HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >

Discussion

Unfortunate foreign food names or brands

I remember trying Calpis drink from a Japanese vending machine, and saying to myself, "this will never translate well in America". You can also get "Hot Calpis".

Do you know any non-English food names that sound awful in English, or vice versa?

I was a linguist once. Very interested in this subject in this global age.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. In Poland, for a brief time they sold a drink called Fart.

    Roughly translated to English, it means "luck".

    When I was back there this summer I looked for it, but no such fart.

    8 Replies
    1. re: spades

      still laughing

      1. re: spades

        hilarious...can't stop giggling.

        1. re: spades

          I have some Polish Fart! It's awesome. :p

          1. re: spades

            Aberdeen Nips
            Beef Cecils
            Black Pudding
            Bubble and Squeak
            Clapshot
            Cullen Skink
            Dean's Cream
            Fitless Cock
            Flummery
            Girdle Sponges
            Hob Nobs
            Huffkins
            Hunter's Buns
            Love in Disguise
            Inky Pinky
            Knickerbocker Glory
            Marmite
            Priddy Oggies
            Scouse
            Singing Hinnies
            Slot
            Spotted Dick
            Toad-in-the-hole
            Wet Nelly

            1. re: I_Heart_Penguins

              I used to work on a support team that always tried to cajole the UK consultants to bring us Hob-Nobs when they came through the main office. The name may be un fortunate but, heavens they're tastey.

              1. re: I_Heart_Penguins

                Huh? Those aren't "non-English".

                1. re: I_Heart_Penguins

                  I think the English kinda prefer food names that are naughty. Spotted Pudding, is called "Spotted Dick" for the very same reason Mr. Barsted's Machinist File is called by another name.

                  The Hienz Spotted Dick in a can is simply dreadful. It tastes like Twinkie with currants, and no cream filling. Spotted Dick is simply a Suet based pie crust, with some currants, odd bits of dried fruit and boiled or steamed. Like anything made with Beef Suet, is absolutely brilliant. In Scotland practically the same thing is called "Clootey Dumpling" , named after the clout or cloth it is wrapped in.

                  1. re: I_Heart_Penguins

                    OK...what is "Fitless Cock'?

                2. When I was a 16 year old going to Hungary as an exchange student, I remember trying to explain the concept of Oreo cookies to my 12-year-old host sister, who had only a rudimentary command of spoken English. I must have used the word "cookie" about a dozen times, and she kept giggling. I though she was just nervous.

                  It turns out that "kuki" in Hungarian - pronounced the same as "cookie" - is slang for penis.

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: cookiemonster81

                    ...thus making your CH nickname quite intimidating.

                    1. re: spades

                      LMAO

                      1. re: spades

                        Now that's funny.

                        1. re: mojoman

                          It is still funny almost three years later!

                          1. re: Cinnamon

                            agreed!

                            1. re: haggisdragon

                              It's still funny in 2010!

                              1. re: pikawicca

                                I LOLed :D.

                      2. re: cookiemonster81

                        I've heard a similar story involving a Korean exchange student in Poland at a house with a kindly grandfather. It has nothing to do with food, so I won't mention the word. Well, let's just say he could never address him.

                        1. re: cookiemonster81

                          When I taught English in Japan, the topic of peanut butter would always eventually come up. To start, it's an odd food concept for Japanese (actually, most of the world, I guess), but it's also a tough lesson in pronunciation, as my students usually came out with "penis butter."

                        2. Quite a few in the link below:

                          http://www.funnydaze.co.uk/funnies/fu...

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: RicRios

                            They have Fart on there! Good stuff.

                            1. re: RicRios

                              Most of these seem intentional. I think the best ones have to be unintentional, and those are what I look for.

                              1. re: grocerytrekker

                                I think these are quite real, and the English is wholly unintentional.

                              2. re: RicRios

                                Jussipussi!!!! Oh My God!!!!

                              3. There have been some controversial candy names and packages in Finland. The names have been recently changed, but they were in existence for tens of years.

                                http://www.nationalvanguard.org/print...

                                Of course, they were sold in the K supermarket chain:

                                http://www.saunalahti.fi/seituomi/boo...

                                The number of K's in the store's designation indicates it's size, with 1 K being a convenience store and 4 K being a large supermarket. There are a fair number of KKK stores in existence.

                                Also, in Finland "pussi" means "bag", so it's common to see big bags of chips for sale with the designation of "megapussi" - huge bag.

                                http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y290...

                                Finally, some funny food name pics (fart drink is even included):

                                http://tawcan.blogspot.com/2005/06/ti...

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: podz

                                  I am so glad that someone else saw the humor in the Finnish grocery stores, I was there for business a few years ago and sniggered my way through the store, I was sure they had me on camera and were going to get the butterfly net!

                                2. But hey!, let's face it, food manufacturers are a lot more cultured types, linguistically speaking, than car manufacturers. I'm still laughing about the Mitsubishi PAJERO...

                                  "Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors has a sport utility named Mitsubishi Pajero. The original intention was to call the car after a South American wildcat, but the company's failure to check other uses of the word caused many chuckles. In the Americas and in Spain, the vehicle was rebadged as the Montero. (It has since been replaced in North America by the Mitsubishi Endeavor.)"

