Thursday, May 2, 2013

What's in a Name?

Driving around Houston, the city of strip malls, I often wonder about people’s thinking process when it comes to naming their businesses.

Most often what I wonder is, “Did you give this any thought whatsoever?”

The convenience store called “Runny Food Store,” for instance. Brings to mind such bad images: runny food, running to the bathroom, runny ... well, never mind, you get where my mind goes with it.

Hair salons, especially, tend toward terrible names, their owners trying too hard to come up with puns. “Hair Force One.” “The Hair Hut.” “Hair Desire.” “A Cut Above.”

There is a well-regarded Italian restaurant here in Houston called, I kid you not, “Crapitto’s.” (Don’t believe me? Click here.) Doesn’t that mean “little crap”? See, if my last name was Crapitto, I’d change my name, not plaster it on a restaurant, where, after all, I want people to eat.

Some businesses, however, do seem to hit it just right.

Some of my favorites from right here in Houston:

A salon that specializes in bikini waxes called “Pretty Kitty;”
A security company that calls itself “The Tattletale Alarm Company”;
“Sudden Death Pest Control,” the back of their truck is decorated with a cartoon tombstone marked RIP;
And one of the many bail bond companies in our neighborhood, called “Bada Bing Bail Bonds.”

What business names do you find, for good or ill, to be particularly memorable?

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