50 Popular Things That You Probably Didn’t Know Originally Had Different Names
Imagine sitting at Cargo's house, having a cup of coffee, when suddenly, your Motion phone rings, you pick it up, and it's your friend, she's wondering if you'd like to see the movie '3,000' with her tonight. Since you're not sure what that movie is about you go online an quickly backrub it. That night, you buy some popcorn, a can of Brad's Drink, and you enjoy the movie with your friend.
What are we talking about? Well, if it wasn't for some last minute changes, all of these names would sound familiar. From Limp Bizkit almost naming themselves 'Blood Fart' to Hannah Montana being Alexis Texas, this list compiled by Bored Panda reveals the original names of famous tv shows, music bands, movies, and brands.
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Backrub - Google
One of the weirdest original names belongs to Google, which, believe it or not, was supposed to be named ‘Backrub.’ Imagine Backrubing something instead of Googling? Sounds ridiculous, right? Well back in 1996 this was the original company name but was then changed to Google in 1997.
Lenny, Penny, And Kenny - The Big Bang Theory
This one definitely turned out way better than it could have been. Before renaming Jim Parsons’ character to Sheldon, his name was Kenny and the famous tv series was called not ‘The Big Bang Theory’ but ‘Lenny, Penny and Kenny’, which is the cheesiest thing in the entire universe.
Whoopass Girls - Powerpuff Girls
Oh man, the things we would do to have the famous trio called not the Powerpuff Girls, but the Whoopass Girls… It just sounds so badass. Well, according to the book “America Toons In: A History of Television Animation” that’s exactly how the girls were supposed to be named. Unfortunately, the name was changed in order to avoid offending the intended audience, which is kids and their parents.
Mr Cauliflower - Mr Bean
Rowan Atkinson, the genius behind the iconic Mr. Bean character, actually came up with this persona when he was studying for his master’s degree at the University of Oxford. The name Mr. Bean came up only after the first program was released, and while pitching different names, one of the suggestions was Mr. Cauliflower. Sounds fun, but nothing would change the iconic Mr. Bean!
Smile - Queen
There is no cheesier name than ‘Smile’. Imagine a legendary, incredible, one-of-a-kind band and then call them ‘Smile’ - just terrible. So then, it’s hard to believe that such an outstanding band like Queen would call themselves nothing but a cliche positive name. Well, as it turns out, the name ‘Queen’ was given after the band invited Freddie Mercury to join then, and he was the one who suggested this name (of course he was). In an interview with Circus, Mercury said that the concept behind the name was to be regal and majestic, just like the Queen.”
Spaceman From Pluto - Back To The Future
If it was up to the the head of Universal Pictures’ the movie ‘Back to the Future’ would have been named ‘Spaceman from Pluto.’ Why? Because according to Sid Sheinberg, “no successful movie ever had the word ‘future’ in it.” According to writer and producer Bob Gale “Every single person at Universal loved the title Back To The Future except for Sid. So we went to Steven and said, ‘Steven, what are we going to do? He means it. He really wants to change the title.’” Steven wrote a memo back to Sheinberg saying, "Dear Sid, thanks so much for your most humorous memo. We all really got a big laugh out of it." Steven knew that Sid was too proud to admit he'd meant it seriously. And that was the end of ‘Spaceman From Pluto.’
Pictaboo - Snapchat
The original name for Snapchat was actually Pictaboo until the creators received a letter from a photography book company with the same name. Pictaboo was then changed to Snapchat. But the name is not the only thing the company changed. To make the app more popular, one of the original creators of the app suggested it was best to advertise it as a sexting app. On the drafts from the press release, it stated: “Pictaboo lets you and your boyfriend send photos for peeks and not keeps!”
Jerry And David’s Guide To The World Wide Web - Yahoo
We’re almost certain that Yahoo wouldn’t be so successful if they had kept their original name - Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web, it just seems a bit … too long. Of course, you could call it JDGWWW, but we think they did the right thing here by changing their name to Yahoo! Which stands for “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle.”
Six Of One - Friends
In life, you never know how one tiny decision can change everything completely. So, back in 2012, Vanity Fair released an issue were they wrote down all the things that could have been completely different in the show ‘Friends’. For example, Courtney Cox initially read for the role of Rachel Green, but she chose to play Monica, and Monica’s character was supposed to be way darker, edgier and snarkier. But the most important part is the name, and if it wasn’t for Kauffman and Crane, we would be stuck with ‘Six of One’ which was the original name of the show.