                                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_...

                                  15 Replies
                                  1. re: RicRios

                                    Can't find "pajero" on the wikipedia entry. A clue, perhaps?

                                    1. re: sundevilpeg

                                      Apparently, "hacerse una paja" is "to do oneself a straw/pipe"
                                      Hence, "wanker"

                                      1. re: sundevilpeg

                                        In the wikipedia link above:

                                        Paja directly translates to English as "straw", used in farms for cattle and other animals to lie on. In South America and Panama hacerse la paja (correrse la paja, in Chile and Peru) means to masturbate. In most parts of Central America to masturbate is to pajearse. In South America and Spain is more often used as hacerse una paja. Pajero, or Pajillero in Spain, is a masturbator (wanker) and also can imply a weakling or a fool, due to cultural beliefs that masturbation created mental weakness. In certain countries, such as Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, Pajero (fem. Pajera) can also mean lazy person, and in Guatemala it means liar, "Vos sos bien pajero = you're such a liar". In Venezuela and El Salvador, hablar paja can mean either to talk nonsense "tú solo hablas paja = you're just talking nonsense" or small talk "estuve hablando paja con un amigo = I was talking small talk with a friend".

                                        1. re: RicRios

                                          Heh heh heh. Thanks, fellas! That is indeed world-class dumb! :o)

                                      2. re: RicRios

                                        OK, a 3 year old post, but...
                                        In the '70s, Chevrolet took awhile to figure out why their Nova car sales "didn't move" very much in latin America...

                                        1. re: porker

                                          You got me on that one.
                                          And the reason is?

                                          1. re: RicRios

                                            No va en espagnol - "it doesn't go"

                                          2. re: porker

                                            More recently, the Honda 'Fitta' was changed to Fit; the former name is the Swedish version of the, uh, 'C' word.

                                            1. re: Tom O

                                              HA! I can picture Swedish yuppies just dying to get into THAT car.

                                            2. re: porker

                                              Re: Chevy Nova not selling well in Latin America: That's a myth.

                                              http://www.snopes.com/business/misxla...

                                              1. re: buttermarblepopcorn

                                                Perhaps...Maybe...
                                                But I'll still tell that story whenever I can {:/)

                                                1. re: porker

                                                  And the Rolls Royce Silver Mist in Germany?

                                                  1. re: Paulustrious

                                                    I plead ignorance...can you explain that one? Tnx.

                                                    1. re: porker

                                                      "Mist" is a German explitive, it think it one of the many words for the "s" word

                                                      1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                        Ahhhh, thats why I seldom see German tourists on Niagara Fall's
                                                        "Maid of the Mist"!
                                                        - Thanks.

                                          3. Mango can sound funny in Japanese.

                                            from jardMail I found
                                            Cheap Creamy Powder - Japanese coffee creamer
                                            Libido - Chinese soda
                                            Cat Wetty - Japanese moistened hand towels
                                            I'm Dripper - Japanese instant coffee
                                            Swine - Chinese chocolates
                                            Shocking - Japanese chewing gum

                                            (Let's hope to find more non-English word examples!)

                                            1. I was in Brazil last winter, and I had the pleasure of drinking Flesh soda from one of the minibars. I think they were referring to orange pulp, as it was citrus-flavored . . .

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: operagirl

                                                Have you noticed Hunan restaurants like misspelling Hunan?

                                                1. re: grocerytrekker

                                                  I've seen it spelled "human" several times.

                                                  1. re: prunefeet

                                                    I think a lot of that kind of thing can be blamed on automatic spellcheck. You're typing a menu, and it automatically changes it to human.

                                                    1. re: Pei

                                                      You could be right! I hate automatic spellcheck for that reason.

                                                      1. re: Pei

                                                        Last week I left a recipe for "Hunan Lamb Chops" laying on my kitchen counter. My neighbor swears she saw it as "Human" lamb chops. Darn! Now my secret's out!

                                                2. i always wondered how the japanese came up with "pocari sweat"

                                                  1. From Life's Bloopers site, I found

                                                    Homo Sausage beef jerky (Japan)
                                                    Fockink liqueur (Netherlands)
                                                    Mucos soft drink (Japan)
                                                    Pipi orangeade (Yugoslovia)
                                                    Pshitt soft drink (France)
                                                    Shitto hot spiced pepper sauce (Ghana)
                                                    Zit lemon-lime soft drink (Greece)

                                                    1. not food, but food related - we started hanging out w/ a Japanese guy and I continually said "chin chin" which is cheers in Italian. come to find out on CH that it refers to genitalia in japanese. he never said a word.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: fara

                                                        Chinpoko means the same thing - and a friend whose Italian name is very similar to it had a real hard time in Japan because no one believed it was his name. I wish I could name him, but it wouldn't be funny - to him.

                                                      2. Let's not forget the British faggot...which is a meatball.

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: wyf4lyf

                                                          I never heard of faggot meaning a meatball. Just a cigarette or fire tinder.

                                                          1. re: JMF

                                                            I believe that "fag" is the term for cigarette. "Faggot" is the meatball. :) Here's a link that will tell you m ore than you want to know, I'm sure:

                                                            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faggot_(...

                                                            1. re: wyf4lyf

                                                              Not to leave out the British dessert: the spotted dick.

