Special Report

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

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36. Tinder
> Almost named: Matchbox
> Category: Company

The online dating app was first named Matchbox but was changed to Tinder to avoid confusion with Match.com, another dating site. Testing results also showed that women liked the sound of the word tinder, which suggests starting a romantic spark.

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37. The Beatles
> Almost named: The Quarrymen, Johnny & the Moondogs
> Category: Music

In 1957, John Lennon started the Quarrymen, named after the Quarry Bank High School for Boys that he attended in Liverpool. The Quarrymen played skiffle, an English music genre that’s a variant of American country and folk music. The lineup changed frequently and eventually would include Paul McCartney and George Harrison by February of 1958. A year later, they were named Johnny & the Moondogs. Then they became a quintet called the Silver Beetles, later changing the spelling to Silver Beatles. By August 1960, they were named the Beatles.

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38. Yahoo!
> Almost named: Jerry’s guide to the World Wide Web
> Category: Company

Web services provider Yahoo! was originally called Jerry’s guide to the World Wide Web. Jerry is Jerry Yang, and along with David Filo, another Stanford University engineer, the two founded the company in 1994. The site wasn’t intended to include searchable pages; it was just a directory of Jerry’s favorite websites. The title was too cumbersome, so they settled on Yahoo! (They added an exclamation point to the name to avoid conflict with a barbecue sauce maker that trademarked Yahoo.) In case you were wondering, Yahoo is an acronym for Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle.

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39. Mickey Mouse
> Almost named: Mortimer.
> Category: Character name

It’s hard to picture Mickey Mouse, one of the most famous cartoon characters of all time, called something else, yet he was. Walt Disney, the most honored person in Academy Award history, named him Mortimer, but Disney’s wife Lillian detested the name, saying it sounded too arrogant. They settled on Mickey because it sounded more humble and fun. Mickey Mouse debuted on Nov. 18, 1928. The name Mortimer never disappeared from the Disney culture. A character named Mortimer was created in 1936 as a rival to Mickey.

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40. Nike
> Almost named: Blue Ribbon Sports
> Category: Company

Nike was originally called Blue Ribbon Sports and was a distributor for a Japanese shoemaker. The company with the world-famous swoosh symbol later took the name Nike, after the Greek goddess of victory, from a suggestion by employee Jeff Johnson. Founder Phil Knight told CBS News during an interview that his original idea for the company name was Dimension Six, but Knight joked that it would be too hard to fit the name on the heel of a shoe. Nike has become one of the most valuable brands in the world.