The punniest named shop in the North East has been revealed

To celebrate a peculiarly British form of retail-linked, linguistic wordplay, leading language learning platform Babbel analysed TikTok, Instagram, X (Twitter), and Facebook to identify the UK shops – with clever or amusing puns in their names – that are most frequently celebrated on social media.

A shortlist of 120 stores was put to a vote from November 2023 to January 2024, including several across the North East.

Despite the public choosing Belfast clothing alterations company, Sew It Seams as the UK’s best shop with a pun-based name – there was room for regional winners too.

In the North East, the top spot was given to tanning salon Tan Solo in Sunderland, which, as I’m sure you can agree, fits the bill perfectly. 

Noël Wolf, Cultural Expert and Babbel Live Teacher at Babbel, said: “Puns are a cultural phenomenon deeply rooted in British society. Originating from the jesters of mediaeval times and flourishing in the Elizabethan era, the art of punning has evolved through the ages, finding a modern home in everyday conversations.

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“These linguistic gems not only highlight the adaptability of the English language but also serve as a reflection of our everyday lives, blending wit with the mundane.

“From cleverly named shops to literature, this wordplay has become an integral part of our communication landscape, entertaining connecting people.

“As we navigate the twists and turns of modern communication, puns stand as enduring testaments to the charm of language, making the serious business of everyday life a little more entertaining.”

Here are the UK top three pun-based shop names: 

1) Sew It Seams (Lisburn Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland)

2) Damsel In This Dress (Castle Square, Harlech, Wales)

3) Jean Claude Van Man (Southport, North West)

And here are the other regional winners:

● East Midlands: On a Wick and a Prayer, Candle Shop (Ashbourne)

● East of England: Alley Barber, Barbers (Luton)

● London: Barber Streisand, Hairdressers (Clerkenwell)

● North West: Jean Claude Van Man, Removals Van (Southport)

● Northern Ireland: Sew It Seams, Alterations (Belfast)

● Scotland: Hairy Pop-Ins, Pet Sitter (Mainland Shetland)

● South East: Pane in the Glass, Window Repairs (Kent)

● South West: The Hound of the Basket Meals, Food Van (Dartmoor)

● Wales: Damsel In This Dress, Clothing Shop (Harlech)

● West Midlands: Iron Maiden, Ironing Service (Birmingham)

● Yorkshire and the Humber: Frying Nemo, Fish and Chip Shop (Goole)

These are the names of the North East businesses that have missed out on the top regional spot: 

● Tan Solo, Tanning salon, Sunderland

● Amy’s Winehouse, Wine shop, Sunderland

● OnlyTans, Tanning salon, Durham

● The Tees’pot, Tearoom, Middleton-in-Teesdale

● Sofa So Good, Sofa store, Newton Aycliffe

● Morgan Treeman, Tree surgeon, Morpeth

● The Mule on Rouge, Café, Berwick-upon-Tweed

● Sushi Me Rollin’, Sushi, Newcastle

● Aye Phones, Mobile phone shop, Sunderland

● Lino Richie, Flooring, Newcastle

The Northern Echo | Business News