                                                            2. re: JMF

                                                              I love faggots and mash!

                                                          2. Years ago, our office had a group of South African educators visiting for a week of meetings. Whenever refreshments were brought in, they'd snicker quietly amongst themselves pointing to the bottled water. Eventually, they explained to us that "Naya" (pronounced "nigh-ya")--the brand of water the caterers brought us--sounded a lot like "F*** her" in Afrikaans. A few actually took bottles back home to show friends.

                                                            1. How about the Mexican bread/pastry producer - BIMBO Bread?

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: jlawrence01

                                                                Their trucks deliver all over Chicago, and I laugh every time I see one.

                                                              2. Saw a beverage caled SARS. THis was right in the middle of the Sars problem a few years back

                                                                1. After filling myself on a bowl of ramen at Santouka, I like to peruse the adjoining Japanese supermarket for examples of Engrish.

                                                                  Pocari sweat is actually kind of good. Kind of like Fresca without the carbonation.

                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                  1. re: SauceSupreme

                                                                    I've often noticed that Gatorade tastes like sweat. Maybe pocari is a persons who prodces the drink?

                                                                    1. re: nrxchef

                                                                      You are much more adventurous than I am. I would never drink sweat! I do draw the line at some things. LMAO

                                                                      1. re: nrxchef

                                                                        Gatorade was originated to replace the sweat of football players practicing in the Florida heat. The first recipe had to be reflavored, as it tasted like what it was.

                                                                        1. re: therealdoctorlew

                                                                          There's an Aussie sport drink product called Gookinaide, named after Dr. Gookin. The chemical make-up is exactly the same as sweat, then a bit of lemonade flavor is added. It works really well, and the national parks carry it in areas with extreme heat, but it tastes exactly like lemon flavored sweat.

                                                                          1. re: JMF

                                                                            The chemical make-up is exactly the same as sweat..?

                                                                            Right.

                                                                            1. re: JMF

                                                                              I have never seen or heard of that in Australia - and I have lived in extreme remote areas. Most places carry gastrolyte.

                                                                              1. re: TheHuntress

                                                                                Is that similar to Blue Angel?

                                                                      2. A brand I've noticed just recently, an orange juice drink called
                                                                        "EmergenC". Just doesn't seem appropriate for food!

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: blue room

                                                                          EmergenC isn't really a food. It's a vitamin C supplement meant to be taken at the onset of illness, i.e. as soon as you feel the sniffles coming on, crack a pack of EmergenC.

                                                                        2. I know this is somewhat tangential, but as a linguist you will probably appreciate it. I once heard a horror story about translations gone bad (as an object lesson in my business about the need to translate and then "back translate").

                                                                          The original text was the aphorism "The spirit is strong but the flesh is weak."

                                                                          Translated into Russian, the meaning became "The vodka is strong but the meat is spoiled."

                                                                          1. Cock fish sauce.

                                                                            1. There's a Canadian cereal I've seen here at Stop and Shop called Otio-s. Huh? I'm lazy enough already.

                                                                              1. Coca Cola has a drink in Japan called Salad Water.

                                                                                1. there's a Korean cookie called "Couque D'Asse." it's actually a pretty elegant looking cookie, and tasty too... :) and I always feel sort of weird when I see "Krusteaz Baking Mix" at grocery stores. I like crusts, but cake mix... crusty... Krusteaz...

                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: bijoux16

                                                                                    Haha! I bought a friend a bag of Couque D'Asses (cooked asses) once.

                                                                                    1. re: bijoux16

                                                                                      I can understand that. It's the same thing as seeing Hotpoint refrigerators and Frigidaire ovens. It just doesn't sound right for some reason.

                                                                                      There's also Pocky, a Japanese candy that sounds like the result of a disfiguring skin disease, but the stuff seems to be quite popular around here these days.

                                                                                      1. re: Vexorg

                                                                                        Heinz makes Spotted Dick in a can. Yum.

                                                                                        1. re: Vexorg

                                                                                          I always forget the 's on Man's Pocky...without the 's it sounds bad.

                                                                                      2. The all time winner,(or loser) has to be PSCHITT, the French soda in a bottle.

                                                                                        Even though the French pronounce the "P" at the beginning of the word, it has made me laugh out loud since I was a little girl.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: Fleur

                                                                                          I guess it supposed to be the sound of opening the bottle.

                                                                                        2. In asia...there's a drink mix much like Ovaltine called Horlick.

                                                                                          18 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: copacetic

                                                                                            Isn't Horlick's available in the US these days? I can remember some twerpy adolescent male companions nearly exploding from laughter when they saw it in a store once.

                                                                                            1. re: jillp

                                                                                              I believe Horlick was the name of the man who invented the malted drink (a caucasian, no less).

                                                                                              1. re: jillp

                                                                                                Don't forget Horehound candies. I believe that's a flavor, not a brand.

                                                                                                With another thread in mind, I'm surprised no one has taken "Horehound" as a Chowhound screen name.

                                                                                                1. re: Gary Soup

                                                                                                  Horehound is an herb that the candies are made out of. Traditional cough remedy I believe. But I think it's Horeshound actually.

