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Company Names and their origins

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  • 3Com – Network technology producer - the three coms are computer, communication, and compatibility.
  • 3M – from the company's original name, Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company.
  • 7-Eleven – convenience stores - to reflect their extended hours, 7:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m.
  • Accenture – from "Accent on the future". The name Accenture was proposed by a company employee in Norway
  • Adidas – from the name of the founder Adolf (Adi) Dassler.
  • Adobe Systems – from the Adobe Creek that ran behind the house of founder John Warnock.
  • AlcoaAluminum Company of America.
  • AltaVista – Spanish for high view.
  • AMDAdvanced Micro Devices
  • AmocoAMerican Oil COmpany
  • Amstrad – Amstrad Consumer Electronics plc The name is a contraction of Alan Michael Sugar Trading.
  • Apache – People who provided patch files that had been written for NCSA httpd 1.3. The result after combining them was A PAtCHy server.
  • Apple – Steve Jobs favourite food and for the time he worked at an apple orchard, and to distance itself from the cold, unapproachable, complicated imagery created by other computer companies – which had names such as IBM, DECand Cincom
  • Asda – The formation of the Asda name occurred in 1965 with the merger of the Asquith chain of three supermarkets and Associated Dairies; Asda is an abbreviation of Asquith and Dairies
  • Aston Martin – from the Aston Hill races where the company was founded, and the surname of Lionel Martin, the company's founder.
  • AT&T – the American Telephone and Telegraph Corporation changed its name to AT&T in the 1990s.
  • Atari – named from the board game Go. "Atari" is a Japanese word to describe a position where an opponent's stones are in danger of being captured. The original games company was American but wanted a Japanese sounding name.
  • Audi – Latin translation of the German name "Horch". The founder August Horch left the company, 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.
  • Banesto – from Banco Español de Crédito
  • BASF – from Badische Anilin und Soda Fabriken. Anilin and Soda were the first products. Badisch refers to the location in the state of Baden, Germany (Black Forest region).
  • Bayer – named after Friedrich Bayer, who founded the company in 1863.
  • BEA Systems – from the first initial of each of the company's three founders: Bill Coleman, Ed Scott and Alfred Chuang.
  • Ben & Jerry's – named after Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, who founded an ice cream parlor in 1978
  • BHP – Broken Hill Proprietary, named after the town of Broken Hill, where BHP was founded
  • BIC – the pen company was named after one of its founders, Marcel Bich. He dropped the final h to avoid a potentially inappropriate English pronunciation of the name.
  • Black & Decker – named after founders S. Duncan Black and Alonzo G. Decker.
  • Blaupunkt – Blaupunkt (blue dot) founded in 1923 . Its business was the manufacturing of headphones, when the the headphones came through quality tests, the company would give the headphones a blue dot.
  • BMW – Bayerische Motoren Werke (Bavarian Motor Factories).
  • Boeing – named after founder William E. Boeing. It was originally called Pacific Aero Products Co.
  • Bridgestone – named after founder Shojiro Ishibashi. The surname Ishibashi (石橋) means "bridge of stone".
  • Bull – Compagnie des machines Bull was founded in Paris to exploit the patents for punched card machines taken out by Norwegian engineer Fredrik Rosing Bull.
  • Burroughs Corporation – after the adding machine invented by William Seward Burroughs. The company took over Sperry Corporation and became Uisys.
  • C&A – named after the brothers Clemens and August Brenninkmeijer, who founded a textile company called C&A in the Netherlands in 1841.
  • Cadillac – named after the 18th century French explorer Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac, founder of Detroit, Michigan. Cadillac is a small town in the South of France.
  • Canon – derived from the name of the company's first camera, the Kwanon
  • Carrefour – chain of French hypermarkets which started with a store near a crossroads, carrefour in French.
  • Caterpillar – Originally Holt Tractor Co, a photographer exclaimed aloud of a Holt tractor that the tracks' movement resembled a caterpillar moving along the ground and the name stuck.
  • CGI Group – from the first letters of Information Management Consultant in French (Conseillers en Gestion et Informatique).
  • 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.
  • Chello – a Dutch internet service provider, its name was originally pronounced 'say hello' (in Dutch the letter C at the beginning of a word is pronounced as 'say'). This didn't catch on and now it is pronounced "cello" (as in the string instrument).
  • Ciba Geigy – CIBA, named from Chemical Industry Basel (after Basel in Switzerland), merged with a company named after its founder Johann Rudolf Geigy-Merian. It became Novartis (below) after a merger with Sandoz.
  • Cigna – CIGNA was formed in 1982 through the combination of Insurance Company of North America (INA) and Connecticut General (CG). The name is combination of the letters of the predecessor companies, CG and INA.
  • Cincom – originally United Computer Systems. Two of the founders visited Philco (Philadelphia Company), and this inspired them to create a new company name derived from Cincinnati (where it was based) and Computer (its business).
  • 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.
  • Citroën – named after André-Gustave Citroën, a French entrepreneur of Dutch descent.
  • 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
  • Colgate-Palmolive – formed from a merger of soap manufacturers Colgate & Co and Palmolive-Peet.
  • COLT – from City of London Telecom
  • Comcast – from communications and broadcast.
  • 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.
  • COMSAT – a contraction of communications satellites. This American digital telecommunications and satellite company was founded during the era of U.S. President John F. Kennedy era to develop the technology.
