How theCHIVE got its name (4 Photos)

Yesterday, we rolled out a popular post titled, How big businesses actually got their names. (That fascinating post here) Surprisingly, most of those big businesses conjured their brand names by using bits and pieces of the founders' or businesses' initials and nicknames, then cobbled the various acronyms together to form the popular brand names you recognize so well today. For example, SEGA is shortened from SErvice GAmes of Japan.

A lively discussion ensued in theCHIVE comment section and we received dozens of emails from people asking how theCHIVE got its name. Most Chivers speculate that theCHIVE (pronounced like the plant) spawned from The Onion or is perhaps shortened from arCHIVE (pronounced with a hard k)? Not at all, actually.

The real answer might surprise you. How theCHIVE got its name is really a tale of two cities. We started theCHIVE in 2008. At the time, Leo was working in Chicago and John was in Venice Beach...

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  • L OL

    FI RST

    • http://thechive.com/ Paula_

      Nice, nice, but now explain where FIRST came from!

      Hugs,
      Paula
      – "Paula is to Chivettes as DAR man is to awesome…"
      — LG – twitpic.com/5q3g21

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=587208531 Benton McGrath

        Back in the time of Roman Empire, men would often try to be the "first" one with the prettiest girl at an orgy. It then became a tradition of calling "first" when taking a male/female's virginity during the Renaissance Era, and was popularized by Casanova.

        • http://thechive.com/ Paula_

          Sounds legit.

          Hugs,
          Paula
          – "Paula is to Chivettes as DAR man is to awesome…"
          — LG – twitpic.com/5q3g21

        • equalizermax

          Cool Story Bro

      • pufffdragon

        Only trolls say first, so please enlighten us.

    • LesterFreeman

      Congrats man you earned it. Just like Jon and Leo cleverly put two names together to become super rich and the wet dreams of people like me (who envy them, not find them sexually arousing – although when Patty was trying really hard to lose weight I do admit…..)

      Anyways – I love you all the more for you being first.

    • mm2

      G AY

    • Nate

      You're Gay

  • will

    I did always wonder about how the name came about. I love these kind of stories.

    • b-ry

      i was right.

    • buster cherry

      Good thing it wasn't Peoria – Venice = Penice

  • Z_b

    Thank you Chicago and Venice for giving birth to an epic site

    • nemesis

      Is the choice of name in no way related to the Onion?

      • Z_b

        Dude, did you even read the post?
        "Most Chivers speculate that theCHIVE spawned from The Onion? Not at all, actually. "

        • hehe

          wait, so it has something to do with the Onion. cool.

        • nemesis

          Wait, there were words?

  • John

    It should be noted that chive.com was already taken so adding 'the' was both logical and cheaper. We got thechive.com for $9.99 on GoDaddy which was nice… because we were really broke.

    • Stanji

      And the rest was history.

    • Simon

      up at 3:40 in the morning.. you really love your job huh? Chive On and see ya the 4th!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=587208531 Benton McGrath

      You guys should open a bar, and have all the drink named after internet memes, and every Friday would be chivette day. That means if you're a girl sporting a chive t-shirt, you drink for free. Honestly, that idea is gold.

      • RanDamn

        AFK Tavern

      • CBRADIO

        GREAT IDEA!

      • http://www.facebook.com/michael.cerda1 Michael Cerda

        I would thumbs up you, but I think it would be a shame to pass 69

    • http://thechive.com/ Paula_

      All this time I thought you just stole the name from reddit.

      Hugs,
      Paula
      – "Paula is to Chivettes as DAR man is to awesome…"
      — LG – twitpic.com/5q3g21

      • Billy

        You slay me……………………

      • TheBAMFinater

        As much as I want to thumbs down this comment, I just can't do it. :S

    • pufffdragon

      Broke then, but now living like rock and porn stars. FTW!

    • snoobs89

      just checked out http://www.chive.com, it's the kind of website my grandma would really enjoy telling me about and i would enjoy not listening.

      chive.com – probably the dryest website in the world..