                                                                                                  1. re: prunefeet

                                                                                                    No it is indeed Horehound. The "hore" part comes from the old enlish for grey, (as in "hoary') You've proably actually had some, its a standad ingredinet in many herbal cough drops (Ricola is loaded with the stuff) on its own is a standard "olde tyme" candy the kind you find at places like Cracker Barrel or the Vermont Country store (bonus for the funny, due to thier shape and size the tradional name for the candies is "slugs") The taste (if you get a good brand, Clancey's (No to my surprise offered at the "old time candy" rack at most branches of Michaels Crafts) is the best of the readily available ones) is sorta like molasses candy with an herby slighty bitter aftetaste. It takes some getting used to but once you do you can become quite fond of them, plus they actually do work very well on throat and cough complaints.

                                                                                                  2. re: Gary Soup

                                                                                                    Well, one post referred to his father's favorite candy as "whorehound" and I HOPE no one chooses THAT screen name!

                                                                                                    1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                      The correct spelling is "horehound." Loved that candy. Good for colds.

                                                                                                      1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                        any idea where I can find the GOOD horehound candy,dark colored ones not yellowish ones-- I'm in northern Utah-- cant find them anywhere

                                                                                                        1. re: melskid22

                                                                                                          Vermont Country Store, maybe?

                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                            Actually the ones the VCS sells are lousy, weak as heck. Ditto the ones from cracker barrels.

                                                                                                            I have a suggestion but it is a little unexpected. Do you happen to live in driving distance of a Michael's Crafts? (I can't seem to find a store locator for them, but they are spread all over the US, so it's possible you are). their old time candy areas stock the Clancey's brand, which is probably the strongest version common on the market I know of.

                                                                                                            1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                              Hmm, didn't know they sold candy. Hope it doesn't get tainted by that nasty miasma of potpourri and scented candles that perbade the stores.

                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                It hasn't all the time I've been buying it there. The clancey's bags are paper but they do have a plastic lining inside so I'm not sure anything can get through a sealed bag (one thing though, the candies are loose inside of that bag and the bag isn't re-sealable once opened so unless you are in the habit of cosuming and entier bag in a matter of days it helps to have something seperate to carry a few in you pocket (in my case an old Calm Stream tin (at least I think that's what ther'ye called those hyper powerful mint lozenges that all of the chinese supermarkets carry) ) and leave the actual bag at home. lets just say that, due to my other purchases, every bag of Horehound slugs Ive bough there has ridden home in a bag filled with sea-shells (which have their own destinctive funk) and I haven't tasted any fishyness yet).
                                                                                                                It kind of makes me nostagic for some of my hard candies long gone, the ones that came indvidually wrapped and sealed. I know from an enviromental POV loose is always better but it was handy to be abe to stuff a handful in my bag and not have to worry about it getting wet if it rained. I basically use selected hard candies as stop gap medicine, I stuff a horehound slug in my mouth if it starts to rain hard (it keeps me from developing that horrible cough when I get wet)
                                                                                                                Another fav of mine (as a habitue of Chinatown, you might have bumped into these yourself once long ago) were the ones made by Garden of Songs (came in a bag with a brushwork picture of a rather slender ancient chinese doctor) the ginger were great for an upset stomach, the green tea for a quick energy boost (the candies were made of mostly crystalized glucose) and the coughsweets were hand for when I actually had a cold (now that the company is long since gone, I tend to keep some A.E.Voegels pine drops for the same purpose)

                                                                                                                1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                  I haven't seen the Chinese ones, but I found something last Sunday in the Great Wall on Kissena that you might be interested in as far as candies are concerned - mangosteen gummis made by Kasugai. They are quite good - the scent when you open the bag is very captivating -and they're cute (heart-shaped). Flavor is quite mild but reasonably accurate. Hadn't seen these before.

                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                    When I get arond to visiting Flushing again (should be in about a month) I may give them a look.
                                                                                                                    One warning candywise, in Flushing. Last year, while visiting one of the smaller stores on 39th street (dont remember the name but it was in the little mall past Prince street, more or less across from the branch of Ocean Jewel, on the second floor. I bumped into a Malaysian company's nutmeg candy. I bought a bag as I thought i migh be flavored with the juice of nutmeg fruit (The fruit of nutmegs is often eaten in those areas where they grow. Back when I was a kid, one of the stores near me sold syrup made from those fruits, and I was quite fond of it.) Turns out they were flavored with actual nutmeg seed and very concetratedly flavored as well. Tastes fine, but aftet sucking just one of them oh boy did I get a headache!

                                                                                                                    1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                      Yikes! Take two and have hallucinations!

                                                                                                      2. re: greygarious

                                                                                                        LOL "whorehound"!!

                                                                                                    2. re: jillp

                                                                                                      Oh yeah..it's available here. Just go to any of the Monterey Park/SGV cafes...they'll have it.

                                                                                                    3. re: copacetic

                                                                                                      We have Horlick's here in Australia too. Love it.

                                                                                                    4. Horlick's has made malt powder for generations and, as far as I know, still do.

                                                                                                      Mike

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: MikeLM

                                                                                                        It originated in Britain and is available in most of the English speaking world outside of the U.S. Quite popular in Hong Kong, Singapore, and China itself.