  • ConocoPhillips – formed from the merger of Continental Oil Company and the Phillips Petroleum Company.
  • Copersucar – Brazilian production cooperative in sugar and alcohol, its name is a contraction of Cooperativa de Açucar e Álcool.
  • Corel – from Cowpland Research Laboratory, after the company's founder Dr. Michael Cowpland.
  • Cosworth – automotive engineering company named after company founders Mike Costin and Keith Duckworth.
  • Cromemco – early microcomputer company in Silicon Valley (circa 1975­198?) founded by two PhD students who once lived at Stanford University's Crothers Memorial Hall (a dormitory).
  • Daewoo – company founder Kim Woo Chong called it Daewoo which means Great Universe in Korean.
  • DAF Trucks – from 1932 the company's name was Van Doorne's Aanhangwagen Fabriek (Van Doorne's Trailer Factory). In 1949 the company started making trucks, trailers and buses and changed the name into Van Doorne's Automobiel Fabriek (Van Doorne's Automobile Factory).
  • Daihatsu – the first kanji from "Osaka" (大坂, the kanji is here pronounced dai) and "engine" (発動機, the first kanji is hatsu). Engine manufacturers were listed on the Tokyo and Osaka Stock Exchanges, and their names shortened to the first kanji. (The company listed on the Tokyo exchange is Tohatsu.)
  • Danone (Dannon in the U.S.) – Isaac Carasso in Barcelona made his first yoghourts with the nickname of his first son Daniel (DAN-ONE)
  • Datsun – first called DAT, from the initials of its financiers Den, Aoyama and Takeuchi. Soon changed to DATSON to imply a smaller version of their original car, then (as SON can means "loss" in Japanese) again to DATSUN when they were acquired by Nissan.
  • DEC – Digital Equipment Corporation, a pioneering American minicomputer manufacturer founded by Ken Olsen and taken over by Compaq, before Compaq was merged into Hewlett-Packard (HP). It was generally called DEC ("deck"), but later tried to rebrand itself as Digital.
  • Dell – named after its founder, Michael Dell. The company changed its name from Dell Computer in 2003.
  • DHL – named after its founders, Adrian Dalsey, Larry Hillblom, and Robert Lynn.
  • Digg Inc - because users are able to "dig" stories, out of those submitted.
  • Dixons – The company was founded in 1937 by Charles Kalms and Michael Mindel. When opening their first photographic shop in Southend, they only had room for six letters on the fascia, and chose the name Dixons from the phone book.
  • DKNY – Donna Karan New York.
  • Duane Reade – named after Duane and Reade Streets in lower Manhattan, where the first store was located.
  • Dynegy – the Natural Gas Clearinghouse changed its name in 1998 to reflect its self-described traits as a dynamic energy company. "Dynergy" had already been taken by a German health foods company.
  • 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.
  • eBay – Pierre Omidyar, who had created website, had a web consulting concern called Echo Bay Technology Group. , "It just sounded cool", Omidyar reportedly said. but EchoBay.com has already been registered , so Omidyar registered what he thought was the second best name: eBay.com.
  • Edumed – Education in Medicine
  • EDS – Electronic Data Systems, founded in 1962 by former IBM salesman Ross Perot. According to the company history:"He chose Electronic Data Systems from potential names he scribbled on a pledge envelope during a service at Highland Park Presbyterian Church in Dallas."
  • Eidos – named from a Greek word meaning "species". The company became well-known for its Tomb Raider series of games.
  • Eletropaulo – One of the largest Brazilian companies in electricity generation and distribution, its name derives from Companhia de Eletricidade de São Paulo.
  • EMI – formerly Electric and Musical Industries Ltd.
  • Emporis – Empor comes from the German and means "aloft, rising". One of the world's largest providers of data concerning buildings.
  • Equifax – Equitable and factual
  • ESPN – Entertainment and Sports Programming Network
  • ESRI – Environmental Systems Research Institute, the first geographic information system (GIS) software company founded by Jack and Laura Dangermond in Redlands, California, in 1969
  • Epson – Epson Seiko Corporation, was named from "Son of Electronic Printer"
  • Esso – the enunciation of the initials S.O. in Standard Oil of New Jersey.
  • Exxon – a name contrived by Esso (Standard Oil of New Jersey) in the early 1970s to create a neutral but distinctive label for the company. Within days, Exxon was being called the "double cross
  • FÁS – abbreviation for Foras Áiseanna Saothair.
  • Fair Isaac Corporation – named after founders Bill Fair and Earl Isaac.
  • FCUK – French Connection United Kingdom.
  • FedEx – abbreviation of Federal Express Corporation, the company's original name
  • Ferrari – from the name of its founder, Enzo Ferrari.
  • Fiat – acronym of Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino (Italian Automobile Factory of Turin)
  • Finnair – from "Finland" and "air". Originally called "Aero Osakeyhtiö", which led to its international flight code, "AY".
  • Formacompany - describes precisely the companies activities
  • Franklin Covey – named after Benjamin Franklin and Stephen Covey. The company was formed from the 1997 merger of FranklinQuest and the Covey Leadership Center.
  • Fuji – named after Mount Fuji, the highest mountain in Japan.
  • Garmin – named after its founders, Gary Burrell and Dr. Min Kao.