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=17815425 Adam Purcell

        When I'm on friends' computers I sometimes type chive.com, inevitably they look at me with that "What the fuck is this?" look. After I show them this site, they still give me a "What the fuck is this?" but its like they've discovered El Dorado.

        • SteelCityChivette

          Samesies. Its like mistaking Justin Bieber for Justin Timberlake. That graph has a steep slope from lame to awesome.

          • EdWood

            it's like mistaking a lame-ass 17 year old for a lame-ass adult? what?

      • http://www.facebook.com/michael.cerda1 Michael Cerda

        What are you talking about? The first item listed is " Sm Arch" or?….

    • http://theberry.com/ walkingtheriver

      And the fact that you earned the $9.99 back and WAY more is also nice, yes? 🙂

    • http://mydylan.tumblr.com/ Dylan

      and now you have created a MONSTER!

      and Benton's Idea up there…pure genius!

      • That Guy

        and your propensity to his idea has nothing at all to do with the fact that you would drink for free every friday?… you probably drink for free no matter where you go. it is a wicked idea. anything that starts with 'Y U NO" can be a shot or a bomb.

      • http://thechive.com/ Paula_

        I prefer to be called a troll.

        Hugs,
        Paula
        – officially approved bij Lauren <3, what more can one wish for…

    • Bud

      Wait, so this really is shortened from Archive? As in an archive of pictures? I thought for sure thats where it came from.

      • R-Dub

        Do you not read?

    • That Guy

      thank you for not calling it Veago. the site would be a digital spanish porn mustache.

    • Nahdawg

      I saw you at 3rd st last weekend, had I recognized you sooner I would've yelled chive on 🙂

    • Jimmy

      Eh, in a couple months, they'll change the story, saying the name came from "CHIps Ahoy!" and "VEry Bad Teacher, starring Cameron Diaz" so they can sell more ad space.

    • Huddo

      Any chance of you guys posting some stats? Or at least some benchmark stats showing how the site has grown, which days you get the most visitors, what people come in looking for, that kinda thing?

  • Anonymous

    okay…

  • dr. Thompson

    I have to admit that's rather brilliant

    #4

    • Blake

      This has been shopped…otherwise it would be called Chiven!

      • Name

        Chivenice? Maybe

  • go BEARS

    appropriate that the Chive is coming home to the CHI portion of the name. Welcome back home, boys. Can't wait to raise a glass with you.

    #2

  • theONION

    nice try. SO it's s'posed to be pronounced the SHIVE????? like shicago… I don't think so.

    • parlay

      you're reaching

      • gfy

        I'm reaching?????? They're the ones trying to tell you it's Chicago + Venice. gimmeafuckingbreak.

    • marcus

      i don't even know where to begin with theONION or his 5th grade spelling aptitude.

      • marcus=bagofdouche

        It's called PHONETIC spelling marcus, you fucking imbecile. We capitalize the word "I" in ENGLISH, not to mention the first word of a sentence. Where the fuck is your aptitude?? GFY.

        • Sploooge

          Ouch we hit a tempered troll. I am also sure theChive didn't name their "EPIC" site after the sound the way 2 cities were pronounced. Or should I rename you to Theˈʌnɪən?

    • leni

      By that logic, it'd be pronounced as a short 'i' instead of a long 'i', too.
      Maybe they put the two words together (Chicago + Venice) and noticed that the result was a word that already existed (chive), so instead of being technical, they went ahead and pronounced it the way the original word is pronounced…. 'chive', not 'shiv'… but I digress.

      • http://www.facebook.com/markawol Mark Wolcott

        SHIV ON!

    • Fur reels

      never heard of CHI town?

      • miles

        served.

    • Coldzilla

      Wow youre actually DISPUTING the way they got their name as explained by the guys who NAMED IT????

