Nickname that store
November 30, 2010 8:53 AM   Subscribe

Rotten Ronnie's/GreaseDonLo's, Crappy Tire, Tar-gét, Wally World, Value Village (a la Phoebe "Néstlé TollBooth"), StupidStore, and more! What are your family's favorite colloquialisms for these and other "reputable" establishments?

Just looking for hilarious/nick-/alternate names that you and yours have invented or appropriated for the less-than-stellar shopping centres in your life. If it's way out there, extremely specific, local, or might not be that recognizable, please include the real name of the store too!

Names mistaken by children are also acceptable, and foreign mis-translations too!
posted by Khazk to Society & Culture (219 answers total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
 
Food Emporium is Food Extortium.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:54 AM on November 30, 2010


There was a Thriftway grocery store in Philly that we called Theftway.
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 8:56 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


K-Mart=Came-apart
posted by cosmicbandito at 8:57 AM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Office despot.
posted by leahwrenn at 8:58 AM on November 30, 2010 [7 favorites]


"Northworst" for Northwest Airlines.
posted by josher71 at 8:58 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


In my old neighborhood in DC we had what we called the Soviet Safeway because it was always out of staples like bread and milk.

There was also the Social Safeway in Georgetown where you could supposedly get a date while waiting at the check out stand (preppy eager college kid stereotype there).
posted by timpanogos at 8:58 AM on November 30, 2010


Kroger = blow-ger
Comcast = Comcrap
posted by ghharr at 8:58 AM on November 30, 2010


Red Lobster = Dead Mobster
posted by motsque at 8:59 AM on November 30, 2010


Circuit Shitty, or Circuit Cidiots
posted by matty at 8:59 AM on November 30, 2010


Whole Foods = Whole Paycheck
McDonald's = Den Gyldne Måge
posted by alchemist at 9:00 AM on November 30, 2010


oh, and we used to make fun of Ballbuster Video.
posted by matty at 9:00 AM on November 30, 2010


Office despot.

Home Despot.
posted by Lucinda at 9:01 AM on November 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


Woodworkers' Warehouse == Werewolves' Workhouse

Outback Steakhouse == Outhouse Steakback

Bed, Bath, and Beyond == Bloodbath and Beyond

Home Depot == Home Despot, Agent Orange
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 9:01 AM on November 30, 2010


Yep, DC has a thing about nicknaming Safeways. I recently saw the Soviet Safeway referred to as the "not-so-Safeway."
posted by JoanArkham at 9:02 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Home Depot = Home Cheap-o.
posted by infinitywaltz at 9:02 AM on November 30, 2010


Needless Markups=Nieman Marcus

Timpanogos, there's a blog out there somewhere with the Safeway nicknames; I'll see if I can find it. The one on Kentucky Avenue is called the "Unsafeway."

(Not a store, but I refer to the HMO as Kaiser Incompetente/Stupidimente, etc.)
posted by jgirl at 9:02 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Taco Hell. Whole Paycheck.

Our local grocery chain, Giant Eagle, is frequently known as 'Big Bird', 'Giant Beagle', and other less-complementary epithets in the same vein. A couple particularly run-down stores are known as 'Ghetto Eagle' or the 'Dirty Bird' ('though the original Dirty Bird, or at least the first one I heard referred to as such, is long closed...).

Penis bank (PNC) and its former competitor, National Shitty. We also have First Viagra Bank.
posted by FlyingMonkey at 9:03 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Aw, I hit post just as Mr. F said "Black Anus" for Black Angus.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 9:03 AM on November 30, 2010


Mcspreaders
Why Didn't They Warn Us Brothers
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 9:03 AM on November 30, 2010


Scooped by JoanArkham...
posted by jgirl at 9:03 AM on November 30, 2010


Kentucky Fried Children
posted by reegmo at 9:04 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


McDonald's=McCramps (as in stomach cramps)
posted by jgirl at 9:05 AM on November 30, 2010


Kentucky fried chicken = dead bird in a bucket, Canadian tire = Tired Canadian.
posted by Hildegarde at 9:05 AM on November 30, 2010


There was also the Social Safeway in Georgetown where you could supposedly get a date while waiting at the check out stand (preppy eager college kid stereotype there).

Along the lines of highly specific local references, the late-night Home Depot in South Boston came to be known among my gay friends as Homo Depot because it was a popular midnight cruising spot for rugged fellas of a certain persuasion.

I once had an angry customer come into the office store where I worked as a teenager and complain about the extortionist prices across the street at "Circumcity." Yikes.
posted by mykescipark at 9:05 AM on November 30, 2010


I always pronounce "UPS" as "oops," after the year my non-custodial-parent Christmas gifts were lost.
posted by SMPA at 9:05 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Barnes and Ignoble
posted by Spinneret at 9:05 AM on November 30, 2010


Ryanair: Haven't a care
Marks and Spencer: Marks and Sparks
Carphone Warehouse: Car fan whorehouse
Sainsbury's: Sainsbugs
Circuit City: Circuit shitty (and I see we're not the only ones!)
Starbucks: Starbies
The Apple store: The Orchard
posted by djgh at 9:06 AM on November 30, 2010


Kentucky Fried Chicken: Unlucky Fried Kitten
posted by djgh at 9:06 AM on November 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


Mervyn's was always "Vermyns" (vermins).
A local sporting goods store Gardenschwartz Sportz is "Garbage Sportz".
Circle K is "Circle A" like the anarchy symbol.
Thanks to the Simpsons for "BloodBath and Beyond".
Albertson's is "Butt-Sons".

I can't help including this street name; Avenida Christobal Colon is "Avenida Crystal Ball Cologne" (an enticing fragrance for men).
posted by No Shmoobles at 9:06 AM on November 30, 2010


We had Tar-gét as mentioned in the OP, but we also had Targhetto. These were two different stores.
posted by Ideal Impulse at 9:08 AM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


A brand rather than a store, but...

President's Choice - Prisoner's Choice
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:08 AM on November 30, 2010


Kum & Go gas stations have a lot of, uh, creative ones. My favorite being "ejaculate and evacuate".
posted by sanka at 9:11 AM on November 30, 2010 [9 favorites]


In college in Manhattan we had ASS-ociated and Gross Titties for Associated and Gristedes, respectively.
posted by Sara C. at 9:12 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Some Boston/New England local-ish stores:

Foodmaster (grocery) - Food Disaster
Stop and Shop (grocery) - Stoop and Poop
Kappy's (liquor) - Krappy's/Crappy's
posted by backseatpilot at 9:12 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Red Lobster = Dead Lobster
Red Robin = Dead Robin
Neiman Marcus = Needless Markup
posted by reductiondesign at 9:13 AM on November 30, 2010


There's also a gas station somewhere on the North Shore (Salem or Beverly, I think) that's called "Gibbs Energy". I call it Gibbs Free Energy, but I'm a thermo dork.
posted by backseatpilot at 9:14 AM on November 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


Bed Bath & Beyonce
posted by tetralix at 9:15 AM on November 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


Cracker Barrel = "Crapper Barrel". Although I don't know why I call it this, as I really like their food.
posted by I'm Brian and so's my wife! at 9:18 AM on November 30, 2010


Au Bon Pain = "Ow, bone pain"
posted by nicwolff at 9:19 AM on November 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


Gross Out = Grocery Outlet, a discount food retailer only on the West coast, I believe.
posted by fryman at 9:20 AM on November 30, 2010


Even though she loves the store, my mom calls Publix "Pube-licks".

