The Opening of Traif: A Tale of Two Taboos

By Mark Skoultchi

May 25, 2010

When does a word with negative connotations make a great name? For starters, when it’s genuinely relevant to the product and likely to intrigue its intended audience. For instance, I was amused to read about Traif, a new restaurant in the hipster area of Williamsburg, Brooklyn (yet very close to where the Hasidic community resides). The word “traif” means unkosher, and the restaurant specializes in pork in a variety of incarnations: from short rib sliders to bacon doughnuts and even an upcoming cocktail infused with pork. Like many taboos, the eating of pork has a lot of appeal (else why would you have to forbid it?)—and this tongue-in-cheek name leverages that appeal to the max.

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