      Man some people will argue about anything LOL

  • Simon

    cool story bro

    • forrester

      cool comment, bro

      • http://twitter.com/svp318 @svp318

        cool response, bro

        • milly

          warm weather, bro.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=587208531 Benton McGrath

            C-C-C-Combo Breaker

            • http://thechive.com/ Paula_

              Thank you, bro

              Hugs,
              Paula
              – "Paula is to Chivettes as DAR man is to awesome…"
              — LG – twitpic.com/5q3g21

              • http://twitter.com/svp318 @svp318

                cool picture, bro

                • Sploooge

                  Tell it again, bro

                  • snoobs89

                    cool story bro

                    • HonestChiver

                      Omg everyone STOP with the 'cool story bro' … it's fucking old, dried out, used up, and quite frankly, old hat. Moving on …

                    • snoobs89

                      Calm it down bro

                    • Just Sayin'

                      Tell it how it is bro.

                    • HonestChiver

                      … <shakes head and walks away> … SIGH!

                    • snoobs89

                      lol you cant fight the internets.

    • douchaladouche

      cool penis tiny

  • https://www.facebook.com/jimbob1975 Jim Finn

    Nylon was named in the same way. It was developed in the 20s and 30s in two labs one in New York and the other in London. NY-LON.

    I feel a NYLON gallery coming on.

    • TheBAMFinater

      Only if it involves tiny amounts drapped over busty women.

    • jaydub

      ….seconded…make it so

  • pimpampet

    So how do you prenounce it? Since English is not my native language i'm always wondering

    is it CH E VE or CH Y VE ? if I'm gonne brag with my "soon to be delivered T-shirt I better pronounce it right!

    • Koen
      • Commander

        Pimpampet just got schooled big time

      • http://twitter.com/pezatsea @pezatsea

        That's awesome Koen. I don't know if I'm behind the times or what but i've never seen lmgtfy.com. I could have used that everyday in my last job.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ranDgallegos Randy Gallegos

        jerk move but still pretty funny. why not help the fellow Chiver instead of being all douchey

        • The Chivery

          Because being a douche is one of the cornerstones of being a Chiver(along with virgin, pussy, lame-ass, and mewling sychophant). Chive on!

    • aaa

      Since nobody seems to have answered, I believe its chyve.

  • Anjin-San

    and what if John was in SH-effield and Leo in IT-aly?

    #4

    • http://thechive.com/ Paula_

      theshit.com? No problem, these guys can make it work!

      Hugs,
      Paula
      – that domain has also been hijacked by one of those fucking domain name pirates though

      • snoobs89

        shitettes doesnt really have the same ring to it tho.

        'keep calm and shit on'

        • http://thechive.com/ Paula_

          Good point. How about thebitch.com? Bitchettes sounds funny and sometimes accurate.

          Hugs,
          Paula
          – keep calm and bitch on

          • snoobs89

            how about naming them the snoobette's. that would definately work for me.

            • theederv

              What if John was in Baggy Lake, Ontario & Leo in Cuntis, Spain?

          • Underbaker

            Actually that would fit right in with most chiver/chivette current attitude.

        • NebraskaGuy

          LOL – wow snoobs89, that was some funny shit right there! I laughed so hard my sides hurt!
          Thanks for that 😉 good way to start a Thursday! 🙂

    • DJM

      TheShit? As I assume Shit.com is taken.

    • Johnny Mac

      This site is the shit so why not be, theshit.com? And the chivettes could be the shitheads lmao

  • http://kubakoya.com beruk

    Is that all? fu** haha

  • TiminPhx

    I thought it was a combination of having a cold and having hives. And that your second option was going to be HerpRash.

    • Sploooge

      HAHAHAHHA i was thinking they met up with some chicks with hives.

  • http://www.facebook.com/broadiefoot Eric Broadfoot

    I thought it was short for theARCHIVE for about 2 years now. whoops

    • Darkside

      now you can CHut the FUck up, with your argument….

