How The Oreo Got It's Name

Photo by Evan Amos, released under the CC0 license
No matter which supermarket you go to, the Oreo cookie is an all-American staple that pleases young and old (a staple which, unfortunately, is also ruined by the ridiculous amount of sugar which Nabisco insists on stuffing it with.) Merely a layer of crème-inspired icing sandwiched between two layers of chocolate wafers, it's simple design can be taken apart and consumed in so many different ways. But how did the Oreo get it's name, and why did it stick to begin with? While the answer may be unclear, there are so many different languages which could have given it the iconic name which many people have come to know and love today:


The First Theory:

During the early 1920s, the Nabisco cookie company tried to invent a cookie which had a layer of sugary icing in the middle and two cookies which held it together.  The result? A snack icon which was rounded at  the top and bottom. Because of it's funny design, legend states that the cookie giant (now owned by Mondelez,) coined the name Oreo as the word Oros stands for "mountain" or "hill" in Greek.


The Second Theory:

After perfecting the Oreo cookie and pushing it onto the market, Nabisco packaged the cookies in a golden box and sold them to vendors who awaited their arrival. Because of the colour of the container, many people have attempted to point fingers at the very first design and tie it in with the French word "Or,” meaning "golden."


The Third (and least plausible) Theory:

Nobody knows why, but legend has it that Oreos were named after the derived Greek word with the same spelling, which still stands for "beautiful." Although corny, most people are still led to believe that this name was thought of by Nabisco.


Even though an answer may not have been reached quite yet, it's still fascinating to see what people have come up with in order to find out the heritage of an iconic crowdpleaser. And, although the answer may remain a mystery, one thing is certain--it doesn't take a genius to linger on the fine taste of sugar and cocoa powder which simultaneously blend together in perfect harmony.






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