Try saying this five times fast: Charbucks Scarberia

[Cache – #30]

Premiering on the History Channel this Fall is a new show entitled What’s in a Name? This summer I’ll be writing an article, and shooting a short video, for the website that supports the show.  I’m told that the site will feature the history behind names (it being the History Channel and all), “as well as myriad of activities, quizzes, and games all in a fun, visual, and accessible way.”

One of the story ideas I’m exploring relates to nicknames – specifically, how people tend to make up derogatory but often fun names for people, places and things.

For example, Winnipeg is Winterpeg.   Burton Cummings once called it Negativipeg, odd for a place situated in Friendly Manitoba.  Due to its distance from downtown Toronto, Scarborough is Scarberia.  Given its high murder rate, Edmonton is Deadmonton.

Away from cities and on to commercial brands, just this morning I heard Starbucks referred to as Charbucks – because of their reputation in certain circles for overly-cooked coffee.  Kentucky Fried Chicken, before the brand shortened its name to KFC, was sometimes referred to as Kentucky Fried Pigeon.  Although you don’t hear it that often anymore, Canadian Tire has been Crappy Tire.  And so on.

I’d love to hear some of your favourite nicknames.  If I include your idea in the article or video, I’ll send you a $20 gift card from Amazon or iTunes – your choice.

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