The “Tri” does not mean three!

By Mike Pomranz
Updated August 09, 2020

Triscuit is one of those product names you don’t think about because it just sounds right. It’s like Spam: I don’t know what those first couple letters are all about, but the rest of the word checks out as food. And yet, once you do think about Triscuit, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. What’s the “Tri” mean? Is it just a play on words? Like “tri” is one better than “bi,” so this is a better biscuit?

This question troubled comedy writer Sage Boggs—and yesterday, he regaled Twitter with his deeply researched answer… to the tune of over 30,000 retweets and 139,000 likes. “OK, buckle up. I wanna talk to you about Triscuit,” he began with his first tweet on the subject, offering the exact distraction we all apparently need right now.

Danny Chan / Getty Images

You can read the answer yourself. It’s not a novel; it’s only nine tweets. But here are my one paragraph CliffsNotes. (Why they’re called CliffsNotes is another question.) Boggs said Googling the answer got him nowhere, so he reached out to Nabisco directly. All they knew was that the “TRI” didn’t mean three. So Boggs dug further and uncovered some old Triscuit ads. That’s where he found his answer.

“In the early 1900's, Triscuit was run out of Niagara Falls. And their big selling point? Being ‘baked by electricity.’ They were ‘the only food on the market prepared by this 1903 process.’ Look at the lightning bolts! And that's when it clicked—,“ he wrote. “Elec-TRI-city Biscuit. TRISCUIT MEANS ‘ELECTRICITY BISCUIT.’”

The story doesn’t end there, however. Boggs’ thread of tweets was so popular that Triscuit—those guys who previously told Boggs that “No business records survived which specifically explain the origins or inspiration for the name Triscuit”—went back into their records and, apparently, discovered, oh yeah, there it is…

“We had to go all the way up the ladder but we CAN confirm [high voltage sign emoji],” the brand tweeted. Triscuit then even updated their Twitter user name and bio to include these newly rediscovered facts.

“We did it, folks. WE DID IT,” tweeted Boggs with all the excitement of someone who wasn’t actually trying to do much of anything. But maybe he has found a new calling. Just an hour ago, Boggs tweeted an image showing that “the origin of the name Oreo is unknown.” Below that it says, “Ah shit, here we go again.” Hey, we all have a lot of time on our hands right now. Let’s do this, Sage!