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#6861 - 09/24/00 11:30 PM Brand names that have entered the dictionary.
Wordsmith Offline


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Registered: 03/12/00
Posts: 123
"I'll FedEx you these documents today!" You have most likely heard people
say this when what they really mean is they will send the material by a
courier service, not necessarily the FedEx company. How many times have you
xeroxed documents without even checking whether the copier was made by the
Xerox company as it churned out the copies? Today I'm discussing a phenomenon
called genericide whereby a trademark becomes so popular that it is used as
a generic for the entire product category, not just as a specific brand name.

The success of a brand name is often a double-edged sword for the owning
company. Initially, a company's dream is to become so successful with its
product that customers use their brandname as a generic, "Need to ship your
documents overnight? Just FedEx them!" As the brand becomes more popular,
they struggle to protect it lest it gets watered down and becomes a generic--
a victim of its own success. Did you know the words adrenaline, aspirin,
celluloid, escalator, gramophone, granola, heroin, kerosene were all
trademarks once owned by companies? This week, AWAD will feature examples
of words that, once trademarks, now are dictionary entries: bona fide words
of the English language. -Stuti Garg (stuti@namix.com)


(This week's Guest Wordsmith, Stuti, is the founder of Namix
http://namix.com, a company offering business naming services.)



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#6862 - 09/25/00 10:45 AM Re: Brand names that have entered the dictionary.
maverick Offline
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What determines when a word is in currency as a trademark and when it has seeped out into wider usage? For example, a standard spellchecker will probably pull us up still if we typed "I hoovered the carpet", seeking to make it a capitalised noun. Yet I doubt if anyone thinks of it as only a brand name by now. Perhaps there is a period of parallel meanings, where the product has become so emblematic of the action that it is adopted to also denote the action, and (if at that point it is not somehow protected) it gains general currency...?

PS: The SC on this site wants me to make it Hooverise - I draw the line at that! It leaves me feeling quite disorientated.


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#6863 - 09/25/00 01:48 PM Re: Brand names that have entered the dictionary.
tsuwm Online   confused
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Loc: this too shall pass
>It leaves me feeling quite disorientated.

don't DO that -- you could easily start (yet) another trend!


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#6864 - 09/25/00 06:18 PM Re: Brand names that have entered the dictionary.
apples + oranges Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/30/00
Posts: 46
Loc: Canada
>>For example, a standard spellchecker will probably pull us up still if we typed "I hoovered the carpet", seeking to make it a capitalised noun. Yet I doubt if anyone thinks of it as only a brand name by now.<<

I do. Apart from when I read messages like yours and when I watch british television, I always think of hoover as only a brand name. I have never used hoover as a verb before, and neither has anyone I know.

"A sobering thought: what if, at this very moment, I am living up to my full potential?" JANE WAGNER

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#6865 - 09/25/00 09:45 PM Re: Brand names that have entered the dictionary.
Jackie Offline

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leaves me feeling quite disorientated.

mav,

C'mere a minute. Now, I want you to look v-e-r-y
closely at my fist...and soon you'll be disoriented!


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#6866 - 09/26/00 08:09 AM Re: Brand names that have entered the dictionary.
maverick Offline
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look v-e-r-y
closely at my fist...


Atagirl! I knew you'd find it


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#6867 - 09/26/00 08:25 AM Re: Brand names that have entered the dictionary.
maverick Offline
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Posts: 4757
I always think of hoover as only a brand name

Yes, you're right to pull me up, a&o - it's easy to assume a local usage retains currency elsewhere, which is one of the things about this forum I find really fascinating. Can you substitute some similar usage from your colloquial speech, or is this pattern another facet of 'two great countries divided & co'?


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#6868 - 09/27/00 12:03 PM Re: Brand names that have entered the dictionary.
Jackie Offline

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mav,

I'm still so mad about John Denver being maligned that I'm
going to have to hold off giving you what you deserve, lest
you receive more than you deserve.

I think "hoovering" usage may be more generational than
acc'g to country. I've heard it amongst my generation.
There are a couple of babies on Board here. (Ouch, I've
GOTTA learn to duck faster!)


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#6869 - 09/27/00 05:31 PM Re: Brand names that have entered the dictionary.
Jazzoctopus Offline
old hand

Registered: 07/03/00
Posts: 1094
Loc: Cincinnati & Loveland, Ohio, U...
There are a couple of babies on Board here

Was that supposed to be a reference to me? I seem to be the youngest person on the board.

