Thursday, 27 August 2009

Business Names

Mangling language is not just one way traffic. For every occasion where I may have told someone that I am an aspidistra, or Susan tells someone she loves him (rather than his work) , the French manage to amuse us with their choice of words.

When you start a business, the business name is all important. It tells the world what you do and how you approach the job. In the UK, the most notorious businesses for punning shop names are Hairdressers - and in France things aren't that much different.

We would love to know, however, what message the following businesses thought they were giving:



chm said...

In France, many people think that putting an apostrophe somewhere at the end of a word makes it look British or, even better [?], American.

I just love the "Divin' Toilet'" for its [it's?] absurdity. This reminds me of a sign I saw at the "Fountain of Youth", a spa near the shores of the Salton Sea in Southern California, with several large pools fed by hot springs. The sign reads: "Don't pee in our pools, we don't swim in your toilet!"

Anonymous said...

i would pretty much give anything to know. can you ask them? posing as an aspidistra, of course.

Ken Broadhurst said...

Don't you think it is "divine toilette" — that would mean something like "divine grooming". And the apostophes make it seem exotic, as CHM said. I don't think it has anything to do with diving or toilets. Dog grooming salons seem to have unusual names. We used to take our dog Collette to Le Big Ouah-Ouah in Saint-Aignan.

As for Stan Laurel's shop, that name is the only funny thing about it. Maybe the owner is a big Laurel and Hardy fan. Otherwise, the sign is all perfectly French. Even "juniors" is a French word now, like "seniors" to describe people like me.

Autolycus said...

I once saw a dry cleaner's in Auteuil called O'Pressing. But then again, I once saw a clothes shop in Amsterdam called Funny Trousers Salty Dog. I have the photos to prove it.

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