I found some interesting material about how companies were named and what their names actually mean, take a look below..btw it is quite a long list!
ABN AMRO — In the 1960s, the Nederlandse Handelmaatschappij (Dutch Trading Society; 1824) and the Twentsche Bank merged to form the Algemene Bank Nederland ( ABN; General Bank of the Netherlands). In 1966, the Amsterdamsche Bank and the Rotterdamsche Bank merged to form the Amro Bank. In 1991, ABNand Amro Bank merged to form ABN AMRO.
Acccenture — Accent on the Future. Greater-than ‘accent’ over the logo’s t points forward towards the future. The name Accenture was proposed by a company employee in Norways part of a internal name finding process (BrandStorming). Prior to January 1, 2001 the company was called Andersen Consulting.
Adidas — from the name of the founder Adolf (Adi) Dassler.
Adobe — came from name of the river Adobe Creek that ran behind the houses of founders John Warnock and Chuck Geschke .
AltaVista — Spanish for “high view”.
Amazon.com — Founder Jeff Bezos renamed the company to Amazon (from the earlier name of Cadabra.com) after the world’s most voluminous river, the Amazon. He saw the potential for a larger volume of sales in an online bookstore as opposed to the then prevalent bookstores. (Alternative: It is said that Jeff Bezos named his book store Amazon simply to cash in on the popularity of Yahoo at the time. Yahoo listed entries alphabetically, and thus Amazon would always appear above its competitors in the relevant categories it was listed in.)
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. Apple’s Macintosh is named after a popular variety of apple sold in the US. Apple also wanted to distance itself from the cold, unapproachable, complicated imagery created by the other computer companies at the time had names like IBM, NEC, DEC, ADPAC, Cincom, Dylakor, Input, Integral Systems, SAP, PSDI, Syncsort and Tesseract. The new company sought to reverse the entrenched view of computers in order to get people to use them at home. They looked for a name that was unlike the names of traditional computer companies, a name that also supported a brand positioning strategy that was to be perceived as simple, warm, human, approachable and different. Note: Apple had to get approval from the Beatle’s Apple Corps to use the name ‘Apple’ and paid a one-time royalty of $100,000 to McIntosh Laboratory, Inc., a maker of high-end audio equipment, to use the derivative name ‘Macintosh’, known now as just ‘Mac’.
Blaupunkt — Blaupunkt (Blue dot) was founded in 1923 under the name Ideal. Their core business was the manufacturing of headphones. If the headphones came through quality tests, the company would give the headphones a blue dot. The headphones quickly became known as the blue dots or blaue Punkte. The quality symbol would become a trademark, and the trademark would become the company name in 1938.
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.
Canon — Originally (1933) Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory the new name (1935) derived from the name of the company’s first camera, the Kwannon, in turn named after the Japanese name of the Buddhist bodhisattva of mercy.
Cisco — short for San Francisco. It has also been suggested that it was “CIS-co” — Computer Information Services was the department at Stanford University that the founders worked in.
Coca-Cola — Coca-Cola’s name is derived from the coca leaves and kola nuts used as flavouring. Coca-Cola creator John S. Pemberton changed the ‘K’ of kola to ‘C’ for the name to look better.
Colgate-Palmolive — formed from a merger of soap manufacturers Colgate & Company and Palmolive-Peet. Peet was dropped in 1953. Colgate was named after William Colgate, an English immigrant, who set up a starch, soap and candle business in New York Cityin 1806. Palmolive was named for the two oils (Palm and Olive) used in its manufacture.
Compaq — from “comp” for computer, and “pack” to denote a small integral object; or: Compatibility And Quality; or: from the company’s first product, the very compact Compaq Portable.
Daewoo — the company founder Kim Woo Chong called it Daewoo which means “Great Universe” in Korean.
Dell — named after its founder, Michael Dell. The company changed its name from Dell Computer in 2003.
DHL — the company was founded by Adrian Dalsey, Larry Hillblom , and Robert Lynn , whose last initials form the company’s moniker.
eBay — Pierre Omidyar, who had created the Auction Web trading website, had formed a web consulting concern called Echo Bay Technology Group. ” EchoBay” didn’t refer to the town in Nevada, the nature area close to Lake Mead, or any real place. “It just sounded cool,” Omidyar reportedly said. When he tried to register EchoBay.com, though, he found that Echo Bay Mines, a gold mining company, had gotten it first. So, Omidyar registered what (at the time) he thought was the second best name: eBay.com.
Epson — Epson Seiko Corporation, the Japanese printer and peripheral manufacturer, was named from “Son of Electronic Printer”
Fanta — was originally invented by Max Keith in Germany in 1940 when World War II made it difficult to get the Coca-Cola syrup to Nazi Germany. Fanta was originally made from by products of cheese and jam production. The name comes from the German word for imagination (Fantasie or Phantasie), because the inventors thought that imagination was needed to taste oranges from the strange mix.
Fiat — acronym of Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino (Italian Factory of Cars of Turin).
Fuji — from the highest Japanese mountain Mount Fuji.
Google — the name is an intentional misspelling of the word googol, reflecting the company’s mission to organize the immense amount of information available online.
HP — Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard tossed a coin to decide whether the company they founded would be called Hewlett-Packard or Packard-Hewlett.
Hitachi — old place name, literally “sunrise”
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. It was initially referred to as HoTMaiL with selective upper casing. (If you click on Hotmail’s ‘mail’ tab, you will still find “HoTMaiL” in the URL.)
Hyundai — connotes the sense of “the present age” or “modernity” in Korean.
IBM — named by Tom Watson, an ex-employee of National Cash Register. To one-up them in all respects, he called his company International Business Machines.
ICL — abbreviation for International Computers Ltd, once the UK’s largest computer company, but now a service arm of Fujitsu, of Japan.
IKON — copier company name derived from I Know One Name.