There are many items and products that we consume in our every day lives, without ever really thinking much about them. How was this created? Who created this? Where did the name come from?
Some products are named using multiple words which together make up that products identity, but on their own they may mean something completely different. In some cases there may even be a hidden meaning or a pun behind the name. So much goes into naming and branding nowadays. And most consumers don’t pay much attention to it, at all.
It’s not that you’re dumb and missed something. You just probably never thought about it. Just as we’ve all said things like, “Give me a Kleenex,” instead of a tissue, because Kleenex is the brand we associate with tissues. So much so that some of us think tissues are actually called Kleenex. Or, for the older folks you may have said, “Make me a Xerox of this,” another brand used in place of the phrase “photo copy.” Or Band Aid vs bandage.
Because these names are so commonly used in our vernacular we don’t stop to think about what they mean. Now, Chips Ahoy! is not something anyone says daily, unless they are actually specifically talking about enjoying some delicious Chips Ahoy! cookies.
The other night, while eating Chips Ahoy! cookie(s) (I won’t disclose the exact number, because I’m never sure how many cookies I’ve eaten in any given day or moment in time), I had an epiphany. While staring at the logo I thought of the name. I know Ahoy! is something associated with captains and boats and pirates and whatnot. So I started thinking what that had to do with cookies.
Then I began thinking about the word chips, yes for chocolate chips or whatever chips they put in each cookie. But why did they use chips and not cookie or biscuit or anything else. Then I realized that it was a play on Ships, Ships Ahoy! that’s what captains or pirates would say.
I went a bit further and did some research and all I learned from the internet is that the name Chips Ahoy! must have come from one of two places. Either it came from a Charles Dickens story from the 1800s or it came from a Donal Duck cartoon in the 1950s.
After figuring this whole thing out I kind of felt like an idiot, but I know that at least one person will read this and realize that they too are an idiot like me. So, to that one person, “You are no idiot, you are just as smart as I am.” And, you are welcome.
I will also spend the rest of this week analyzing the name of any food I eat.
Here are some fun Chips Ahoy! ads to enjoy while you think about how you’re going to get some Chips Ahoy! cookies next time you go to the grocery store (or Instacart some groceries).
Enjoy your cookies!