Re: Etymology: study of the history of words -
June 9th, 2010
1. Acer – Born as Multitech International in 1976, the company changed its name to Acer in 1987. The Latin word for “sharp, acute, able and facile”
2. Adidas – from the name of the founder Adolf (Adi) Dassler.
3. Adobe Systems – from the Adobe Creek that ran behind the house of co-founder John Warnock
4. Akai – named for its founder, Masukichi Akai.
5. Amazon.com – founder Jeff Bezos renamed the company Amazon (from the earlier name of Cadabra.com) after the world's most voluminous river, the Amazon. He saw the potential for a larger volume of sales in an online (as opposed to a bricks and mortar) bookstore. (Alternative: Amazon was chosen to cash in on the popularity of Yahoo, which listed entries alphabetically.)
6. AMD – Advanced Micro Devices
7. AOL – from America Online. The company was founded in 1983 as Quantum Computer Services.
8. Apache – according to the project's 1997 FAQ: "The Apache group was formed around a number of people who provided patch files that had been written for NCSA httpd 1.3. The result after combining them was A PAtCHy server.
9. Apple – For the favorite fruit of co-founder Steve Jobs and/or for the time he worked at an apple orchard, and to distance itself from the cold, unapproachable, complicated imagery created by other computer companies at the time – which had names such as IBM, DEC, Cincom and Tesseract
10. Audi – Latin translation of the German name "Horch". The founder August Horch left the company after five years, but still wanted to manufacture cars. Since the original "Horch" company was still there, he called his new company Audi, the Latin form of his last name. In English it is: "hark!".
11. Bang & Olufsen – from the names of its founders, Peter Bang and Svend Olufsen, who met at a School of Engineering in Denmark.
12. BBC – British Broadcasting Corporation, originally British Broadcasting Company.
13. BenQ – Bringing Enjoyment and Quality to life
14. BMW – Bayerische Motoren Werke (Bavarian Motor Factories).
15. Boeing – named after founder William E. Boeing. It was originally called Pacific Aero Products Co.
16. BSNL – from Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (India Communications Corporation Limited)
17. Casio – from the name of its founder, Kashio Tadao, who had set up the company Kashio Seisakujo as a subcontractor factory.
18. Cathay Pacific Airways Limited – The airline was founded on 24 September 1946 by American Roy C. Farrell and Australian Sydney H. de Kantzow, with each man putting up HK$1 to register the airline. They named it Cathay Pacific because Cathay was the ancient name given to China; and Pacific because Farrell speculated that they would one day fly across the Pacific.
19. Chevrolet – named after company co-founder Louis Chevrolet, a Swiss-born auto racer. The company was merged into General Motors in 1917 and survives only as a brand name.
20. Cisco – short for San Francisco. It has also been suggested that it was "CIS-co": Computer Information Services was the department at Stanford University where the founders worked.
21. Coca-Cola – derived from the coca leaves and kola nuts used as flavoring. Coca-Cola creator John S. Pemberton changed the 'K' of kola to 'C' to make the name look better.
22. Colgate-Palmolive – formed from a merger of soap manufacturers Colgate & Company and Palmolive-Peet. Peet was dropped in 1953. Colgate was named after William Colgate, an English immigrant, who set up a starch, soap and candle business in New York City in 1806. Palmolive was named for the two oils (Palm and Olive) used in its manufacture.
23. Compaq – from computer and "pack" to denote a small integral object; or: Compatibility And Quality; or: from the company's first product, the very compact Compaq Portable.
24. Daewoo – company founder Kim Woo Chong called it Daewoo which means "Great House" or "Great Universe" in Korean.
25. Dell – named after its founder, Michael Dell. The company changed its name from Dell Computer in 2003.
26. DHL – named after its founders, Adrian Dalsey, Larry Hillblom, and Robert Lynn.
27. EA Games – EA is from Electronic Arts. The company was founded in May 1982 as Amazin' Software and changed its name to Electronic Arts in October the same year.
28. eBay – Pierre Omidyar, who had created the Auction Web trading website, had formed a web consulting concern called Echo Bay Technology Group. "Echo Bay" didn't refer to the town in Nevada, "It just sounded cool", Omidyar reportedly said. Echo Bay Mines Limited, a gold mining company, had already taken EchoBay.com, so Omidyar registered what (at the time) he thought was the second best name: eBay.com.
29. Ferrari – from the name of its founder, Enzo Ferrari.
30. McDonald's – from the name of the brothers Dick McDonald and Mac McDonald, who founded the first McDonald's restaurant in 1940.