  • GCap Media – named after the merger of the GWR Group and Capital Radio Group in May 2005. GWR was launched in 1985 after the merger of Radio West and Wiltshire Radio.
  • Genentech – from Genetic Engineering Technology.
  • Glaxo – The company wanted to use the name Lacto but it was similar to some already in use so Glaxo evolved and was registered in 1906.
  • Google – a deliberate misspelling of the word googol, reflecting the company's mission to organize the immense amount of information available online.
  • Grey Global Group – an advertising and marketing agency supposed to have derived its name from the colour of the walls of its first office.
  • Gulfstream Aerospace – named after the Gulf Stream current that starts in the Gulf of Mexico and crosses the Atlantic.
  • Häagen-Dazs – Name was invented in 1961 "to convey an aura of the old-world traditions and craftsmanship". The name has no meaning.
  • H&M – named from Hennes & Mauritz. In 1947, Swedish businessman Erling Persson established Hennes, a ladies' clothing store,. "Hennes" is Swedish for "hers". In 1968, Persson bought the Stockholm premises and inventory of a hunting equipment store called Mauritz Widforss.
  • Haribo – from the name of the founder and the German home town of the company: Hans Riegel, Bonn.
  • Harpo Productions – Harpo is Oprah Winfrey backwards.
  • Hasbro – founded by Henry and Helal Hassenfeld, the Hassenfeld Brothers.
  • HP – Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard tossed a coin to decide whether the company they founded would be called Hewlett-Packard or Packard-Hewlett.
  • HMV – from "His Master's Voice", which appeared in 1899 as the title of a painting of Nipper, a Jack Russell terrier, listening to a gramophone.
  • Hoechst – from the name of a district in Frankfurt.
  • Honda – from the name of its founder, Soichiro Honda.
  • Honeywell – from the name of Mark Honeywell, founder of Honeywell Heating Specialty Co. It later merged with Minneapolis Heat Regulator Company and was finally called Honeywell Inc. in 1963.
  • Hospira – the name, selected by the company's employees, is derived from the words hospital, spirit, inspire and the Latin word spero, which means hope. It expresses the hope and optimism that are critical in the healthcare industry.
  • Hotmail – Hotmail as it included the letters "HTML" – It was initially referred to as HoTMaiL with selective upper casing.
  • H&R Block – after the founders, brothers Henry W. and Richard Bloch (with "Bloch" changed to "Block" to avoid mispronunciation).
  • HSBC – Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.
  • Hyundai – connotes the sense of "the present age" or "modernity" in Korean.
  • IBM – named by Tom (Thomas John) Watson Sr, an ex-employee of National Cash Register (NCR Corporation). To one-up them in all respects, he called his company International Business Machines.
  • ICICI – Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India.
  • ICL – abbreviation for International Computers Limited, once the UK's largest computer company but now a service arm of Fujitsu, of Japan.
  • IG Farben – Interessen-Gemeinschaft Farbenindustrie AG was so named because the constituent German companies produced dyestuffs among many other chemical compounds. The consortium is most known today for its central participation in the World War II Holocaust, as it made the Zyklon B gas used in the gas chambers.
  • Iiyama – manufacturer of monitors and TVs named after the Japanese city, Iiyama.
  • IKEA – a composite of the first letters in the Swedish founder Ingvar Kamprad's name in addition to the first letters of the names of the property and the village in which he grew up: Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd.
  • InBev – the name was created after the merger of the Belgian company Interbrew with Brazilian Ambev
  • Inditex – a Spanish group named from Industria de Diseño Textil (Textile Design Industry).
  • Infineon Technologies – derived from Infinity and Aeon. The name was given to Siemens's Semiconductor branch (called Siemens HL or Siemens SC/SSC) when it was spun off.
  • Ingenico – electronic payment device manufacturer based in Paris and named from the French Ingenieux Compagnie (Ingenious Company).
  • Intel –Integrated Electronics was proposed but it had already been taken, so they used the initial syllables.
  • Ittiam Systems – an Indian company named from the famous philosophical dictum: "I think therefore I am" (Cogito, ergo sum).
  • Infosys – An Indian software major. "Information Systems"
  • JAL – from Japan Airlines
  • Jat Airways – founded in 1927 as "Aeroput" (Airway in Serbian). From 1947, it was known as JAT (Jugoslovenski Aero Transport). After the break-up of the former Yugoslavia (and after Federal Republic of Yugoslavia changed its name to Serbia and Montenegro), the company kept the name, Jat, but not as an abbreviation.
  • JBL – from James B Lansing, an electronics designer
  • Johnson & Johnson – Originally a partnership between brothers James Wood Johnson and Edward Mead Johnson in 1885, the addition of brother Robert Wood Johnson I led to formal incorporation as Johnson & Johnson in 1887.
  • JVC – Japan Victor Company
  • Kawasaki – from the name of its founder, Shozo Kawasaki
  • KFC – short for Kentucky Fried Chicken. It is popularly believed that the company adopted the abbreviated name in 1991 to avoid the unhealthy connotations of the word 'fried'. The rumour that it was because the Commonwealth of Kentucky trademarked the name "Kentucky" is false. Recent commercials have tried to imply that the abbreviation stands for "Kitchen Fresh Chicken".
