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 they 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 except “Cheetos make a good tinder for a fire” because they are primarily made of “hydrocarbons and fat.” Makes sense.
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 in the military with a snack that did not stale).
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.
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: )