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Business names and signs amaze

GAYS MILLS - Waiting at a stoplight on my last foray into the city, I glanced over at the truck next to me. It was labeled Debauche Trucking. DeBauche must be a family name but the word debauchery has a negative meaning. A polite definition according to a Merriam-Webster look-up is something about leading away from virtue or excellence. Hats off to this outfit for working to put a good spin on their name. 

Anyway, that got me to thinking about other business names, slogans, and signs I’ve seen or heard about. Branding for a business is important and presents an image to the public. Names and signs should put their best foot forward and relate to what their business is all about. So when you see a septic tank truck emblazoned with “We’re Number 1 in the Number 2 Business” you know two things: the owner has a sense of humor and he’s the guy to call if you need his kind of help. Same goes for the electrician’s truck that says “Let Us Remove Your Shorts.”

I recall a memorable sign on a second hand store that stated: “We Buy Junk and Sell Antiques.” Another slogan I used to hear on a radio station always amused me. It was for a hardware store and went “If they haven’t got it and can’t get it, you didn’t need it in the first place.”  Johnson’s One Stop says it a different and more confident way: “We Have What You Need.”   And they usually do.

Beauty parlors are notorious for coming up with clever names.  Names like Curl Up And Dye, Do Or Dye, No Loose Ends, and the Mane Attraction fit the bill.  Not to be outdone, barbershops have clever names like Chop Shop, Hair Force One, Hairport, and The Clip Joint.


From various sites on the internet, I gleaned these humorous business names:

William the Concreter - for all your concrete needs

Ash Wipe - the chimney sweep people

Eat Here and Get Gas - every convenience store in America could use this sign

Cane and Able - a store offering mobility devices

Juan in a Million - on a convenience store

Amigone Funeral Home - actual name, Buffalo, New York

Wally’s Private Parts - an auto wrecking yard

Hairanoia? - if so, come on in

Jack the Stripper - furniture refinishing

Vinyl Resting Place - specializing in long-play records

Indiana Bones - a do-it-yourself pet wash

Sew What? - gifts and sewing shop

Thai Tanic - an Asian restaurant


And from the book ‘Names’ by Paul Dickson:

Another One Bites the Crust - a pizza place

Sufficient Grounds - a coffee shop

Disguise the Limit - costume rentals

Second Hand Prose - used books

Genghis Cohen - Chinese food takeout

The Summer of Our Discount Tent - camping supplies

Your Clothes Friends - dry cleaner

Heir Apparent and Great Expectations - maternity stores

Buenas Noches Roaches - exterminator

Florinstance - florist