10 words that really mean nothing - Toptenz.net (2023)


When the omniscient atom is known colloquially as theGreat old book of words for nerds,and officially asDictionary,UEBelieve it or not, every word on the well-worn pages of this bastion of the English language means something.something.But in fact, there is a set of words that many of us use every day that mean nothing meaningful and were plucked out of thin air by a random person many years ago or brought to life by a committee of advertising executives. in Sharp. suits .and impeccable, just to sell a product. Thanks to years, and even centuries, of frequent use, many of these completely made-up words entered the popular lexicon and are still used in conversation and commercials today.

from languageIt's a constantly evolving animal, this isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it is a testament to the power of human ingenuity that most people don't realize that the only meaning the following words have is the meaning we give them.

10. Wi-Fi was invented because the real word wasn't captivating enough.

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It is commonly accepted that the word Wi-Fi means Wireless Fidelity, just like the word Hi-Fi means High Fidelity. Which makes sense, right? According to a Dr. However, this is the case with Alex Hills.partially responsiblefor the creation of the first Wi-Fi networks in history, this is simply not the case. The word Wi-Fi was coined by wireless engineers for marketing reasons only. Hills says the name was necessary because the technical specification for the newly created wireless networks used (called IEEE 802.11) wasn't exactly rolling off the tongue. For the doctor. In fairness to Hills, he's right, and it's hard to imagine the technology taking off with such an unintuitive and pathetic name.

in your bookWi-Fi and the bad boys of radio,Hills recalls that members of the burgeoning wireless industry chose the word Wi-Fi primarily because it sounded catchy, though he notes that the natural connection between Hi-Fi and Wi-Fi likely helped cement it in people's minds to empower the public. You know, although the two words are not related and not related at all.

9. Häagen-Dazs was invented by a guy at the kitchen table.

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According to Reuben Mattus, the original creator of the Häagen-Dazs brand, he came up with the now iconic name for his soft serve ice cream.after spending several hourssaying nonsense words out loud until she found one that sounded decent. It was said to be a Danish word on early Häagen-Dazs packaging; the packaging even included a map of Denmark, because it was apparently not illegal to lie to your customers at the time; the word has no translation into any language, especially Danish. Which anyone familiar with the Danish language can see at a glance, since the Danish language does not use umlauts. However.

Mattus, a Polish Jew, later commented that he chose a name that "sounded" Danish to the untrained ear.subtle homage to the country of Denmark, whom he highly respected for his manyWorld War II - NoEfforts to save Jews from persecution. However, Mattus later noted that the name was chosen to make it stand out to consumers, citing a foreign-sounding name as the reason.suggested an immaterial air of qualityto ice cream, which consumers would naturally buy when browsing store shelves.

8. Idaho was a word that someone pulled out of nowhere.

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According to historians,The name of the Potato State has no meaning in any known language and, as far as is known, was just a made up word used by a former area official named B.D. was suggested. Williams. History dates back long before Idaho was calledJust… Idaho, someone suggested naming him Jefferson. The Republicans voted against it, and Williams proposed Idaho, claiming it was an old Indian word meaning "jewel of the mountains."

Almost immediately, this was debunked by Oregon Senator Joseph Lane, who correctly stated, "No Native American tribe in the country has that word... It certainly is a corruption, a forgery, and should not be adopted." Williams admitted that Idaho was made-up nonsense, probably coined by his predecessor George M. Willing, but he still resists. So much so that the people of the proto-stateI started using it anyway, the name applies to both a steamship and a mine, among other names. It didn't take long for the word to permeate the collective consciousness to the point that even though people knew that Idaho meant nothing, they still voted to make it the official name of the new state. That's how funny history is sometimes.

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7. SOS means nothing, and that's the point

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While many assume that SOS stands for Save Our Souls or Save Our Ship or something similar, the truth is that the acronym doesn't really mean anything. what howReader's Digestuseful points is a kind of point. To clarify, as you may or may not know, the universal distress signal in Morse code is three dots, three dashes, and three other dots. This signal sequence, officially introduced by the federal government in 1905, is hard to confuse and easy to recognize, even to the untrained ear. This was seen as incredibly important as it allowed ships in foreign waters to signal that they needed help without having to worry about a language barrier.a widespread problembefore the idea of ​​a universal distress signal was introduced, where many ships sank before help could arrive, as often happens when you effectively yell through a series of beeps to someone who doesn't understand you at all.

Now technically this signcan be expressed in different ways, where IJS, SMB, and VTB result in the same sequence of dots and dashes when expressed in Morse code. However, the SOS ended up gaining popularity simply because it was visibly distinctive and could be read from any direction, allowing stranded seafarers to write the SOS with rocks and other things.

6. Zumba was invented in a single afternoon during lunch

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A common misconception about the popular dance exercise known as Zumba is that the word has its roots in Spanish, which is partly but not entirely true. You see, before it was known as Zumba, the fitness program was known as "Rumbacizar,” an acronym for rumba (meaning “to celebrate”)in Spanish) and Jazzercise, a similar exercise program that was popular in the '90s (ask your parents about that!). Problems arose, however, when Zumba creator Alberto Pérez tried to trademark the term and discovered that it had already been secretly registered by the owner of a gym where he taught Rumbacize classes.