Sweet Children - Green Day
Before they created the song that everyone sings on September 30th, they were ‘Sweet Children’, a band created when Billie Joe Armstrong was only 14 years old. The band changed their name to Green Day after being confused with Californian rock outfit Sweet Baby. Also, Sweet Children doesn’t sound so badass compared to ‘Green Day’, a name that refers to a day when all you do is smoke marijuana.
I did not know the meaning of Green Day before this. :D Here in Finland one band was called Indica and they made several albums before they realized that Indica was also a marijuana strain. The band was really angry because they did not like drugs. Indica also made some English language songs - I recommend listening their song 'In Passing' if someone likes all-female bands. :)
Mortimer - Mickey Mouse
According to sources, if it wasn’t for Walt Disney’s wife, we now would call Mickey Mouse ‘Mortimer’. It is believed that his wife hated the name so much he changed it to Mickey Mouse.
Alexis Texas - Hannah Montana
Well this one is particularly odd… Hannah Montana, the protagonist of one of the most famous kids T.V shows of all time, was supposed to be Alexis Texas, which not only sounds weird, but is also a name of an adult film star. So, without anything else left to do the creators had to change the name to Hannah Montana.
Brad's Drink - Pepsi
Who would have thought that until 1898 you couldn’t enjoy a cold Pepsi but only a Brad’s drink? And who is Brad? When creator Caleb Bradham invented Pepsi back in 1893, he named it after his surname but six years later he changed it. So in 1902 the Pepsi-Cola Company was born, due to increased demand for the drink.
At least it would have given me a proper response when refusing a Pepsi. “I'll go with Coke, cause, you know, the other one is Brad's Drink.”
Not The Cosby Show - Married With Children
Sometimes you create something and you name it so its name represents your creation the best. Or, you can just say what it is not instead of what it is. For example, the cult tv series ‘Married With Children’ were definitely NOT ‘The Cosby Show’ since it is a different tv series and Married With Children is so anti-traditional. Luckily, the title was changed since having the name Cosby in your title wouldn’t be a very good idea.
Baby Gays - Q-Tips
Back in 1923, Leo Gerstenzang, the founder of Q-tips, saw his wife putting cotton pads on toothpicks, so he came up with the idea of q-tips. According to the history of q-tips “1926 – The product was originally called Baby Gays and in 1926, the labels were changed to read Q-tips® Baby Gays. Later, the name Baby Gays was discarded and Q-tips® became the identifying mark for cotton swabs. The “Q” in Q-tips® stands for quality and the word “tips” describes the cotton swab at the end of the stick.”
Screaming Abdabs - Pink Floyd
"Screaming abdabs" is an old English saying that means ’to induce an attack of extreme anxiety or irritation in someone’. So back in the 60’s, when this iconic music band was only at the beginning of its incredible path to fame, four young students decided to form a band called ‘Screaming Abdabs.’ Who knew that many years later we would know this band as ‘Pink Floyd’ - one of the most iconic music bands of all time. Before the band settled on the name, they also considered such variations as The Pink Floyd Blues Sound, The Pink Floyd Sound, and The Tea Set.
If I recall correctly, I think one of the names they considered was "Architectural Abdabs" as well.
Hermione Puckle - Hermione Granger
While explaining the name Hermione, J.K. Rowling said that even though the name comes from a Shakespeare's Winter’s Tale, the Hermione herself has very little relation to this character. Yet, the author did say that this name was chosen as it is something a pair of intellectual dentists would choose, to show how smart they are. But it is not the name that sparks the interest, it’s the last name since at first Hermione was supposed to be not Granger but Puckle. Imagine if one of your favorite movie trios was - Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Puckle. Maybe it doesn’t sound that bad? Comment what you think!
Starfish - Coldplay
Coldplay was originally known as Starfish. Some time ago Guy Berryman joined a group made up of Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland, it was then called Pectoralz, after Berryman joined them they changed their name to Starfish. Later, after the drummer Will Champion joined their group, they renamed themselves to Coldplay and released their debut EP ‘Safety’.
Spongeboy - Spongebob Squarepants
If it wasn’t for a quick name change you would be yelling ‘SpongeBoy Squarepants!’ at the beginning of every episode, but according to the creator of this famous cartoon Stephen Hillenbur it was not meant to be, due to copywrite infringment. “The original name was Spongeboy, but I couldn’t use that because it was copyrighted by a mop company. I eventually thought of SpongeBob, but he needed a last name. SquarePants came to mind.”