(Also along the local references lines, the closest Publix to Florida State University's campus is nicknamed Club Publix.)
posted by GatorX3 at 9:20 AM on November 30, 2010


In a bad area of town there was the (Un)safeway.
Starfuckers
Clearly Whole Paycheck is a common one.
Anyone have any Trader Joe's nicknames??
posted by thankyouforyourconsideration at 9:22 AM on November 30, 2010


Wow, I really missed out on the funny names thing. Growing up, everyone just called the stores by their names.

I do have one, but it's local only to my family. There's a southern grocery store chain called Publix (PUB-licks), but the first time my grandma saw it she called it PUBE-licks. Mmm, pube licks.
posted by phunniemee at 9:22 AM on November 30, 2010


US Scareways = US Airways
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:23 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


What!? I guess I should have previewed! GatorX3, your mom and my grandma need to hook up.
posted by phunniemee at 9:23 AM on November 30, 2010


Along the lines of highly specific local references, the late-night Home Depot in South Boston came to be known among my gay friends as Homo Depot because it was a popular midnight cruising spot for rugged fellas of a certain persuasion.

In a different subculture they're Dom Depots. Cheap ropes and clamps and eyebolts and hey you're pretty much set for the weekend.
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:24 AM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


My mom and sister refer to Marshalls as "Chez Marshall."

There's a local upscale grocery called Holiday Market that is often referred to as "Holiday Markup."
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 9:25 AM on November 30, 2010


We have two Targets nearby. The crappy close one is Targhetto, and the new nice one is Targucci.
posted by dirtdirt at 9:25 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


There was a dollar store in my town growing up called Only Deals that had a mix between cheap but useful stuff* and complete garbage. One time my mom wrote out a check and the cashier gave it back to her and said "Umm, ma'am you'll have to make out the check to Only Deals." It turned out she had actually made the check out to "Mostly Deals" which apparently had made more sense in her head. After that we always called it Mostly Deals.

* I actually got a large bag of just fruit punch flavor Jolly Ranchers there once, which I have never seen anywhere else before or since.
posted by burnmp3s at 9:25 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Linens N Things = Linens N Shit
posted by sarajane at 9:26 AM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]



We had Tar-gét as mentioned in the OP, but we also had Targhetto. These were two different stores.


Walmarts can be similarly named. As lovingly dubbed by my upstate family members, there's the GhettoMart in Glenmont, NY, (possibly the one in Catskill, as well) and the RedneckMart in Cobleskill, NY.
posted by jgirl at 9:27 AM on November 30, 2010


US Scareways = US Airways

Before they were US Air/US Scare, they were Allegheny Airlines, AKA "Agony Airlines."
posted by jgirl at 9:29 AM on November 30, 2010


Bob Evans becomes a fancy restaurant as "Robert Evans" (pronounced 'eevans').

I refer to Walmart as "The 9th Circle of Hell".

And of course, "Bed, Bath, and Your Mom".
posted by bolognius maximus at 9:29 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Growing up there was a "Big 2 Body Shop" that my friends and I constantly re-arranged into "Tig Boo Shoddy Bop".

"Black-Eyed Pea" became "Rock-Hard Penis."

Naturally, "Sonic" was "Sonique" and "Jack in the Box" was "Crack in the Box."
posted by hermitosis at 9:32 AM on November 30, 2010


McQueasy.
Little Greaser's aka the place with the Hot n' Nasty.
We always dropped out the "L" on Publix...
Jack Off in the Box, or just "J-Boo."
KFC: Cluck'n'F***
Certain Kroger's always became Kroghetto (7th and High, Columbus, OH)
posted by Mister Fabulous at 9:32 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Stores can name the community, too. The aforementioned relatives live in a small town (practically a hamlet), [name]ville, with three dollar stores right.by.one.another.

Accordingly, we call the quaint rural locale "Dollarville."
posted by jgirl at 9:33 AM on November 30, 2010


I once misread Woodworkers' Warehouse as Woodworkers' Whorehouse. The name stuck.

Otherwise, more Boston/New England options:

Stop & Shop = Stop & Slop
New England Soup Factory = New England Slop Factory
Price Chopper = [well, replace the E in Price with a K]

Not New England specific:
Trader Joe's = Trader Hoes (how do you think they negotiate those low prices?)
Kentucky Fried Chicken = Kentucky Fried Chromosomes
McDonald's = McGonad's (another misreading, this time involving burnt out lights in the sign)
posted by metarkest at 9:35 AM on November 30, 2010


Jack in the Crack, Crack in the Box = Jack in the Box
posted by like_neon at 9:37 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I used to know a couple of costumers for a professional theatre who scoured the local Army and Navy surplus for clothes that could be modified and repurposed. They always called the A&N "Antoine's Boutique".

One of my sons, when he was just learning to read pronounced "Bootleggers", the name of a local bar, "bootle - gurrs" and it's stuck.

A local restaurant, "New Dynasty", has a website URL "newdynasty" which I read as "nudie-nasty", so that's what we call it.

Also, "Winners" = "Weiners".
posted by angiep at 9:38 AM on November 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


We always say "wombat" instead of Walmart. There used to be a grocery store in Hays, Kansas called Food Bonanza and we called it "Food Banana."

Also, in Dykes to Watch Out For, Alison Bechdel used parody names in place of certain brand names, and my family and circle of friends have stuck to her names for most of those places/things. Such as "Buns & Noodles" for Barnes & Noble; "Kiss My Butt" for "Kiss My Face" bath and skincare stuff.
posted by S'Tella Fabula at 9:38 AM on November 30, 2010


Jack in the Crack
C*cksucker Video
Starf*cks
Murder King
TJ's = Trader Joe's
posted by puritycontrol at 9:39 AM on November 30, 2010


Blockbuster = Lackluster
Compaq (the brand) = Comcrap
Burger King = The BK Lounge
posted by kimota at 9:39 AM on November 30, 2010


I always called Bed Bath & Beyond, "Bed Bath & One Step BEYOOOOND!"

Barnes & Noble = Buns & Noodle

IGA = Igga

Regardless of whether or not either establishment is attached to the other, my husband and I now burst out into song when we see a Pizza Hut or Taco Bell. "I'm at the combination Taco Bell/Pizza Hut" etc.

Couche-Tard (a chain of Quebec convenience stores): The Couch-Tard.

Chick-Fil-A = Cheeka Feela

Everything else (Target, Home Depot, etc.) has been covered for me!
posted by Kitteh at 9:40 AM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Jack in the Box == Jack in the Crack

Chitpotle == Chi-pot-tul (i.e. pronounce Chipotle as if you've never heard a word of Spanish).

Linens and Things == Not a nickname, but a delivery style. You pause a bit before saying "things" as if the things in question were dark, dangerous, evil or monstrous. "Linens ... and Things."

JoAnn == Must be said with an upper-crust Brahmin accent. "Jo-ahhhhn."

