“What’s In A Name?”

The question famously asked by Shakespeare’s Juliet goes on to declare, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Yet when it comes to company names, a business by any other name could succeed – or fail.

A couple of decades ago, I’d gone back to California for a family funeral, and was traveling through a part of Orange County that had attracted a large Asian population. Developers were breaking ground for a new subdivision of homes, and the signs proudly proclaimed it as “Morning Wood.”

Faux pas duly noted, within the week the signs had been changed to read “Morning Sunwood.” (And, it should be noted, homes in that subdivision currently sell for between $750,000 and $1.5 million.)

Louisiana has its fair share of risque’ business names, and here are some signs to prove it (and, hopefully, give you a few naughty giggles.)

This Baton Rouge eatery, located near the LSU campus, has done well for the past several years. It has a solid clientele base, even with the present restrictions due to COVID-19.
This restaurant in Metairie has now closed.

Barbeque joints always seem ripe for spicy titles.

This Vidalia feedery, closed in accordance with the COVID-19 stay home order this past spring, announced the end of April that the suspension of business would be permanent.
This BBQ diner, located in Leesville, has also closed recently.

A big part of what prompted this piece — in addition to the need for few chuckles in the midst of hurricane destruction and pandemic deaths — were this trio of signs, all located within a mile of each other, in and around the town of Elton. The Jeff Davis Parish municipality, located along US 190 in southwest Louisiana, is home to the Coushatta Nation Tribal Headquarters, and hosts one of the many traditional Cajun Courir de Mardi Gras celebrations for Fat Tuesday each year.

At the corner of US 190 and LA 26, there’s a trio of grain storage silos with signs that seem to be a name pronounceable just one way, as “suck up.”

In town, there is this nightclub…

Across the street is a building that formerly served as the post office, and – apparently – as an interestingly-named saloon.

One might now opine that success or failure of concerns bearing punny or off-color names depends as much on either the sense of humor of the community or its cluelessness, as it does on the quality of good or services being offered.

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Sue Lincoln
Sue Lincoln is a veteran and widely-respected reporter who has been covering Louisiana politics for nearly three decades. Originally from Long Beach, California, Sue’s career in journalism began on the radio in Los Angeles. After moving to Louisiana, Sue earned her bachelor’s degree. For ten years, from 2000-2010, she was the Assistant News Director at Louisiana Network. Sue also worked as the education reporter for Louisiana Public Broadcasting and has contributed to various state publications as a freelance journalist. But she is perhaps best known as the voice of the popular politics Capitol Access.