  • Kenwood Limited – named after Kenneth (Ken) Wood, who founded this kitchenware company as Woodlau Industries in the UK in 1947. It is not related to Kenwood Electronics, which started as Kasuga Radio Co in Japan in 1946 and became Trio Corporation in 1960.
  • Kenworth Truck Company – Kenworth Truck Company was formed in 1923 and is named after the two principal stockholders Harry Kent and Edgar Worthington.
  • Kia Motors – the name "Kia" (起亞) roughly translates as "Rising from Asia" in Hanja.
  • Kinko's – from the college nickname of founder, Paul Orfalea. He was called Kinko because he had curly red hair. The company was bought by FedEx for $2.4 billion in 2004.
  • Kodak – Both the Kodak camera and the name were the invention of founder George Eastman. The letter "K" was a favourite with Eastman; he felt it a strong and incisive letter. He tried out various combinations of words starting and ending with "K". He saw three advantages in the name. It had the merits of a trademark word, would not be mispronounced.
  • Komatsu – Japanese construction vehicle manufacturer named from the city of Komatsu, Ishikawa, where it was founded in 1917.
  • KPMG – from the last names of the founders: Piet Klijnveld, William Barclay Peat, Roger Mitchell, and Reinhard Goerdeler.
  • Kroger – American supermarket chain named after its founder, Barney Kroge
  • Kyocera – from Kyoto Ceramics, after Kyoto in Japan.
  • Lada – from the name of a Slavic goddess, and used as a trading name by Russian automobile manufacturer AvtoVAZ (АВТОВАЗ in Russian). VAZ is derived from Volzhsky Automobilny Zavod.
  • Lancôme – began in 1935, when its founder, Armand Petitjean, was exploring the ruins of a castle, Le Chateau de Lancôme (Loir-et-Cher) while vacationing in the French countryside. Petitjean's inspiration for the company's symbol, a rose, was the many wild roses growing around the castle.
  • LCL – from Le Crédit Lyonnais. The name change occurred after the bank was involved in a major financial scandal where evidence disappeared in a mysterious fire.
  • Lego – combination of the Danish "leg godt", which means to "play well". Lego also means "I put together" in Latin, but Lego Group claims this is only a coincidence and the etymology of the word is entirely Danish.
  • Lenovo Group – a portmanteau of "Le-" (from former name Legend) and "novo", pseudo-Latin for "new". This Chinese company took over IBM's PC division.
  • Level 3 Communications – "Level 3" is a reference to the network layer of the OSI model.
  • LG – from the combination of two popular Korean brands, Lucky and Goldstar. (In Mexico, publicists explained the name change as an abbreviation to Linea Goldstar, Spanish for Goldstar Line)
  • Lionbridge – the word "localisation", which is the service this company offers, is often shortened to L10N. That is the first letter of the word and the last letter of the word, with 10 letters missing in between, hence L 10 N, which looks like lion. Bridge is the second part of the word as translation 'bridges' gap between people and markets that do not have a common language.
  • Lionhead Studios – games studio named after Mark Webley's pet hamster, which died a week before the company was founded. Webley worked for Bullfrog, and co-founded Lionhead with Peter Molyneux, Tim Rance and Steve Jackson in July 1997. Microsoft bought the company in April 2006.
  • Lockheed Martin – Aerospace manufacturer, a combination of Lockheed Corporation and Martin Marietta, which is a combination of Glenn L. Martin Company and American-Marietta Corporation.
  • LoJack – "LoJack" (the stolen-vehicle recovery system) is a pun on the word "hijack" (to steal a vehicle).
  • Longines – In 1866 Ernest Francillon bought two plots of land on the bank of the river Suze at "Les Longines". This was the first "Longines factory".
  • Lonsdale – boxing equipment manufacturer named after the Lonsdale belt, a boxing trophy donated by the English Lord Lonsdale.
  • L'Oréal – In 1907, Eugène Schueller, a young French chemist, developed an innovative hair-colour formula. He called his improved hair dye Auréole.
  • LOT – LOT Polish Airlines. Lot in Polish means flight.
  • Lotus Software – Mitch Kapor named his company after the Lotus Position or 'Padmasana'. Kapor used to be a teacher of Transcendental Meditation technique as taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
  • Lucent Technologies – a spin-off from AT&T, it was named Lucent (meaning "luminous" or "glowing with light") because "light as a metaphor for visionary thinking reflected the company's operating and guiding business philosophy", according to the Landor Associates staff who chose the name.[38] It was taken over by Alcatel to form Alcatel-Lucent in 2006.
  • Lycos – from Lycosidae, the family of wolf spiders.
  • Maggi – food company named after its founder, Julius Maggi. It was taken over by Nestlé in 1947 and survives as a brand name.
  • MAN – abbreviation for Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nürnberg (Augsburg-Nuremberg Machine Company). The MAN company is a German engineering works and truck manufacturer.
  • Mandriva – new company formed from the merger of Mandrake Linux and Connectiva Linux
  • Manhattan Associates – named from Manhattan Beach, California, where the company was founded, before it moved to Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Manugistics – Manufacturing + Logistics, a supplier of supply chain optimization software.