Any mini-mall featuring national chains == "The brands," as in "this mall contains all of my favorite retail brands."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:40 AM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


National Wholesale Liquidators (a NY-area discount chain) has always been Natty Ho to me.

There used to be a branch on lower Broadway, next to an Urban Outfitters store, that was staffed mostly by Sikhs. A friend referred to it as Turban Outfitters.
posted by neroli at 9:40 AM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Outback = Eetbeck
because of the over-the-top commercials years ago

Michaels MJ Designs = Michael's MJD Ezigns
because all their logos are so big on the "MJD" and then you see this piece of a word lying out there

Red Lobster = The Belted Shorts Place
because where we live that restaurant seemed notorious for 40ish guys in belted shorts standing around outside waiting for their table

Arvest Bank = See Our Vest Bank
an central US regional bank, Simpsons reference

Sonic = Sonic America
old, but years ago their commercials would go "Sonic, America's, Sonic, America's Drive-In"

Not exactly great stuff, but that's my bit for the soup pot.
posted by crapmatic at 9:40 AM on November 30, 2010


Qwest = Qworst
Wall Mart = Mall Wart
Barnes & Noble = Barney Rubble
Safeway = se fué (Spanish for "it left" or something like that)

Oh, and FedEx Office = Kinko's
posted by richyoung at 9:40 AM on November 30, 2010


My dad says "WalFart" and of course, Kfart.
posted by futz at 9:41 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


We used to call Montgomery Wards "Monkey Wards".
posted by misha at 9:42 AM on November 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


Burger King: "The BK Lounge"
Star Market: "Staah Maahket" (located in RI)
Pub Dennis: "Pub Menace" (a Chili's-type restaurant in RI that served all of us underage college kids at the time)
Stop & Shop: "Stop & Plop"
Your Place or Mine: "Topsides" (a bar in Bristol, RI that was always known by that name for some reason)
posted by sundrop at 9:43 AM on November 30, 2010


Kroger = "Krozhay" or even "chez Krozhay" (i.e., pronounce it as though it were French)

Gristedes = Grishitty's

Design Within Reach = Design Just Out of Reach
posted by kestrel251 at 9:44 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Courtesy of my brother: Trader Joe's -> Trader Ho's -> Trade Yer Hos

My mom: Pizza Hut -> The Pizza Slut

...Why does my family have a preoccupation with promiscuity?
posted by SugarAndSass at 9:45 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Market Casket instead of Market Basket. It cracked up the ladies in my church group years ago...
posted by pentagoet at 9:45 AM on November 30, 2010


Harvard Square Au Bon Pain = Au Bon Pain in My Ass

Various Atlanta Krogers - Murder Kroger, Disco Kroger, Hipster Kroger, Kosher Kroger, Krogay
posted by Constant Reader at 9:46 AM on November 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


Grocery shop A&P was called Anus & Penis in my family growing up.
My daughter renamed McD's Old MacDonalds (of the farm fame).
Growing up, we rarely refered to places or shops by their real name.
posted by saucysault at 9:47 AM on November 30, 2010


We call Red Lobster "Red Loser," though in this case it's based on an unfortunate malfunctioning sign on the building one time.

Because I worked for an Olive Garden while in college and could very easily spot the similar corporate b.s. in either restaurant, my friends and I use "Lobster Garden" interchangeably for either restaurant.
posted by terilou at 9:48 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


In college, we used to buy our Rainier beer--pronounced Rahn-yea in a phony French accent (roll your R!)--at Safeway--or, rather, Saff-whey, similarly in crappy fake Frenchy-talk. This was actually funny to us.
posted by Skot at 9:48 AM on November 30, 2010


Shittybank (Citibank)
Feebank (Keybank)
Heiner's or Heinie's (Heinen's)
Schmuck's (Schnuck's)

The last two are local-ish supermarket chains in Cleveland and St. Louis, respectively.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 9:50 AM on November 30, 2010


The grocery chain Giant Eagle in Pittsburgh was always "Dirty Bird".
posted by ifjuly at 9:52 AM on November 30, 2010


We call Red Lobster "Red Loser," though in this case it's based on an unfortunate malfunctioning sign on the building one time.

Ah! Building on this, when I was a lad living in godforsaken Medford, OR, some really determined gork was hell-bent on shooting out the "G" at the local Black Angus. I mean, every time they replaced the neon G, this guy would shoot it out (I only assume it was a guy).

BLACK AN US

hurr hurr hurr
posted by Skot at 9:53 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Jacques C. Pennay=J.C. Penney
posted by jgirl at 9:59 AM on November 30, 2010


In DC, the Au Bon Pain chain was (at least in my group) referred to as The S&M Bakery.

When M&T Bank got the naming rights to the Raven's stadium, annoyed fans started calling it "Empty Stadium." (Even though it was anything but.)

There used to be a Disabled American Veterans thrift store on North Avenue in Baltimore that was known as "Saks North Avenue," although that's sort of the reverse of what you're asking about.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:00 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, kitteh, we had Iggas as well.

Also: Whole Foods = Ho Foods ('cause hoes gotta eat too)
posted by Jon_Evil at 10:00 AM on November 30, 2010


Combo Pizza Hut / Taco Bell / KFC --- Ken-taco-hut.

Acme (Supermarket) - Ac-a-me (although this is a legit local pronunciation, for some, so ...)
posted by kellygrape at 10:01 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Cold Gravy = Old Navy
Homo-Erotic Despot = Home Depot

And Chevy Cavaliers are ca-vahl-ay, as the French would pronounce it.
posted by Coffeemate at 10:03 AM on November 30, 2010


We refer to our local Asda (UK supermarket, owned by WalMart) as the Great Satan. The nearby Co-Op (smaller, less evil UK supermarket) is the Little Satan.
posted by daisyk at 10:04 AM on November 30, 2010


A Google search with zero results indicates that my father may, in fact, have coined "Carnuvian Tire," for reasons entirely his own.

We were employees, not customers, but in high school it was good old Slave-on-Foods.
posted by Zozo at 10:06 AM on November 30, 2010


Co-Op are pretty ethical, y'know. Though I keep wanting to rename it 'Gud with fud' after their adverts...

Primark is known as Primarni to some - or 'Primart' if you're my mother.

I've heard Superdrug referred to as Superdrudge, too.
posted by mippy at 10:08 AM on November 30, 2010


A guy I know used to shop at the St Vincent de Paul thrift store. He always said his clothes were by "Vincenzo de Paolo."
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 10:08 AM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Saks North Avenue! Ah the memories; most of my wardrobe came from there back in the day.

Everyone in my family says Bahn-jalays for Bojangles because that's how my small and dyslexic son read it one day long ago.

In Asheville, the local supermarket chain is Ingles - my small, old neighborhood one is usually referred to as the Shingles. The generic word for all of them is in-gles (I do not know how to insert the accent) pronounced as in the Spanish word ingles (English.)

In Baltimore, we referred to Toys R Us as We Be Toys.

