What is the term for when one replaces a well-known name [(Proper) noun, company, brand, etc.] with one that tries to be funny yet pejoratively descriptive, different but similar enough that one's audience can likely understand the replacement?

For example: Whole Foods ===> Whole Paycheck; Comcast ==> Scumcast; Starbucks ==> Charbucks; Kinko's == Stinko's; eBay ==> Evil Bay

I tend to use sobriquet don't believe this explicitly implies funny as well as insulting. Moniker again is close but not specific to the above description.

There is a similar question which proposes tortonym and malapropsim, but it does not seem to settle the argument definitively: Is there a term for pejorative parody names of people or places?

Another answer here proposes dysphemism, but to me it isn't a full fit: What do you call it when a name/word is better known by a pejorative? because it doesn't cover the humor aspect.

  • 3
    Dysphemism comes close. For the "humor aspect", I'd just go for amusing dysphemism or puerile dysphemism, depending on how you see it. May 17, 2015 at 17:54
  • I might call that an intentional malapropism
    – Jim
    May 17, 2015 at 20:05
  • How is this question different from the first one you linked to?
    – Barmar
    May 18, 2015 at 20:19

1 Answer 1


The term dysphemism is appropriate:


A derogatory or unpleasant term used instead of a pleasant or neutral one. The opposite of euphemism.

ODO, emphasis mine

Brands are designed to generate pleasant feelings in the marketplace, but these monikers are proffered to defame the brand with a sense of contempt, as the specific meanings of the prefix and root imply:

dys- = bad, ill, difficult
pheme = fame
-ism = noun form of state, quality, action or result

If the existing word seems too serious for this specialized insult veiled in "humor", I can highly recommend the portmanteau neologism slurbriquet.

Combining slur:

3 chiefly US Make damaging or insulting insinuations or allegations about:

ODO, emphasis mine

and sobriquet:


A person’s nickname:


Comcast customers have have baptized their cable provider with an effective slurbriquet: Scumcast

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.