In 2007, the streaming service Hulu was formed by a bunch of executives from several different media companies. Just as the venture was a calculated corporate creation, so was its name, which was carefully thought out by the aforementioned execs and includes a rather clever hidden pun. In Mandarin, húlú means "gourd" - ancient hulus were carved out to hold precious belongings - and hùlù means "interactive recording". According to the company, both of those concepts are "highly relevant to the mission of hulu". Hulu is not to be confused with a Swahili meaning "cease" and sounding the same, with Hawaiian, where it means "fur", and with Indonesian, where it means "head". Search interest for the term is strongest in Maine and it peaked in May 2011.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a senior 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.