And Piggly Wiggly is always just The Pig.
posted by mygothlaundry at 10:11 AM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


When I worked in fast food, I had a manager who couldn't pronounce "chipotle" when it was part of the name of our new sandwich. So now, talking about our neighborhood Chipotle has turned into a contest of who can mangle it the worst. Cha-poodle. Chye-pote. Chapaloot. Chipatall. Choopaloodle.
posted by specialagentwebb at 10:12 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't know where this came from, but among my friends the Men's Wearhouse is known as "the White Devil's Warehouse".
posted by nicwolff at 10:12 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


McDonalds = Micky D's
Pay n Save = Pay n Pay
posted by cda at 10:14 AM on November 30, 2010


There was (or maybe still is) a pizza by the slice place a block from the UNM campus called Saggio's. We called it Saggy Hoes.
posted by sugarfish at 10:15 AM on November 30, 2010


To add to the Kum and Go fun:

Jizz and Jet
Fun and Run
Ejaculate and Evacuate
Splash and Dash
posted by chrisamiller at 10:22 AM on November 30, 2010


Good god, how did we all miss Fuddruckers?
posted by Mister Fabulous at 10:23 AM on November 30, 2010


Another Kum & Go: Sperm and Split.
posted by sanka at 10:26 AM on November 30, 2010


Tim Hortons => Timmy Ho's

I've been calling the Great Canadian Superstore 'StupidStore' all my life and don't even realize I'm doing it - it's always been simply 'the StupidStore'. I get funny looks from people sometimes who have no idea what I'm referring to.
posted by cgg at 10:26 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Au bon Pain = "Urban Pain" - said in a slack jawed, decidedly non-french accent
posted by polyhistoric at 10:27 AM on November 30, 2010


You already have this one, but I was once in Target and a man was carrying on a conversation in Spanish on his cell phone and said, "Estoy en Tarzhay." (silence.) "Tarzhay? Sabes? Target? Tarzhay?"

It totally cracked my shit up that it's still funny in Spanish.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:29 AM on November 30, 2010 [7 favorites]


Various Atlanta Krogers - Murder Kroger, Disco Kroger, Hipster Kroger, Kosher Kroger, Krogay

To add to this, a mouse ran across my foot at a Kroger many years ago. All my friends now call it Krodent.

Also, Wachovia = Walk All Ovah Ya.
posted by functionequalsform at 10:31 AM on November 30, 2010


In Baltimore, we referred to Toys R Us as We Be Toys.

That was used at least as far north as Connecticut in the eighties. (Was there an SNL sketch or something that popularized that? Or was it just obvious?)

Good god, how did we all miss Fuddruckers?

Haven't seen one in a while (they still around?) We, naturally, called them Buttfuckers. (Haven't seen Idiocracy, so I've no idea if that was your point.)
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:34 AM on November 30, 2010


Ukrainian Tire
Tiny Wee Tiger for Giant Tiger (similarly, Tiny Wee Eagle when we're in Ohio)
And from my UK days:
Chaos for Argos
Exist & Wait for B&Q
posted by scruss at 10:35 AM on November 30, 2010


Hannaford (New England grocery store chain) = "Can't Afford"
Market Basket (Another NE grocery store chain) = "Market Bastard" (although I also like Market Casket as mentioned above!)
Carl's Jr. was known among some former coworkers and I as Hot Carl's.

(Google "Hot Carl" at your own risk.)
posted by usonian at 10:36 AM on November 30, 2010


A guy I know used to shop at the St Vincent de Paul thrift store. He always said his clothes were by "Vincenzo de Paolo."

Similarly, I knew a guy who referred to the Salvation Army as "Aunt Sally's Boutique."

A friend's small child referred to Old Navy as "Old Maybe" and that has spread within our circle.
posted by dlugoczaj at 10:37 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm also surprised that no one here has cited Wal-Mart as "Evil Empire." That seems fairly common in my neck of the CT woods.
posted by dlugoczaj at 10:39 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Similar to kitteh's: Bed, Bath, and BEYOND! (beyond! beyond! beyond!) in a sci-fi echo effect.

For Lumber Liquidators: Liquid Lumbadators.

Years ago, Price Chopper had a logo with an ax chopping through a stylized coin with a Liberty head on it. Thus: Head Chopper.
posted by ROTFL at 10:40 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Supercuts knockoff "Hair Cuttery" has been "Hair Butchery" since they gave my little daughter a crew cut.

The local run-down supermarket with skeevy patrons is "The Fellini Market Basket."

This isn't strictly to spec but my wife, who is ignorant both of chain steakhouses and racial slurs, got confused and once earnestly instructed me to go to a store that was next to "Jigaboo Creek." She knew it wasn't quite the right word, but I had to explain what the offending term actually meant.
posted by Mayor Curley at 10:40 AM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


And a friend who didn't care for "snooty" French names one day blurted out "Bing Bang Bong" in an attempt to pronounce "Au Bon Pain." I've never called it anything else since that day.
posted by ROTFL at 10:42 AM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


SuperAmerica -> StuporAmerica
posted by AugieAugustus at 10:43 AM on November 30, 2010


I find it fascinating that so many of us rename the large chain establishments to distinguish them by neighborhood. My family's ghetto Kroger is different from Mister Fabulous's, mostly because the one at 7th and High is the Kroger That Shall Not Be Named (I used to endure hour-long bus rides to avoid that one.) We also have a Kroger of Doom, and "the good Kroger."

My classmates used to make puking sounds whenever we talked about Ralph's grocery stores. I don't know if this usage (i.e., "we went to 'glllleeccccch' for Halloween candy") counts as a nickname.
posted by SMPA at 10:43 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't remember if it was a childhood error that stuck or just an affectation, but we always called Toys R Us "Toys for Us."

Every movie theater in the area was "A Theater Near You."

Everyone in my family referred to Casa Bonita as "St. Taco's Cathedral" because of its exterior, and I think I was about twenty before I realized that wasn't its real name.

In high school, I went to a residential summer program; we ate in the refectory. Popular nicknames were "regurgitory" and "rat factory."
posted by Metroid Baby at 10:45 AM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Similar to kitteh's: Bed, Bath, and BEYOND! (beyond! beyond! beyond!) in a sci-fi echo effect.

A buddy used to call them Toilets, Towels and TOMORROW! in what I assume is the same voice.
posted by nebulawindphone at 10:46 AM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


They always called the A&N "Antoine's Boutique".

And there's always Sally Ann's, of course.
posted by Sara C. at 10:47 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Satan's Five and Dime -> Walmart
posted by nooneyouknow at 10:49 AM on November 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


Jack in the Box = Jack Off in the Food; Jack Off in Her Box; Jack in the Crack

Blockbuster = Ballbuster; Cockblocker
posted by porn in the woods at 10:51 AM on November 30, 2010


A friend's small child referred to Old Navy as "Old Maybe" and that has spread within our circle.

That reminds me, we call it "Old Lady" thanks to a somethingawful Photoshop Phriday entry from a few years ago.
posted by usonian at 10:52 AM on November 30, 2010


Old Navy = Child Slavey

Bed, Bath and Beyond = Bed, Bath and Beyonce
posted by tristeza at 10:52 AM on November 30, 2010


It totally cracked my shit up that it's still funny in Spanish.

A lot of people in the US who speak Spanish are actually bilingual and code-switch freely between slang and in-jokes in either language. But yeah. Good to know that some dumb jokes cross cultural lines.
posted by Sara C. at 10:54 AM on November 30, 2010


There's a King Sooper's (supermarket) in Denver in Cap Hill, the gay neighborhood, that everyone calls Queen Sooper's. Also, the aforementioned Homo Depot.
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 10:55 AM on November 30, 2010


Lots of amazing stuff in here...lol!

