What's in a name?


 

name

What’s in a name?

 

I was talking to a friend the other day from Texas about favorite restaurants. He said his favorite was Crapitto’s Italian Restaurant in Houston, which closed in 2014. I wasn’t sure I heard it correctly, I said I had hoped the food was, well, NOT crappy but it made me think, what’s in a name?

 

Ten years ago, here in Scottsdale, restaurateur Harry Morton, son of Hard Rock owner Peter Morton, opened a Pink Taco restaurant to rave reviews, a stellar VIP list and a pretty good Margarita. It closed less than three years later but its Los Angeles location is still in full swing. At that time, our City Council was up in arms.

 

And in April, a Saigon restaurant was forced to change its name after people objected to Uncle Ho’s Chinese restaurant.

I did a little research as to some people and places here in Arizona, that might be offensive or discriminatory to some and seemingly benign to others and did I come up with some great stuff. The Valley Ho! (no explanation necessary) and an internist named Dr. Weiner (giggle-wink-wink). Tucson has a Dr. Goldfinger (yes, an obstetrician). Godfather Pizza (are all Italians in the mob?”) and My Big Fat Greek restaurant (I just got back from Athens and hey have some skinny Greeks too). What about this new moving company I read about: Mother Truckers. Can you imagine how they ever got their license?

Over in England, they’re less fussy. They have an eye glass store, Spex Appeal (sounds like S-E-X to me); a hair salon, Cliptomania (Kleptomania is listed in the AMA as a disorder-how offensive) and Cambridge House of the Blind (yes, levelors and shades). 

See how silly it is?


People are having fun, they’re paying taxes, not doing anything illegal and trying to earn a buck.  Is that where people are putting their energy?

 

Maybe we should concentrate on names of streams and rivers with names like Savage Lake or Rum River in the Pacific Northwest that sit on Native American land but were renamed by White Men to reflect the ruin brought to many tribes by liquor or coined to reflect their feelings about the people they had just slaughtered. In 2013 in Harlem, New York City, a sign at an IHOP asked customers to show receipts before exiting the restaurant. Only in that neighborhood. I find those type of signs and names offensive and when you look at these examples, uproar over sexual innuendo seems pretty lame.

 

There are much bigger issues these days.


My sister in law called to ask me if I knew of a good place to get her dog clipped. I searched the internet and found a great pet grooming store. What was the name?
“Doggy Style.” Don’t get me started!

 

About the Author

Barry Kluger

Barry Kluger is a 35+ year entertainment industry executive, having held senior posts at MTV Networks, Prodigy and USA Networks. He is a regular contributor to Huffington Post, TheHill.com, Boomerly and The Arizona Republic.  A native New Yorker he is always entertaining, never boring and often controversial. You can learn more about Barry Kluger at www.barrykluger.com 
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