Saturday, November 15, 2008

Onomastic sobriquets . . .

[Oh, yes! Enjoy the vocabulary lesson! . . . Onomastic: "Of, relating to, or explaining a name or names." And sobriquet: affectionate or humorous nickname.]

Lynn C. Hattendorf Westney, Associate Professor and Assistant Reference Librarian at the University of Illinois, Chicago, presented a wholly fun paper at the 35th Annual Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities in Quebec back in May of 2001. Title of the paper: Dew Drop Inn and Lettuce Entertain You: Onomastic Sobriquets in the Food and Beverage Industry. And its subject matter: examples of "international onomastic appellations [that] demonstrate that the names of contemporary dining and drinking establishments serve as semantic and/or humorous reflections of societal mores."

Westney seems never to have heard the editor's aphorism I learned many years ago to "Kill which's wherever you find them." If you can overlook her ubiquitous use of the word, however, I think you'll find the paper--that consists, primarily, of "names in the food and beverage industry which reflect contemporary culture and which are characterized by their amusing and titillating patronyms and puns"--quite a bit of fun to peruse.

From coffee shops
Aroma Borealis in Alberta, Edmonton (and elsewhere),
Brew Ha Ha of Phoenix, Arizona,

Espresso Yourself in Juneau, Alaska (and elsewhere; photo from Anchorage),
and Pony Espresso of Dubois, Wyoming . . .
to hot dog stands like
Franks for the Memories of Mundelein, Illinois,
Mustards Last Stand of Evanston, Illinois,
Puppy Love of Plymouth, New Hampshire, and
Relish the Thought of Chicago, . . .
to Asian restaurants
Beau Thai in Portland, Oregon, or
Seoul Food (Korean barbecue) in Denver, Colorado . . .
to establishments that indicate what they serve:
Adams Rib of Riverdale, Illinois,
the Crepevine in San Francisco,
Grateful Bread of Seattle, and
Jonathan Livingston Seafood of Chicago . . .
to places whose names leave you wondering:
Eaton Gogh in Norfolk, Virginia,
The Hearty Boys of Chicago, and
The Perfect Wife, Manchester, Vermont . . .
these and a hundred more all here for your bemusement!

Oh! But while looking for photos to grace this page . . . I came across some additional pages with fun names.

I didn't record them all. But here's one I enjoyed: Creative Shop Names.
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