Archive for the ‘Trade names’ Category

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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Notes of cade oil, spikenard, and labdanum

February 23, 2021

Among the scent notes in the “unisex perfume” A City on Fire — burnt match is another, but that doesn’t require looking things up — from the Imaginary Authors company, whose remarkable fragrances come with synopses of fictitious works of extravagant fiction and with striking graphic-designer labels on their bottles.

The perfumes aren’t cheap — $95 for a 50 ml bottle ($38 for a 14 ml Traveler size, $6 for a 2 ml Sample size) — but then we don’t know how many bottles get sold, and how much the perfumes are actually worn, as opposed to being treasured and displayed as art objects with an olfactory as well as visual and textual dimensions.

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Three remarkably named men’s fragrances

February 20, 2021

First, to announce a new Page on this blog listing my postings about men’s fragrance. Then, to continue some recent postings on notable names for men’s fragrances, a look at Fucking Fabulous and two nomenclatural celebrations of testosterone, Testosterone Original Fragrance Paris and Testostérone (from Zurich).

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Fleurs des males

January 27, 2021

Penises as literally the flowers of manhood, which can be collected into bouquets and other floral arrangements — an occasional theme in artworks that are light-hearted and charming rather than pornographic, intended to amuse rather than to arouse.

The occasion for this posting was a Facebook posting by Greg Parkinson yesterday about a 1982 exhibition “Extended Sensibilities: Homosexual Presence in Contemporary Art” (an early exploration — almost 50 years ago — of the topic), which included one of these artworks:

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wazoo

September 29, 2020

Today’s morning name. Briefly, from NOAD:

noun wazooUS informal the anus. PHRASES up (or outthe wazoo US informal very much; in great quantity; to a great degree: he’s insured out the wazoo | Jack and I have got work up the wazoo already. ORIGIN 1960s: of unknown origin.

The phrases are straightforwardly idioms — the fact that they are degree adverbials is unpredictable from the meanings of the parts — though they can be varied a bit: by extension with the modifying adjective old (up/out the old/ol’ wazoo), or the with the noun ass ‘asshole’ instead of wazoo (to have problems up/out the ass); it’s likely that wazoo in these phrases is, historically, an ornamental replacement for ass in them (see below).

But wazoo, on its own, has no parts, so it can’t literally be an idiom. However, it’s restricted in its collocations — formally non-compositional, if not semantically non-compositional.

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Two whimsical Bizarros

August 12, 2020

In a time of great distress (the sadness of so many deaths, punctuated by flashes of extraordinary hope), two delightful Wayno/Piraro Bizarro strips to divert my attention: from yesterday (8/11), a sweet strip in which the Pied Piper takes his son into the family business; and from today (8/12), an outrageous pun on the geographical name the Greater Antilles:

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Annals of advertising: the new normal for noses

May 9, 2020

A new tv commercial for Naväge (sometimes just Navage) touts it as just the thing for current times:

Now is the time to make good nasal hygiene the new normal.

The commercial doesn’t seem to be available on-line yet, but here’s an earlier print ad:


“uses powered suction to relieve nasal congestion” (with a saline solution)

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