More Odd Business Names

To continue the theme, begun before Thanksgiving, of oddly named business establishments in the Middle East . . . here are three (somewhat scatalogical) additions.  The funniness, the quirkiness here, the NQR, must be mostly attributed to our Western perspective in reading and understanding.  Certainly these names haven’t been invented just to be funny.  They pass, unnoticed, through the daily lives of many thousands of people.  So we must conclude that it is us, not them, with a skewed perspective.

Eye-catching Acronym

The first, Mohammad Ibrahim Law Firm, bills itself (on its website) as a ‘highly adequate service.’  As if this weren’t oxymoronic enough, it also announces its presence to greater Muscat, Oman, via a largish billboard overlooking the main Ministry District overchange.  This billboard attracts a fair amount of attention, at least from Westerners, because it uses the firm’s initials as a handy moniker:  M.I.L.F.

Just in case you're wondering, 'Coq' means 'chicken' in French.

The second, on a street corner in Rabat, Morocco, is part of a successful chain, like KFC for Francophiles.  Our hosts in Rabat assured us that the chicken is very good.  The billboard certainly doesn’t appear to be ashamed of itself.  We never ate at any of these locations, unable to overcome our own, more Anglicized, interpretation of the name.

Candy, anyone?

And, finally, what must certainly be the most bizarre and unattractive of all the odd names we encountered throughout our travels . . . this sweet shop in Abu Dhabi.  We snapped the photo while driving along the street, having seen the sign, then grabbing frantically for the camera, before (just barely) managing to get the photo as traffic whisked us away.  What, on earth, were these folks thinking, the owners (or their English translators/consultants) when they put together their brand and their billboard?


9 responses to “More Odd Business Names

  • Bev Jackson

    the bottom photo too small to read, but interesting topic. Maybe include the names in your narrative?

  • guitta

    The funniest one is the Candy one,I would like to congratulate their translator,hhahahaa
    Is it their family name (of the owner) I would love to know how they call the store in Arabic…hhaahaa

    • Benjamin Buchholz

      I think ‘Butt’ must be a family name. It seems the Arabic script on the sign reads “Mahal Butt lil-haloweeyat” so the Butt would seem to be a family name. Unfortunate for their family to have such a name and then to unknowingly pair it with a candy shop!

      • visiting

        Butt is a common Indian type name (originally Bhatt) and there are a lot of people from the subcontinent in the UAE. There may have been no translation at all as alot of the Indians are native speakers of English, they just hear Butt as a surname alot so it simply sounded like Smith Sweet House.

      • Benjamin Buchholz

        Thank you for the excellent clarification. Bhatt makes better sense! And let us hope for all the Smiths in the world that their name doesn’t transliterate into something mildly amusing on the subcontinent.

  • Abdul Aziz

    Ben, you wouldn’t belive it, i’ve noticed the MILF sign some months ago in Sohar and it was for the same business. you know from a translator prospective it is an eye catching thing.

    • Benjamin Buchholz

      Abdul Aziz . . . I wonder if someone should drop an anonymous message to Mr. Mohammad Ibrahim and explain what his acronym means in modern slang. 🙂 Interesting to know that they’ve taken their brand north to Sohar now too!

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