Occasionally I find a topic or some crap trivia that might fit into more than one of my blogs and this one is one of those. In addition to here in ‘With Just A Hint Of Learning’ you will find it in my ‘With Just A Hint Of Mayhem‘ blog! If you already regularly read both then please accept my apologies for subjecting you to twice the usual drivel!
Did you know that Starbucks is named after a character from Herman Melville‘s classic tale ‘Moby Dick‘? In the book Starbuck is the name of the first mate of Captain Ahab. It also possibly is in part a derivation of Starbo which was a mining camp located on Mount Rainier in the late 1800s/ early 1900s. One of the guys involved in the creation of the company was Gordon Bowker, he initially favoured the name of Ahab’s ship from Moby Dick, it was called the Pequod. However it was pointed out to him by business partner Terry Heckler that; “No one’s going to drink a cup of Pee-quod!”. Actually I wonder if he heckled him about it?
Anyway in the long run they settled for Starbucks which they saw as a name ‘evoking the romance of the high seas and the seafaring tradition of the early coffee traders’. Did you also know that Gillian Anderson‘s character Dana Scully in the X Files was given the nickname of Starbuck by her screen father after the character in Moby Dick.
There is also a music link here, well a couple actually. Electro boffin Moby is actually a descendant of Moby Dick author Herman Melville, apparently he is the great great great-nephew of the writer. Moby’s real name is Richard Melville Hall. Additionally a big US hit from 1976 was “Moonlight Feels Right” which was performed by a band calle Starbuck. Surely the latter (or latte?) would have been a better inspiration for the Starbucks name because they could have changed the lyrics to advertise. How about a quick chorus of ‘flat white, feels right’ everyone!