Clever Ice Cream Names at Cold Stone Creamery
10 Aug 2007
Ice cream chain Cold Stone Creamery has opened a restaurant in the Cloud Nine (龙之梦) shopping mall in Shanghai’s Zhongshan Park. Priced well below Häagen-Dazs but still not cheap, the ice cream is passable. Still, I was most impressed with some of the names of the ice cream dishes:
1. Berry Berry Berry Good: 非常莓好
This name substitutes the 美 (“beautiful”) in 美好 (“wonderful”) for the 每 (“berry”) in 草莓 (“strawberry”). The result is a word that sounds exactly the same, but makes a berry pun.
2. Mint Mint Chocolate Chip: 蜜蜜巧巧
Partial transliterations of “mint” and “chocolate” still manage to carry the idea of “chocolate” in a cute-sounding name. The 蜜 is more likely to be mistaken to mean “honey” (蜂蜜) than to be understood as “mint” (薄荷) though.
3. Our Strawberry Blonde: 草莓美莓
Once again, we have the 莓 pun, but this time the word 美莓 is substituting for the word 妹妹, which means “little sister,” but can mean “young woman.” 美莓 has different tones (3-2) than 妹妹 (4-5), but the tones on 美莓 mimic the non-standard Taiwanese pronunciation of the word 妹妹, which sounds very cute to mainlanders.
4. Monkey Bites: 吱吱蕉蕉
This name is a play on the onomatopoeia 吱吱喳喳, the sound of noisy birds (or possibly monkeys?). The character which replaces the two 喳 characters is 蕉 of 香蕉, “banana”–the monkey connection.
If you want to take a look at all the names yourself, I have scanned the menu and put it online (front, back). The ones above are the best ones, though. A lot of the other ones aren’t creative at all.
I find Cold Stone Creamery’s entry into the Chinese market somewhat interesting because it’s clear that the company is importing and translating everything rather than localizing its offerings. It’s hard to even find the Chinese name on the menu, which doesn’t appear on the front, and is only in one place. It’s “酷圣石冰淇淋“. 酷 (“cool”) and 石 (“stone”) seem like straightforward enough choices, but I’m not sure what’s up with the 圣 (“holy”)? 冰淇淋 is just “ice cream.”
Cold Stone Creamery has a Chinese website,
but it gives me an interesting “The page must be viewed over a secure channel” error.
Update: the link doesn’t work if you leave off the WWW. Thanks, Micah.