  • Mars – named after Frank C. Mars and his wife, Ethel, who started making candy in 1911. Their son, Forrest E. Mars, joined with Bruce Murrie, the son of a Hershey executive, to form M&M Ltd (from Mars & Murrie). Forrest took over the family business after his father's death and merged the two companies in 1964. After retiring from Mars, Inc. in 1993, Forrest founded Ethel M. Chocolates, named after his mother.
  • Masco Corporation – from the names of the founder Alex Manoogian, Screw and Company. Masco Screw Products Co. was founded in 1929
  • Mast-Jägermeister AG – Named for founder Wilhelm Mast and its main product, Jägermeister (German for "hunt master") liqueur.
  • Mattel – a portmanteau of the founders names Harold "Matt" Matson and Elliot Handler.
  • MBNA – originally a subsidiary of Maryland National Corporation, MBNA once stood for Maryland Bank, NA (NA itself standing for National Association, a federal designation representing the bank's charter).
  • McDonald's – from the name of the brothers Dick McDonald and Mac McDonald, who founded the first McDonald's restaurant in 1940.
  • MCI Communications – Microwave Communications, Inc. The company later merged with Worldcom to create MCI Worldcom. The MCI was dropped in 2000 and the acquiring company changed its name to MCI when it emerged from bankruptcy in 2003.
  • Mercedes – from the first name of the daughter of Emil Jellinek, who distributed cars of the early Daimler company around 1900.
  • Merillat Industries – named after Orville D. Merillat, who founded the company in 1946.
  • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) – Film studio formed from the merger of three other companies: Metro Picture Corporation, Goldwyn Pictures Corporation, and Louis B. Mayer Pictures. Goldwyn Picture Corporation in turn was named after the last names of Samuel Goldfish, and Edgar and Archibald Selwyn.
  • MFI – from Mullard Furniture Industries. The original company was named after the founder's wife, whose maiden name was Mullard.
  • MG Cars – from Morris Garages after co-founder William Morris. Under Chinese ownership, the company says: "We want Chinese consumers to know this brand as 'Modern Gentleman'."[39]
  • Microlins – from Microcomputers and Lins, a Brazilian city where the company was founded by José Carlos Semenzato
  • Micron Technology – computer memory producer named after the microscopic parts of its products. It is now better known by its consumer brand name: Crucial.
  • Microsoft – coined by Bill Gates to represent the company that was devoted to microcomputer software. Originally christened Micro-Soft, the '-' disappeared on 3/2/1987 with the introduction of a new corporate identity and logo. The "slash between the 'o' and 's' [in the Microsoft logo] emphasizes the "soft" part of the name and conveys motion and speed."[citation needed]
  • Midway Games – derived from the name of an airport on the southwestern part of Chicago.
  • Mincom Limited – Mincom was founded in Brisbane, Australia in 1979. Currently the largest software company in Australia and the fourth oldest ERP company globally. The company initially created software to specifically assist mining companies and the name Mining 'computing.
  • Minolta – Minolta was founded in Osaka, Japan in 1928 as Nichi-Doku Shashinki Shōten (日独写真機商店; literally: Japan-Germany camera shop). It was not until 1934 that the name Minolta first appeared on a camera, the Minolta Vest.
  • MIPS – originally stood for Microprocessor without Interlocking Pipeline Stages. When interlocks where added to a later implementation, the name was redefined to not be an acronym but just a name. (The name also connotes computer speed, by association with the acronym for millions of instructions per second.)
  • Mitel – from Mike and Terry's Lawnmowers, after the founders Michael Cowpland (see also: Corel) and Terry Matthews, and the company's original business plan.
  • MITRE – Massachusetts Institute of Technology Research Establishment (however The MITRE Corporation asserts that its name is not an acronym)
  • Mitsubishi – the name Mitsubishi (三菱) has two parts: mitsu means three and hishi (changing to bishi in the middle of the word) means diamond (the shape). Hence, the three diamond logo. (Note that "diamond" in this context refers only to the rhombus shape, not to the precious gem.)
  • Morningstar, Inc. – The name Morningstar is taken from the last sentence in Walden, a book by Henry David Thoreau; "the sun is but a morning star"
  • Mozilla Foundation – he web browser that preceded Netscape Navigator. When Marc Andreesen, co-founder of Netscape, created a browser to replace the Mosaic browser, it was internally named Mozilla (Mosaic-Killer, Godzilla) by Jamie Zawinski.[40]
  • MVC – from Music and Video Club, the name of a UK-based entertainment chain.
  • Mustek – Taiwanese electronics manufacturer with name derived from Most Unique Scanner Technology.
  • MRF – from Madras Rubber Factory, founded by K M Mammen Mappillai in 1946. He started with a toy-balloon manufacturing unit at Tiruvottiyur, Chennai (then called Madras). In 1952 he began manufacturing tread-rubber and, in 1961, tyres.
  • Nabisco – formerly The National Biscuit Company
  • NCR Corporation – from National Cash Register
  • Nero – Nero Burning ROM named after Nero burning Rome ("Rom" is the German spelling of "Rome").
  • Nestlé – named after its founder, Henri Nestlé, who was born in Germany under the name "Nestle", which is German for bird's nest. The company logo is a bird's nest with a mother bird and two chicks.
  • Nike – named for the Greek goddess of victory.
  • Nintendo – Nintendo is the transliteration of the company's Japanese name, nintendou (任天堂). The first two (nin-ten) can be translated to "entrusted to heaven"; dou is a common ending meaning "hall" or "store".
