Disposable drinking cups actually have a fascinating history. Up until 1907, people just shared cups at communal drinking spaces, but then people found out that was unhealthy, so there was a massive demand for cheap paper cups. This led to the development of the Health Kup by the American Water Supply Company of New England. Soon, the business expanded, and they landed a sponsorship with the New York-based Dixie Doll Company, renaming themselves the Dixie Cup Corporation after the toys in 1919 - that should sound familiar. Just over a decade later, a Dixie Cup employee left the company to form a rival startup named the Paper Container Manufacturing Company, which started creating plastic versions in the 1970s. These were named Solo cups to evoke their disposability (the company was renamed after them once they became popular), and that should be another recognizable name.
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.