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The Top 50 Most Interesting Genericized Brand Names

The Top 50 Most Interesting Genericized Brand Names

Genericized brand names are those marks which were originally created and used as trademarks, but which have subsequently become entirely synonymous with the common name of the relevant product or service. Often times these marks have become so generic that their former status as proprietary trademarks is often unknown to the general public. Here's my top 50 list of the most shocking/interesting.

Note: Sorry, but I left Coke off the list because I've never lived in an area where that was used in place of the word soda. And furthermore, Pop Tart didn't make the cut because although I do use Pop Tart for every other like brand, I don't often find myself coherent enough in those early breakfast mornings to refer to anything by name. And lastly, I left windbreakers off the list because I haven't heard them called that in about 20 years. So here we go…. Enjoy!

no.'s 50-36 Things that make you go hmmmm….
50. Sharpie- I've never heard Does anyone have a Sharpie?- No, but I do have another type of marker49. Slinky- but… what a wonderful toy!
48. Play-doh- I could've guessed that, but I never thought it through. D'oh!
47. Swiss army knife- damn Swiss!
46. Silly putty- same as play-doh?
45. Jeep- makes sense
44. Polaroid- They have competitors?
43. Photoshop- I always hear this one being used.
42. Plexiglas- is there another word for it?
41. Lego- Sorry, I still believe every toy that looks like a Lego is a Lego.
40. Speedo- but it sounds so cool.
39. Spam- Why would anyone even make other products similar to Spam
38. Saran wrap- never thought about it before
37. Google- I use it as a verb even when I search with other search engines (which I never do)
36. Scotch tape- interesting.

no.'s 35-21 The "No Kidding…"'s
35. Jell-O- Yea, I knew it, but I still can't think of any other brands of gelatin. Damn Cosby!
34. Nylon- I did not know that.
33. Fiberglass- interesting.
32. Q-tips- I knew it, but it's still so amazing that I won't call them cotton swabs.
31. Vaseline- A little weird.
30. Crock pot- never knew this one.
29. Kitty litter- surprising.
28. Bubble wrap- but it makes so much sense though.
27. GoodWill stores- I'll still call them all GoodWill.
26. Astroturf- weird... Is it called "fake grass" then?
25. Kleenex- I've been known to ask for a tissue, but I thought they were synonyms
24. Spandex- more common than Speedos
23. Xerox- "Hey! Don't Xerox that, just copy it…" "What?"
22. Superglue- weird. I've never called that stuff by any other name.
21. Yo-yo- What the hell are they called then? Tayoyo is the Filipino word. They invented it centuries ago.

no.'s 20-11 The "Really? Shut up…"'s
20. Band-aid- really weird
19. Chapstick- I still don't believe it.
18. Tupperware- wow.
17. Pampers- wow.
16. Velcro- then what the hell is it called?
15. Hulahoop- strange…
14. Jet ski- so random. I can't even fathom calling them anything else.
13. Frisbee- wanna play some "flying disk"?
12. Ping pong- REALLY?! Table tennis doesn't sound nearly as fun.
11. Laundromat- very strange. I really still believe that they're all called this.

no.'s 10-1 The WTF!'s
10. Mace- So how do we tell creeps that we're about to mace them without copyright infringement? Actually, it's called tear gas… but that sounds a bit extreme.
9. Styrofoam- WTF! A trademark name for polystyrene thermal insulation material, manufactured by Dow Chemical Company. More than a mouthful.
8. Realtor- Whoa…. This makes no sense. But I guess the term is real estate brokers. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has members known as realtors. It's North America's largest trade association representing over 1 million members
7. Spa- WTF!
6. Jacuzzi - So if Jacuzzi isn't the word and Spa isn't the word, then WTF do we call them?! I guess whirlpool bathtubs or hot tubs are just part of the spa process, which is inclusive of much more. Jacuzzi has definitely cornered the market.
5. Dumpster- wow. Shocked me. The Dempster Brothers in the 1930's
4. Popsicle- I still don't believe this one. This brand of "ice pop" was trademarked by UniLever in the 1920's
3. Rollerblades- in-line skates they're called… who woulda thought? Trademarked by Nordica, an Italian company. However the word rollerblade is often used improperly on signs, buildings, sidewalks, and possibly even other brands of "rollerblades".
2. Trampoline- sooooo weird. This one's crazy. These "bouncing beds" were trademarked by George Nissen in the 1930's
1. ZIP code- WTF! OK, so I looked this one up and it says ZIP stands for Zone Improvement Plan and it was originally registered as a trademark by the U.S. Postal Service but its registration has since expired.