  • Nissan – the company was earlier known by the name Nippon Sangyo which means "Japan Industries".
  • Nokia – started as a wood-pulp mill, the company expanded into producing rubber products in the Finnish city of Nokia. The company later adopted the city's name.
  • Nortel Networks – named from Nortel (Northern Telecom) and Bay Networks. The company was originally spun off from the Bell Telephone Company of Canada Ltd in 1895 as Northern Electric and Manufacturing, and traded as Northern Electric from 1914 to 1976.
  • Novartis – after the Latin expression "novae artes" which means something like "new skills".
  • Novell – Novell, Inc. was earlier Novell Data Systems co-founded by George Canova. The name was suggested by George's wife who mistakenly thought that "Novell" meant new in French. (Nouvelle is the feminine form of the French adjective 'Nouveau'. Nouvelle as a noun in French is 'news'.)
  • OCZ – play on the word Overclockers.[41]
  • Oracle – Larry Ellison, Ed Oates and Bob Miner were working on a consulting project for the CIA. The code name for the project was Oracle. The project was eventually terminated but they decided to finish what they started. Later they changed the company name, Relational Software Inc., to the name of the product.
  • Ornge – new name (2006) for Ontario Air Ambulance, chosen to reflect the orange colour of its aircraft. It was intended to provide a unique branding but the ornge.com misspelling was already used by an advertising portal.
  • Osram – from osmium and wolfram.
  • Paccar – from Pacific Car and Rail.
  • Palmolive - named for the two oils Palm and Olive used in soap manufacture.
  • PCCW – the company's English name was changed from Pacific Century CyberWorks Limited to PCCW Limited on August 9, 2002. It owns Hong Kong Telecom.
  • Pamida – U.S. retailer founded by Jim Witherspoon and Lee Wegener, it took its name from the first two letters of the names of Witherspoon's three sons: Patrick, Michael and David.
  • Pemex – state-owned Mexican oil/gasoline company named from Petróleos Mexicanos.
  • Pennzoil – formed by a merger of South Penn Oil (Penn), a former Standard Oil subsidiary, and Zapata Oil (zoil).
  • Pepsi – named from the digestive enzyme pepsin.
  • Petrobras – Brazilian oil company named from Petróleo and Brasil.
  • Philco – from the Philadelphia Storage Battery Company. The pioneering U.S. radio and television manufacturer was taken over by Ford and later by Philips.
  • Philips – Royal Philips Electronics was founded in 1891 by brothers Gerard (the engineer) and Anton (the entrepreneur) Philips.
  • Pixar – from pixel and the co-founder's name, Alvy Ray Smith. According to the biography "The Second Coming of Steve Jobs" by Alan Deutschman, the 'el' in pixel was changed to 'ar' because 'ar' is frequently used in Spanish verbs, implying the name means "To Pix".
  • PMC-Sierra – PMC from Pacific Microelectronics Centre, a research arm of BC Tel, and Sierra from the company that acquired it, Sierra Semiconductor, presumably so named because of the allure of the Sierra Nevada mountains to members of a California-based company.
  • Porsche – car company named after Ferry Porsche, son of the founder Ferdinand Porsche, an Austrian automotive engineer. The family name may have originated in the Czech name "Boreš" (boresh).
  • Prada – an Italian high fashion house named after the founder Mario Prada, who founded Prada in Milan 1914.
  • ProfSat – Brazilian satellite-based education company, meaning Professional Satellite.
  • PRS Guitars – named after its founder, Paul Reed Smith.
  • Psion – UK computer company named by its founder, South Africa-born Dr David Potter, from Potter Scientific Instruments Or Nothing.
  • Q8 – the acronym for these gas stations sounds like Kuwait, It is the abbreviation for Kuwait Petroleum International Limited.
  • Qantas – from its original name, Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services.
  • Qimonda – Qimonda carries different meanings and allows associations in different languages. "Qi" stands for flowing or breathing energy, while the combination of the English word "key" and the Latin "mundus" is intuitively understood in the Western World as "key to the world".
  • Quad – an acronym for Quality Unit Amplified Domestic. Quad Electroacoustics was founded in 1936 by Peter Walker, and was formerly called the Acoustical Manufacturing Company.
  • Quark – named after an atomic particle. The word quark originates from Finnegans Wake by James Joyce.
  • Qualcomm – Quality Communication
  • QVC – Quality, Value and Convenience
  • Rabobank – Raiffeisen-Boerenleenbank, a combination of the two cooperatives that merged to form the company.
  • RAND – Research ANd Development.
  • Raytheon – "Light of the gods". Maker of missiles such as Patriot, Maverick, Sidewinder and Tomahawk, among other military technology.
  • RCA – Radio Corporation of America.
  • Red Hat – while at college, company founder Marc Ewing was given the Cornell lacrosse team cap (with red and white stripes) by his grandfather. People would turn to him to solve their problems and he was referred to as that guy in the red hat. By the time he wrote the manual of the beta version of Red Hat Linux he had lost the cap, so the manual included an appeal to readers to return his Red Hat if found.
  • Reebok – alternate spelling of rhebok (Pelea capreolus), an African antelope.
