Humorous English Shop Names in Spain

One thing I love about my new neighborhood is the lack of English I hear spoken on the streets. Everywhere I turn I hear Spanish, Spanish, Spanish, which is great for keeping my castellano sharp. It’s also nice that business owners and restaurateurs don’t take one look at me before switching to English–you can’t imagine how annoying that gets after the umpteenth time.

Unexpectedly, however, the further away from the multilingual center of the city I get, the more English shop names I find. Close to Plaza de Manuel Becerra, for example, there is the double-take inducing “Bar Haway,” a bad take on “Hawaii.” And further afield, on the edge of the M-30, there is a business called “Step Master.” What do you think you can find inside? At first I thought it would refer to a gym–but no, it is actually an English language school.

Now take these other examples from my barrio. Most of them stick with snappy, one-word wonders:

English shop names

You’ve got my attention. Now what?

How about a “cooffe” date?

English shop names

Two-for-one! Are we clear on that?

English shop names

Where ink cartridges go to have a better life

“First You”? How kind!

Dare I say this name is…PERFECT?

English shop names

Dipity-do-da

English shop names

Retailgas. Wait, WHAT?

Do you have any funny English shop names in your area? Please share!

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22 Comments

  1. Bahahaha! These made me laugh 🙂 Sometimes my students come to school wearing the most ridiculous t-shirts with nonsensical English phrases on them. I always want to snap pictures of them, but I think that would ruffle some feathers with the administration…

    • Cassandra

      Some of my students have some very strange shirts as well, most of which are grammatically incorrect!

  2. Gloria

    I studied abroad in Granada, so they had a few of these English names for shops. When I visited Madrid for a weekend, the one that stood out the most out of my whole study abroad experience was an accestory/clothing store called Yuck.

    • Cassandra

      Haha!! If I come across a store named Yuck I will have to take a picture.

  3. Haha, I always enjoy seeing what a non-native speaker thinks sounds like a good name for a product or store!

    • Cassandra

      You really can’t go wrong with “Perfect.” The others, though, could use some polishing!

  4. Heehee I love the little insiders giggles we native English speakers share over things like this. I remember when I first moved to Úbeda two years ago, there was a shoe store in the main square called “WHY CHERRY?” and I was like…why not? Hahahaha

    • Cassandra

      Ahahaha! It’s definitely names like that that stick with you after 2 years.

  5. This is so, so good. I live in an area of Seville where the only other guiris are two Mormons, so I rarely hear English. The English school gets me – I saw one in Logroño called DON’T English.

    Ugh, DON’T except any customers.

  6. These are hilarious! I love spotting weird translations of English words.

    This reminds of the Buzzfeed Spanish post about ‘sandwich’ spellings (Buzzfeed is practically educational if it’s in Spanish!): http://www.buzzfeed.com/jessicalima/xx-maneras-ingeniosas-de-escribir-sandwich

    • Cassandra

      Hahaha! I wonder if a “sandwish” tastes even better than a sandwich…!

  7. Too good! The above comment about students’ shirts reminded me that my co-auxiliar and I started a Twitter account to chronicle ours here. I wish we had kept updating it!

    What neighborhood have you moved to?

    • Cassandra

      What a great idea for a Twitter account–I always see funny (read: cringe-worthy) shirts both at school and in stores. The worst one ever belonged to a 13-year-old student of mine; it had a man with a brain coming out of his skull and read “I need more head.” Who designs these things?!

  8. Hahaha these are great. The store Yuck is on Calle de Atocha 😛

  9. My favourite is one I saw in Cordoba recently – Kiss Panty’s! (it sold tights – panty hose??)

  10. Haha, these are great! :)) And people still don’t believe that it’s worth it to pay the extra $100 for a Native Speaker to help you pick a name. Ridiculous.

    -Marina from MadeInMoments.com

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