Claim: The lubricating spray
Example: [Collected via e-mail, 2006]
The product began from a search for a rust preventative solvent and degreaser to protect missile parts.
Origins: Common household products bearing names with no obvious relationship to their manufacturers or functions often pose mysteries to consumers,
conundrums some feel duty-bound to solve.
Cryptic product names involving numbers are often explained away as having been inspired by the Nth attempt at formulating a product (or its name). Hence legend has it that the manufacturer of Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda, after the first six tries at selecting a less cumbersome name proved unsatisfactory, finally threw in the towel and opted for the simple choice of
Usually such explanations are simply attempts to make some sense of the seemingly nonsensical, but occasionally they’re on the mark. Consider
WD-40 literally stands for Water Displacement, 40th attempt. That’s the name straight out of the lab book used by the chemist who developed
Last updated: 2 June 2011
Berg, Jim and Tim Nyberg. The WD-40 Book. Bad Dog Press, 1997. ISBN 1-887-31715-5.