Hold up a moment. What exactly is a Way-Way store? Did I miss something?

Actually, no, you didn't. In fact, you know the store very well and often see it along many highways throughout the Great Garden State.

And you don't stop there just for milk and snacks. Sometimes, it might be for a sandwich or to fill up your tank. In fact, you might even have their app on your phone right now.

If you're a little tripped up by this, don't be. Way-Way is just simply the original pronunciation of the convenience store so many of us visit on a regular basis.

Yes, Way-Way is in fact, Wawa. And there's a cool little history that goes along with how that name originated. (Although, if you kind of think about it, doesn't Way-Way make more sense than Wawa? I mean, you're on your way anyway, why change it from way to wa?)

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Townsquare Media (WPST)
Townsquare Media (WPST)

The convenience store's headquarters began around the Wawa, PA, area (hence where the name of the stores came from).  This stems all the way back to the chain's early days when the company itself was simply focused on dairy.

But it's the name Wawa itself that makes this so interesting. According to Wikipedia, the name Wawa is actually "derived from the Ojibwe word we'we," but is actually pronounced as way-way.

Let's pause for a moment. Does that mean we could also call our favorite convenience store We-We if we really wanted to?  Well yes, but technically, that would be incorrect. As for saying Way-Way, what exactly does that mean?

That's the Ojibwe (pronounced, oh-JIB-way) word for snow goose, which would explain the goose that's in the Wawa logo today. However, there is one minor difference today as Wawa currently uses a Canadian goose in its logo, not a snow goose.

Wawa via Facebook
Wawa via Facebook

But the type of goose is an argument for another day as the goose itself is also part of Wawa's history. The point is that Way-Way stores have invaded New Jersey, and you've definitely noticed.

As the years went on and the company was founded in 1803, we eventually said goodbye to the Ojibwe way of saying Way-Way and embraced the more familiar pronunciation that is popularly known today as Wawa.

So there you go. Even though Wawa is the correct and modern way to pronounce it, it's also acceptable to technically say Way-Way... Who knew?

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The above post reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend morning host Mike Brant. Any opinions expressed are his own.

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