Click here for the full list, and who knows if all of this is valid, but here are some examples:
Apple – for the favourite fruit of co-founder Steve Jobs and/or for the time he worked at an apple orchard. He was three months late in filing a name for the business, and he threatened to call his company Apple Computer if his colleagues didn’t suggest a better name by 5 p.m.
Cadillac – Cadillac was named after the 18th century French explorer Antoine Laumet de La Mothe , sieur de Cadillac, founder of Detroit, Michigan. Cadillac is a small town in the South of France.
Fiat – acronym of Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino (Italian Factory of Cars of Turin).
Hotmail – Founder Jack Smith got the idea of accessing e-mail via the web from a computer anywhere in the world. When Sabeer Bhatia came up with the business plan for the mail service, he tried all kinds of names ending in ‘mail’ and finally settled for Hotmail as it included the letters “HTML” – the markup language used to write web pages.
Mercedes – This is the first name of the daughter of Emil Jellinek, who worked for the early Daimler company around 1900.
Pepsi – Pepsi derives its name from (treatment of) dyspepsia, an intestinal ailment.
Sprint – from its parent company, Southern Pacific Railroad INTernal Communications. Back in the day, pipelines and railroad tracks were the cheapest place to lay communications lines, as the right-of-way was already leased or owned.
Verizon – A portmanteau of veritas (Latin for truth) and horizon.