How did the maker of Cheetos come up with that name?
Origin of my question: My girl friends and I took a day trip to Washington, D.C., and two of us came across an empty Cheetos bag on the ground coming out of the metro. I said, “Cheeeeetos! Wait, how the hell did they come up with that name?” My friend just laughed at me!
The “mascot” of the brand is a cheetah. Okay, cheetah-cheetos, I can understand that. Did the maker go through each vowel sound in the English alphabet saying, “cheet-as, cheet-ees, cheet-ihs, cheet-os, cheetos, that works! Cheetos” ?
My friend laughed at me, again (this must be the thing to do or something), and said, “I like the way your brain works.”
So I googled it when I got home. It was a little past midnight and I am curled up on the couch with my fluffy mutt dog, and my eyes are glued to a Huffington Post article titled, “Everything You Didn’t Know About Cheetos” (such a reliable source, I know). This website did not tell me much that was interesting except “Cheetos make a good tinder for a fire, even better than Doritos” because they are primarily made of “hydrocarbons and fat.” Makes sense.
I keep scrolling through Google; Food History tells me that Cheetos were made by the same man who made Fritos, Charles Elmer Doolin, which gives me a hunch that his name inspiration did not fall too far from his original idea—Cheetos are simply cheese-covered Fritos, shaped differently, with a slightly lighter composition to allow the snack to not go stale as quickly (which was the original intention; he wanted to provide those serving in the military with a snack that did not expire).
Maybe the creating name “Cheetos” did not involve the author spitting out a progression of English vowel sounds, but this idea still gave my best friend and I a great belly laugh, and lingering stares from D.C. strangers.
Charles Elmer Doolin, your Fritos-Cheetos name duo is not as clever as I hoped it to be, but yet it still represents how much the human brain can rely on previous experiences for inspiration.
photo credit: ( https://www.google.com/search?q=chester+cheetah&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS741US741&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjMpKiVz-vTAhVH74MKHQUJDIsQ_AUIBigB&biw=1280&bih=614#tbm=isch&q=chester+cheetah+thinking&imgrc=nD6cscLl3lYdPM: )