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household name

a person or thing that is well known by everyone


household name = etwas das allgemein bekannt ist, z.B. eine Person, ein Begriff, Allgemeinheit --- GOOGLE INDEX household name: approximately 2,000,000 Google hits



Between successfully growing and defending its dominance in search over the last year, as well as expanding aggressively into mobile and business services, Google has become a HOUSEHOLD NAME and a part of everyday vocabulary.


China is key to our growth market strategy and with our strong local partner CITIC we are well-positioned to build a trusted HOUSEHOLD NAME for life insurance as we expand across the country.


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household name
noun phrase

- a person or thing that is well known

(Collins Essential English Dictionary 2nd Edition 2006 © HarperCollins Publishers 2004, 2006)


Aspiring to be a household name is the aim of most companies. Mercedes, Coca Cola, McDonalds and Levi's Jeans are all good examples. It can often take years or decades to become a household name. For other companies, this can happen relatively fast, which is true of some "New Economy" firms such as Google (how often do we use the expression "let me Google that?"). Let's face it, the Internet itself has become one of the most important household names over the past few centuries.

Popularity can be a good thing, but becoming a household name can also happen for the wrong reason. In early 2000, the American energy company Enron was plagued by accusations of accounting fraud. The previously unknown company was in the headlines nearly every day for months. Enron eventually went bankrupt and became a household name synonymous with corporate greed.

There are also people who seek to become household names. This is especially true of actors and actresses, musicians and other artists who rely on popularity with the general public to make a living. The allure of becoming a household name is the fame and fortune that often accompanies it.

But just like companies, celebrities can get their name in the spotlight for negative reasons. Whether it's a musician who has fallen into alcohol and drug abuse or an athlete accused of doping, this is not the most desirable way of becoming a household name.


"Aldi has now become a household name in the UK."

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