Vancouver is the name of the city you're probably in, or at least near right now.
But it's not just the name of this fair city. It's travelled this world far and wide, with origins in a Dutch town near the German border. From there, it was spread by English explorer George Vancouver as British imperialism saw him sailing the seas.
Nowadays, many things are named after him, directly (like Vancouver, Washington) or indirectly (Vancouver Island University).
And while you may know many things called Vancouver, there's a good chance you haven't heard of these.
1. A Motown Band featuring Tommy Chong on guitar (Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers)
If you've never heard of Cheech and Chong, you're probably among Vancouver Is Awesome's younger readers. The comedy double act was huge in the 70s and 80s, often with bits based on being stoner hippies.
In the 90s, Tommy Chong continued in comedy with regular appearances in That 70s Show, among others.
But before all that, he was in a band called The Vancouvers. The act's full name was actually Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers, and they actually had a minor hit with "Does Your Mama Know About Me" (and had a hand in the Jackson 5 becoming stars).
The band formed when Chong and his bandmates were in San Francisco as Little Daddy and the Bachelors. They met Bobby Taylor, and the new band followed.
Chong and another band member ended up getting fired when they were late for a gig. They had been delayed while getting green cards to play in the USA.
2. A very unfortunate schooner
There have been several ships to carry the name Vancouver, like the HMCS Vancouver (one of the first ships with a name referencing something Canadian) and the barque Vancouver. Still, the Hudson's Bay Company schooner Vancouver appears to have been the unluckiest.
Built in 1826, long before the city in Canada existed, it was a product of Fort Vancouver (now Vancouver, Washington). According to records, they used unseasoned timber that quickly warped and wouldn't hold oakum, which was used like caulking in ships.
In 1829 it still hadn't been launched; in 1830, it was finally seaworthy and travelled between Langley and Oahu for a bit.
The good times didn't last, as it was almost wrecked in 1832 after being carried out to sea in a gale. In March of 1834, its story ended when it wrecked on Point Rose off of Haida Gwaii.
3. A mountain in New Zealand
As George Vancouver was an explorer who spent lots of time in the Pacific, and despite many things already having indigenous names, there are a few geographic features that bear his name, including a couple of lakes, a river and a couple of mountains.
One of these is Mount Vancouver in the Southern Alps. While that sounds very European, it's actually on New Zealand's South Island. It's the fourth highest named summit in the country.
4. A Japanese coffee roaster
While Seattle's coffee culture is well known, Vancouver is a fan of the brewed bean drink too, and others recognize this. Several coffee shops show up on Google Maps bearing the name Vancouver, including a shop in the middle of Viet Nam, two places in Istanbul, and a cafe in a small Colombian town.
Perhaps most striking, though, is the coffee roaster based out of Atsugi, Japan, the reason being its logo.
Yeah, that's a map of Vancouver used as a logo. Everyone says Vancouver is a beautiful city, but that's a whole new perspective.
Coffee shops might make sense to some, but Vancouver's chicken wing culture is hardly world famous. Despite that, in Mexico, you can go to several locations of Vancouver Wings. And by several, there appear to be dozens, according to the company's website, and they're heading abroad with restaurants in San Diego and Spain.
Vancouver, B.C. inspired the name; the founder had lived here. He was a fan of a local place's wing Wednesday, but when he went on a Monday and got a higher bill, he decided there was an opportunity. He went on to open the first in Guadalajara in 2009.