Lunchtime poll – made-up food names
January 14th, 2011
12:30 PM ET
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I swear, I had to come back into the living room and back up the TiVo to make sure I wasn't hallucinating. I listened to the commercial once, then again, then verified with my husband.

"I didn't just fall and bump my head, right? The announcer did actually say, 'Any'tizers® QuesaDippers™,' right?"

Yes. Yes he had.

Hey, I dig a good neologism or tasty portmanteau as much as the next lady. For crying out loud, the word "Eatocracy" came into being during a conference call last spring as I ranted, "It'll be a food democracy! A foodocracy! Heck, an eatocracy!" Boom. Legal department e-mailed, domain nabbed, Twitter feed and G-mail addy secured and now we have, like, officially-printed aprons and cutting boards and everything.

For web-based businesses, I totally cut slack. Decent domain names are wickedly hard to snare, and creative spelling often called for. But a food item? Generally at least a tad suspect for me. There's a good chance it's madly processed, because the more naturally or classically made stuff already has, you know - names (confit = okay, word with a ®, ™ or random apostrophe ≠ okay).

I'm not saying that a piping hot basket of Any'tizers® QuesaDippers™ or some Very Cherry Crispitos® ("With a convenient hand-held shape...a practical option for an on-the-go lifestyle.") wouldn't taste pretty righteous after a night of pounding down some Hpnotiq®. But, with all my language faculties intact, they just don't sound like a smart idea.

Bonus round - share your favorite made-up food names in the comments below!



soundoff (184 Responses)
  1. rtyecript

    I really liked the article, and the very cool blog

    August 22, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  2. Ryan

    I do admit... The names for foods are becoming very strange... I Think it should be simple, what if you are starving for exalmple; the name needs to be short and simple. Spend less time trying to figure out the name and more time eating it!

    January 31, 2011 at 12:49 am |
  3. niqui

    it looks like delicious..hmmmm

    January 17, 2011 at 10:52 pm |
  4. I hope

    all of you die

    January 16, 2011 at 3:41 am |
  5. golfwidow

    I like made-up words for just about anything, and I think food – Spam, for instance – benefits from creative wordification.

    Pass the nachos.

    January 16, 2011 at 2:58 am |
  6. milton

    I'll try anything once; but very few innovations seem to really pan out when it comes to food. And it's not the names that are bad; but the actual food. For example, McDonald's is bringing back the Arch Deluxe. I don't like McDonald's hamburgers very much; but I did try it the first time it came out. I'll take a Big Mac or 1/4 pounder over that any day of the week, and twice on Sundays, and they actually hired a fancy chef to design that as well as some other menu items that came out at the same time.

    January 16, 2011 at 2:49 am |
  7. jesse

    You know... I generally love the food and all, but the salt content apparently skyrockets the more the name is made up. I'm only 23, 6 foot, and around 200 lb. I can't help but glare when I see these kinds of names on food because I've had high blood pressure since I was 16 because of this b.s. I don't know which offends my senses more the rediculus salt content that goes up with every odd name after the other, or the way the "english" grates on my nerves every time I read them.

    January 16, 2011 at 2:06 am |
  8. Lucien

    Where is the option in the poll for "No"?

    January 16, 2011 at 1:10 am |
  9. fuud for fun

    anytizers? lame, How about simply what it is tizer. Like free range chicken breast trimmed dipped in beeten egg rolled in parmesean,chayene,chili powder, salt n pepper. hmmmmmm long for the box dang it I'll have to go for FRCBPCCPSNP. Sounds yummy???

    January 15, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
  10. timothy k

    Why can't I select the title of the poll as an option? Yes, a different sounding name gives me pause. It's good advertising.

    January 15, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
  11. efoxvt

    I have a hard time grasping the concept that all these big name food companies employ to further their sales. As a restaurant owner for over five years, I have come to realize what low food quality standards most businesses have these days. Seasoned and precooked taco meat in a can – really? Because it is so hard to cook some ground beef in a skillet. I am rather meticulous about the quality of the items in my kitchen and I hope that my customers appreciate it. It saddens me to realize what people will eat and with lack of food knowledge, it's even worse. There are entire TV channels dedicated to learning all aspects of food – watch it and take some of it in and maybe you won't be eating something that isn't even a real word, just a ploy to gain your interest and buy their product. Make a move, not only toward eating better, but making food that actually tastes good!

    January 15, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
  12. Andrea M

    Theory fail. I've been pounding redbull voddies all day and chased it all with a Whopper now my stomach is severely questioning my judgment and my right middle finger is itching to go down my throat to yack it all up and feel better. Your theory of Hypnotiq and cherry whatever is making my stomach turn more tricks just thinking about it.

    January 15, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
  13. Lynn

    Often wondered what part of the chicken do the nuggets come from......and when did a peanut butter sandwich and an apple fall out of favor as a lunch option? Easy to pronounce and doesn't require a drivethru lane.

    January 15, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
    • Jeff

      They're found just above the chicken fingers.

