Special Report

World Wide Mesh (and 49 Other Famous Things that Almost Had Other Names)

Source: Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images

11. The Good Wife
> Almost named: The Whole Truth, Leave the Bastard
> Category: TV show

Before naming the television show “The Good Wife,” the creators considered “The Whole Truth” and “Leave the Bastard.” The latter title apparently was a favorite of producer David Zucker. Eventually, “The Good Wife” won out, and the Emmy-honored show ran for seven seasons, ending in 2016.

Source: Lachlan Cunningham / Getty Images

12. Oakland Raiders
> Almost named: Oakland Señors
> Category: Sports

Like so many things associated with the Raiders, even their name has a colorful history. After the franchise was established in Oakland, it held a contest to name the team. The winning name, Señors, was submitted by an Oakland policewoman who won a trip to the Bahamas. The name, however, was ridiculed by the media and the public. Worse, some people thought the contest was rigged. Another problem was the team didn’t have the typeface to put the tilde accent mark over the “n.” The team ended up changing the name to Raiders, which had been a finalist in the contest.

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

13. Rocky
> Almost named: The Contender
> Category: Movie

“Rocky,” which won three Academy Awards including Best Picture, was originally called “The Contender.” However, the producers believed the prosaic title didn’t reflect the passion or color of the title character, so they changed the title to “Rocky.” The film would launch the most successful sports movie franchise ever, raking in almost $2 billion in box office gross.

Source: Will / Flickr

14. 1984
> Almost named: The Last Man in Europe
> Category: Book

George Orwell’s dystopian masterpiece, whose very title came to connote a bleak future, was first called “The Last Man in Europe.” The original name was a working title, but Orwell was unsure of it. His publisher, Fred Warburg, suggested “1984” because it was a more commercial-sounding title. The origin of the title “1984” is in dispute.

Source: Central Press / Getty Images

15. Playboy
> Almost named: Stag Party
> Category: Company

Hugh Hefner, who helped shape the postwar culture in America, wanted to call his new men’s magazine “Stag Party” in 1953. Hefner said he was looking for a male figure of some kind and thought of an animal in a tuxedo that would set the magazine apart from the competition. A lawyer representing a magazine called “Stag” said “Stag Party” infringed on his client’s copyright. So Hefner changed the magazine’s name to “Playboy.”