The name game

The nation of Pakistan has over the years obtained exceptional standing in a range of different areas, & although we do celebrate many of these accomplishments, one that we have failed to marvel at, is the manner in which we name whatever it is that needs to be named.


When it comes to naming family members, the amateur rapper in all our parents comes to life, with the first child dictating the ‘pattern’ that will be followed for the rest of the children. Let’s say the first child is…a Kamraan..chances are that the names of the sons who follow will be anything ranging from Salman, Imran or Farhan to Meethapaan, Aik-kaan, or Tandoorinaan. Why? Well, one, because it isn’t easy for them to suppress that inner poet & two,  they enjoy the misery and confusion their children face when they call out for them.
Please note that brothers Salman, Kamran and Pandaan may well have a sister called Razia. Why? Well because we like to keep you guessing like that. Think you have us alll figured out? Think again!
Also, it would be perfectly normal for a family like this to have a pet dog named Lucy or a pet cat named Julie. I’ll let you guess why that is.


When it comes to naming restaurants most will deploy one of two strategies:
1. Put Allah in the name.
Market research is overrated – just put Allah in the name and you’re good to go.  Maybe Bismillah Biryani, and Alhamduillah Aloo-Chat are perfectly names by your standard, but ‘SubhanAllah  Somosay’ and ‘MashAllah Kebab House’ ? I mean, can you please leave the praising to the customers?
2. Copy leken pyaar se.
I’m sure you’ve all heard of Kentucky Fried Chicken…question is, have you heard of LAIBA Fried Chicken? I bet not! Notice the effort put into making an intelligent change. KFC ? Okay cool, what comes after K? LFC it is! So what if it doesn’t make sense? Bas khana acha hona chahiye hai.
Nik, Rebok and Adibas are however from a dangerous level of laziness but then again, they do the trick. Same ‘great’ product at a quarter of the price! Who doesn’t want to buy?! JAST DO IT.


Depending on where they are situated, clothing stores will go with one of a range of techniques. If the store is in a mall and neighbours a designer brand; your best bet is to go with the name of a person [or any other noun] and add a ‘Z’ or an ‘S’ depending on the level of awesome you want to communicate to your customers.
Admit it, ‘Kamran and Razia’z Collection’ sounds so much cooler than without the ‘z’.
If  you’re not competing with designer labels, go with the term one term we all love so much in Pakistan: Garments.
And porn, we love porn.
‘[Insert name] for Garments’ is a template many follow, not because they can’t be bothered to think of a name, but because there aint no creativity like saying it like it is…is there?!
As a personal favour, next time you go to Saddar in Karachi, please make an effort to look for a place called ‘No Problem Garments’.  I can’t say they hold true to their name but the last time I was there was 4 years ago, and yet I still haven’t forgotten the name. I’d say their mission has largely been accomplished. Thank them for the smile the thought of them still puts on my face!
And with that I shall conclude! Plus my mother’s screaming my name………or my sisters….not quite sure yet.
This article was contributed by Hiba Ali.


Categories: The World I Know


Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: