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Meister of Your Own Putz
November 26, 2003 2:31 PM   Subscribe

Saw it on a truck on the street; thought I was hallucinating; Googled it, and yes, they're into concrete pumping, and it's a German company, too. One for the "Bad Business Name Hall of Shame" that I started with my Blonder Tongue thread a year-and-a-half ago. Got any more? Think of it as a MetaTurkeyShoot for the day before Thanksgiving...
posted by wendell (27 comments total)

Just to be clear, putzen is the German verb for "to clean" and meister is, of course, "master." Hence, "cleaning masters." Germans would also pronounce it a bit differently: pootz instead of putz. But the name clearly doesn't carry over well.

One company name that always makes me smile is Assman, which is based in Austria. In their case, I think it's just the last name of the owner/founder, and not a declaration of any libidinous intentions.
posted by Ljubljana at 2:53 PM on November 26, 2003

i've always been amused by schwing.
posted by dolface at 3:00 PM on November 26, 2003

Remember Powergen, from Italy? Maybe you have to actually visit the url....
posted by scarabic at 3:11 PM on November 26, 2003

NYC Anal!
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:28 PM on November 26, 2003

Putzmeister and Schwing are in the same business?
Now all we need is the Wangdoodle Concrete Pumper Company.

And whatever happened to Wang Computers? What we need is a clone of the Dell Dude saying 'Babe, you're gonna get a Wang!'

This is much more entertainingly scatological than the Blonder Tongue thread was. hanks.
posted by wendell at 3:32 PM on November 26, 2003

I mean THANKS.
bad spellcheck...
posted by wendell at 3:33 PM on November 26, 2003

Unfortunately, it has nothing to do with excretion, but I always liked Borg-Warner, a company whose name makes it sound like they make equipment for detecting the cyborg race from Star Trek.
posted by kindall at 3:53 PM on November 26, 2003

Somehow, Genetiporc makes me squirm.
posted by ashbury at 4:04 PM on November 26, 2003

Scatalogical, you say?
posted by punilux at 4:12 PM on November 26, 2003

The Gallery of Regrettable Domain Names... don't let Lileks steal this one...
posted by wendell at 4:33 PM on November 26, 2003

Seamans Furniture ("It's not top quality unless it's got our name on it?") - agent search engine? or a naughty gift registry?


Initech Systems - if you could go ahead and come in on Saaaaturday.... that'd be terrific. Thaaaanks....
posted by kurumi at 5:14 PM on November 26, 2003

Krankenwagen (Ger. for ambulance) always made me giggle when I was in Germany because it brought images of 70's vans to mind.
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 5:30 PM on November 26, 2003

I always get a laff out of companies that have bleedin' obvious names.

Like the local courier company, Precise Couriers.

"Dammit, I knew I shouldn't have used that Imprecise Couriers mob!"

But to try and get back on the track of the thread...

Kone Elevators, and Grass Australia always make me chuckle whenever I see one of their vehicles on the road.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:33 PM on November 26, 2003

The old business school example, at the risk of telling a story that everybody probably knows, is the introduction of the Chevy Nova into Mexico, where of course "nova" translates to "doesn't go".

A few years ago me and a friend were driving and discussing what we'll name our pr0n company when we start it, and we drove behind a truck bearing the name "Amalgamated Pipe", and decided that would be it.

Siemens is definitely unfortunate.
posted by vito90 at 10:57 PM on November 26, 2003

A Chinese take-out restaurant near MIT decided to call itself "Pu Pu Hot Pot". Excellent food, though.
posted by dougb at 11:20 PM on November 26, 2003

The german word for jewelry is "Schmuck." He he. He said putzmeister.
posted by fatbobsmith at 11:48 PM on November 26, 2003

The old business school example, at the risk of telling a story that everybody probably knows, is the introduction of the Chevy Nova into Mexico, where of course "nova" translates to "doesn't go".

Except this is apocryphal...

Siemens is definitely unfortunate.

Not really; it's pronounced "zeemens."
posted by kindall at 11:51 PM on November 26, 2003

I used to work for a construction company that used The Erection Company (completely safe for work, even the photos section!). I actually have a t-shirt from them featuring a drawing of a man lifting a large load of steel with his... ummm... erection. No one else thought it was as funny as I did.
And yes, I'm older than 13.
posted by madag at 1:11 AM on November 27, 2003

There is a F.A.G. Ball Bearing's in Truro, Nova Scotia.
posted by jon_kill at 9:49 AM on November 27, 2003

Oh, and the House of Mei Mei in Halifax, otherwise known as the House of Meow Meow.

On the 40 in Montreal, there is a small building housing the auspicious headquarters of MultiDick.

Worst Slogan: Jungle Jim's family eatery in Dartmouth Nova Scotia: "Eat your face off!"
posted by jon_kill at 9:52 AM on November 27, 2003

And I must revisit the "In-N-Out Burger", some of Southern California's best burgers but worst name (They had the bumper stickers that teens would 'edit' to read "In-N-Out urge"). To top it off, they came up with a radio jingle they're still using:
That's what a hamburger's all about..."
posted by wendell at 10:25 AM on November 27, 2003

At least they don't sell hot dogs.
posted by kindall at 10:36 AM on November 27, 2003

"In-N-Out" always reminds me of "Bun and Run" -- Happy Kine's burger joint on "Fernwood 2Night."
posted by macrone at 11:55 AM on November 27, 2003

kindall - thanks for the Nova info. I did, literally, learn that anecdote from a business school professor. Now I'm off to sue my alma mater.

As for Siemens being pronounced with a "Z" sound, like it or not, for better or worse, the market determines how your name is pronounced. Of the thousands of times I've heard that name said, it always sounds like the spooge.
posted by vito90 at 7:23 PM on November 27, 2003

I think it was somewhere on Highway 49 (or was it 16?) that I saw the Glory Hole Center, where the 500-odd residents of Glory Hole, California go to shop. I found a little photographic evidence (not a great pic, alas) on the Web.
posted by aws17576 at 4:20 PM on November 28, 2003

Dykes lumber (and if you google for it you get an ad for NY Lesbian Dating ; >
posted by amberglow at 4:32 PM on November 28, 2003

Along the lines of "The Erection Company" (I was going to say "in the vein of" but that made me giggle), the Seattle area has T & A Supply, and Tacoma Screw Products.
posted by litlnemo at 4:39 PM on November 28, 2003

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