Thanks all!
posted by Khazk at 11:05 AM on November 30, 2010


I've heard "Traitor Joe's" after they started locking their dumpsters.

Also: Babysaurus!
posted by crepesofwrath at 11:07 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


J.C.Penneys = Jay Cee Pah-Nays -or- J.C. Penises
Giant Eagle = Big Bird
K-Mart = K-Hut
Acme = Smack-me (Cleveland Area Grocery Store)

In Fort Wayne, Indiana there was a strip mall with a "Naked Furniture" store and "Harry's Big and Tall" store right next to each other. Of course we called it "Big, Tall, Naked Harry's".....
posted by Lone_Wolf at 11:08 AM on November 30, 2010


"A lot of people in the US who speak Spanish are actually bilingual and code-switch freely between slang and in-jokes in either language."

I know. But it was still hilarious. Would have been hilarious in any language, really. It just tickled me.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:11 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


My dad always called the Grand Union supermarket the Grand Onion
Another one for Stop and Shop: Stoop and Schlep
posted by blueskiesinside at 11:11 AM on November 30, 2010


Bank of America = Bank of Assholes (not particularly ingenius, I know, but descriptive)
posted by infinitywaltz at 11:13 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Applebees = Crapplebees
Red Lobster = Dead Lobsters
Cracker Barrel = Cracker Smacker
posted by FergieBelle at 11:14 AM on November 30, 2010


We set our GPS to look for the nearest Linens N Things, and were tickled when it told us to pull into the parking lot for "Linens North Things."

Taco Bell = Taco Smell
Conversely, Del Taco = Smell Taco
Chipotle = Chi-poh-tul or Chip-o-top-lay
José Cuervo = Josay Coovera
Two Guys From Italy = Two Guys innuendo as in "Oh yeah, I used to eat Two Guys all the time, loved their breadsticks in my mouth," etc.
In-N-Out = In Plus Out
Whole Foods = Whole Paycheck
Wachovia = Walk All Over Ya

And I usually say Albertsons in a sing-song way like in the Pixies song Allison.

The best is when restaurants choose bad names all by themselves. We lived near the infamous Poo Ping Chinese Cuisine, and now we live close to Pho King Delicious.
posted by infinitewindow at 11:15 AM on November 30, 2010


We mysteriously acquired a short-lived Cargo Largo outpost when I lived in Sacramento (the other one's in Kansas City), which promptly got renamed "The GENOM Outlet."
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 11:23 AM on November 30, 2010


In NC, we have Harris Teeter -- the newest, fanciest one is called the Taj Ma Teeter.
posted by Comrade_robot at 11:23 AM on November 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


When I lived in Nashville, the Home Depot on Bell Road had large illuminated letters on the building facing I-24. Some of these would regularly be out... resulting in various versions of the name including my favorite HO POT. Which is what I have called it ever since.
posted by kimdog at 11:24 AM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


My husband calls Tim Hortons "Tim d'HORtons de DOE de NUTZ". He says he got it from some stand-up comedy routine years ago but we've never been able to find proof of that. (If anyone out there knows WTF he is on about, let me know, since now we all do it too and it'd be nice to be able to explain the provenance to people when they give me that quizzical look.)
posted by flex at 11:24 AM on November 30, 2010


Shitty Place Mall
posted by SomeTrickPony at 11:28 AM on November 30, 2010


Others: Blood Bath & Beyond, Little Squeezers


NYC specific: Ollie's at Lincoln Center is Bollies (Big Ollies), Ollie's Take Out at 88th is Smollies (small Ollies), Duane Reade is Dawn Raid
posted by kimdog at 11:29 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Mom used to refer to Salvation Army as Aunt Sallie's. Also, she said McDuckies rather than McDonalds. No idea where that came from. A friend of my wife has twin girls who we always thought coined the name Toys For Us but I see upthread others know it by this moniker as well.

Surprised no one has mentioned "Charbucks" yet.

In central Michigan the local coffee chain Beaner's Biggby's was known by my friends and I as "Starbucks Orange" thanks to the logo color and the ubiquity.
Food places - Little Skeezers/Sleazers pizza. Taco Smell/Hell.
Country Markett (a now-defunct grocery store I used to shop at in college) was widely known as Country Mark-Up thanks to the (by poor college student standards) high prices.
My brother in law called the home improvement store Menard's "My Nards". He used to repeat it over and over and laugh hilariously every time he saw a commercial for the place. (Granted, he was like 12 at the time...)

And distinguishing stores by neighborhood is useful. Ghetto Target is the place to go when you are trying to find electronics and entertainment. Why? Because the Nice Target will sell out fast, but the folks in the Ghetto Target neighborhood aren't exactly flush with the extra cash necessary to clear the inventory shelves when a new movie or game goes on sale. There are so many times we find the shelf empty at Nice Target, only to find the same thing in stock over at Ghetto Target...
posted by caution live frogs at 11:33 AM on November 30, 2010


Mom used to refer to Salvation Army as Aunt Sallie's.

We refer to Sallie Mae as Evil Aunt Sallie, or That Bitch Aunt Sallie.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 11:46 AM on November 30, 2010


Andronico's (local upscale-ish supermarket chain): Astronomico's.
Starbucks = Corporate Coffee
Bed Bath & Beyond = Bed Bath & Bouffant
Bank of America = Bank of Apartheid
Jack in the Box = Gag in the Bag or Hack in the Sack
posted by expialidocious at 11:49 AM on November 30, 2010


Home Depot = Dungeon Depot, Dom Depot
posted by tar0tgr1 at 11:49 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Back when I lived in Portland, OR, St.Vincent de Paul's thrift shop was simply Vinnie's.

Growing up in Los Angeles, all of the Denny's had their own names:
Glam Rock Denny's
Rock 'n' Roll Denny's
Hippy Dippy Denny's
Madonna Exit Denny's (way further north)

Also, this list might add a few more.
posted by bluejayway at 11:55 AM on November 30, 2010


Yup, Home Depot = Dom Depot.

My irritating ex-roommate called Trader Joe's "Trader Jose's"
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:58 AM on November 30, 2010


We sometimes refer to Chick-Fil-A as 'Lady Footlocker', since one might think they sell Fila shoes to women.
(it's a stretch, but good for a laugh when you're in the right mood)
posted by chickencoop at 12:02 PM on November 30, 2010


Anyone have any Trader Joe's nicknames??

I like to call it "Traitor Joe's".
posted by klausness at 12:06 PM on November 30, 2010


In Toronto, there used to be a cafe on Yonge St. called the "Maison du Croissant." For many students at Ryerson University, this became the "House of Toast."

