15 Origin Names For Famous Companies That You Didn't Know But Should

What's in a name?

You've bought their products and used their services numerous times, but do you really know the origin names for some of the most famous companies in the world? Business Insider just created a list of origin company names and we are adding several more unbelievable examples. It turns out some of your favorite companies have unusual name origins.

Here are 15 big companies and how their names came to be:

1. Verizon

It's a combination of a pair of Latin words — veritas (truth and reliability) and horizon (forward-looking).


GEICO is an acronym for Government Employees Insurance Company, because it was originally for federal employees.

These new Geico ads remind me of the Police Squad credits.

3. Garmin

Garmin was named after its two founders, Gary Burrell and Min Kao.

So you can add different vehicles to your Garmin GPS? I'm Sold.

4. Best Western

For Best Western, it seems most of its original properties were west of the Mississippi, thus its name.

5. Nike

Greek mythology fans will rejoice knowing that Nike's name originated from the Greek goddess of victory.

Nike Hypervenom Phantom Transform

6. Apple

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak decided to call their startup company Apple to beat Atari in the phone book and as a tribute the music label of The Beatles.

7. 7-Eleven

As it is suggested in its name, 7-Eleven's first store hours were originally 7 a.m.- 11 p.m. daily.

7-Eleven Day! Don't forget your free Slurpees!


LEGO gift box with bow and ribbon

9. McDonald's

Ray Croc may have been the visionary for McDonald's, but he purchased the rights for the restaurant from the McDonald brothers. The rest is history.

10. Samsung

Samsung is Korean for "three stars," to represent a growing company being as ever-lasting as the stars in the sky. And three is a powerful number in Korean culture.

11. IBM

IBM was originally called The Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company. After expanding its business operations out of the U.S., it changed the name to International Business Machines, or IBM, for short.

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12. Cisco

Cisco is usually mistaken for an acronym, but that is wrong. It is simply a short way of saying San Francisco.

13. Subway

Subway was originally called Pete's Submarines and then shortened to Pete's Subs at its first location. As a reference to food chain expansion, it later adopted the Subway name.

14. Starbucks

Starbucks received its name after the novel Moby Dick, evoking the romance of the sea.

15. eBay

The founders wanted to name the website after its computer consulting firm, Echo Bay. The URL was taken however and so eBay became the shortened version.

Ebay logo Redesign