Last year when visiting Russia I saw a store named Априори. This year in Russia I saw some chocolate bars named Априори. To me, a priori is a term from logic or philosophy, and naming something after such a philosophical term seems strange to me (like calling a chocolate bar "contrapositive"). Can any native speaker provide some insight into why this is a label that someone would want to use on a product? I did ask a native speaker about this when I was in Russia, and was told that the word just sounds nice. Could that be all there is to it?

I see from the Russian Wikipedia page for Априори that the term is used outside of philosophy to mean "speculative" or "preliminary", but these additional meanings don't seem attractive as the meaning of a brand name.

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    I can't believe I'm actually voting to close a question, me being the notorious "OMG no keep it open" guy around here — but this is "too broad" writ large. The only meaningful answer here is "because why not", and anything more specific will, of necessity, be the result of being hard-pressed to find a more specific reason. Which will result in miscommunication if those essentially ad hoc answers serve as a basis for inferences or generalisations. Brands get named after all sorts of things. It's just an idea for a name that somebody had; and not necessarily a good idea, either. Aug 22 '18 at 2:17
  • @NikolayErshov thanks for your explanation. Before I saw it I added the detail that I had spoken to a native speaker about it and indicated what that person's was (namely the word just sounds nice -- do you think so?). I am hoping there might be other reasons people can think of. For contrast, the chocolate bar name "вдохновение" sounds quite reasonable. The store I saw named Априори was a furniture store, which seemed really baffling. I've never seen anything named Апостериори, for instance!
    – KCd
    Aug 22 '18 at 2:22
  • Sorry if this came across as attacking your question. I'm just uneasy about the prospect of someone floating some theory which sounds plausible and interesting enough to make one suspend Occam's razor — which is the kind of answer that SE subtly motivates people to give, as it looks like, and feels like, better effort than a mere bland "it just sounds nice" — which is most probably what it is, or else one will probably have to ask the inventor of that name him- or herself. Otherwise, we'd end up with something like an accidental urban legend about Russian branding culture. Aug 22 '18 at 2:31
  • I tend to agree with Nikolay. Априори is a nice Italian sounding word with no bad connotations, a good choice for a brand name. If you look on Google maps you'll find dozens of places named like this all around the world, including the United States and UK.
    – Quassnoi
    Aug 22 '18 at 8:40

The word априори is relatively common in Russian, intelligent Russians know and occasionally use it in discussions about various things. Examples from ruscorpora.ru :

(Предприниматели) относятся к наемному работнику, как к классовому врагу, априори считая его дебилом и лентяем.

Много в последнее время пришлось читать о том, что черно-белое кино не способно увлечь современного зрителя априори, но я с этим не соглашусь.

The adverb априори have nothing to do with shopping or chocolate bars, but this is common for brand names. What does chocolate have to do with the planet Mars, or with the Greek mythology character Mars? What about the brand name Ritter Sport? What is "Ritter Sport"? There is no sport called Ritter, and there is no human named Ritter Sport. "Ritter Sport" is a meaningless pair of words. And chocolate bars have nothing to do with sports.

  • Thanks. I was not thinking the word was naturally linked to food or shops, but my usual experience with the term "a priori" in English made it seem like a peculiar word to use in a commercial setting, almost like finding "functor" or "cohomology" as a brand name. Since априори has a wider usage in Russian than English conversation, that seems like a reason it is not weird to see it appearing in the way I met it in Russian.
    – KCd
    Aug 22 '18 at 4:41
  • @KCd yes, this IS pretentious, but not completely unimaginable, i can even think of a rationale... in Russian speaking countries small or medium size businesses love to give their establishments pompous names probably in order to stand out, but to me they sound pathetic instead Aug 22 '18 at 6:42
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    As for Ritter Sport - "Ritter Sport" is a chocolate bar produced by Alfred Ritter GmbH and which can be put in a pocket of a standard suit jacket (which was called Sportjackett in Germany decades ago). The initial name of Ritter Sport was Sport-Schokolade. So, there is a very logical explanation for this name.
    – Abakan
    Aug 22 '18 at 8:02

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