The show as a whole was going to be called "SpongeBoy Ahoy!" I've heard.
Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo - Sony
Until 1958, what is now the short and clear company name, Sony, inspired by the Latin word for sound, ‘sonus,’ was Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo. It’s not a bad name, but Sony just sounds better, right?
Firebird - Firefox
If it wasn’t for another company called ‘Firebird’ you would now be using your Internet Explorer to download ‘Firebird’ and not ‘Firefox’. According to the company, “It's similar to Firebird. It's easy to remember. It sounds good. It's unique. We like it," the company said.
Lunar Larry - Buzz Lightyear
If it wasn’t for a big script change, the Toy Story we know now would have been completely different. The famous character Buzz Lightyear, which was named in honour of astronaut Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin, would have actually been called Lunar Larry. Wait, there’s more, Woody was actually supposed to be a jerk instead of the good guy/hero we all know and love.
I love the original scene sequence where Woody flat out tosses Buzz out the window and everyone else sees it and starts beating the crap out of Woody and trying to throw him off the bed. Slinky Dog Intervenes on Woody's behalf--and tells everyone to throw him out the window instead like he did to Buzz!
The King Of The Jungle - The Lion King
Everyone’s favorite animated classic underwent a couple of name changes. The first attempt was ‘King of the Jungle’ but this particular name didn’t last long since there was no jungle in the movie and everything takes places on a savannah. Another option was ‘King of the Beasts’ but according to the film’s producer Don Hahn they wanted to concentrate on a simple story about a lion king, and this is where the famous name comes from.
Should have kept the title as "Kimba the White Lion". If you don’t know the story, you should “Backrub” it.
3,000 - Pretty Woman
Well this one is rather an easy one to guess, since 3,000 is the amount of money that Edward Lewis offers to the protagonist in the movie, Vivian Ward, for spending a week with him.
$3,000 seems kind of cheap for having to pay a prostitute for their whole week.
Blue Ribbon Sports - Nike
Imagine having a blue ribbon logo instead of a swoosh on your gym shorts? Well this could have been the icon that Nike was known for if it wasn’t for a change back in the 1971. The very well-known name ‘Nike’ was based on the Greek goddess of victory, and the famous logo, also known as the swoosh, symbolizes the wing of the goddess.
Blood Fart - Limp Bizkit
In a reddit post ‘I am Fred Durst of LIMP BIZKIT...Ask Me Anything’ Fred Durst answered some questions from his fans. One answer in particular received a lot of attention, where the vocalist revealed that his band’s name was almost Blood Fart: “The name Limp Bizkit came out in a riff session when deciding what to call the band. I wanted it to have the same roll off of the tongue as Led Zeppelin, but be so odd that you would have a hard time forgetting it. I remember things like Gimp Disco, Split D**kslit, B**ch Piglet, and somehow...Blood Fart. Plus, we never really took our name or purpose very serious considering the chances of succeeding were slim to none at that point.”
Both Limp Bizkit and Blood Fart sound like a bunch of middle school boys were put in charge of naming a band.
Rapunzel Unbraided - Tangled
The movie Tangled was supposed to be called ‘Rapunzel Unbraided’ but reportedly the name was changed to appeal to a wider audience. "We did not want to be put in a box," the president of Pixar and Disney Animation studios said in an interview with Los Angeles Times. "Some people might assume it's a fairy tale for girls when it's not. We make movies to be appreciated and loved by everybody."
Under The Red, White, And Blue - The Great Gatsby
Only three weeks before publishing this iconic novel, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote his editor a letter where he said that he was crazy for the title ‘Under the Red, White, And Blue’. According to the author, this title emphasized the importance of symbolism in the book. Later, Mr. Fitzgerald would say that the name could have been ‘Trimalchio’, and according to him the Great Gatsby title is only ‘ok.’ “My heart tells me I should have named it Trimalchio ... Gatsby is too much like Babbit and The Great Gatsby is weak because there’s no emphasis even ironically on his greatness or lack of it. However let it pass.”
Marufuku Company - Nintendo
Back in 1889, Fusajiro Yamauchi began manufacturing Japanese playing cards in Kyoto. In 1947 Yamauchi began a distribution company called Marufuku Co. It was only in 1951 that the company renamed themselves to Nintendo Playing Card Co. Ltd. and then to Nintendo Co., Ltd. in 1963.