                                                                                                      2. There's a Lebanese bean dish called foul. It's actally pronounced fool, thankfully.

                                                                                                        Actually, it's not foul at all. Garlicky, full of spices, warm, and delicious.

                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: Pei

                                                                                                          Favas, yum. Foul Modomes or something like, it always makes me think "foul madames"

                                                                                                          1. re: Pei

                                                                                                            And the flat breads which we refer to as "shami" (sham from bilad al sham, region of syria)
                                                                                                            When I mentioned it people often laugh because they think shami as in to clean a car.

                                                                                                            Couscous is also not an acceptable word in some regions of the middle east, I remember hearing of a man who got shot because of it.

                                                                                                            1. re: BamiaWruz

                                                                                                              You should hear Arabic speakers' reactions to being told that the nearest town to Disney World is "Kissimmee" (accent on the second syllable), which is just a little too close for comfort to one of the more offensive ways to tell someone to get lost in Arabic.

                                                                                                          2. The Asian supermarket sells a brand of iced coffee called God. It's in the same cooler next to Mr. Brown and Pocari Sweat.

                                                                                                            1. My Japanese GF loves Pocari Sweat. She has it if ever sick.

                                                                                                              This site has some great items:
                                                                                                              http://engrish.com/detail.php?imagena...
                                                                                                              http://engrish.com/detail.php?imagena...
                                                                                                              http://engrish.com/detail.php?imagena...
                                                                                                              http://engrish.com/detail.php?imagena...
                                                                                                              http://engrish.com/detail.php?imagena...
                                                                                                              http://engrish.com/detail.php?imagena...
                                                                                                              (That last one sounds pretty good...mmmm, chocolate beer!

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: Leonardo

                                                                                                                The last one is adorable. I love engrish.com, but am concerned that maybe it's offensive. I hope not, cause to me it's charming.

                                                                                                              2. In Utah there is a candy, similar to Ricola's only a little sweeter/syrupyer, called "horehound."

                                                                                                                1. In the early 80's there was a diet pill call AYDS. I just saw it on VH1 Web Junky or Junk over the weekend.

                                                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: theSauce

                                                                                                                    I remember a candy called AIDS that they stopped producing in the 80s for obvious reasons.

                                                                                                                    Not food, but when I lived in Taiwan they sold "Darkie" brand toothpaste with a horrible caricature in blackface on the tube. I never got used to seeing it in the drugstore.

                                                                                                                    1. re: hercules q. einstein

                                                                                                                      oh, that's bad.

                                                                                                                      1. re: IndyGirl

                                                                                                                        Later on, after many complaints from Americans -- but apparently still a little unclear on the concept -- the name was changed to "Darlie" but the caricature remained on the package.

                                                                                                                        In recent years the company that owns the brand (Colgate-Palmolive Hong Kong) has lightnend the skin tone of the caricature and now puts only the Chinese name, which has never changed, on the packaging: black person toothpaste.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Woodside Al

                                                                                                                          I remember using the yellow boxed tooth paste. Along with the yellow boxed cigs call Long Life.

                                                                                                                      2. re: hercules q. einstein

                                                                                                                        Here's a link to an ad for the toothpaste

                                                                                                                        http://static.flickr.com/44/182511259...

                                                                                                                        1. re: MaspethMaven

                                                                                                                          That is horribly offensive.

                                                                                                                      3. re: theSauce

                                                                                                                        They weren't pills, they were chocolate. I remember them.

                                                                                                                      4. As a kid, I'd get a kick out of the Pu Pu Platter at our local Chinese restaurant.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: sandrina

                                                                                                                          Hah, so did my brother and me! It is rather funny. LOL

                                                                                                                        2. It seems to me that Calpis was renamed "Calpico" because of the marketing problems. I remember the first time my family went to Japan to visit relatives...my brother and I were young, and didn't speak much Japanese, so when an uncle asked (in heavily accented English), "You want ca-ru pee-su?" we looked at each other with worried expressions and replied simultaneously, "Uh...no thanks!"

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: ricepad

                                                                                                                            I remember when it used to be Calpis. As annoying kids we used to yell around the grocery store, "You want Cow-Piss?".

                                                                                                                          2. Titlis, an Indonesian candy (refreshing and sugar free)...
                                                                                                                            and Coolpis, a Japanese peach beverage.

                                                                                                                            1. My favorite of all-time was a sparkling Hungarian wine someone once tried to sell me: Budafok. To which I replied, "Budafok cares?"

                                                                                                                              1. Saw a chinese food restaurant one time named "Pho King Restaurant" doesn't translate very well into English... say it out loud a few times and you will see what I mean.

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: MeffaBabe

                                                                                                                                  I think there might be a chain of Pho restaurants with the name, "What The Pho".

                                                                                                                                2. There's a British steamed pudding called Spotted Dick. One on-line recipe site includes, in addition to the recipe for the pudding, the following recommendation:

                                                                                                                                  "As you can see, Fanny recommends a nice hot custard to go on your Spotted Dick. I am sure Fanny would never have a Spotted Dick unless it had a nice big blob of nice hot custard on it:"

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: MobyRichard

                                                                                                                                    Given that "fanny" is a British-ism for the female genitalia, that paragraph has got more of the "nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more" going for it than most of us suspect.

