As someone whose livelihood depends on words, I always appreciate clever and witty wordplay.
Shops and businesses are cause for great amusement as they can often have the punniest names.
My favourite tale of the week was about the cheeky corner shop owner who changed his shop name from: “Singhsbury’s” to “Morrisinghs” after Sainsbury’s kicked up a stink.
This story tickled me in so many ways.
Firstly, you’ve got to admire the irrepressible brazenness of the entrepreneurial shopkeeper and the audacious way he dealt with the threat of legal action.
Secondly, I’m just a sucker for shop name puns – whether they make you groan at their cheesiness, laugh at their satire or giggle at their saucy innuendos.
Fish and chip shops are a favourite. With everything from The Codfather to Frying Nemo and Battersea Cod’s Home, they’re pun-tastic.
Plenty of other eateries manage to get in on the name quip act too. Some of the best include a kebab shop called Abra-kebabra and my personal number one – a mobile kebab van called Jason Doner-van.
Hairdressers are pretty sharp too. There’s names like Curl Up and Dye, Curling You Softly and Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow.
Some actually make you wince with their bad but funny names such as Jack The Clipper or Julius Scissor, but they got your attention and will stick in your mind.
Then there’s the ingenious names such as fireplace shop Burning Desires or the sandwich place called On A Roll.
When it comes to quirky business names, we really are a nation who are Top of The Shops.
To me, it shows the shop owner has a sense of humour, a bit of a silly side and is the sort of person you can have a banter and enjoy doing business with.
It can cause controversy though as a Blackpool hotelier discovered when he renamed his hotel The Viagra Hotel complete with slogan: “We will keep you up all night”.
Town hall officials branded it inappropriate for a family resort.
Shop owner Jel Singh Nagra took down his shop’s original name of “Singhsbury’s” after Sainsbury’s threatened him with legal action.
But Mr Nagra’s new shop name was a stroke of genius as not only does it show you can’t keep a smart man down for long, it showcases his business acumen as he’s certainly secured plenty of business for his cornershop.
In fact, the only ones who haven’t come out well are Sainsbury’s who have emerged as po-faced and humourless.
Did they really think a small shop was going to harm their empire and take business away from them?
In fact, if they had thought a bit more shrewdly, they would have appreciated that “Singhsbury’s” was actually great publicity for them too.
Morrison’s showed themselves to be good sports though by wishing the shopkeeper well, praising him on his good taste and said they didn’t mind at all.
I have an idea if the witty shop owner ever decides to expand into fast food.
Burger Singh anyone?