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Apr 24, 2016
Writing

What’s in a Name? The Etymology of WD-40

Maybe it’s the Shakespeare in the air this week, or maybe it’s the tested.com Still Untitled podcasts I’ve been listening to where I first heard this story, but I’ve been thinking about the meaning behind names – specifically WD-40.

Firstly I’m a WD-40 fan for many reasons; for being a joke in King of the Hill, silencing squeaks, removing the left-behind sticky from sticky labels, and most recently for loosening a stiff lock.

 

WD-40 Can

 

For all the time I've had a can in my toolbox though I never really thought about where its name came from.

Turns out it stands for “Water Displacement perfected on the 40th try” as it took the three people working at the Rocket Chemical Company forty attempts to formulate the ubiquitous lubricant, for use in the aerospace industry.

It’s a pretty interesting story for a cool name that sounds like it could be a Star Wars robot. And like so many products a bit of research reveals it’s a common household essential that has its roots in a very specialised industry. In fact it was first used to protect the USA’s inaugural Intercontinental Ballistic Missile from rust and corrosion – thankfully since then it has been used as a solution for peace, if only by people with high-pitched hinges.

Check out more WD-40 trivia on the official site

 

Mark is a freelancer who specialises in creative copywriting and content creation. Starting out as a freelance blogger he's experienced at putting his copywriting skills to work on a variety of subjects and can easily turn his hand to different styles. In his years as a freelance writer he's always brought a creative edge to everything he's written. 

In addition to being a freelance copywriter and a hard-working wordsmith Mark has also forged other forms of content for the web and print working as a photographer, video editor and a general content creator on a freelance basis. 

Some Like it Sloth
Riding the Dartington Donkey
High Cross Piano
 

Based in Devon Mark lives within questing distance of the UK's Middle Earth aka Dartmoor. He likes his detectives hard-boiled, his eggs runny, and his time travel non-paradoxical.

These are the freelance content creation services available from Mark:

  • Freelance copywriting
  • Freelance blog creation
  • Freelance writing
  • Freelance photography
  • Freelance video editing

If you need a freelance writer, photographer, or video editor get in touch with Mark to find out how he can help:

Royal Albert Memorial Museum - Cloning Collections
Exeter City Council - Armed Forces Day
National Trust - South West Christmas Card 2013
 

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