I’m often not one to explain my post titles, but this one comes from The Simpsons — specifically either Sherri or Terri, though I’m not sure which — and stands out for me as one of the best lines ever written for the show.
As the result of a conversation tonight with George, I realized that the much-maligned fast food chain Arby’s would seem to have derived its name from its most famous product: roast beef sandwiches. Roast beef. “R” and “B.” Thus, “Arby’s.” Makes sense, right?
Says the Wikipedia page on the subject: The name does, in fact, come from the initials “R” and “B,” but these letters technically stands for “Raffel Brothers” — that is, Forrest and Leroy Raffel, who started the chain in 1964. That the restaurant would come to be associated with road beef is entirely a coincidence. Arby’s did, however, attempt to profit off the harmonious accident with the 1980s advertising slogan “Roast beef, yes sir,” though that doesn’t strike me as a particularly good campaign.
Nonetheless, I’m a bit surprised that I never before realized that the name sounded like two letters, much less two letters that happen to stand for the name of its signature product. This is my “pasta puttanesca” realization all over again.