And to many students at other institutions, Ryerson was "Rye High."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:09 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just thought of another one, Cafe Brioche in Market Square Portsmouth, NH = Cafe Biatch.
posted by Constant Reader at 12:13 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


(oops, looks like crepesofwrath got there before me)
posted by klausness at 12:13 PM on November 30, 2010


Oh, and Chicago had the "Rock and Roll McDonald's," (immortalized by Wesley Willis) but that actually was a rock and roll-themed McDonald's.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:13 PM on November 30, 2010


Coming to the party late - but instead of Crappy Tire my buddy just calls it Canadian Shit.
posted by Brodiggitty at 12:17 PM on November 30, 2010


K Mart is either Kfart or K Boutique.
JC Penney is Jean Claude PennAY
When my son was little the code word for Chuck E Cheese was Charles E Fromage, because any time it was mentioned he begged to go there. We had to avoid saying it, yet is was a good location for directions.
Toys R Us is We B Toys.
posted by littleflowers at 12:23 PM on November 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


Oh...in case you're from New England, Anne and Hopeless.
posted by littleflowers at 12:24 PM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Anyone have any Trader Joe's nicknames??

My sister calls it her boyfriend.
posted by kimdog at 12:34 PM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Grocery Outlet = GrocOut

Ross = Cross Dress For Less

Men's Warehouse = Men's Whorehouse

Red Robin = The Dirty Bird

Trader Joes = Trader Jizzo's
posted by karizma at 12:47 PM on November 30, 2010


The old Boston coffee shops called Coffee Connection were called Coffee Contraption or Coffee Conniption (as is "the kid of fits we had after a cople of quart-size iced coffees").
posted by wenestvedt at 12:58 PM on November 30, 2010


In Portland, OR, and the vicinity, Fred Meyer (grocery/department store now owned by Kroger) = Freddie's.

At the foofy liberal arts college I went to, the ancient Greek concept of timē/τιμή (honor, sort of) has been really big. For a while, the nearest pizza place that would deliver to campus was named Pizza Time. Thus, Pizza Timē. (With a delightful spray-painted accent mark on the building itself.)
posted by linettasky at 1:12 PM on November 30, 2010


Another one specific to New England: Big Y = "The Big Why?"
posted by a louis wain cat at 1:13 PM on November 30, 2010


Jack in the Box = Jack in the Balpha, among a certain set of math nerds.
(This only makes sense with the old logo, though.)
posted by xil at 1:17 PM on November 30, 2010


Thanks to their lighted letters going out...

Waffle House = Affle House, Waffle Hose
posted by heatvision at 1:17 PM on November 30, 2010


Qdoba = Qdoobie
Taco Bell = Toxic Smell
Burger King = Murder King
posted by Dr-Baa at 1:18 PM on November 30, 2010


Oh...in case you're from New England, Anne and Hopeless.

I totally forgot that one, since they're mostly gone. And I've recalled another few:

Bank of America = Skank of America
Coffee Connection (RIP) = Coffee Infection
posted by metarkest at 1:29 PM on November 30, 2010


The Goodwill Bargain Outlet was always The Bargain Barn.

I still call basically every large warehousy thrift store The Bargain Barn. This confuses most people.
posted by grapesaresour at 1:30 PM on November 30, 2010


Pizza Hut = Pizza Hat
PetCo = PutzCo
D'Angelo (New England sub chain) = Damngelo
posted by usonian at 1:43 PM on November 30, 2010


We have a True Value franchise here called "Beyond Hardware", which turns into "Beyond Thunderdome".
posted by Lucinda at 1:51 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Remember how subway used to pull out the top part of the bread and put the fillings in the little "ditch" that remained?

Subway to me will always be "Dig a Ditch."

Barnes and Chernoble

Taco Bell = Taco Mud (uh... 'cause what goes in must come out)
posted by ephemerista at 2:23 PM on November 30, 2010


Pizza Gut
Queasy Jet
posted by aiglet at 2:26 PM on November 30, 2010


There was a VIDEO TYME in Socorro, NM with the V and Y on the sign burnt out -- it was known as Idiot Me ever after.

I have friends who call Village Inn "The Six", presumably because they got sick of saying "The V.I."
posted by vorfeed at 2:27 PM on November 30, 2010


New Englander here; we too called Pizza Hut "Pizza Slut" in high school. Also my husband thanks you all in advance for getting "combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell" stuck in my head, which I will annoy him with later this evening.

Dunkin' Donuts: Dinkin' Dog Nuts I don't even know with this one. Probably junior-high related.
Stop & Shop: Stop & Pee (after this joke my sister used to tell when she was little: "What do you get when you combine A & P and Stop & Shop?")
Harris Teeter (NC grocery store): Teets, Taj Mateeter--this is the particularly new/fancy one near our house (OMG Comrade_robot, do we have the same brain?!!)
Bojangles: pronounced bo-han-guh-lays with emphasis on the "-han"
Bed Bath & Beyond spoken aloud is always followed by "if there's time..." in my house.
posted by Fui Non Sum at 2:29 PM on November 30, 2010


Also from New England! My town's variation on Market Basket: Market Bucket
posted by Fui Non Sum at 2:33 PM on November 30, 2010


Oh, yeah, and I always call Vitamin Cottage "Vitamin Hut". Despite the fact that it's been renamed to "Natural Grocers", it's still Vitamin Hut.
posted by vorfeed at 2:36 PM on November 30, 2010


Bank West = Wank Best. So obvious I don't know why it didn't occur to them when they came up with the name.
posted by Wantok at 2:49 PM on November 30, 2010


that reminds...there's an infamous furniture store in Memphis called Victorian, and they have a gigantic unfortunate sign that says in letters big enough to see as you zip down the road "VICTORIANUS.COM" so of course everyone in this city chortles about "victory anus".
posted by ifjuly at 3:06 PM on November 30, 2010


Taco Bell = Taco Hell, Taco Hades, Taco Smell. My friend and I also called one specific Taco Bell in Bloomington, IN Taco Bailey, as in former IU basketball player Damon Bailey. No idea why - I think someone had spotted him there once.

Fuddruckers = Buttfuckers, Bumfuckers

Pizza Hut = Pizza Slut, Pizza Smut

McDonalds = McDumbass

Kentucky Fried Chicken = Kensucky Fried Chicken

Wal-Mart = Wal-Fart
posted by SisterHavana at 3:07 PM on November 30, 2010


Jack in the Box -- Jacques dans la boite

In Houston in the 1970s, strip malls were going up all over the place. One of them near my parents' house had a sign that said "Another [something] strip mall" with the builder's name. Someone had graffitied it so it said, "Another useless fucking strip mall" -- which is what we've referred to them as ever since.

Similarly, lame shopping malls are Scotch tape malls, after this sketch -- http://snltranscripts.jt.org/78/78bscotch.phtml.

And Home/Office Depots are Despots in my family as well.
posted by katemonster at 3:08 PM on November 30, 2010


Oh god, this kind of thing is such an obsession for me and my friends. For the full effect you have to do this special voice, hard to describe, kind of like Milhouse with buck teeth. "Best Buy? MORE LIKE WORST BUY!!!" The best are the ones made up on the spur of the moment while driving.

It's also fun to go "meta" (ahem) on the whole theme and come up with really bad ones on purpose. "Circuit City? More like Circuit SUCKS!"