                                                                                                                                  2. Well, if we're going for restaurant names, the worst-named Vietnamese Restaurant in the world is on Garvey Avenue in Rosemead, California: http://www.geekvalley.org/gallery/d/2...

                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                                                      you win!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                                                        that's horrible! LOL

                                                                                                                                      2. this bar in korea had "FLESH FLUIT" listed on their menu.

                                                                                                                                        1. I always wondered why no one informed the people at Glico that calling a candy product Collon was a bad idea. Not only that, but acutally making their products in tubular shapes as well. Still, it seems like a popular product especially in Japan and Thailand.

                                                                                                                                          http://www.glico.co.jp/collon/index.htm

                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                          1. re: E Eto

                                                                                                                                            It's a shame, because Collon is so tasty. I especially like their green tea variant.

                                                                                                                                          2. And then there's the bakery I used to drive by when I lived in Japan, the "Flesh Bakery". They obviously intended Fresh, but ahhh those wacky Japanese.

                                                                                                                                            1. Cock Flavoured soup. I guess now it's real, not just flavoured:

                                                                                                                                              http://www.gracefoods.com/site/produc...

                                                                                                                                              And yes, I did try it.

                                                                                                                                              1. In many restaurants in Japan, an English version of the menu is offered (for those in need).

                                                                                                                                                Though the waiter's descritpion made it sound delicious, I just couldn't bring myslef to order the Crap Soup!

                                                                                                                                                This obviously was a misspelling of Crab, but served for much laughter at our table.

                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                1. re: michael23

                                                                                                                                                  Rminds me of a Malaysian Resturnat I once went to, the dish "Nasi Goreng" was misspelled on the English menu "Nazi Goering".

                                                                                                                                                2. Amazing how your mind goes blank at just the wrong moment - what are nun's farts really called? (In French)

                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ali patts

                                                                                                                                                    Pets de sœur or pets de nonne. "Pets" is pronounced approximately "pay".

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                                                                      This reminds me of "Suspiros de Monja" ("Nun's Sighs"), a longuish, cucumber-shaped sweet pastry common in Argentina; and it's obvious counterpart, "Bolas de Fraile" ("Monk's balls"), a rather large-sized beignet.

                                                                                                                                                  2. The other way round:
                                                                                                                                                    The English word 'bite', means penis in French (pronounced 'bit'). I remember being sent a picture of a sausage shaped pack of dogfood from US or canada, branded "Mega-bite". It indeed looked like one.

                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Ketchup

                                                                                                                                                      It's actually spelled "bitte" and pronounced like the red root vegetable. You can imagine the fun we had in German class in French-speaking Switzerland learning the word for "please".

                                                                                                                                                    2. Does this count?

                                                                                                                                                      While traveling in Spain, my husband and I came across candy packaged in a small plastic, naked african-american tribal child carrying a spear, called Congoitos.

                                                                                                                                                      We couldn't believe it, here in the US it would be considered completely racist and would never see market.

                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sivyaleah

                                                                                                                                                        I'm just curious - if you were in Spain, how do you know the child was African-American (as opposed to African-Spanish, or other)?

                                                                                                                                                        Sorry, couldn't resist...

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: michael23

                                                                                                                                                          Well, it was obvious from the look of the character and the way it was packaged - a spear-holding, large-lipped, very dark skinned, and now that I think of it, it may not be a child, it may actually be more of a pygmy character and it had a picture of an African landscape on the label.

                                                                                                                                                          It's really quite something. If I remember, I think it had some kind of chiclet candy in it - but I might be mistaken. We bought it about 5 years back. I really doubt it was African-Spanish but I won't say for sure it wasn't. Whatever the case it was certainly bordering on offensive by US standards.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: michael23

                                                                                                                                                            Michael

                                                                                                                                                            I appreciate your humor, even if not everyone gets it!

                                                                                                                                                            Ted

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ted in Central NJ

                                                                                                                                                              Duh, I just got it. I was trying too hard to be sensitive :-)
                                                                                                                                                              Guess I should have just said "African" and left it at that LOL

                                                                                                                                                        2. This one is kind of a reverse situation involving food names.

                                                                                                                                                          We had some business associates from South Korea visit us - it was the first time in the states. We entertained them most every night, but one night they went out to dinner without us.

                                                                                                                                                          While dog is not uncommon in Korea, they knew that Americans don't go for that - so they were very pleasantly surprised to see "hot dog" on the menu.

                                                                                                                                                          The one who could speak some english ordered one hot dog for all six of them to share, despite the waiter's attempt to talk them into ordering more.

                                                                                                                                                          You can imagine their response when the order came!

                                                                                                                                                          1. "Beet" is pronounced the same as the French word for "schlong"... so you can imagine what a Frenchman would think of beet-and-chevre salad.

                                                                                                                                                            1. A good friend went to Sweden a few years ago and brought me back some candy called Plopp. They're chocolate covered caramels, almost like Rolos, but the name had us in stiches for ages. We'd always say, "boy, i need a good plopp."

                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: funkymonkey

                                                                                                                                                                Plopp and a nice warm Pschitt... great way to while away the afternoon.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                                                                                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pschitt

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                                                                                    In the 1960s and 1970s there was a French candy called PSCHITT. It was a fruit gel filled hard candy/ They came packaged in a white wrapper with gold letters. There were approximately 10 pcs in the package.

