This article examines the localness of commercial names in Finland and focusses specifically on the names of grill food kiosks and products. There are two research objectives: firstly, to determine the number of local names that occur in the material, and secondly, to analyse how these names work as indexes of localness. This article explores the claim by sociolinguist Barbara Johnstone that particular linguistic forms can index meanings along a variety of dimensions and some forms may index locality. Furthermore, these types of linguistic forms can be used in discourses that shape people’s senses of place and the social identities associated with place.
Of the 15 names of kiosks, almost all names, a total of 13 names, can be interpreted as manifesting local characteristics. Most of the kiosk names include a local place name. Of the product names, more than half (46 out of 84 names) are to be construed as describing something local. Although most of the local names in the group of product names include a local place name, personal names are also rather common. In addition, local dialect or slang is also visible in the product names. Another type of reference to a region appears in two kiosk names and in some of the product names. These names constitute a special case and demonstrate how local history can be incorporated in names creatively.
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