Naming a restaurant is a tricky business. In just one or two words, you need to convey so much -- ideally a restaurant name should give prospective diners a snapshot of your ethos and aesthetic. It is the first cultural cue in a complicated social and business exchange.
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Which is why the name of Gordon Ramsay's new restaurant -- the Fat Cow -- is so interesting. On the one hand, the name fits right in with the current trend of naming restaurants after farm animals -- just choose your livestock, stick an adjective in front of it and voila! Restaurant name done (the Fat Duck, the Spotted Pig, Black Hogg, etc.). On the other hand, "fat cow" is an incredibly common British insult. And Ramsay is an incredibly prolific insulter. He's also a very famous chef, and one whom people love in part because he's so shouty on camera, particularly on his best-known U.S. TV show, Hell's Kitchen.More »