For those of you who have been rolling your eyes for years over how many Maine businesses work the state’s name into their titles — “Mainely” this or something-or-other “Mainea” — the travel blog and online map maker Atlas Obscura has just released the interactive map you’ve been waiting for.
The map, which relies on crowd-sourcing for recommendations of business names to be included, is billed as the “ultimate … map of punny businesses in America.”
There are more than 30 markers signifying businesses with “punny” names in Maine, although the map makers apparently ran out of energy tracking all the businesses with “Mainely” in the title, so they just threw one in titled “Mainely Whatever” with the comment, “this is a wild card entry for every @&%$ business in Maine — sooooo tiresome.”
(Be forewarned, if you click through to the actual interactive map, they use real swear words.)
As you might expect, many of the Maine entries are barber shops and hair salons, with names like “Curl Up and Dye,” “Sheer Bliss” and “Hair Force One.”
Coffee shops also seem prone to these types of names, with “Brewed Awakenings” and “Deja Brew” among the Maine places listed.
Some of the business names in Maine and around the country included on the map aren’t puns, per se, which Atlas Obscura acknowledges, writing: “Yes, an allusion to a famous movie isn’t technically a pun, and neither is a homophone of a naughty word. But in the spirit of wordplay, we opted for an expansive definition of pun. Debating the relative merits of a particular business name is part of the pun experience.”
You may find some of the business names on the map to be real groaners, but others are actually pretty clever, pun or not.