There are apparently some weird myths out there that the company name Adidas is an acronym of "All Day I Dream About Sports" or something along those lines. Acronym etymologies are almost always false; the truth here is actually far more interesting. Our story begins in the Bavarian village of Herzogenaurach during the 1920s, where two brothers named Adolf and Rudolf Dassler started a shoemaking business that quickly started growing. As their corporation expanded, however, the brothers grew estranged, disliking each other's business and political ideas (both were Nazis but Rudolf was further right) and even wives. Rudolf left to set up his own competing company. Adolf renamed the family business Adidas as a portmanteau of his nickname Adi and his last name (Addas was briefly considered, but another company already registered that trademark), and Rudolf almost named his new enterprise Ruda in similar fashion, but opted instead for Puma, to evoke a sense of sleek athleticism. The brothers bitterly hated each other and kept trying to one-up each other's businesses, and as a byproduct of all that rapid competitive expansion we ended up with the second- and third-largest sportswear companies in the world. Funny how it works like that sometimes.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a junior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.