This wouldn't be the first instance of age descrimination.

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#6870 - 09/27/00 11:42 PM Re: Brand names that have entered the dictionary.
johnjohn Offline
member

Registered: 07/05/00
Posts: 167
Loc: Australia
<What determines when a word is in currency as a trademark and when it has seeped out into wider usage? >

Let me just say that this is a fascinating area for trade mark lawyers.

In Australia, a registered TM is liable to be struck off the Register if someone can show the court that it has become "generally accepted within the relevant trade as the mark that describes or is the name of the article, substance or service" for which it is registered and used. That is a much more onerous task than showing that mere consumers apply or regard it generically.

All the major corporates keep a very watchful eye on uses of their TMs which may dilute their value as TMs, eg. describing someone as delivering "Rolls Royce service" is a no-no so far as the RR Motor Co. is concerned.


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#6871 - 09/28/00 12:08 PM Re: Brand names that have entered the dictionary.
Jackie Offline

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Was that supposed to be a reference to me? I seem to be the youngest person on the board.

No, apples + oranges is the youngest person who has given their age; and, not exactly: it was a ref. to the phrase from the Directions thread.


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#6872 - 09/28/00 04:09 PM Re: Brand names that have entered the dictionary.
Jazzoctopus Offline
old hand

Registered: 07/03/00
Posts: 1094
Loc: Cincinnati & Loveland, Ohio, U...
No, apples + oranges is the youngest person who has given their age; and, not exactly: it was a ref. to the phrase from the Directions thread.

I suspected that he might be of comparable or lower age than me, but I haven't seen him post his age. . .


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#6873 - 09/28/00 08:35 PM Re: Brand names that have entered the dictionary.
Jackie Offline

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I haven't seen him post his age

Are you sure he's a he?


Whoa--edit alert--just went to see if he or she had put a name in the bio, and found 'this person no longer in our database'. So I guess you are the babe here, Jazzy!



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#6874 - 09/29/00 02:35 PM Re: Brand names that have entered the dictionary.
phil-wieland Offline
stranger

Registered: 09/29/00
Posts: 8
Loc: Pittsburgh PA
What kind of drink is Moxie?

I'm a Brit currently living in the US and I've never heard of a drink called Moxie. I am guessing it's American but I've not seen it over here either.


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#6875 - 09/29/00 02:46 PM Re: Brand names that have entered the dictionary.
tsuwm Online   confused
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Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10513
Loc: this too shall pass

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#6876 - 09/29/00 02:58 PM Re: Brand names that have entered the dictionary.
phil-wieland Offline
stranger

Registered: 09/29/00
Posts: 8
Loc: Pittsburgh PA
Thanks for that. Very informative. I'll have to see if I can get some to try.


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#6877 - 09/30/00 10:56 AM Re: Brand names that have entered the dictionary.
Jackie Offline

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Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Welcome, Phil.

I never knew Moxie was a drink, either. Frankly, I thought it was some kind of Hebrew word for spunk!
It doesn't sound like I'd like it. Give us a report if
you try some?

Psst--I have a girlfriend in your city, and she's into
computers--even got a credit on a Mac flyer--if you're
a-lookin', send me a Private Message--she's single.


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#6878 - 09/30/00 01:55 PM Re: Brand names that have entered the dictionary.
maverick Offline
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Posts: 4757
some kind of Hebrew word for spunk!

Jackie! I'm shocked - and from an old hand, too...


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#6879 - 10/01/00 05:19 AM Re: Brand names that have entered the dictionary.
Bingley Offline
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Posts: 3065
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Well, if you can have a drink called Sweat, why not Spunk?

Bingley
_________________________
Bingley

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#6880 - 10/01/00 10:51 PM Re: Brand names that have entered the dictionary.
Jackie Offline

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Posts: 11609
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Jackie! I'm shocked

Ok, whoa, right now. First--I was blushing for my ignorance of the origin of the word moxie, and even more, later, when I realized I probably should have said I thought
it was a Yiddish word.

Secondly--I have just discovered, thanks to a special friend, that the word spunk has a completely different
interpretation in England, of which I was entirely unaware.
So I don't feel the need to be embarrassed on account of that.


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#6881 - 10/04/00 04:51 PM Re: moxie, schmoxie
AnnaStrophic Offline
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Psst--I have a girlfriend in your city.... she's single.