In closing, Ubercrummy and Felch.
posted by steveminutillo at 3:09 PM on November 30, 2010


I'm surprised that nobody's mentioned "Radio Shock" for Radio Shack. Perhaps it is too mundane.
posted by that girl at 4:14 PM on November 30, 2010


My Albany-based in-laws refer to a local grocery chain as Hannafraud's...
posted by FlyingMonkey at 4:38 PM on November 30, 2010


Here in Albuquerque we have a Smith's called "Ghetto Smiths" and a Smith's called alternately "Regular Smith's", "Nice Smiths" or "Hipster Smith's". I also have been known to call one of the Smith's, which used to be a Furr's, "Smurrs".

There's also a K-Mart by my house that my parents always called Y-Mart because the bottom right "leg" of the neon "K" went out for a while. We did the same thing with People's Flowers; the first part of the word up to the leg of the "p" went out, making the "p" look like a cursive "s", rendering it "sle's" (pronounced "sul's", making the u as short as possible).

Occasionally substituting "maul" for "mall" is also popular (I'm pretty sure I've just seen this done by friends who work there though).

We also never remember which one is Home Depot and Home Base and so my mom started calling them Home Depobase.

My dad also calls all convenience stores Kwik-I-Marts.

Oh, and some friends of mine call Forever 21 "Forevz".
posted by NoraReed at 4:41 PM on November 30, 2010


Harris Teeter = Harry's Tweeter
posted by c lion at 4:53 PM on November 30, 2010


7-11 = "the Sev"

Mohawk Gas Station = "the Hawk"

Not a nickname, but I've heard the explanation for Esso as "every sucker stops once"

Salvation Army = "Sally Ann's"
posted by Pomo at 5:40 PM on November 30, 2010


Lane Bryant = Lame Giant

I used to live just down the street from Kosher Kroger. Man, I miss that neighborhood and Bagel Palace.
posted by missrachael at 5:41 PM on November 30, 2010


Oh man, we do this all the time.

Tim Hortons = Quim Snortins
Zellers = Smellers
Burger King = Booger King or Bugger King

A friend of my SO's renamed the Atlantic Superstore "Atlantic Poopingwhore".
posted by bewilderbeast at 6:02 PM on November 30, 2010


Waffle House = Awful House
First Union Bank = First Onion Bank
Bed Bath and Beyond = Bed Bath and Bankrupt
posted by dephlogisticated at 6:24 PM on November 30, 2010


Grande Upsilon for Big Y, but that might just be me and my brother.
Generically, 'harmacy' for 'pharmacy'. It seems like any given pharmacy's sign will lose the P first and thus there's at least one CVS or Walgreen's harmacy nearby.
I will occasionally get sandwiches from the Au Bon Pain (pronounced PAIN), but a friend of mine prefers the Chip-o-tul.
posted by cobaltnine at 6:31 PM on November 30, 2010


Cratée et Barrélle (with a fake French accént) = Crate & Barrel
Savalot (also French - Sahv-a-low) = Sav-a-lot, a drug store chain
posted by Jasper Fnorde at 6:32 PM on November 30, 2010


there was a goth club in Toronto called sanctuary that everyone referred to as skanktuary, because it was so filthy
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 7:07 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


QFC (West Coast supermarket) = "The Q-Fuck" (phonetically)
I sing "I'm at the Dunkin Donuts! I'm at the Baskin Robbins!" whenever I see a combination Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins. The syncopation is all wrong but it's funny. Ish.
In Albany my best friend and her partner had a regular Price Chopper and the Ghetto Chopper.
posted by alicetiara at 7:13 PM on November 30, 2010


there was a goth club in Toronto called sanctuary that everyone referred to as skanktuary, because it was so filthy

Now it's "The Saddest Starbucks in the World."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:52 PM on November 30, 2010


In my neighborhood we have a corner grocery called Papa & Sons, and about a year ago they opened an additional store on the opposite corner with organic food and other products geared toward the expected onslaught of gentrification. Officially, this is Little Papa & Sons, but to us it's Papa's White Sons, or White People Papa's.
posted by Jon_Evil at 8:36 PM on November 30, 2010


From my dad:

Taco Bell = Taco Belch
Burger King = Burger Sling/Burger Fling


I started calling Barnes & Noble "Barnes & Chernobyl" in college and haven't stopped since. We also had a very sketchy Chevron near my campus that was referred to as either "the Crack Chevron" or "Murder Mart."

I have a friend who calls Waffle House "Marfle House" - no clue why.
posted by sarahsynonymous at 8:49 PM on November 30, 2010


The local coffee chain Arabica in Cleveland used to have 3 stores that I'd heard referred to as Ara-freak-a, Ara-chic-a, and Ara-geek-a, based on their locations (on Coventry, in Shaker Heights, and next to Case.) At least one of them (Ara-freak-a) has since closed down, though.

I've been somewhat surprised to realize that I've never heard one for Star or Shaw's (Boston), though I've heard the Foodmaster and Kappy's ones. (And yeah, Home Depot usually goes from Home Despot to just The Despot)
posted by ubersturm at 9:23 PM on November 30, 2010


Almost everything's been covered, boo. So we're down to fortuitous names:
Phu Ket Thai Restaurant = "Wanna cook dinner?" "Nah, FucKit, Thai."

And permanently broken signage like Y-mart and...No TV-watching Saskachewanite can forget the Foo Mart .

And indelible movie/TV associations, e.g.: "Strange things are afoot at the Circle K"; the large Safeway on Castro St. in SF being referred to as 'Big Gay Al's Big Gay Safeway' (what kind of market is it? Super! thanks for asking!)
posted by bartleby at 9:26 PM on November 30, 2010


My brother-in-law has a lot of snide little nicknames for businesses that are kind of amusing. He should be a writer for Mad Magazine or Wacky Packages. The only one I can remember right off the top of my head is Lillian Vernon = Lillian Vermin. Also, the one time he visited our house, he saw our 'Blinds To Go' venetian blind/window treatment store, and made a comment comparing it to a fast food establishment with a drive-through where they'll poke your eyes out. I don't remember his exact comment, but I chuckle every time I go past the store.

I had a computer teacher that pronounced the name of the defunct computer store Comp USA as 'comp-PUCE-ah' (with an emphasis on the 'puce'). That's still how I pronounce it when I think of it.

We had a restaurant called Hoolihan's (Bennigan's-like chain restaurant). I had an instant dislike for the restaurant, and I've referred to as Hooligan's ever since the first time we went there. My mom still corrects me.. I don't think she understands that I'm calling it the wrong name deliberately.

(Oooh, I like Barnes & Chernobyl. I'll claim that as my own.. *ahem*.....)
posted by Mael Oui at 9:28 PM on November 30, 2010


Oh, and I'd wager the TV series Chuck has permanently changed BestBuy to BuyMore and GeekSquad to NerdHerd for all those who watch it and their friends&families.
posted by bartleby at 9:34 PM on November 30, 2010


coffee bean & tea leaf = Teabean

(the fun part is watching people be slightly confused after you refer to it as that in public)
posted by annie o at 10:35 PM on November 30, 2010


This might be too local, but near my home town (in Mount Pleasant, MI) there is a casino called Soaring Eagle. We always called it the Roaring Seagull.
posted by lexicakes at 10:36 PM on November 30, 2010


The Blockbuster Music store here was bought by Wherehouse Music and my friend always called it Whorehouse.
posted by IndigoRain at 12:00 AM on December 1, 2010


Radio Shack = Rat Shack.

