More than the signature smell or the colorful aisles of eye-catching trinkets, the thing I remember most from childhood trips to Target is my mom calling it “Tarjay.” I always assumed, as most kids will about their parents, that my mother was trying to be silly and that it was a weird personal quirk (that I inevitably picked up).
As it turns out, my mom is in good company--and her habit has a longer history than you would expect. The nickname “Tarjay” dates back to at least the 1960s! The owner reportedly heard people using the faux French in reference to the superstore as early as 1962. (And, for the record, it seems like Duluth, Minnesota--one of the first four Minnesota locations of the chain--started the whole thing.)
So though we might not be creative when we call it by its nickname, we are taking part in long-standing Target history--doncha know.
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