...Stay tuned for the upcoming episode of "A.W.A.D. in the City," in which our heroine, the yenta Jackie, arises from the gutter in her charmingly phoenix-like way to learn the true meaning of "chutzpah."


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#6882 - 10/04/00 10:10 PM Re: moxie, schmoxie
Jackie Offline

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"Yenta"--wasn't there a movie by that name? ;-)
And I thought the meaning of chutzpah was t-s-u-w-m.


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#6883 - 10/05/00 12:35 PM Re: moxie, schmoxie
tsuwm Online   confused
Carpal Tunnel

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>I thought the meaning of chutzpah was t-s-u-w-m

jackie, you ol' luftmensch, not to kvetch, but only a shmendrik would confuse chutzpah with shmatteh.


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#6884 - 10/06/00 06:24 AM Re: moxie, schmoxie
maverick Offline
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Posts: 4757
schmendrick

This word's got an interesting theatrical association - it's the name of a very early Yiddish drama that I think is reckoned to be quite a formative phase of development. I've not got a second now, but promise I'll LIU later to see if there's any info I can find. I otherwise know this word as meaning something like 'lucky in misfortune' - is that right?


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#6885 - 10/06/00 07:23 AM Re: moxie, schmoxie
paulb Offline
addict

Registered: 03/17/00
Posts: 460
Loc: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
<"Yenta"--wasn't there a movie by that name?>

Yentl -- a film by Barbra Streisand -- her first as director/producer/co-screenwriter -- and she's also the leading actress.


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#6886 - 10/06/00 07:46 AM Re: moxie, schmoxie
maverick Offline
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Posts: 4757
schmendricks, hendrix, what does it matter so long as a boy loves his dictionary?

So, spelling it a bit more accurately, I found:
http://www.brittanica.net/bcom/eb/article/3/0,5716,115713+4,00.html


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#6887 - 10/06/00 09:22 AM Re: shmendrik
tsuwm Online   confused
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mav, I'm going to respond to two(2) of your posts in one -- wouldn't want to be accused of double-posting. 8-)

shmendrik, I believe, is an inept or indifferent person
shlimazel is someone with perpetual bad luck (see Joe Btfsplk[sp?])

don't know if this agrees with your link, 'cuz that didn't work for me.

...and just how do you define "more accurately" when it comes to representing Yiddish spelling??
8-)


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#6888 - 10/06/00 10:45 AM Re: shmendrik
maverick Offline
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Seems quite close to what I understood - this link suggests some of the subtler ramifications, I think:

http://jewishworldreview.com/0899/shmendrik.html

And you're right; but my definition would be shpelt innacurately anyway


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#6889 - 10/07/00 08:15 PM Re: moxie, schmoxie
Jackie Offline

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Yentl -- a film by Barbra Streisand -- her first as director/producer/co-screenwriter -- and she's also the leading actress.

Should have emoticonned my wink, I reckon!

Love,

Chessie


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#6890 - 10/07/00 08:19 PM Re: moxie, schmoxie
Jackie Offline

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Luftmentsh - Person who has no business, trade, calling, nor income.

Shmatteh - Rag, anything worthless

These are from:http://www.pass.to/glossary/Default.htm
------------------------------------------------------
Re: luftmentsh--two out of four; not too shmatteh.


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#6891 - 11/25/00 06:31 PM Re: moxie, schmoxie
solrep Offline
newbie

Registered: 11/12/00
Posts: 29
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Zuftig? zoftig? Not sure of the spelling, but curious of the origin and true meaning. I was told once, long ago, that this was a yiddish word roughly corresponding to macho when referring to a women. I suspect it means something more flattering.



Carpe rutila
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Carpe whatever

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#6892 - 11/25/00 08:00 PM Re: moxie, schmoxie
tsuwm Online   confused
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10513
Loc: this too shall pass
it's Yiddish, generally anglicized as zaftig; it means having a full-rounded figure, pleasingly plump.


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#6893 - 12/15/00 11:25 PM Re: Hooverised
Faldage Online   sleepy
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maverick muses: The SC on this site wants me to make it Hooverise

We have Hooverised on butter,
for milk we've only water.

Old Depression era song learned from the singing of Cisco Houston. To hooverise was to make do with a poor substitute. fr. Herbert Hoover, the gentleman lucky enough to be President of the USA during the time that the Depression began.

