What does the KY in KY Jelly Lubricant Stand For?

I am sure someone will come up with a link to an already answered thread, even more will come up with snappy comebacks.

I searched the threads and checked the J&J website, can’t seem to come up with an answer. Maybe I am not searching the threads and archive properly?

Snappy comeback #1: Kentucky. It’s finger lickin’ good!

I was going to try to make it work with my user name, but now I’m paralyzed with laughter at Attrayant’s snappy comeback.

Maybe later.


This isn’t an answer (if you expected one from me, you haven’t been paying attention to these boards very well), but a brief story:

A DJ called J&J on the air and assumed a dumb-hick persona. When he got a live human, he complained about the taste of the company’s “Kentucky Jelly.” He said it made his mouth numb. The lady was confused at first, but when he finally made her understand he was talking about KY jelly (“It says right here on the label – Kentucky Jelly. KY Jelly. I’m reading it; I ain’t stupid”) she couldn’t decide if it was okay for her to laugh or be shocked.

Okay, the best I can come up with so far is KneadYourself.

Apparently home-made jelly is a big deal in Kentucky. When I went to Mammoth Caves there, I noticed many roadside shops selling “Delicious KY Jelly.” It may be delicious, but I’ll never know.

Per [url=http://www.snopes.com/pregnant/jelly.htm]Snopes the “this jelly tastes funny” type of story is also the stuff of Urban Legend.

Let me fix the link.

There’s a new kind that recently came out: KY2K jelly. It allows you to fit four digits where only two would go before.

Hmmmm … given my earlier attempt at something tied to my user name … combined with the occasional abbreviation thereof by others among the Teeming Millions to K2K … I think Scarlett67 has beaten me at my own game.

Since this is GQ after all, I feel obliged to say that I’m reasonably sure it’s actually “K-Y” and I’ve always guessed that “K” and “Y” were it’s creators.

I salute you, Scarlett67. That is hands down the best/worst pun I’ve heard this year.

A bit off topic–but I hafta ask.

Rainbow–do I know you from somewhere?

That username is -awfully- familiar…

Gee thanks, but it’s not original. I first heard it about 2 years ago . . . I think on rec.humor.funny. But it sure works here!

Now I don’t feel bad, I was sure Cecil would have tackled this one. After all we got the Q in Qtips, and the WD in WD-40. All we need is the KY in KY Jelly.

Ashtar – no I don’t believe we have met… you may have me mistaken for another multi-colored monstrous serpent.

KneedtoKnow – You are correct, the package clearly says “K-Y” with a dash. It is were two names I would have thought the people at J&J would have used an ampersand and not a dash. Of course it could be a hyphenated last name (one individual).

It is obvious that it is a trademark of Johnson & Johnson, because none of the generic manufacturers use these initials or any words that would be associated with them.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean that Johnson & Johnson invented it. “K” and “Y” might easily have invented the thing, marketed it successfully as “K-Y Personal Lubricant” (along the lines of “Baskin-Robbins” or “Mercedes-Benz,” just with initials), attracted the attention of a conglomerate, and been bought out.

Now, I should underscore at this point that this is a theory. I didn’t have any better luck finding a history of the product than you describe in your OP.


Well, this might be a place to start–the US Trademark Electronic Search System says that the first use of the K-Y Brand was in 1904, it was registered on June 19, 1906, and the original owner of the trademark was Van Horn and Sawtell Corporation of New York. Here’s the link:


Minor addition. The way I heard the joke was

Y2K-Y jelly. It allows you to put 4 digits into your date where only two would go before.

Initially this clear jelly had no name. One eve, Kay applied it internally as her date didn’t turn her on. He said to her" Kay, Why" are you using that stuff? And the name for the jelly was created.

Perhaps it was a marketer’s attempt to give it a high end sounding name. It looks like it stands Karat Yellow Gold in some circles. The makers could have named it that to give it some flash.

From http://www.copperconnection.com/karat_carat.html

“Karat is a measure of gold fineness equal to 1/24 pure gold in alloy. 18 kt gold would be 18 parts gold and 6 parts alloy. Can be stamped .417 for 10 kt, .585 for 14 kt, and .750 for 18 kt. KY stands for Karat Yellow (gold) and KW for Karat White (gold).”

The Halfbakery site (for half-baked ideas?) discussing Spray-on K-Y also has a couple of references to the origin of the name.

A link to the pharmweb site turns up a “this page no longer exists” message. A search on that site turned up nothing.

Further down the halfbakery page, among the Kentucky (and Col. Sanders) silliness is this

but I have not found any relevant British link by searching on kymograph. (Pharmweb is a British site, FWIW.)