#atozchallenge: FedEx

FedEx =
Federal + Express


Source: Wikipedia

FedEx is more a “syllabic abbreviation” than a portmanteau. It’s an abbreviated form of Federal Express, the company’s original name. They’re based in Memphis, Tennessee and are a courier and package delivery service, started in 1973 to compete with United Parcel Service (UPS). They’re known for their overnight package delivery service (one of their early advertising slogans was “When it Absolutely, Positively has to be there overnight”) and also for their package tracking system which provides realtime updates on where packages are located and who signed for delivery.

This is maybe their most memorable commercial, featuring John Moschitta, Jr.

FedEx bought Kinko’s, a printing and office services company, in 2004, renaming them “FedEx Kinko’s.” I spent many hours at Kinko’s getting training manuals created in my former life.

FedEx probably started calling themselves that because so many people were using “fedex” as a verb, as in “Did you fedex that package?” “Yes, I fedexed it an hour ago.” Can you think of other companies whose names have become verbs?

And, did you ever notice on their logo that the space inside “Ex” is an arrow?


Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

19 thoughts on “#atozchallenge: FedEx”

  1. Delivery companies are probably up in my top 5 when it comes to things that grind my gears. I don’t know why, but they make me irrationally angry.
    I found your blog from the a-z list. Thank you for writing this.


      1. yep.. same here for me.. I had to really concentrate on it. Some are blatantly obvious, but others not quite so easy to detect, but the subconscious mind reads them fast


  2. FedEx used to have some really great commercials. Now, the company annoys me. Mostly because I started reviewing products, and would get packages delivered by both UPS and FedEx daily. The two companies would take turns just dropping the packages at the front door = but not knocking or doing anything to let me know there was a package outside my door. Very frustrating, as I live in a high foot traffic apartment area. Those packages could have very easily walked off. I’ve spent way too much time complaining to their customer service. And that is my rant for the day 🙂

    #AtoZChallenge F is for Fitzgerald


    1. That’s a problem. They had a thing a couple of years ago about people who would follow the delivery trucks through the neighborhoods and steal the packages off the front porch, since no one was home or they didn’t know UPS or FedEx had been there. Used to be you could tell them to leave the package at a neighbor’s house or to require a signature for the package, and they’d leave a tag on the door where the package was or to call them for a redelivery when you were home. I guess now they don’t think of that.


    1. I think it was meant to be a subliminal message. I didn’t notice it until I saw it on the Kinko’s I used to take my printing to was putting up new signs after they merged with FedEx.


  3. We like single words. We like words that rhyme. Given that, it’s no surprise that Federal Express turned into FedEx. I’m so tired from driving all day that I can’t think of any other businesses that have verb usage, but my brain is shutting down, so I’m not all that reliable for coherent thought right now…


  4. I’ve never noticed the arrow. How cool!
    I love FedEx. I’ve used them a lot in the past. They’re extremely dependable. The US Post Office has stepped it up and now provides tracking numbers on everything now, which is nice. FedEx is pricey on their overnight service, but well worth it if it “absolutely positively has to be there overnight”.
    Hilarious commercial!!

    Michele at Angels Bark


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