Household Name

Also: Household word

Meaning of Idiom ‘Household Name’

A household name is a person, product, company, organization, etc. who is well known by everyone in the public; a very famous person, product, company, etc. 1Spears, https://amzn.to/2CEGuCz Richard A. McGraw-Hill’s Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. McGraw-Hill, 2006.


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Usage

Although ‘household word’ is a variation on the idiom household name, it still refers to things we would normally consider names, such as people or products. In fact, a common phrase is “his name is a household word.”

Examples Of Use

“Coca-Cola is by far the most famous cola brand. It’s a household name all over the world!”

“Snap cleaner has been a household name for over 50 years!”

“The actress has become a household name for all the wrong reasons.”

“Tyler Smith became a household name overnight after he saved the governor’s son from drowning.

“Our companies name is now a household word. We need to keep it that way.”

“The name of the fledgling senator became a household word after a scandal erupted during his first year.”

“Television advertising made our product a household name.”

“Well she’s a household name here in Texas but you probably never heard of her.”

Origin

Used since at least the early 1900s.

This idiom came about through early advertising efforts, when companies sought first to make their company name known by everyone, and then later individual products. It may have been the advertising industry itself who coined the idiom, as ‘a household name’ has long been a favored claim.

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Sources   [ + ]

1. Spears, https://amzn.to/2CEGuCz Richard A. McGraw-Hill’s Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. McGraw-Hill, 2006.