                                                                                                                                                                    My grandfather was a shirt manufacturer and head salesman for his company. This candy was his calling card. He alkways offered buyers a 'PIECE OF PSCHITT'

                                                                                                                                                                2. We had French exchange students in high school around Easter and my friend was going on and on about her love affair with Peeps, all the French boys were quite impressed. We later figured out from some of the girls "peeps" in French= blowjob.

                                                                                                                                                                  I sent my exchange student packages of peeps for the next few years.

                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ktmoomau

                                                                                                                                                                    actually spelt "pipes" (as in pipe) in French. Makes sense actually.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: lagatta

                                                                                                                                                                      Too funny!

                                                                                                                                                                  2. BBC America recently re-ran an old episode of Top Gear that featured co-host Jeremy Clarkson driving across northern Europe. At a convenience store in Denmark, he showed off a box of a local brand of salt licorice called Spunk. (Note: "spunk" is UK slang for semen.) The best part was when he tasted a piece, screwed up his face in horror and squealed "Oooh, I don't like Spunk!"

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Three years later and I'm surprised nobody mentioned "barf," which apparently means "snow" in Persian, and is a brand name of laundry detergent.

                                                                                                                                                                      http://www.urbandictionary.com/zoom.p...

                                                                                                                                                                      And similarly there's the indian dessert named barfi.

                                                                                                                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttermarblepopcorn

                                                                                                                                                                        There's a popular Czech laundry detergent called "Polio"

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttermarblepopcorn

                                                                                                                                                                          However, barfi is pronounced more like bUrfi.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                            True. My first introduction to its mere existence, however, was in written form only, which, heh heh... you know...

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: buttermarblepopcorn

                                                                                                                                                                            Aha. A friend from Argentina just totally randomly sent me this (not having a clue about this thread):

                                                                                                                                                                            http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3549/3...

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttermarblepopcorn

                                                                                                                                                                              Please ask your friend re. the (intended) meaning of "Barfy" in Argentina

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: RicRios

                                                                                                                                                                                Hey RicRios,

                                                                                                                                                                                I'm not entirely sure if you meant that semi-rhetorically (that is, you know the intended meaning and wanted me to find out) or if you honestly didn't know what the reference might be. My general impression from having read your posts is that you're a really knowledgable and worldly person, which is why my first reaction was that you were just nudging me to "get" the joke...

                                                                                                                                                                                In any case, I emailed my friend (a fully native Argentine whose English happens to be incredibly perfect) and he responded with the following:

                                                                                                                                                                                "Why Barfy" is a good question. I should ask someone who is bulimic.

                                                                                                                                                                                Seriously -- I have no idea. The word "barf" doesn't mean anything in
                                                                                                                                                                                Spanish, and to the best of my knowledge, it doesn't suggest or point
                                                                                                                                                                                at anything in particular either (i.e. no pun or reference to another
                                                                                                                                                                                word that I can think of). They certainly wanted to make it sound
                                                                                                                                                                                gringo, as in, say, "Disney" or "comfy" or so. Perhaps they just
                                                                                                                                                                                didn't know? There's a huge pub around the corner here called
                                                                                                                                                                                "Hummer". Go figure.

                                                                                                                                                                                Did you have any insight into this, RR?

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttermarblepopcorn

                                                                                                                                                                                  Honestly, I don't have a clue.
                                                                                                                                                                                  Everyday street slang comes up with new stuff.
                                                                                                                                                                                  In particular nowadays, with the ubiquitous texting acronymic abbreviations & such.
                                                                                                                                                                                  I thought BARFY was some new linguistic excrescence along those lines.
                                                                                                                                                                                  It may still very well be, unbeknownst to your friend & us.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttermarblepopcorn

                                                                                                                                                                                    "Barfy" doesn't mean anything in Argentinian Spanish.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttermarblepopcorn

                                                                                                                                                                                      Hummer also means Lobster in German. Making Arnie driving one very funny indeed.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: buttermarblepopcorn

                                                                                                                                                                                  Except, it is not pronounced like the English(?) "barf". It's pronounced (and sometimes spelled) "burf" and "burfi", if that helps any...

                                                                                                                                                                                  Sorry: this post is showing up in the wrong part of the thread, and there are other replies making the same point, and I keep trying unsuccessfully to delete mine, but no luck....

                                                                                                                                                                                3. Not foreign, but there is a local restaurant inLancaster PA called Kegel's Seafood Restaurant.......maybe only women of childbearing age will get this one though....

                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Scrappygrrl

                                                                                                                                                                                    do they sell muscles???

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                                      LOL!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                                        The have graffen burgers. More commonly know in the US as sliders.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. In a Thai restaurant I overheard men at the next table trying to get the young girl waitress to read them the names of dishes featuring hot chili, the Thai word for that being "prik".

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. In the Philippines they make a sweet, sticky rice cake that's wrapped up in bamboo leaves and steamed, called Puto.
                                                                                                                                                                                        I have a Filipino cookbook with the recipe, which I make sure to show all my hispanic friends and aquaintences.

