Name Shortenings: ’Gansett, ’Tauk, ’Ditch, ’Peague, ’Bridge and Dunkin’

Duck something cartoon by Mickey Paraskevas
Cartoon by Mickey Paraskevas

As you know, Dunkin’ Donuts has dropped the word “Donuts.” Now when you go in, it’s the good old friendly place we’ve all been calling Dunkin’ all these years. Yup. They finally did it.

Besides giving Dunkin’ free rein now to sell all sorts of things that could be dunked in coffee—for example cookies, crackers, beef, chicken and asparagus—they will have expanded their market share from within. They also benefitted from wide media coverage of the change, mostly positive.

There have been suggestions that other large corporations do the same thing. Instagram could be ’Gram. Microsoft could be just plain ’Soft. We’ve all been calling it that for years, anyway. Toyota becomes ’Ota. I think in the future, we may all be singing ’Merica the Beautiful.

Anyway, a friend of mine has a friend who he says is the CEO of the company formerly called Dunkin’ Donuts, and that he got the idea about shortening the company name while on a business retreat with some of his other executives at Gurney’s Montauk.

I got his name from Google, Horace Hickenlooper, and with that and the number for the company headquarters in Kalamazoo, Michigan, I gave him a call.

“Yes, its true,” he said. “We were out your way and noticed that all through town Montauk is known as ’Tauk. We had lunch at the Lobster Roll in Napeague, which all the surfers now call ’Peague. And then we went to a fine restaurant in ’Gansett, which I’m told was once Amagansett. It also didn’t pass our notice that the surfing beach Ditch Plains is now Ditch.”

“We’ve called them those things for years.”

“Well, we noticed. By the way, just call me ’Looper. Everybody calls me that now. So we had an executive meeting in the Gurney’s boardroom and it came up that we should shorten our name. One proposal was we should drop the word ’Dunkin.’ Just call ourselves Donuts.”

“That probably wouldn’t work, Mr. ’Looper.”

“Just ’Looper, please. Then there was a second proposal to drop the word Donuts. We’d just be Dunkin.’ By the way, we were influenced by something your dad did.”

“You knew my dad?”

“I worked for him as a stock boy back in the 1960s for two summers. Those were my surfing summers. He’d purchased the little White’s Pharmacy in Montauk—sold cosmetics, drugs, magazines, souvenirs and sunglasses—and in that second year he built the big building on the Plaza, changed the name to White’s Drug and Department Store, and added a line of sportswear, jewelry, small appliances and deck chairs. Smart move.”

“Didn’t shorten the name, though,” I said. “Lengthened it.”

“It was a different time.”

“So you knew my dad.”

“Really nice man. Anyway, we debated the two proposals. We could be called Donuts or we could be called Dunkin’. Those that wanted Dunkin’ said Donuts didn’t offer many growth paths. We might be able to increase our donut market share, but it would still all be donuts. Those that wanted ‘Donuts’ rather than ‘Dunkin’ said Dunkin’ might confuse people. They’d think it was a basketball team. We voted. The tally was a tie, 6 to 6. So I picked up the phone and called LeBron James and asked if for $10 million a year he would be our spokesperson, and he said yes.”

“I hung up the phone and called for a re-vote. Now it was 11 to 1 for Dunkin’. Just the one holdout, ’Blower.”


“Archibald Whistleblower, our Vice President for Personnel. He said fewer people would apply for jobs if we were Dunkin’. He was wrong. The whole thing has grandly exploded, as you know. It was the right call.”

“That’s quite a story.”

“The whole East End is so charming. You ought to consider changing the name to just The End. It really is.”

“Thank you.”

“Well, I gotta go,” he said. “Got to motor the old ’Benz down to a Chipotle in ’Zoo for lunch with my wife.”


“New name for Kalamazoo. City Council voted it in last week.”

“Thank you for your time.”

“No prob’.”

The only reason President Trump doesn’t post a picture showing off the size of his penis on Instagram is that deep down he knows that the lying media will say he hired a young stud for the job, paid him and made him sign a nondisclosure agreement.

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