The Quick 10: How 10 Well-Known Beverages Got Their Names

Image credit: 

Today marks the anniversary of the first day Coca-Cola was sold. As a Diet Coke addict, I'm extremely grateful to Mr. John Stith Pemberton, although the first sales of Coke at Jacob's Pharmacy in Atlanta in 1886 were considerably cheaper (five cents a glass) than what I pay now. In honor of this historic day, I give you...

How 10 Well-Known Beverages Got Their Names

Coca-Cola was named for two of the ingredients that made up the drink at the time "“ coca leaves and kola nuts.

Mountain Dew is an old slang word for moonshine. It was marketed as "zero-proof moonshine" for a while and even used pictures of hillbillies in its marketing efforts until 1973.
Fanta - Two versions here, both based on the German word "fantasie" (fantasy/imagination). Story #1 "“ a contest was held for employees to name the drink. The inventors told employees to let their "fantasie" run wild. One salesman came up with Fanta. Story #2- same thing, except early versions of the drink were made from by products of cheese and jam production. Thus, the consumer would have to use their "fantasie" to imagine that the beverage actually tasted like oranges.

TAB "“ A computer randomly generated 250,000 three- or four-letter name possibilities. Why TAB was selected out of that list isn't for certain, but Coca-Cola says it's because it helps people keep "tabs" on their weight.

Pepsi "“ Used to be called the highly imaginative "Brad's Drink." Inventor Caleb D. Bradham bought the name "Pep Kola" from a local competitor, which eventually evolved into "Pepsi-Cola" and then "Pepsi".

Canada Dry "“ Pretty simple explanation here. It was invented in Canada, and dry was supposed to mean "not sweet" (as opposed to "not wet"). There you have it.
Started in Canada. Dry = not sweet

A&W Rootbeer "“ This one's pretty easy, too. A&W = the company's founders, Roy Allen and Frank Wright.

Gatorade "“ This beverage was invented to help a football team with dehydration issues. The team? The University of Florida Gators. Gator-aid.

Dr Pepper "“ The rumor is that the man who bought the formula, Wade Morrison, used to live near a Dr. Charles T. Pepper and had a thing for his daughter. Also, as someone who considers the AP Stylebook akin to the Bible, I have to share - with this particular brand name there is never a period after the "r" in Dr.

Squirt "“ So-named because it "Squirts" in your mouth like a ripe grapefruit.

May 8, 2008 - 10:55am
submit to reddit