N.B. Ænigma wanted to make Hooverise [Hooverize]


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#6894 - 12/16/00 03:06 PM Re: Hooverised
Jazzoctopus Offline
old hand

Registered: 07/03/00
Posts: 1094
Loc: Cincinnati & Loveland, Ohio, U...
N.B. Ænigma wanted to make Hooverise [Hooverize]

Well, he was an American president . . .


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#6895 - 12/17/00 05:50 AM Re: Hooverised
Capital Kiwi Offline
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Loc: Northamptonshire, England
Jazz said: Well, he was an American president . . .

Funny thing, I would have thought that the dam named after him and the Hoover vacuum cleaner have probably had a greater impact on the USA ...

Speaking of which, we have a town in the South Island called Clinton. Some wag suggested that Riversdale, the next town to the east which is a small farming service centre, should be renamed "Lewinsky". I understand that the town's 20 inhabitants actually gave it some serious thought before deciding not to bite.

_________________________
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#6896 - 12/17/00 08:17 AM Re: Hooverised
Bingley Offline
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In reply to:

deciding not to bite


Which we must hope the rejected eponym also did.

Bingley

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Bingley

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#6897 - 12/18/00 07:10 AM Re: Hooverised
maverick Offline
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Jazz said: Well, he was an American president ...

Makes a good Trivia Night question: which American President sucked, and which one...


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#6898 - 12/20/00 10:49 PM Re: Hooverised
Capital Kiwi Offline
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Which we must hope the rejected eponym also did.

Zactly!

_________________________
The idiot also known as Capfka ...

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#6899 - 12/21/00 05:01 AM Re: Moxie and spunk
NicholasW Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 12/18/00
Posts: 393
Loc: London
Jackie (1):
I never knew Moxie was a drink, either. Frankly, I thought it was some kind of Hebrew word for spunk!

and (2):
Secondly--I have just discovered, thanks to a special friend, that the word spunk has a completely different
interpretation in England, of which I was entirely unaware.
So I don't feel the need to be embarrassed on account of that.


Too late! Too late! After reading that first one, boy did my impression of your chutzpah shoot up. My hair is still standing on end.

(I've never seen or tried Moxie and now will never be able to.)


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#6900 - 12/21/00 10:26 PM Re: Moxie and spunk
Capital Kiwi Offline
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(I've never seen or tried Moxie and now will never be able to.)

... which takes moxie to admit?

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#6901 - 12/21/00 10:38 PM Claytons
Capital Kiwi Offline
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This post will make Jazz shout "J'accuse!". A jaccuzi? Anyway.

I don't know how widely distributed it was, but there used to be (still is?) a drink on the market called "Claytons". Claytons was an alcohol substitute which was supposed to taste like whisky/whiskey/vodka/gin etc., etc. Naturally enough, it tasted not quite but exactly like Claytons, and nothing else.

It was awful. And non-alcoholic, so there were two strikes against it.

In New Zealand, anyway, it became something of a joke. Everyone tried it once, and as soon as they had a sip they surreptitiously looked around for somewhere to spit it out without being too obvious.

The drink itself died the death commercially, but the name lingered on as a synonym for anything which was a bad substitute. You'd say, "Oh that's the Claytons version" or words to that effect. It's still used quite a bit.

FWIW

_________________________
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#6902 - 12/22/00 04:35 AM Re: Claytons
NicholasW Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 12/18/00
Posts: 393
Loc: London
And the slogan was "The drink you have when you're not having a drink". This too passed into common currency as a parenthetic explanation: people would say of some X, "It's a Claytons X: the X you have when you're not having an X".


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#6903 - 02/24/01 07:14 PM Re: Brand names that have entered the dictionary.
des Offline
journeyman

Registered: 02/02/01
Posts: 52
Loc: Indianapolis transplanted to S...
My 1958 dictionary describes a Thermos...but makes it clear it is a trademark. Named for the greek word meaning hot. My 1983 dictionary only lists Thermos as a trademark. Sends you to vacuum bottle for description. (I worked for ad agency for Thermos...years ago!) (I know I need a new dictionary!)


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#6904 - 02/25/01 02:54 PM Re: Brand names that have entered the dictionary.
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Dear des: Was the problem that the Thermos job cooled off, or that it stayed too hot? Or did you shake it and break it?


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