The name above the door can tell us a lot about a business.

Including a pun or inuendo can be a risky descision.

There can be a fine line between a name being entertaining or offensive, clever or contrived, inspired or ill judged.

Here are a selection of six which you can make up your own mind about.

1. The Only Way Is Fish – Fyfield Road, Ongar.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

The rise in popularity of The Only Way Is Essex has led to several businesses using ‘The Only Way Is...’ in their names.

One such example is The Only Way is Fish which opened in February.

However for Francesca Clark, who opened the chip shop, the name is now proving troublesome.

Last month the shop attracted the attention of Lime Pictures, the production company behind The Only Way Is Essex, which has threatened legal action if the shop doesn’t change its name and sign.

The Only Way is Flowers/Demolition/Tanning are examples of other shop names in the same vein.

2. Puff Dad e – Highbridge Street, Waltham Abbey.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Shop owner Paul Law smoked 50 a day for 30 years but was inspired to start the business having used the devices to quit.

Mr Law, who has smoked over half a million cigarettes, set up in Waltham Abbey just over a fortnight ago.

He changed the name from its original ‘Puff Daddy’ to avoid any issues with the American rap artist of the same name.

Puffers can choose from 72 flavours of electronic cigarette, ranging from Benson and Hedges to Red Bull.

3. Look who’s walking – High Road, Loughton

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

The name is a play on the words from the phrase ‘look who’s talking’.

It’s a safe and subtle pun and gives customers an accurate idea of what the shop sells.

It’s mildly amusing and inoffensive which puts out a friendly but professional image.

4. Iron Lady – Sun Street, Waltham Abbey.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

This dry cleaning, alteration, laundry and ironing service is not for turning, just like the UK's only female Prime Minister, the original 'Iron Lady'.

The sign pictures a caricature of the late Margaret Thatcher ironing.

To ally a business to such a divisive public figure is a brave move and, no doubt, the takings will dictate if it was the right one.

5. Jim’ll Paint It – Mobile around Epping Forest.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

The business was presumably named before the child abuse scandal surrounding Jimmy Saville.

It shows the dangers of affiliating a business to a celebrity no matter how untouchable they seem.


6. Lovely Baps Burger Van - Rectory Lane service road, Loughton.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Some could see this as a mischievous ‘carry-on’ style innuendo in keeping with a British sense of humour.

Others may feel it is offensive misogynistic humour which is dated and should be consigned to the past.