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Many times we just accept things the way they are without asking too many questions. Sometimes, though, our curiosity just pops up out of nowhere and we must know the answer to one query or another.

That’s where we come in, and today, let us tell you about the word “Q-tip,” and specifically, what that capital “Q” actually stands for.

Image Credit: Pixabay

We’ve all seen the brand name our entire lives. Q-tips are ubiquitous, available to use for everything from “gently applying ointments and creams” to “cleaning and dusting even hard to reach places.”

They’re in our homes, they’re in doctor’s offices, and even though we’ve been told a hundred times not to use them to clean our ears, there’s a good chance that’s the main reason they’re in your medicine cabinet.

We’ve had plenty of opportunity to ruminate over the name, and now, here are your answers.

“Q-tips” are officially called “Quality Tips.”

Image Credit: Wikimedia

The “Q,” then, stands for “Quality.”

Q-Tips were conceived by Leo Gerstenzang, whose wife inspired him by poking toothpicks into cotton swabs and using them to clean hard to read places.

In 1923 he founded the Leo Gerstenzang Novelty Co to manufacture ready-to-use cotton swabs.  They were originally called “Baby Gays,” and then “Q-tips Baby Gays,” before officially becoming “Q-tips” in 1926.

Image Credit: Pixabay

That’s it – that’s the whole story of how a man’s wife wanted a better way to clean.

He was watching her at just the right moment, and a family ended up earning millions of dollars off little sticks of cotton that literally everyone needs.

Life sure is strange sometimes – and charmed for some among us!

By the way… do you use Q-tips? Did you know you are not supposed to put them inside of your ear?

True story!


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