The Lunch Bunch - The Breakfast Club
Originally the movie ‘The Breakfast Club’ was supposed to be called ‘The Lunch Bunch,’ and when you think about it, maybe that’s what the movie should have been named since the film characters do in fact eat lunch together.
Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. But we think you’re crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us… In the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain…and an athlete…and a basket case …a princess…and a criminal…Does that answer your question? Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club.
Froffles - Eggo
Back in 1953, when the frozen waffle was invented, the original inventors called them ‘Froffles’, but eventually people started referring to them as Eggo’s due to their egg flavor, which is exactly what they changed the name to in 1955.
Confinity - Paypal
‘Do you have a Confinity?’, never heard anyone saying that, right? Well, that’s because back in June of 2001 this huge worldwide company was renamed to Paypal. Its first name was a merge of the word confidence and infinity, but it seems they weren’t really confident about this name.
Kitten Ball - Softball
The first ever softball game was played back in 1887 between between Yale university and Harvard university students. During that time, the game was called indoor baseball but quickly enough, in 1889, the rules of the game were changed and it became an outdoor activity. Then, in 1895, this game was organized as an outdoor activity for firefighters and was known as ‘kitten ball’ or ‘diamond ball’ (other names included ‘lemon ball’, ‘pumpkin ball’, and ‘mush ball’), the name softball was finally set in 1926. This was also the period when the game became more popular around the United States.
Pete’s Super Submarines - Subway
You’d think that since the original name of the restaurant had ‘Pete’ in it, the creator was a Pete? Well you would be wrong, his name was Fred DeLuca. Then maybe his son’s name was Pete? No again, he was Jonathan. Then where does Pete come from? Well, as it turns out, back in 1965 Fred DeLuca borrowed $1000 dollars from his friend Peter Buck to start his own fast food restaurant called ‘Pete’s Super Submarines’, then, 3 years later, the name was changed to ‘Subway’. Even though we are sure that Pete’s a great guy for lending all that money, the name Subway sounds way better, don’t you agree?
Fred: "I just don't get it Jimmy why are we running out of business?" Jimmy: "Maybe it's because you're trying to sell submarines in the middle of nowhere." Fred: "Then what are we gonna do!?" Jimmy: "Make sandwiches...then call them subs. And change the name to 'Subway'"
Auctionweb - Ebay
Back in 1995 when the site was launched, it was initially called AuctionWeb and was part of an umbrella company called eBay Internet. The company had three other sites that included a travel site, a personal shipper site, and a site about the Ebola virus. Later, in 1997, the company changed the domain name to eBay since that was how the media referred to AuctionWeb.
Chicks And D*cks - New Girl
The hilarious series New Girl starring Zooey Deschannel and Max Greenfield, was supposed to be called ‘Chicks and D*cks’, but the writers were asked to change the name by the Fox network, since the original title seemed a little bit risky.
"Chicks and D*cks"?. Where the inspiration for that came from? PornHub?
Revenge Of The Jedi - Return Of The Jedi
According to the ‘Star Wars’ documentary ‘Empire of Dreams’, producer Howard Kazanjian wanted to call the movie ‘Revenge of the Jedi’ instead of ‘Return of the Jedi.’ According to Kazanjian, ‘Return’ sounded a bit weak. So, even though he did not agree with the producer at first, George Lucas did change the name to ‘Revenge of the Jedi’. But just weeks before releasing the movie, Lucas change the title back to ‘Return of the Jedi.’ Why? Because Jedi does not take revenge.
Stag Party - Playboy
It’s every stag parties dream to visit a Playboy mansion, well, if it wasn’t for the last minute name-change, the now infamous Playboy magazine would have been named Stag Party. According to Hugh Hefner, he was influenced by a cartoon book that he had. “I was looking for a male figure of some kind and I thought of an animal in tuxedo will set us apart," Hefner said in an interview. But just before publishing their magazine, the company received a letter from Stag magazine which said that the name was an infringement on their title. Without anything else left to do Hefner quickly changed it to Playboy.
Chicken Feed - Candy Corn
Not only is it one of the most hated Halloween candies, but Candy Corn could also have had a very weird name. Around the 1880’s was the first time people started giving out this weird sugar and cornstarch mixture to each other during Halloween, and back then it was aptly called ‘Chicken Feed’. So, not only was it not the tastiest candy, but it also had the most appetite reducing name.
