11 Product Names That Mean Unfortunate Things in Other Languages
Once in a while, an international company will come out with a new product, brand name or slogan that gets, well, seriously lost in translation. One famous example is Mitsubishi’s unfortunate 1973 decision to name its new SUV the “Pajero,” which translates in Spanish to “wanker.”
Here are 11 more tragic, hilarious, and definitely off-color examples of products that really exist—and don’t always mean what their manufacturers think.
1. Pee Cola. This extremely popular soda, which is bottled in Ghana, means “very good Cola,” but that’s not, suffice to say, most tourists’ first impression.
2. Lumia. Nokia’s new smartphone translates in Spanish slang to prostitute, which is unfortunate, but at least the cell phone giant is in good company. The name of international car manufacturer Peugeot translates in southern China to Biao zhi, which means the same thing.
3. Barf. In Iran, where this detergent is manufactured, that word means “snow.” Outside of Iran, where this detergent is sold, it calls forth something rather less pristine and redolent.
4. “It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken.” When you translate Purdue Chicken’s classic slogan to Spanish, it means something different: It takes a, well, hard man to make a chicken affectionate.
5. Fart Bar. In Polish, where this candy bar is made, the name translates to “lucky bar.”
6. Aass Fatol. The Norwegians may think they’re just drinking “draught beer,” but the label will almost definitely make English-speaking visitors giggle.
7. Siri. In the Georgian language, the iPhone’s personal assistant software is a rude word for cock. And no, we’re not talking about a rooster.
8. Shito. In Ghana, whoever decided to market these popular hot black peppers using their local name was not, presumably, giving those who consume them a warning.
9. Only Puke(et). On these Chinese-made honey bean chips, the “et” after “Puke” is unfortunately obscured by the packaging design.
10. Chleb Semen. OK, admittedly, perhaps only 14-year-old boys should think this type of Polish bread—which means, literally, “bread with seeds”—is funny.
11. Megapussi. In Finland, these “extra-large bags” of potato chips are available at the country’s large chain of—wait for it—KKK Supermarkets.
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