Well, the following products fall squarely on the other end of the spectrum. In fact, they’re so decidedly awful that you have to sit in awe of the boardroom geniuses who thought any of them would make a suitable name for a product.
From awful double entendres to horrible diseases to the just plain bizarre, here are a dozen products from yesteryear with some of the worst names to ever grace grocery store shelves.
The last one may be the worst. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
When you can’t shampoo… MINIPOO
Greasy hair? Rub some minipoo in it! Even back in the sixties, when this dry shampoo product came out, we can’t imagine the name seemed a whole lot better.
Macho, macho man
A name that meant “manly” when this cologne was introduced now just makes people laugh — or starts them singing the 1978 hit song by the Village People. And let’s not discuss how, um, masculine the bottle shape is. (Ad from 1977)
Wipe your face with Young People (1969)
“Fighting acne is no part-time thing. ‘Keep your face clean’ doesn’t mean between bedtime and breakfast only. That’s why YOUNG PEOPLE Towelettes are good news…”
Church Jewels toilet seats
Not sure what religion they’re from, but these sparkly toilet seats were made by a company called Church, and were part of their “Jewels” product line. (They also called them “Church seats.”)
Kolestral hair care from 1966
Most people want to lower their Kolestral — not buy more.
Step on a Crax? Crax kills? Nah — not the name of something you want to eat… and asking for them by name might even get you arrested nowadays. (Print ad from 1950)
Maybe “Hidden Body” seemed like a decent name for a perm back in the late ’50s — but now? It sounds like what a bad guy has in the trunk of his car.
Suspants underwear (1950)
We’re not going to leave you in suspense, because such a bad pun for garter panties deserves to be called out. (Also note the body styles: Toothpick Tillie, Modelform Millie and Buxom Billie.)
A big job for Mum
To millions of people, “Mum” means “mother” — and she certainly has better things to do than to “guard your charm” and keep your underarms from smelling.
Ayds helps you turn down a turnover
It’s just plain bad luck when your brand name for a diet aid becomes synonymous with a dreaded disease.
Soilax cleaner from 1950s
Soilax sounds like a really bad laxative product. But hey, at least is has Germisol!
Learn to be pretty with Young ‘N Free (1970)
Young ‘N Free toiletries were for tweens and young teens, which they were supposed to use “until it’s time for you to turn into a beautiful woman.”
Stereo breakthrough: Bone Fone
Only a bonehead from 1980 would imagine that “Bone Fone” was a good name — it kind of sounds like a 1-900 service — or that a four-pound scarf-like speaker was a good idea.
Skat insect repellent
Do you really want to say that you rubbed some Skat on yourself? (From 1952)
Gives statements like, “She really needs her meds” and “I forgot to take my meds” a totally different meaning. (Feminine products on the market in 1951.)
Wilson’s BIF canned beef
It’s probably supposed to be pronounced like “beef,” but it looks like biff. You know, like Biff — the guy Thomas F. Wilson played in “Back to the Future” — who was originally from 1955, just like this canned meat.
Calls to mind fungi on the ocean floor… that women could wear in 1950.
One name from more than a century ago would absolutely never fly today — that of the Prophylactic toothbrush.
While the definition of the actual word “prophylactic” hasn’t changed — meaning preventative, precautionary, protective — its modern-day usage typically suggests a latex doodad that helps with the prevention of pregnancy and STDs.
The dashes in the name don’t help, either.
Quest feminine deodorant
Do you really smell so bad that you need to embark upon “a long and difficult effort to… do something”? (That’s the definition from Merriam-Webster for the word “quest.”) But hey — it’s so neat to use! (Ad from 1959)
Unicum French-style hair nets (1950s)
We’re just going to leave this one right here.