Sound Of Music - Best Buy
Even though there is no discussion that Best Buy sounds way better than Sound of Music, there is actually a rather interesting story on how the store ended up with its current name. Back in 1981 a tornado tore down the Sound Of Music’s most profitable store, so they decided to have a huge sale selling all the damaged goods. To encourage people to buy, they advertised by promising ‘best buys’ on all of their products, funny enough all of this resulted in incredibly good sales so the company renamed themselves ‘Best Buy’.
They’d have to change it sooner or later considering cassettes/CDs are going obsolete
These Friends Of Mine - Ellen
Before it was an iconic daytime show, it was a tv series about the protagonist Ellen and her friends. For the first season they called the show ‘These Friends Of Mine’, but considering the main plot was concentrated on Ellen and her life, they changed the name. It’s safe to say it stuck!
Extraordinary to think the network cancelled her show just because she came out and that was 20 yrs ago. How times have changed...for the better of course.
Research In Motion - Blackberry
Until 2013 the once-popular cell phone company was called ‘Research in Motion’ but it changed its name after everyone started referring to them after their best selling product ‘Blackberry’.
Fairy Floss - Cotton Candy
Did you know that the famous cotton candy treat has been around for more than 600 years. However, back then it was was made in a much more expensive and difficult way. This delicious candy came back on the market in the 20th century and cost $25 cents (which was rather expensive at that time), and was not known as ‘cotton candy’ but by its original name, ‘fairy floss’.
Touch - Spice Girls
If it wasn’t for the last minute changes there would be another Spice Girls member named Michelle, known as ‘The Smart Spice’. Also, their name was originally ‘Touch’. Well, at the end of the day, as long as we can enjoy the masterpiece ‘Wannabe’ at karaoke and office parties, we’re all good, even if it is performed by a group called ‘Touch’.
Kara's Flowers - Maroon 5
Before they were an iconic band called Maroon 5, they were a band under the name ‘Kara’s Flowers’, and the name was actually a reference to a groupie who was crushing on all of the band members. After they released two albums under this name, they changed their name for the third one back in 2002.
Brown Skinned Girl - Brown Eyed Girl
What is now a classic karaoke song that people enjoy singing along to, was almost called ‘Brown Skinned Girl’ instead of ‘Brown Eyed Girl’. The author of the song, Van Morrison, says he changed the name by accident: "That was just a mistake. It was a kind of Jamaican song. Calypso. It just slipped my mind. I changed the title. After we'd recorded it, I looked at the tape box and didn't even notice that I'd changed the title. I looked at the box where I'd lain it down with my guitar and it said 'Brown Eyed Girl' on the tape box. It's just one of those things that happen."
Reginald - Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer
75 years ago a Montgomery Ward department store started selling a coloring book about a reindeer, written by Robert May. This reindeer's character was based on Robert himself, and the author first named the protagonist not Rudolph but Reginald. Imagine singing ‘Reginald the red nosed reindeer’, weird, right?
On A Friday - Radio Head
Radiohead were formed when the band members were in high school, so the only time they were able to rehearse was friday evenings after school. This is what inspired the original band name ‘On a Friday’. The band changed its name after they were signed by the EMI Records who suggested they might think of a better name. Since the band were a huge fan of the Talking Heads they chose their name from a 1986 song ‘Radio Head’.
Cargo House - Starbucks
Opened in 1971 this coffee shop was named ‘Starbucks Coffee, Tea and Spice’. Later, in 1983, the CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz left the company and opened his own coffeehouse called II Giornale. Four years later he returned, purchased the original company and chose to leave the name Starbucks. However before that, one of the names the company had considered using was ‘Cargo House’, which according to co-founder Gordon Bowker would have been ‘a terrible, terrible mistake’.
President's Palace - The White House
During different times in the past, the White House was also called“President’s Palace,” the “President’s House,” and the “Executive Mansion.”
A: "We are failing to come up with a proper name, what should we do?" B: "What color is the building?" A: "It's white, but what that has to do with anything?" B: "Well, White House it is." A: "But that sound so cheesy". B: "Nope, not listening, name is chosen".
The band A/C D/C wanted to change the name of the band when they found out what "A/C D/C'" was slang for in the 'States. One of those "OH, SH*T!" moments.