      January 15, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
  14. Stevie D

    Two words to describe the horror of made up food names: "King Krab"

    January 15, 2011 at 10:37 pm |
  15. brad barnett

    I have a few simple rules about food descriptions. I will NEVER eat any of the following foods:

    1. If the product name begins with "I can't believe it's not..."
    2. "made with REAL, (fill in the blank)!!!
    3. or any food prepared with a device that has been "seen on TV"

    January 15, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
  16. Jay

    No food-item with a copyright will EVER enter my kitchen.

    January 15, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
    • Emmaleah

      Good call. I take it you avoid genetically-modified foods as well.

      January 15, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
  17. Lee

    Vomit!

    January 15, 2011 at 9:44 pm |
  18. danvass

    had a hotdog lately? see folks much ado about nothing. how come a pocketbook can't fit in your pocket? if you make up a recipe or food item you can call it anything you want.

    January 15, 2011 at 9:05 pm |
  19. danvass

    it is amazing a simple topic and people can go off at the handle. it "overboggles" the mind! lol

    January 15, 2011 at 9:01 pm |
  20. danvass

    many years ago I made up the word FUNTASTIC and now people are using it... and no one can refudiate that!

    January 15, 2011 at 9:00 pm |
  21. Sameer

    Fake foods are for fools.

    January 15, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
    • danvass

      how can you say the food is fake and you can actually buy it?

      January 15, 2011 at 9:02 pm |
  22. Brosti

    For me, made-up food words is a cue to run away.

    January 15, 2011 at 8:54 pm |
  23. HarryTasker

    The only made up word I use is sacrilicious.

    January 15, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
  24. Traveled Taster

    Made up food words do give me pause, but mostly to marvel at some clever ad agency person for turning a word into a 'sensation'. I've also heard the term 'Productive Morphology' mostly used to refer to the adaption of words to a specific field of work or tools used therein.

    January 15, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
  25. lunocracy

    Well, an "Any'tizer" is not food, so why not call it that? Call it a "sfgkjd". "Cheetoh" doesn't mean anything either; it's only purpose is to identify a manufactured product. Let's not succumb to believing a "QuesaDipper" is food.

    January 15, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
  26. sspeaks

    I figure the more artificial the name, the more artificial the ingredients. Try my hardest to steer clear and eat natural foods that are probably covered in pesticides anyway :-/

    January 15, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  27. Henry Miller

    Any'tizers®? QuesaDippers™?

    Non-toxic? I suppose, or their lawyers wouldn't let them sell the stuff, regardless of the opinions of their food engineers.

    Digestible? Maybe, in small quantities.

    But none of this stuff qualifies as actual food...

    January 15, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  28. Jennifer

    I voted 'other' – I don't give a sh** what it's called, if it tastes good.

    January 15, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  29. Eolra

    At the tiny cafe where I work, we made up "Rockin' Roni" which is macaroni and cheese made with 4 kinds of cheese and bacon. It was instantly a good seller, and I get a kick out of the strait-laced white collar people asking for it by name. Success!!!

    January 15, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  30. sam

    which one of the poll options means that i think it's stupid? i can't tell with all of the slang and vagueness in the options. almost ironic considering the article.

    January 15, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
    • Binky T. Klown

      Should people write slower so you can read it? (It's the 1st option.)

      January 15, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  31. Quackles

    All I heard was blah blah blah. But I have the squirts, so who knows.

    January 15, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  32. Curtis O

    and chemicals.

    January 15, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • this2

      Don't forget the ever present high fructose corn syrup. think about it – corn fattens cattle, and that's in it's natural state. When they isolate the sugar and pour it into everything to the point where it's one of the first three ingredients, is it any wonder we get fatter and fatter as a nation?

      January 15, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
  33. Curtis O

    I think advertisement is the biggest fraud of an industry as it try's to brain wash you into thinking there product is the best and/or only thing that can help you do what you want to eat or do.

    January 15, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • Curtis O

      Vegetables and fruits can't afford commercials.. So i guess we'll just keep eating genetically modified foods and sugar and corn starch.

      January 15, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  34. LEB

    Has anyone else noticed that the foods featured in the article picture are all the same shade of beige?

    January 15, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  35. Jerry

    Rocky Mountain Oysters, Let me tell you they are not oysters.

    January 15, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • Eolra

      We know them round these parts (Central Canada) as Prairie Oysters. Same thing :)

      January 15, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • Meredith

      But they're delicious no matter what you call 'em!

      January 15, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
  36. mike

    Food is the enemy

    January 15, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • this2

      Food is ok, we need it to live. Food that is no longer really food is the enemy.

      January 15, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
  37. hamburglar

    made up names for food tells me its low quality, I will almost always buy the thing that has the real name over the fake name

    January 15, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  38. Joshua Ludd

    Just another way to keep what is actually IN the food in the dark.

    January 15, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  39. Laurie

    "Eatocracy" makes my skin crawl. Jail time should have been issued instead of a domain name.

    January 15, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  40. Awesome poll

    I like that the "poll" only allows you to answer in favor of the weird words. If you don't love them I guess you could always put "other".

    January 15, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • this2

      The first option indicates not liking food with weird names.

      January 15, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
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