some regularity in my Facebook feed — no doubt because I posted a while back on some fragrances for men, one of the two scented product lines the company offers, the other being candles. A third line is underwear, all of it explicitly labeled by the company, “This comes unscented”, but in an ad for Boy Smells products, it’s hard not to think of pungent teenager skivvies. Some ads combine the boy image of actor Tommy Dorfman with an Extra Vert Candle. Ad copy:

Discover the intimate world of Boy Smells with unique candles, fragrances & underwear. 10% of Proceeds From The Pride Collection Will Be Donated to Support the Trevor Project [providing suicide prevention efforts among LGBT+ youth].


(#1) The boyish Tommy Dorfman, something of a queer, and genderqueer, icon — attired in jade


(#2) French vert ‘green’ (suggesting the green herb tones in the scent) + extravert / extrovert ‘an outgoing, expressive person’

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Reversed meanings

May 19, 2021

In the One Big Happy strip of 4/25, Joe is being grilled by his father on the meanings of words — “defining words” being a common task for schoolchildren — and, on being challenged by the word /tæktɪks/, whose meaning is unclear to him, he proposes to break the word down into recognizable meaningful parts, from which the meaning of the whole can be predicted. A perfectly reasonable strategy, but one that is stunningly often useless.

(#1)

Joe appears to have isolated the parts /tæk/, /tɪk/, and the plural /s/, but didn’t identify the first as any item spelled tack or the second as any item spelled tick; instead his attention was caught by the combination /tæktɪk/, so similar to /tɪktæk/, the trade name Tic Tac.

And went on to assign some meaning to the reversal of the two parts, reasoning (apparently) that reversing the order should correspond, iconically, to reversing (in some way) the meaning of Tic Tac. What would be the reverse of a breath mint? Well, the function of a breath mint is to sweeten the breath, to make it smell good —  so the reverse function would be to make the breath smell bad.

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Zippo, the comic strip

March 25, 2021

The 3/14 Zippy strip shows Claude and Griffy (and eventually Zippy too) caught up in what seems to be affixoid attraction (similar to word attraction), an irrational appreciation of or enthusiasm for a particular word-part — in this case, the word-final element –o (whatever its source might be):


(#1) All of the panels except the fourth are framed as two-person exchanges, in which the second is a response to the first: offering a competing alternative (panel 1), trading insults (panels 2 and 3), or expressing appreciation (panel 5)

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