Undeterred, Pérez and his business partners spent an afternoon combing through the word rumba to find something that would hit the mark. The word they ultimately chose, as you can probably guess, was Zumba.On a dedicated websiteThe Zumba company openly admits that zumba is an "arbitrary and imaginative word" they made up, which hasn't stopped people from assuming it must meansomethingin at least one language.

5. Ginsu was invented to make Ohio-made knives look Japanese.

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Ginsu is a word made famous by a series of wacky commercials in the 1980s intended to do one thing and one thing only: sell anyone who sees some fancy expensive knives. While the commercials played on the katana-like sharpness of the knives and relied heavily on Japanese imagery, including the use of fonts seemingly ripped straight from aSeries B about ninjas, all Ginsu knives are designed and manufacturedby Scott Fetzer Company of Ohio. mar aPerfil del Washington Postfor the man who coined the word, Arthur Schiff, it was a conscious decision to convince the public that "no matter how many knives they had, [Ginsu knives] were special." That said, Schiff frequently claims to have coined the word in his sleep and has never revealed what, if anything, it meant other than "type of sound."Japanese.

The same goes for Schiff's partners in the Ginsu empire, Edward Valenti and Barry Becher; the latter is said to have answered the question "What does Ginsu mean?" smiling and saying: "I will never have to go back to work.

4. Kodak was invented by a guy who loved the letter K

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Given the multitude of advances in the world of camera technology for which Kodak as a company is responsible, it would not be remiss to believe that the word "Kodak" itself has a deeper meaning. For example, one popular theory has it that the word Kodak is an onomatopoeic representation of the sound a camera shutter makes when you take a photo, or perhaps a nod to the fact that you could use a particularly large camera to launch an attack. bear to defend. Which is fine, but it's a bunch of bullshit, since Kodak claims to be the founder of the company, George Eastman.he basically got his name out of his ass.

Eastman is said to have coined the word whileplay anagrams with your motherand he chose Kodak simply because he really liked the letter K. By the way, this is not a joke; Eastman often described the letter K as "a strong, succinct typeface" and confirmed this by making sure his company name had two Ks, not one. Eastman also chose the name Kodak because he felt it was simple enough to never be mispronounced and distinct enough not to be confused with any other word.

3. Bad breath was invented to sell mouthwash.

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Halitosis is a scientific-sounding word often used by dentists and mouthwash salespeople to describe a medical condition characterized by terrible bad breath and a sudden increase in the number of people willing to stick their tongues in their mouths to exercise force. But here's the thing: there's no such thing as bad breath. It was a medical condition made up by the owner.Lister'sin the 1920s.

The most popular version of the story behind the word is as follows. After not marketing Listerine as an antiseptic until a cure for gonorrhea, which you can also use to scrub floors (actually), company owner Jordan Wheat Lambert decided to change course and market his product as a cure for bad breath. To convince the public thatnecessaryListerine, Lambert looked it up in the dictionary and found an old Latin word meaning breath, breath, which hedecided to design it as bad breathto make it sound like a legitimate condition. The company then ran a series of ads claiming that bad breath (what they called "bad breath") was a chronic problem plaguing America and for which only they had a cure.

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2. OK was (probably) made up as a joke

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Laut Smithsonian, the origins of the word "OK" are not entirely clear, but a common and very plausible theory is that it was coined as a joke and has no definitive meaning. In particular, a writer for the Boston Morning Post is claimed to have invented the word during a satirical article on spelling in 1879. This article suggested that OK was an acronym for "Oll Korrect", an intentional misspelling of All Correct, and it was suspected, if it somehow touched the public and entered the popular lexicon.

While this is by no means the only possible origin of the word, with some theories suggesting it originated in Europe or perhaps the Middle East, as even the Bedouin tribes of the Sahara seemed to become familiar with it around the same time. who entered the popular world. . known as the etymologist (word nerd) Allen ReadI spent years tracing the origins of OKand he presented this particular theory as one of the most plausible explanations of his life.

1. Corinthian leather means nothing, it was made in Jersey

Some people understandably assume that the "Corinthian" modifier is used in the phrase Corinthian Leather to describe a hyper-exclusive type of leather. Perhaps made by blind monks with incredibly soft hands in a small Spanish town somewhere in the heart of rural Europe. It turns out that the leatherit was actually from a factory in jerseyand the phrase was something an advertising executive came up with to make the Chrysler Cordoba sound cool and exotic.

To convince the public and disguise the true origins of the leather, Chrysler hired actor Ricardo Montalbán to do the car's voice, presumably for the words Corinthian Leather.it sounded ridiculously cutein her incredibly sexy Spanish accent. For years, the company and Montalbán himself refused to admit what Corinthian Leather was all about. Until they asked the actorup close during an interview with Lettermanspilling the beans, leading him to awkwardly admit that it meant nothing.

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