A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 14, 2011
Tarzhay or Tarjay (Target nickname)

Target is one of the largest retailers in America. Some people give the name a faux French accent, calling the store “Tar-jay” or “Tar-zhay.”

The nickname “Tarjay” has been cited in print since at least 1983 and “Tarzhay” since at least 1986.

“Tarzhay/Tarjay” is one of several fake French names for retail store chains, including “Jacques Penné/Jean Claude Penné” (for JCPenney) and “Chez Marshalls” (for Marshalls).


Wikipedia: Target Corporation
Target Corporation (simply known as Target) is an American retailing company that was founded in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1902 as the Dayton Dry Goods Company. In 1962, the company opened its first Target store in nearby Roseville. Target grew and eventually became the largest division of Dayton Hudson Corporation, culminating in the company changing its name to Target Corporation in 2000. As of May 2010, the company has opened stores in every state except Vermont, operating as Target or SuperTarget.

Target is the second largest discount retailer in the United States, behind Walmart. The company is ranked at number 30 on the Fortune 500 as of 2010, and is a component of the Standard & Poor’s 500 index. The company licenses its bullseye trademark to Wesfarmers, owners of the separate Target Australia chain.

CNBC
Target’s Nickname Tar-zhay
Target’s chief marketing officer, Michael Francis, talks about the company’s nickname and why it’s perceived as a “gift” from customers.

Google Books
High energy musicals from the Omaha Magic Theatre
By Megan Terry; Jo Ann Schmidman; Lynn Herrick; Marianne De Pury; John J Sheehan
New York, NY: Broadway Play Pub.
1983
Pg. 89:
RUNNER: At Tarjay. ("Target" — a local discount store — said with a French accent)

Google News Archive
15 May 1983, Sydney (Australia) Sun-Herald, “You can tell by the car....,” pg. 94, col. 6:
Women behind the wheel of the BMW have Brooke Shields eyebrows, scared hair and baggy army trousers bought from Target, which they pronounce Tar-jay.

7 April 1986, Star-Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Pail, MN), “Target stores have made their mark”:
“Years ago the consumer would say, ‘I shop at Tarzhay,’” quipped Ken Macke, Dayton Hudson Corp. chairman and chief executive. “Socially unacceptable. Now they almost brag about saving money.”

3 January 1989, Austin (TX) American-Statesman, “Have mobility, will confuse” by John Kelso, pg. B1:
Except maybe Target (pronounced Tar-jay), which has everything.

New York (NY) Times
Trying Target For Size
By MARIANNE ROHRLICH
Published: August 14, 1997
(...)
And Target’s buyers shop the European trade shows, giving some validity to wags’ pronunciation of the store name—tar-ZHAY.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • (0) Comments • Monday, March 14, 2011 • Permalink