In 1926, a man named Sakichi Toyoda founded a company called Toyada Automatic Loom Works, Ltd to sell a new type of machine-powered loom he invented. This became pretty popular, and the patent was eventually bought by a British textile corporation, giving Toyoda's son and successor Kiichiro the funds to branch out into the burgeoning automobile industry. Soon after, ownership of the company passed to Kiichiro's brother-in-law, Rizaburo Toyoda, who felt that it was time for a rebranding. He didn't particularly care for the name Toyoda because it could be translated to "rice paddies" (a modern name was preferable to one tied to farming) and because it was cumbersome to say, so he switched to the easier-to-pronounce name Toyota, which had the added bonus of cutting brush strokes down from ten to eight, a lucky number. And that's how we got the modern automobile brand name, which is pretty neat!
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.