Shop Name Punning

I regard this little eccentricity as basically harmless. I'm not sure whether puns work in languages other than English, nor am I bothered, but I have come to appreciate shop names that are just a little bit more imaginative than the average. Many of these are based on a punning formula; they may not be very good (though some are) but they can be fun and they say something about the owner, whether complimentary or not. I list a few here, as I come across them, for such amusement as can be extracted.

Other Shop Name Punning Aficionados

The Huffington Post has formally noted their existence and has some on its site (mainly from abroad). 'Wok This Way' and 'Thai Me Up' are quite good! Click here for link.

Here's a website that has tries to rationalize the punning of business names. I'm not sure I want to go in that directions myself, but there are some good (real) examples. 'Aesop's Tables' (Greek restaurant) and 'Bean me up' (coffee shop) feel worthy. Others that appeal are 'What Ales You' (pub), Tequila Mockingbird (bar), Bar Humbug (self explanatory), Wholly Crepe (think about it, it's a restaurant), Lord of the Fries (chip shop), Past Caring (antique shop)... and so on. My favorite is 'All Cisterns Go' (plumbers). Click here for link.

I thank Manolith for 'Thai Tanic' (Thai restaurant); inspired. 'Nin Com Soup' (restaurant) works if your head is wired a particular way

Dear old Time Out has its moments - quite a lot of them by the look of it. 'Iron Maiden' caught my attention (ironing service), but 'Sure Lock Homes' (Locksmiths) shows inspiration and Jack The clipper (hairdresser I hope) surprises me for not having been copied. 'SellFridges' is clever, but perhaps less so as an actual pun. 'Eat and two veg' is surely worthy?Click here for link.

All abroad, I think, but some from are very good. 'Pane in the Glass' (glaziers) appealed. 'Wok on Water' is predictable but uncommon, and 'A Salt And Battery' (fish & chips) is surely worthy? 'Pita Pan', 'Sew What' and 'Juan in a Million' need a mention. Click here for link.

The BBC had a go at collecting these from viewers and listeners a few years ago. I didn't think the offers that made it through were all that good (even by my standards) but apparently there is a hairdressers in Newbridge called 'Curl Up and Dye', A garden centre in Newcastle called 'Plant & Dec' (yes I do know who they are but won't acknowledge it), and a takeaway in Uxbridge called 'Dynasty' (I don't think this was intentional). I haven't bothered to give a link because there is a lot of repetion, but good examples on the main page are: 'Walter Wall carpets', Alley Barber (it's in an alleyway), Thistle do Nicely (in Edinburgh). By far the best one was 'Wright Hassall' a firm of solicitors (OK, unless they are mad, this must surely not be intentional...).

There's even a website venting fury about pet shop names that do not pun! Suggestions are made for possible names (I liked Fur Get Me Not).

There are so many possibilities! My favorurite at time of updating is surely 'Seymour Clearly', this is NOT an opticians (amazingly, or at least not in the UK) but a window cleaners.

Oh look. I've just across Dave Gorman's contribution to all this (Absolute Radio). Presumably listeners have sent them in. Some of them are pure inspiration! Try 'Traders of the lost Art' (Antiques); 'Holy Sheet' (Bed linen); 'Let Us Spray' (car painting); 'Madame Batterfry' (Chip shop); 'Foxes Classier Sprints' (Couriers)(five stars); 'Mourning Glory' (Funeral directors, Oh dear); Re-Ink-Our-Nation (cartridge refills) - inspired!! I'm afraid I have a lot of catching up to do. Click here for link.

Some Examples Personally Noted

  • Arty Facts - Art shop in Bromsgrove
  • Back in Action - Chiropractor in Ludlow
  • Bath Humbug (a seasonal example) - it is a sweetshop in Bath market hall. Subtle, unless one is on the lookout...
  • Curl Up & Dye - Bespoke Hairdressers, New Romney & elsewhere
  • Deb 'n' Hair - Hairdresser, Worcester Park
  • Fringe Benefits - Hairdresser, Fulham
  • Frydays - Fish & chip shop, Birmingham
  • Gentlemans Relish - Male grooming establishment, just north of the Barbican (requires prior knowledge of the exclusive anchovy paste...)
  • Get Stuffed - A stuffed animal shop in Essex Road that specializes in full-sized stuffed real animals, I kid you not
  • Hair Today - Hairdresser, Kentish Town Road (I went back following day and it hadn't gone)
  • Hair Razors - Hairdresser, Kentish Town Road
  • Hairloom - Hairdresser, Fulham
  • Headmasters - Hairdresser, Fulham Road and elsewhere
  • Head Honcho - Hairdresser, Fulham
  • Marches Outdoors - Outdoor clothing in Ludlow (only hilarious if you realize that Ludlow is in the Welsh Marches)
  • Me me's - Hairdresser, Fulham Road
  • Peter's Pan (Fish Bar) - Birmingham
  • Pie Minister (restaurant), Leather Lane (small chain)
  • Plaice to Eat - Fish & chip shop somewhere (can't recall)
  • Planet of the Grapes - Wine store, near Clerkenwell
  • Pure Barberism - Barbers, Hammersmith
  • Rock and Roe Fish & Chips - New Malden
  • Scissors Palace - Hairdressers (various locations), amusing to classical historians
  • The Codfather - Fish & Chips, Northolt
  • The i-site, opticians in Hammersmith
  • Yak-Yeti-Yak - Chinese restaurant in Bath (maybe 1960s aficionado)
  • 4 Fellers - Gents hairdressers, Great Peter St SW1. Presumably there are four of them?