  • REO Motor Car Company – car manufacturer founded in 1904 by Ransom E. Olds, and named from its founder's initials. Later, the rock band REO Speedwagon took its name from one of its trucks, the REO Speed Wagon.
  • Repsol – name derived from Refinería de Petróleo de eScombreras Oil (Escombreras is an oil refinery in Cartagena, Spain) and chosen for its euphony when the, then, state-owned oil company was incorporated in 1986. Previously Repsol was a lubricating-oil trademark.
  • Research In Motion – from the phrase "poetry in motion", which company founder Mike Lazaridis had seen used to describe a football player.
  • Rickenbacker – named after co-founder Adolph Rickenbacher, with the spelling anglicised. The company started as the Electro String Instrument Corporation in 1931.
  • Robeez – baby-shoe company named after the founder's son Robbie (Robert). [42] Robeez was taken over by Stride Rite in 2006.
  • Rolls-Royce – name used by Rolls-Royce plc and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, among others. In 1884 Frederick Henry Royce started an electrical and mechanical business, making his first car, a Royce, in 1904. He was introduced to Charles Stewart Rolls on 4 May that year. The pair entered into a partnership in which Royce would manufacture cars to be sold exclusively by Rolls, and the cars would be called Rolls-Royce.
  • RSA Security – formed from the first letters of the family names of its founders Ronald Rivest, Adi Shamir and Len Adleman.
  • SAAB – founded in 1937 in Sweden as Svenska Aeroplan aktiebolaget (Swedish Aeroplane Company); the last word is typically abbreviated as AB, hence SAAB.
  • Sabre – Semi-Automatic Business Research Environment.
  • Samsonite – named from the Biblical character Samson, renowned for his strength.
  • Samsung – meaning three stars in Korean.
  • Sanyo – meaning three oceans in Japanese.
  • SAP – SystemAnalyse und Programmentwicklung (German for "System analysis and program development"), a company formed by five ex-IBM employees who used to work in the 'Systems/Applications/Projects' group of IBM. Later, SAP was redefined to stand for Systeme, Anwendungen und Produkte in der Datenverarbeitung (Systems, Applications and Products in Data Processing).
  • SAS – Scandinavian Airlines System, the flag airline carrier of Sweden, Norway and Denmark.
  • SAS Institute – originally an abbreviation for Statistical Analysis System.
  • Sasol – Suid-Afrikaanse Steenkool en Olie (Afrikaans for South African Coal and Oil).
  • SCB – from Standard Chartered Bank. The name Standard Chartered comes from the two original banks from which it was founded – The Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China, and The Standard Bank of British South Africa.
  • SCO – from Santa Cruz Operation. The company's office was in Santa Cruz, California. It eventually formed Tarantella, Inc. and sold off its operating system division to Caldera Systems (a spin off from Novell), which is based in Utah. Caldera changed its name to The SCO Group (at which point SCO no longer stood for anything).
  • Saudi Aramco – the Aramco name was derived in 1944 when California Arabian Standard Oil Company (Casoc) changed its name to Arabian American Oil Company. The Saudi government purchased the company in 1980, and changed its name to Saudi Arabian Oil Company or Saudi Aramco in 1988.[43]
  • SEAT – an acronym from Sociedad Española de Automóviles de Turismo (Spanish Corporation of Touring Cars).
  • Sealed Air – from the "sealed air" found in its most notable product, Bubble Wrap.
  • Sennheiser – named after one of its founders, Fritz Sennheiser.
  • Setcom – software engineering and testing for communications, an international group of companies active in the field of wireless test solutions.
  • SGI – Silicon Graphics Inc.
  • Sharp – Japanese consumer electronics company named from its first product, an ever-sharp pencil.
  • Shell – The Shell Transport and Trading Company Ltd had been established at the end of the 19th century by commercial firm Samuel & Co (founded in 1830). Samuel & Co were already importing Japanese shells when they set up an oil company, so the oil company was named after the shells.
  • Siemens – founded in 1847 by Werner von Siemens and Johann Georg Halske. The company was originally called Telegraphen-Bau-Anstalt von Siemens & Halske.
  • Six Apart – company co-founders Ben and Mena Trott were born six days apart
  • Škoda Auto – the car company was founded in 1895 and originally named Laurin & Klement after its founders, Vaclav Laurin and Vaclav Klement. It was taken over by Škoda Works, an industrial conglomerate, in 1924, and adopted the Škoda name from Emil Škoda.
  • Skype – the original concept for the name was Sky-Peer-to-Peer, which morphed into Skyper, then Skype.
  • Smilebit – former Sega development studio named from what they hope to make you do (smile), and the smallest unit of computer information (bit). The company developed Jet Set Radio.
  • Sony – from the Latin word 'sonus' meaning sound, and 'sonny' a slang word used by Americans to refer to a bright youngster, "since we were sonny boys working in sound and vision", said Akio Morita and was chosen as it could be pronounced easily in many languages.
  • Sorcim – Micros backwards. Sorcim was the original publisher of the SuperCalc spreadsheet
  • SPAR – originally DE SPAR, from Door Eendrachtig Samenwerken Profiteren Allen Regelmatig (Dutch, meaning "All will benefit from united co-operation"). "De spar" in Dutch translates as "the fir tree", hence the fir tree logo. As the company expanded across Europe, the name was shortened by dropping the article, "DE".