Long John Silver's = Long Dong Silver's.

Putt-Putt Golf = Butt-Fuck Golf. (Sorry. We were sixth-graders.)

Our rival private school St. Pius was called "St. Pyro" for a while in the '70s, because they supposedly burned down our grandstand.

Scrooge's Arcade became "Sroe Cogs" due to a very poorly designed logo.

And some related-but-technically-off-topic items:

Doo Dads (the snack food) = Spap Oop. (Turn the box upside down.)

I still occasionally call Costco "Price Club" by mistake.

TRS-80 = Trash-80.

My friend Carl always pronounced IBM as "Ibbum".

Among another circle of friends Wal-Mart's old "Sam's Choice" house brand became "Sam's Penis" for very specific reasons that I no longer remember. Sam's Penis Cola was the canonical example.
posted by Lazlo at 1:16 AM on December 1, 2010


Harris Teeter = Harry's Tweeter

My family turned this into "Derek Jeter".
posted by Lucinda at 5:29 AM on December 1, 2010


When I was in college, people generally just referred to the 24-hour Harris Teeter as the Hairy Teat.
posted by rhymeswithaj at 8:18 AM on December 1, 2010


The Capri Theater in Blacksburg, VA shows second-run movies for two bucks. It is called the Crappy, of course.

Nthing: Waffle Hose, Awful House, Waffle Ho, First Onion, Home Despot, Homo Depot, the Teet, Tarzhay, Krozhay, Jé Cé Pennée, Ruddfucker's. (That last one we also verbed in high school, so for "going to Fuddrucker's" we'd say "Ruddfucking.")

For me, McTacoHut predated the combination Taco Bell and Pizza Hut by a number of years.

At the 9:30 club in DC, there is (was?) a little window where you can order shitty bar food, with a decaying sign that reads "FOOD FOOD." We called it the Foodfood.

Don't ask me why a friend of a friend used to say "swiggity-tizz" for Sweet Tomatoes, the salad chain, but it stuck.

Any shitty/kitschy Applebee's-type chain restaurant is H.P. Pickleshitter's, which I thought was a joke from the Onion, but the google machine suggests it is really an inside joke from an old blog making fun of Ann Arbor. Fair enough.

I always want to pronounce Uhaul "oo-ha-ool", like Raul.

Bojangles is, always and forever, Bojánglés.
posted by clavicle at 9:32 AM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh yes. Harris Teeter in my hometown was Hairy Peter, and I was proud to bring that with me to college.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:12 AM on December 1, 2010


Ooh, I just remembered this one. There's a specialty pet store near in my old neighborhood with a sign that reads "PARROTS PARROTS PARROTS JUST PARROTS" (although apparently the store is also called American Bird Co). This has been extended for use at any little mom-and-pop store. Futons futons futons just futons! Burgers burgers burgers just burgers! Pizza pizza pizza just pizza!
posted by specialagentwebb at 10:45 AM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Local nighclub/venue known as The Granada was dubbed "The Granasty" after a particularly sweaty rave.

Area supermarket known as Dillion's reffered to as "Disco Dillons"
posted by hellojed at 10:50 AM on December 1, 2010


Mal Wart
McDogfood
posted by Daddy-O at 11:50 AM on December 1, 2010


Oh, and Cockbluster Video.
posted by clavicle at 12:00 PM on December 1, 2010


The convenience store (Stop and Go) near my college was known for frequently being held up, and acquired the dual names of Stab and Grab and also Stop and Rob.

I now live a couple miles from a store titled - I kid you not - Hit and Run Liquor. You can't make this up.
posted by mostly vowels at 12:08 PM on December 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Best Buy - Beast Buy
CompUSA - ChumpUSA, InCompetent USA
posted by porn in the woods at 2:05 PM on December 1, 2010


How could I forget! Thanks to Mrs. usonian, Tractor Supply Co. is known around these parts as "Tractor Surprise."
posted by usonian at 2:28 PM on December 1, 2010


Now that I think about it, I don't think my partner and I call any businesses by their real names for some reason:

Traget = Target
The Despot = Home Depot
Straybucks or Store Box = Starbucks
Ee-kay-uh = Ikea
Co-Misery = Commissary
IHORP = IHOP

Also, when we're at IHORP, we put Billy Ray Cy-rup on our pancakies.
posted by illenion at 3:23 PM on December 1, 2010


Country Kitchen (restaurant, I think now defunct): Cunt be itchin'.

sorry about that :)
posted by wwartorff at 6:50 PM on December 1, 2010


Oh yeah, and in Newport, RI there is a tourist trap restaurant called the Barking Crab - locally known as the Barfing Crab.
posted by illenion at 7:05 PM on December 1, 2010


A friend has a T-shirt reading 'Apple Crumble and Fish'.
posted by mippy at 4:26 AM on December 2, 2010


I really shouldn't read this at work... I'm getting tears in my eyes trying not to laugh out loud.

My aunt married a Mexican American who always called Taco Bell the Mexican Phone Company.

In college Taco Bell was Taco Merdo. It was a bastardization of French.

For my 11 year old, it's Bella de Taco, said with an Italian accent. Also, at Bojangles (Bo HANG els) you get a ham biscotti, according to him.
posted by littleflowers at 7:59 AM on December 2, 2010


Ee-kay-uh = Ikea

Actually, I think that is the way it is "supposed" to be pronounced. I think Apartment Therapy had something on that years ago.
posted by jgirl at 5:06 PM on December 2, 2010


Doh jgirl, you're right - I forgot that we pronounce Ikea that way as a throwback to my partner's time spent living in Italy.
posted by illenion at 11:11 AM on December 3, 2010


(I've also known people who call it "ICKY-yuh," though, which is definitely not any sort of "correct" way to say IKEA.)
posted by nebulawindphone at 12:05 PM on December 4, 2010


Naan-N-Curry: Naan-N-Murder. No offense meant to Naan-N-Curry at all, it's just where me and a friend were planning to lunch after a proposed senseless murder spree which never materialized because of our lack of weaponry and sustainable sense of rage.
posted by eegphalanges at 2:09 PM on December 4, 2010


When I was in high school, they called the local Safeway "Slaveway."
posted by aniola at 10:35 PM on December 6, 2010


Oh, I totally forgot!

I call IHOP "A-HEP" after I ate there for the first time in about 15 years and had to get a Hepatitis A vaccine the next week after they found out a cook there had Hep A. Yum!
posted by tristeza at 5:37 PM on December 11, 2010


Here in Tucson, there's a David's Bridal Shop right next to Dave's Bar-B-Q. They share the same minimall. The same sign.

Inevitably, it's known as Dave's Bridal Bar-B-Q.
posted by MrVisible at 12:58 PM on January 7, 2011


Baskin & Robins = "Bastard Robins" (was originally a comment on the prices)
Burger King = "Burger Kink" (come on, he has to be kinky; look how he dresses)
Canadian Tire = "Ukranian Tire" (Winnipeg has a lot of Ukranians)
Midas = "Wide-Ass"
Sears = "Sneers"
Taco Time = "Awful Slime"
Value Village = "Value Pillage" (that's how we shop there - "Let's go Pillage the Village!")
posted by Hardcore Poser at 4:42 PM on January 7, 2011


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