The hidden meaning behind the names of tech giants: what does Samsung mean?

The hidden meaning behind the names of tech giants: what does Samsung mean?
Technology is becoming more and more intricately knit inside the fabric of our daily lives, as the number of gadgets we own seems to just grow larger and larger every year - bigger and bigger TVs, larger and more powerful smartphones, more tablets, and now new smartwatches are all taking a place in the household (and sometimes on our own body), and who knows what’s going to come next. One of the most successful companies in the electronics arena, Samsung, is a name you see more and more on not just TVs, but phones and tablets. However, did you know that the name Samsung has an actual meaning behind it? It's obscured because of the company's foreign origins, but it's there.

First, we ought to mention that Samsung is a company based in Seoul, South Korea, and as such, its name is purely Korean. Samsung is actually a word made of two parts - Sam and Sung, and each of them has a meaning. Sam stands for ‘three’ and Sung means ‘stars’, so combined together Samsung literally translates as ‘three stars’ or ‘tristar’. This Korean symbol (‘hanja’) stands to signify something that Samsung is “big, numerous, and powerful” (translated from the ‘sam’ hanja), and ‘eternal’ (as in the ‘sung’ hanja). Summing it all up, we have something big, powerful, and eternal embedded right in Samsung’s DNA, its brand name.

Curiously enough, those same three stars were actually reflected in the company’s logo from its earliest days in the 30s, when Samsung was just starting off as the business of a few families of landowners. Now, Samsung employs over 236,000 people across 79 countries in the world (apart from Korea), and it’s one of the world’s 10 most valuable brands. Staggering evolution, isn’t it?

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44 Comments

1. Ashoaib

Posts: 3296; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Nice info... whats the meaning of sony? Huawie? Nokia?

2. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Huawei* Now that I've read this, I'm wondering the same thing and why Steve Jobs chose "apple" for the company.

3. cheeseycheeser

Posts: 413; Member since: Mar 24, 2011

What I've heard is simply because it's a friendly and common object. Technology used to be scary to people, so a fruity name would make it less so. Then again, Jobs did lots and lots of acid too.

17. PAPINYC

Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

Hey, I don't think it's nice to refer to that company or brand as "fruity".

19. stealthd unregistered

Supposedly they just needed to pick one and Jobs was on an Apple diet. They also wanted to be listed higher on an index, so they picked an A name, and Apple put them above Atari.

30. CellularNinja

Posts: 306; Member since: Sep 27, 2011

I read the Steve Jobs biography. When he started Apple it was directly after he took a 3 month long 'vacation' from employment at what-do-you-know an apple farm. He was sort of a hippie and he loved the apple farm. When he got back he started his technology company and named it "Apple" because of his experience at the farm and that Apple was a simple, tangible object.

46. bogumila

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 16, 2014

maybe "apple" being a forbidden and yet tempting fruit. thus the first bite :) customers couldn't resist it :)

4. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Sony is named after the Latin word "sonus" and the word "sonny" which was a common phrase in 1950's Japan, due to strong American influence. I'm not sure about Huawei or Nokia, but LG was originally "Lucky Goldstar." Blackberry was so named because of the shape of its keyboard. And HTC is "High Tech Computer" (not Humongous Tinfoil Catamaran.)

6. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

I always thought LG means "Life's Good". Does it?

7. Sauce unregistered

I'm pretty sure that's what their sh*t means....I've seen commercials with them saying that under their logo.. I could be wrong though ._.

11. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2278; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

It stands for lucky goldstar. I'm guessing 95% of the PA users know this.

13. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

It stands for Life's Good now, but when it was founded it stood for Lucky Goldstar.

37. Just.Saying

Posts: 132; Member since: Apr 04, 2013

No, it actually consist of two words in korea thats Leokki Geumseong. Lucky Goldstar in English. They changed it to the acronym LG in order to compete better in the international markets.

14. phonetekmek

Posts: 70; Member since: Oct 04, 2013

Lif'e Good was a marketing term but by no means was it ever the company name. No more than KFC stood for "Kitchen Fresh Chicken"

33. Neo_Huang

Posts: 1067; Member since: Dec 06, 2013

Life's Good is their slogan, which is also a backronym.

10. buccob

Posts: 2972; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

ASUS is interesting... They were ex-Acer employees who wanted to start their own computer hardware company and they were actually going to name it PEGASUS (after the winged horse of Greek mythology)... but they wanted to be high at most list/search results by alphabet so they drop the first 3 letters...

21. ihavenoname

Posts: 1693; Member since: Aug 18, 2013

Nokia is a city in southern Finland.

22. Puhelin

Posts: 10; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

Nokia is a little city in Finland.

5. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

Well, we all know what the meaning of Apple is...

8. Sauce unregistered

What is the meaning behind Nokia's? I've always been curious (especially years ago when all I bought were awesome Nokia sliders and flips) but never took time to check.

12. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

Try typing "Nokia" in Google Translate and translating it from Finnish to English.

36. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

It doesn't mean anything in Finnish. I'm a native Finnish speaker. Or if it does it's an old word that nobody uses anymore.

16. PAPINYC

Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

.... yes, it stands for "Almost Plastic Phone with Limited Evolution"

23. ihavenoname

Posts: 1693; Member since: Aug 18, 2013

27. PAPINYC

Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

lol .... +1

28. dontneedtoknow

Posts: 158; Member since: Feb 17, 2014

Either way, ut revolutionized the mobile industry.

29. PAPINYC

Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

Is that like an abbreviation for Utah??

15. PAPINYC

Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

I thought Samsung stood for big giant Chinese tech' company that's wiping the floor with Apples.

20. Ninetysix

Posts: 2965; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Wrong asian country brosephine.

26. PAPINYC

Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

China, Korea - Təmātō, Təmätō!! (josefiend)

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