    • Kiwi

      Same

    • SteelCityChivette

      clever interpretation. just curious… have you been pronouncing it like "Kive" then?

      • http://www.facebook.com/broadiefoot Eric Broadfoot

        nah i've been pronouncing it like how it looks (with the ch and all), didn't sound right when said like "kive" haha

  • dlq

    i assumed it was a take on "The onion" site, as a chive is a small onion

    • CDN

      It is, this is just a very convenient story.

    • gnocco

      Totally was part of The Onion

    • aarcadian

      Of course it was. Funny for them at the time, but now not something they want to admit. So a new story is invented. Like much of history. I'm sure I read a reference on this very site when it first started about it being a parody of theOnion.
      Now the real question is, who was living in BERlin and RYe?

  • http://www.facebook.com/richard.c.rice Richard Rice

    really bro, really

  • Gibbo

    the ChicksHereInVenice…Epic!!!

  • adktd

    I always thought the name was from C as in see and Hive, c-hive–>CHIVE

  • Dan

    How much do you guys make re-posting other people's pictures? When will you make your own, original content?

    I guess there's $$$ in other peoples' artwork, photography, humor, and graphic design.

    • Gibbo

      Obviously don't understand what theChive is all about.

      I suggest reading 'About Us'
      "theCHIVE is home to the best funny, viral and interesting photos from around the world."

      • Dan

        Obviously does understand, but somehow these guys are making a living off of this. And THAT is what I don't understand.

        • Racer X

          I hate to break this to you but there is no such thing as original content on these here interwebs anymore…I used to see shit in the late 80's/early 90's on AOL that was "borrowed" from BBS sites…who got it from college interconnection locations….

          • Sysop

            BBS, brings back memories. You are correct. Signed: Sysop!

            • Racer X

              outstanding…that is all

      • Chadwickster

        Gibbs: theCHIVE is a Fortune 600 company thats Hell-bent on moneymaking–
        Facts, champion.

      • Vanxidar

        if that's what you're "about", then doesn't it kinda.. shameless, that you put the suggestion of being "probably the best site in the world"?

        • EdWood

          this.

    • NebraskaGuy

      The wheels of industry go 'round and 'round, man. Everything the Chive posts is either public domain, or they have permission. Lots of websites share the same photos. Do you really think they've been running a website since 2008 by doing something illegal? I don't think so. Obviously these boys have their ducks in a row and are 'doing it right' 🙂

      • CDN

        No, it is not all public domain. The Facebook girls for example. I am sure most of them don't even know that their pictures are being displayed for the world to see. theChive has to legally get written permission for every picture that comes from Facebook, because they are not public domain.

        If by "doing it right" you mean ripping off entire posts from other sites, then yes they are. theChive is far from original.

        • Nah

          Where's the proof they even come from Facebook? I bet that many aren't only found on Facebook.

          Again, I point you to tc's privacy policy. So if it meets that Act then not a worry.
          And who cares? You come here for the same reason as every other Chiver

          Copyright Information
          All images on theCHIVE.com are readily available in various places on the Internet and believed to be in public domain. Images posted are believed to be posted within our rights according to the U.S. Copyright Fair Use Act (title 17, U.S. Code.)

        • snocone90

          Actually on a few of the "FB Girls" posts they straight up tell you that the images posted are all submitted to them.

    • Solitaire

      sexy chivers is pretty original.

    • miles

      well a lot of the stuff is on the internet sure, but the stuff like patty losing weight, sexy chivettes, stuff around their offices.. i mean thats theirs.

  • Darkside

    First-teenth

  • Adam

    I always thought it was short for 'THE arCHIVE'

  • wanket

    Ever heard ‘shicago’ referred to as Chi-town? Cause I have.

    • Ruffestneckaround

      or shytown

      • Billy

        Or Shit town……………..

  • davey

    I always thought it was a short for " archive "

  • http://www.facebook.com/larry.molano Larry Molano

    i fucking love penguins

    • Billy

      If it gets cold enough……………

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