  • Sperry – company founded by Elmer Ambrose Sperry (1860­1930), originally as Sperry Gyroscope Company. Sperry took over Univac, and eventually was itself taken over by Burroughs. The merged companies became Unisys, from United Information Systems.
  • Sprint – from its parent company, Southern Pacific Railroad Internal Communications. At the time, pipelines and railroad tracks were the cheapest place to lay communications lines, as the right-of-way was already leased or owned.
  • Stanley Works – name created to reflect the merger of Stanley's Bolt Manufactory of New Britain, Connecticut (founded by Frederick Trent Stanley) and the Stanley Rule and Level Company (founded by his cousin Henry Stanley).
  • Starbucks – named after Starbuck, a character in Herman Melville's novel Moby-Dick
  • Stellent – coined from a combination of the words stellar and excellent.
  • STX – pronounced as the word "sticks" because, when first founded, STX manufactured only lacrosse sticks
  • Subaru – from the Japanese name for the constellation known to Westerners as Pleiades or the Seven Sisters. Subaru was formed from a merger of seven other companies, and the constellation is featured on the company's logo.
  • Sun Microsystems – the founders designed their first workstation in their dorm at Stanford University, and chose the name Stanford University Network for their product
  • Suzuki – from the name of its founder, Michio Suzuki
  • TAM Airlines – Brazilian airline company named from Transportes Aéreos Marília (Marilia's Air Transport). Marília is a city in São Paulo state, Brazil.
  • TAP Portugal – from "Transportes Aéreos Portugueses" (Portuguese Air Transport).
  • Tata Group – conglomerate named after Jamsetji Tata, considered "the father of Indian industry".
  • Taxan – made-up name chosen partly because Takusan is a Japanese word for many or much and was considered propitious, but mainly because the head of the company, in the U.S. at the time, Tak Shimizu was known by everyone as Tak-san.
  • TCL – from Today China Lion. Derived from literal translation of "今日中国雄狮" from Chinese to English.
  • TCS – from Tata Consultancy Services, from India's Tata Group, named after founder and legendary industrialist Jamsetji Tata.
  • TDK Corporation – from Tokyo Denki Kagaku (Tokyo Electronics and Chemicals).
  • Tesco – founder Jack Cohen – who sold groceries in the markets of the London East End from 1919 – acquired a large shipment of tea from T. E. Stockwell. He made new labels by using the first three letters of the supplier's name and the first two letters of his surname.
  • Texaco – from The Texas Company U.S.A.[45]
  • Toshiba – named from the merger of consumer goods company Tokyo Denki (Tokyo Electric Co) and electrical firm Shibaura Seisaku-sho (Shibaura Engineering Works).
  • Toyota – from the name of the founder, Sakichi Toyoda. Initially called Toyeda, it was changed after a contest for a better-sounding name. The new name was written in katakana with eight strokes, a number that is considered lucky in Japan.
  • Triang – operating name for Lines Bros Ltd, which was founded by William, Walter and Arthur Edwin Lines. Three Lines make a triangle
  • Tucows – an acronym for The Ultimate Collection Of Winsock Software.
  • TVR – derived from the first name of the company founder TreVoR Wilkinson
  • Umbro – Umbro was founded in 1924 by the Humphrey (Umphrey) Brothers, Harold C. and Wallace.
  • Unilever – name created to reflect the merger of Margarine Unie and Lever Brothers
  • Unisys – from United Information Systems, the new name for the company that resulted from the merging of two old mainframe computer companies, Burroughs and Sperry [Sperry Univac/Sperry Rand]. The new born Unisys was briefly the world's second-largest computer company, after IBM
  • UUNET – named from UNIX-to-UNIX Network.
  • Verizon – a portmanteau of veritas (Latin for truth) and horizon.
  • Vodafone – from Voice, Data, Telefone. Vodafone made the UK's first mobile call at a few minutes past midnight on 1 January 1985.
  • Volkswagen – from the German for people's car. Ferdinand Porsche wanted to produce a car that was affordable for the masses – the Kraft-durch-Freude-Wagen (or "Strength-Through-Joy car", from a Nazi social organization) later became known, in English, as the Beetle.
  • Volvo – from the Latin word volvo, which means "I roll".
  • Wachovia – from the Latin version of the German wachau, the name given to a region in North Carolina by German settlers because it reminded them of a river near their home in Germany. Many companies founded in or around Charlotte, North Carolina have Wachovia in their name.
  • Waitrose – upmarket UK supermarket chain originally named after the founders, Wallace Waite, Arthur Rose and David Taylor. The Taylor was later dropped.
  • Weta Digital – special effects company co-founded by Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson. 'Weta' are a group of about 70 species of insect found in New Zealand, where Weta Digital is based.
  • Wipro – from Western India Vegetable Products Limited. The company started as a modest Vanaspati and laundry soap producer and is now an IT services giant.
  • Worlds of Wonder – founder Don Kingsborough wanted an eyecatching stock symbol, and Worlds Of Wonder provided WOW.
  • Xerox – named from xerography, a word derived from the Greek xeros (dry) and graphos (writing).
  • Yahoo – The word Yahoo was invented by Jonathan Swift and used in his book Gulliver's Travels. It represents a person who is repulsive in appearance and barely human. Yahoo! founders David Filo and Jerry Yang jokingly considered themselves yahoos.