Is it a ‘bancake’ or a ‘pancake’? Arabic speakers explain IHOP name change

File photo showing fresh IHOp pancakes at a Dubai restaurant. (Photo courtesy: IHOp Facebook page)
Updated 10 June 2018
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Is it a ‘bancake’ or a ‘pancake’? Arabic speakers explain IHOP name change

LONDON: It’s a puzzle. Or should that be “buzzle”? After 60 years, the International House of Pancakes restaurant chain is changing its acronym from IHOP to IHOb. But they haven’t yet said why.
Cue widespread consternation — and quite a few jokes — all over the Twittersphere… except among pancake-loving Arabic speakers.
For them, this is old news. Arabic has no “p” sound, and speakers of the language usually substitute a “b.” In the Arab world, IHOP has been IHOB ever since the first pancake — sorry, bancake — house opened in Dubai in 2012.
IHOP announced the change (they called it “flipping” the name) on Monday but will not reveal the reason for it until June 11. In the meantime, Twitter has gone into hyper-buzz with tweeters of Arab background supplying most of the wit.
“Did an Arab person take over IHOP?” asked Fatima Syed, a reporter on the Toronto Star newspaper. “I ask as someone who for years was known as the girl from ‘Bakistan.’’’
Ala’a Ibrahim pointed out that Arabs also love to eat in Bizza Hut and Bopeyes, no doubt washing down their food with cans of Bebsi.

 

 

“My beoble have taken over IHOB so much, they changed the name to something we can bronounce!” tweeted Mohamed El Dahshan.
Breakfast and brunch are among the suggestions for what the “b” might stand for, along with the more fanciful broccoli, biscuits and even barnacles. IHOP’s popularity in the Middle East led one Twitter user to suggest that since “hob” means “love” in Arabic, therefore “Ihob= I love (pancakes).”
Hob also means the top of a stove, the hub of a wheel or male ferret — none of which seems pertinent, or even bertinent.
IHOP also joined in the fun, tweeting: “The blot thickens.”
When a tweeter named Patrick asked for an explanation, IHOP replied, “Batience, Batrick, batience!” and tweeted an audio guide “to helb you bronounce it broberly.”
The first IHOP in Dubai in 2012 was followed a year later by restaurants in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, then Bahrain and Lebanon in 2014.
From a business perspective, the name change makes little sense. The brand is well established and very well-known, sales are doing well and shares in parent company Dine Brands are up nearly 25 percent.
Changing the signs and menus at nearly 1,800 IHOP restaurants is expensive and risky. Studies have shown that brands which change their names typically experience an immediate 5 to 20 percent drop in sales.
IHOP’s only comment is a statement from Stephanie Peterson, the company’s executive director of communications, which said: “We’re serious about the quality of food and our menu, and this name change really reflects that.”
A search for IHob.com domain name reveals it is “data protected” and registered by someone with 123 Data Protected, Toronto as an address, and the email address [email protected] Emails sent there bounce back as undeliverable.
All of which could mean one of two things: IHOP have really flipped and this is either a blea for attention or a massive brank.

Decoder

Other words mispronounced in the Middle East

Lunch on the go at work might very well be a sandwich from ‘Bret-a-manger’. After a hard day, it is tempting to order in a ‘bizza’ and wash it down with a can of ‘Bebsi', and a ‘Benguin' chocolate bar for afters. If you overindulge, a couple of ‘Banadol' should ease any indigestion. Another reason for not going out is difficulty with ‘barking’ the car. Much nicer to stay home with a DVD and tub of ‘bobcorn’ and that is ‘berfect'. 


Han Solo’s ‘Return of the Jedi’ blaster sells for $550,000

Updated 24 June 2018
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Han Solo’s ‘Return of the Jedi’ blaster sells for $550,000

  • The faux weapon, mainly made of wood, had been put on display in New York by Julien’s Auctions last month after more than 30 years tucked away in the belongings of James Schoppe, art director of “Return of the Jedi”
  • Martin Nolan, the auction house’s executive director, said Schoppe, an Oscar nominee for his work on the film, finally decided to part with Solo’s gun and about 40 other items from the movie, including an Ewok axe and plans for Jabba the Hutt’s ship

WASHINGTON: In the wildly popular “Star Wars” films, Han Solo once told a lightsaber-wielding Luke Skywalker: “Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”
That was the case when one of the blaster pistol props used by Harrison Ford in “Return of the Jedi” (1983) went under the hammer, selling for $550,000 — topping the $450,000 previously fetched by Skywalker’s lightsaber from the first two films.
“SOLD for $550,000! An original Han Solo blaster used in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi!” Julien’s Auctions announced on Twitter Saturday.
The faux weapon, mainly made of wood, had been put on display in New York by Julien’s Auctions last month after more than 30 years tucked away in the belongings of James Schoppe, art director of “Return of the Jedi.”
Martin Nolan, the auction house’s executive director, said Schoppe, an Oscar nominee for his work on the film, finally decided to part with Solo’s gun and about 40 other items from the movie, including an Ewok axe and plans for Jabba the Hutt’s ship.
The Ewok axe went for $11,250, while another blaster prop from the film fetched $90,624, according to Julien’s Auctions.
But none of the props were a match for the space saga’s much-loved droid: last year, an R2-D2 used in the making of several “Star Wars” films sold for $2.76 million at auction in Los Angeles.