Chick-Fil-A's Name Means More Than You Think

If you live in a state with a Chick-fil-A, you've probably heard the fast food chicken chain pronounced in a variety of ways. However, the company's website wants to set a couple of things straight relating to the name of the chain that had over 2,300 locations across the United States as of last year (via National Restaurant News). According to the Chick-fil-A General Beginner's Guide, the name isn't pronounced "Chick-feel-a" or "Chick-filet." It's pronounced Chick-fill-A, which is a play on words as it joins the words "chicken" and "fillet" (via Chick-fil-A).

Company founder Truett Cathy first tried to call the chicken sandwich that he'd been working on the "Chicken Steak Sandwich," but he was advised by an attorney that he wouldn't be able to trademark the name (via Business Insider). However, he stuck with the beef theme (a storyline that continues throughout the company's history with its use of cows in their advertising). As it turns out, Cathy considered the boneless chicken breast, which he used to make his chicken sandwich, the best cut of the chicken — the same way that the best cut of beef is the fillet. 

The alternate meaning behind the 'A'

While a chicken fillet was not commonly used terminology (and still isn't outside of his brand), Cathy decided to make it his own.

But on top of being clever wordplay, the company's website says that the "A" stands for Grade A and top quality, which they claim is what they deliver during every visit (via Chick-fil-A). Perhaps this is part of the reason the "A" is capitalized though grammatical rules would dictate that it shouldn't be — "Grade a" doesn't look quite as impressive as "Grade A" does.

Whether this ever crossed Cathy's mind when he was setting up his chicken sandwich business is unclear, though, and rather unlikely. However, it makes for a great corporate one-liner some 74 years after Cathy opened his first restaurant (which was actually called the Dwarf Grill, not Chick-fil-A) in 1946 (via Chick-fil-A).