Wordplayers, rejoice! Atlas Obscura has done the lord’s work and crowdsourced a list and map of punny business names across America. As someone who’d only ever open a business to make use of a killer pun, I am thrilled by this. And so happy to have all of DC’s punny businesses in one place to scrutinize and rank.
1. The Grill from Ipanema
An unassailable classic song pun. Grill and Girl are ideal analogs, and it’s literally a grill from Brazil. The shame here is that a lot of millennials in Adams Morgan are too young to have any idea it’s a pun.
2. Dew Drop Inn
Bartender, give me a pun and make it a quadruple! Every word has multiple meanings, and so does the whole. Great pun, great bar name.
3. DuPont Italian Kitchen Bar (DIK Bar)
DIK bar is a gay bar that serves Italian food with a wink wink cock pun. What’s not to love?
4. The Last Tangle in Washington
A bit of a mess, but I love the effort. A Last Tango in Paris movie pun doesn’t jibe with hair care so well but the last tangle angle is clever.
5. Segs in the City
Pretty edgy sex pun for a Segway business. Makes Capitol Segway look like your granddaddy’s Segway tour company.
6. Howl to the Chief
Bark non, the best name for a dog store in DC.
7. Wok and Roll
Not the most creative pun, but it delivers literally.
8. Second Story Books
I think Second Story Books is an excellent name for a used bookstore. And this would have been top 3 if Second Story Books was actually located wholly on the second floor of its building.
9. What the Pho?
It’s cheesy, but my mom always pronounced ‘fuck’ like ‘pho’ when I was growing up, so this hits a soft spot.
10. Souper Girl
The superhero logo strengthens this phonetically sound pun.
The best Thai pun in Washington, the only one that’s a single, seamless word.
12. Naan Stop DC
A naan-inspiring pun, given the myriad options. That said, if this was a 24 hour Indian place, it might have a shot at #1. Also a 24 hour Indian place would be awesome.
13. Doggie Style
Get it, like the popular sexual position.
14. Beau Thai
If a random Thai restaurant name generator doesn’t already exist online, it should. Slate?
15. The Bean Counter
The Bean Counter will always be a fine name for a coffee shop, but it loses points for lack of originality. There are a bunch of these out there.
The DuPont craft store is trying too hard.
17. Thai Tanic
A Titanic pun, sure, why the hell not? It’s a lot better than Thai Die. And the sign would have been too big if they went with Thairannosaurus Rex.
18. Pho Wheels
Ah, so close. A four wheels pun for a food truck is solid, but everyone knows it’s pronounced ‘fuh.’ The more you have to stretch pronunciation, the worse the pun.
19. We the Pizza
Pizza/people is weak.
20. Mr. Yogato
This is a yogurt pun, apparently.
21. Toe Tally Nails
This is a miss. Toe Tally and Totally is cheesy to begin with, and the concept of a salon tallying the nails they work on doesn’t do much for me. Am I missing something?
Wagtime is a fine name for a pet shop, but I don’t see how it’s much of a pun. Ragtime? Eh.
23. New Big Wong
I don’t get it and I don’t like it.
24. So’s Your Mom
I’ve always wondered what the deal is with this Adams Morgan shop, and long considered it the worst name in Washington (other than maybe the Department of Defense). That it made Atlas Obscura’s pun list only confounds me further. EDIT: apparently it’s not a pun, it’s just based on the sophomoric insult. It deserves to anchor this list.