                                                                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Michelly

                                                                                                                                                                                          This is doubly odd when you consider the fact that for most (or a least a lot) of Filipinos, Spanish is thier first language.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                                                                                            Actually, puta is a bad word, meaning the same in Tagalog (Filipino) as in Spanish.
                                                                                                                                                                                            Filipinos have over 47 dialects, and y ou can get along knowing Spanish because Spain owned the country for a while during which a lot of Spanish, along with Catholicism, got similated into the northern section, the seat of the "national" language, Tagalog . But you canNOT say that "Spanish is their first language".

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Michelly

                                                                                                                                                                                              I stand corrected. Still if it's a bad word even in the "official"language, it's still a bit odd.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Michelly

                                                                                                                                                                                                Isn't a puto a male puta? Like puta, it can also be a generic insult that has nothing to do with the sex trade.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Not foreign, but in our backyard..."Squirt" soft drink...

                                                                                                                                                                                            Mexican hot dog and cold cut maker "Fud"...Female Urination Device. Whenever we're in a Mexican grocery store, can't help repeat "Tastes like fud."

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. mini dickmann's. it's not what you think lol... [last pic on page: http://saudades.proboards.com/index.c... ]. used to be called 'negro's kiss' but some people didn't like the sound of that.

                                                                                                                                                                                              in some countries i see bread called Bimbo. Corny muesli bars in Europe.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. All over Kenya and Tanzania you get bottles of "Nazi Oil" in grocery stores.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Nazi is Swahili for coconut, so they are selling coconut oil.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Wonder what the German tourists think of this .....

                                                                                                                                                                                                (It is just a coincidence)

                                                                                                                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Rasam

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Here are my photos of Chocolate collon, Hard Stick and Cream of Natural Herds...

                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid...

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: hillsbilly

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I always think that people who don't speak Spanish and find one of the many moles from Mexico on a menu might wax befuddled.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Also in Spanish, I traveled in Mexico as a child/young person and became enamoured of a bottled chocolate milk drink. When the daughter of a friend of ours came to Vancouver for a visit, I thought it would be fun to share my love for this drink with her by way of making small talk. Somewhat out of the blue, says I: "Me gusta Soldados." Of course she can't see the capital S and has no context for this remark. After much explaining, I think she decided that perhaps I was not just into soldiers and a big ol' ho :-).

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Finally, I believe that the Thai word for crab is poo. 'Nuff said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                                                                                                                      i love a soldado in a uniform.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I though you liked them purely out of habit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Most excellent riposte of the day, sir. Well played!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                                                                                                                                            well of course one has to get out of the habit! http://product-images.paidonresults.n...

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: grayelf

                                                                                                                                                                                                          There was a teriffic Thai restaurant in Jackson Heights, NY in the 90s infelicitously (for English speakers) named after the nickname of the fabulous lady cook: Poo Thai. We were devastated when it closed (don't know why, wasn't necessarily necause of the name, I believe the owners moved to Florida). Would that we could track them down again. Sripraphai had nothing on this place, it was utter magic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Not a food name, exactly, but whenever I'm offered the after-dinner drink menu at a restaurant, I have to suppress a laugh (and a wince) if they have Cockburns or Dry Sack.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sabroso

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Or clueless bartender asking "What did you order? Penis Coloidus"?
                                                                                                                                                                                                        -pina colada

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: porker

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Who would actually SAY it like that? A Latin major? I'm sure you are not trying to pull any legs but it sort of remind me of the Joke about the Latin major who goes into a bar and orders a Martinus and whne the bartender ask if he means he wants a Martini repiles "If I wanted two, I would have asked for two!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Plus Cockburns is pronounced Coburns, is it not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Or the mushroom who was refused service at the bar says "but I'm a fun-guy..."

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: porker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Or the German who walks in as asks for two Martini's the Bartender say "Dry?" To which the German replies "Nein, two will be plenty"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                And of couse Rene Descartes, who when the barman asks if he wants another says "I think not" and promptly dissapears.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oh and a few places I've been to make an even bigger mistake they offer "Cockbums" (or is that another company?)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Is this a termites' convention or what?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Are we talking bar-tender jokes here?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Or the dog who walks into a bar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Bartender: "Can I help you?"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Dog: "I'm looking for the man who shot my paw."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Termite convention? Actually some say termites were responsible for the New Orleans flood.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: sabroso

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Goodness, you just reminded me of being offered something that (in my head) came across as an eye swine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. In San Francisco there's a walk away dim sum place called "Good Mong Kok". We could barely keep a straight face in there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. In Egypt, there is a sandwich called Friskies Fajita. Yum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "Here, kitty, kitty!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I found a lot during my the few months I spent in Thailand, but the one I could not ignore was the one that was staring at me outside my hotel window in central Bangkok for a week. The "Miss Puke" massage parlor. Not food, but I couldn't resist sharing and it was highly visible form the hotel's otherwise great restaurant. Can't find my pic at the moment, but here's a link:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.soidb.com/en/bangkok/relax...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. There's a brand of soup mix in the "ethnic aisle" of my local supermarket. Latin American brand (can't remember the name), but they label the soup mix as "cock soup" with a picture of a rooster on the front.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Also, a regular trip to any standard Asian supermarket will yield dozens, if not hundreds, of fitting examples for this thread.