A Straight Dope Classic from Cecil's Storehouse of Human Knowledge

What's the origin of "7-Up"?

May 29, 1998

Dear Cecil:

Since you're looking into the origins of products names these days, here's one for you. Why do they call it 7-Up?

Cecil replies:

Anything had to be an improvement over the original name: Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda. Figuring that he was going to have a problem selling a product that you needed two years of speech therapy just to be able to pronounce, soda pop mogul C. L. Grigg changed the name to 7-Up, apparently because the drink contained "seven natural flavors blended into a savory, flavory drink with a real wallop." You may wonder what the seven natural flavors were besides lemon and lime. I ain't saying. I'm just glad they dropped the horseradish.

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