What Is IHOb? IHOP Restaurant Chain Announces Surprising Name Change

It may have been the International House of Pancakes since 1958 but IHOP says that final letter is about to get flipped. However, we still don’t really know what that means.

With a short video showing the ‘P’ in their iconic logo turning upside down to form a ‘b’, backed by an operatic performer singing what was appeared to be the word 'yum', IHOP tweeted that “[f]or 60 pancakin’ years, we’ve been IHOP. Now, we’re flippin’ our name to IHOb.”

But that did not answer the question of what that new ‘b’ could stand for, instead they teased the release. “Find out what it could b on 6.11.18,” the company wrote.

IHOP (as it’s still currently known) then tweeted out a Twitter poll, asking people to vote for what they thought the new letter could stand for from a choice of 'biscuits', 'bacon', 'butternut squash' and 'barnacles.' At the time of writing, 'bacon' was in the lead with 41%, followed by 'biscuits' with 28% and 'barnacles' with 25%.

'Butternut Squash' stood with a lowly 6%.

In the comments IHOP was giving no clues. To one commenter suggesting “breakfast”, the company wrote: “So many options, what could it b?”

It’s not yet clear whether the change is the real deal or a marketing ploy. On Esquire, a poll asking whether people believed the whole thing was an actual change was heavily swayed towards “PR stunt!”

On Facebook, one commenter said that even if the name changes “you will always be referred to as ihop,” to which IHOP replied: “Don’t worry, the flip will b great.”

For those with an interest in the linguistic side, both ‘b’ and ‘p’ are known as bilabial stops or plosives in the study of phonology—meaning that they are sounds made with both lips and a stop in the airflow. The difference between the two sounds is only in the vocal cords: ‘b’ is voiced, meaning the vocal cords are used, while ‘p’ is voiceless.

Presuming that the change is not there to teach people a phonology lesson, reasons behind the new name should be revealed on June 11, as the company has been trailing. An IHOP spokesperson even told the New York Post that the change is indeed not a joke.

There's only one question to ask, as IHOP themselves said in a reply, "there are so many options.. what could it b?"

This article was updated with added information about IHOP social media posts.

Join the Discussion