Saturday, September 17, 2011

Top 5 Best Company Abbreviations You Didn't Know

You've heard of these companies, but do you know what the names stand for?

5: AT&T - In 1880 American Bell Telephone Company (Alexander Graham Bell's company) began a project to run wire cables from New York to Chicago.  A corporation was established to oversee the project--The American Telephone and Telegraph Corporation.  This later became AT&T Corp., which was eventually bought by SBC Communications and renamed AT&T Inc.--the AT&T we know today.

4: Sunoco - Founded as Sun Company Inc. in 1886, it later changed its name to Sun Oil Company, and later still to Sunoco.  It's always been an oil/natural gas company.

3: Nabisco - The National Biscuit Company set up shop in 1898 in the world's first skyscraper (the Home Insurance Building in Chicago).  Nabisco doesn't make biscuits, but they make a variety of cookies and crackers you eat all the time (Oreo, Chips Ahoy!, Ritz, Fig Newtons, and on and on and on).

2: JVC - We have JVC to thank for the VHS tape, but early in its history, JVC  was known by its full name The Victor Talking Machine Company of Japan, Limited--later shortened to Japan Victor Company.  Originally the company sold gramophones and records of vaudeville monologues.

1: A&P - A&P is a supermarket (as in a giant grocery store) in the northeastern U.S., but in 1859, A&P's forerunners were purchasing cheap tea from Chinese plantations and selling it in New York under the banner of The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company.  It later expanded to selling groceries in its empire of 16,000 stores at its peak in 1930.  By 2010, it had lost much of its market share, and filed for bankruptcy with only a few hundred stores remaining.  Its future remains uncertain.

So there you have it--something different.  Not so funny, but hopefully interesting.  Ah, whatever, nobody seems to read this blog on Saturdays anyhow.  And in case you're wondering (and I realize you're not), I did very much want to use "Esso," which is or was the operating name of several Standard Oil companies (Standard Oil of New Jersey, for example), however, Esso is not an abbreviation--it's derived from the company's name: Standard Oil = S.O. = (phonetically) Esso.  Pretty stupid, huh?


  1. CVS!!!! Consumer Value Store

  2. Huh, guess i never thought about it.

  3. You forgot LL Cool J.

  4. And I thought A & P stood for A$$holes & Pricks, and was founded by a disgruntled cashier!

  5. Re #3, in Europe cookies are called biscuits.

  6. But isn't Nabisco called "Kraft" in much of Europe? Anyway, yes, the term biscuit referred to all cookies/crackers in the early U.S. as well.