How would you explain what "Sovereign General Insurance Company" means to a child? Does it literally mean: The ultimate/ruler general insurance company

EDIT: Or is it just a name? Just like Joe's Burgers

  • 4
    If this is the name of a company, you'll need to ask the company, and know that the reasoning may have changed over time, or been removed altogether— the official position of the current company AT&T, for example, is that its name is just letters, which do not represent anything, whereas for the previous entity which used that name, it was an abbreviation for American Telephone & Telegraph.
    – choster
    Jul 2, 2015 at 18:21
  • Sovereign doesn't have to mean "ultimate ruler". It could mean independent.
    – alz
    Jul 2, 2015 at 18:24
  • 1
    @alz Sovereign can also denote a coin.
    – phoog
    Jul 2, 2015 at 18:38

1 Answer 1


Well, here's Merriam Webster on it:

Full Definition of SOVEREIGN [adj]

1 a : superlative in quality

b : of the most exalted kind : supreme; sovereign virtue

c : having generalized curative powers (a sovereign remedy)

d : of an unqualified nature : unmitigated (sovereign contempt)

e : having undisputed ascendancy : paramount

2 a : possessed of supreme power : a (sovereign) ruler

b : unlimited in extent : absolute

c : enjoying autonomy : independent (sovereign states)

3 : relating to, characteristic of, or befitting a supreme ruler : royal a sovereign right.

I don't normally hold with wodges of cut and paste, but in this case, I think you have to take your pick. At some stage in childhood it's good to learn that people might be out to impress you, even with something that could be, finally, meaningless. ;-)

Oh, I've just seen the "Joe's Burgers" addition to the question. Yes. Or more appositely: Burger King?

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