16 February 2008

U-li-ka What's in a name?

ULIKA
pronounced yoo 'lie kuh

I am asked "Where did the name Ulika come from?" or "What does Ulika mean?" fairly regularly. Just as regularly, I hear the name mispronounced. When we took 8th place in chicken at the Nashville competition, the lady announcing the awards called us You-Lick-Uhh. Everyone got a nice little laugh, but we were the ones really laughing. For some reason, we had a feeling that day that we were going to get a call...and that the person doing the awards would jack up our name.

The name was inspired by the U-LI-KA Paramount Cleaners in Knoxville. I would always drive by the location on North Broadway as I headed to team member Peter Swanson's house. There was just something about the U-LI-KA Cleaners that was always funny to me. This place was next to a crack house hotel and was a shady establishment at best. For whatever reason, the name just stuck with me and I have been using it ever since.

I started out using Ulika as a screen name and I was always trying to get my friends to name their various bands Ulika. None of my friends went with the name, instead going with the Sneaky Eaters, My Tyger or Girls and Boys. When it was officially my time to name something, it was a no brainier.

The name is just great. How many other teams have a name with so much meaning and functionality? Our team name is not only statement, but also a question. As a declarative statement, I might say to my wife, "ULIKA my ribs," because she does indeed like my ribs very much. To someone new, I might ask "ULIKA barbecue?" or more directly, "ULIKA my barbecue?" when we meet.

2 comments:

BP said...

I always tell people that it rhymes with formica.

Eric Devlin said...

Well, that saved me from feeling like an idiot and having to ask. I had no idea where it came from or how it was pronounced.

I thought it might be a regional colloquialism.

Eric Devlin