People have only just found out what Asda stands for and it’s blowing their minds

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Asda is one of those words that we’re all so used to saying every day, that we’ve never stopped to think about what it actually means. But a viral thread has since changed that for many people who know and shop at the supermarket.

Former ITV News presenter Alastair Stewart, 70, posed the question to his 81,000 Twitter followers.

The broadcaster, who retired just last week following a near-50-year-long career on screen, asked if readers knew the answer without any online help. 

He wrote: “Without Google, do you know what the name Asda derives from?”

While the business itself goes back nearly 100 years, Asda, as we know it today, came into existence in 1965.

This was following a merger between two companies, the Asquith family business and Associated Dairies and Farm Stores Ltd.

From the combination of these two, we get the word “Asda”.

In the 1920s, the Asquith family, from Yorkshire, ran a butcher in the small market town of Knottingley.

Brothers Peter and Fred opened a further seven stores, before travelling to the US in 1958. 

There, they visited a Piggly Wiggly, considered to be the first self-service supermarket in the world, and were so inspired that when they returned home, they converted a theatre in Castleford – formerly known as ‘The Queens’ – into a super-store in 1963.

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The Asquith brothers then sought a merger with Associated Dairies & Farm Stores Ltd, which had been formed in 1949 and brought together a group local farmers in the West Riding area.

The team settled on the name Asda for the business – as it combined the “As” of Asquith and the “Da” of “Dairies”.

A lively discussion followed the revelation, although one commenter joked: “I don’t know anything without Google. So the answer is no.”

But one got confirmation from Asda’s social media team when they said: “Wow! How many wrong answers can one post get? ASquith + DAiries. Peter Asquith making contact with Associated Dairies, according to their own website.”

Shortly after the merger, Asda became the first food store to start selling General Merchandise in 1966. There are currently over 630 Asda stores across the UK.