Here's How The Burger King Whopper Got Its Name

Before Wendy's brought the fast food world the half-beef, half-pork Baconator in 2007 and even before McDonald's started selling its double patty Big Mac in 1967, there was the burger that put the "King" in one certain fast food chain's name — the Whopper. First sold in 1957 (per Politico), fans of the famously huge "flame-grilled" burger have been able to enjoy many iterations of the Whopper over the years. But while you may have had the chance to taste an Upside Down burger straight from "Stranger Things" or even bite into a Mexican food-inspired Whopperito, do you know the story behind the iconic name of Burger King's most famous eat?

At first, BK as we know it was a single restaurant called Insta-Burger King, named for its instantly broiled burgers (per The Burger King Book). However, when James McLamore and David R. Edgreton bought and franchised this soon-to-be fast food icon, they made a few changes. Aside from eventually taking away the "Insta" from BK's name after changing its cooking method to the flame-style burger broiling it's now known for, the duo expanded the Burger King from one location in Jacksonville, Florida to a small chain of Miami restaurants. As the two's business grew, so did their ambition. And, after taking a look at their competition, Politico reports McLamore was struck with an idea that would define the future of Burger King.

Is bigger really better?

While the Whopper may have paved the way for the fast food world's love of extra-big burgers, The Burger King Book reports that another restaurant's larger-than-life eats inspired co-founder James McLamore to invent the iconic Burger King product. According to the outlet, after noticing that one fast food joint in town was wracking up all the local businesses, McLamore went to investigate. The Burger King co-founder found that while the physical establishment had seen better days, its burgers weren't just impressively big. They were also full of flavor.

McLamore, who The Washington Post reports was responsible for the business part of the freshly franchised Burger King, was instantly struck with an idea. That day, he decided Burger King should also start selling a massive-size burger of its own. And he wanted to call the newly minted meal a Whopper because he thought the name "would convey imagery of something BIG."

And so the gigantic Whopper would start selling at Burger King for a small price – $.37, to be exact. While the cost would go up, so would the Whopper's popularity. But does the Whopper live up to the name McLamore gave it?

Just how whopping is a Whopper?

As noted before, while the Whopper may have been the first big burger in the fast food franchise game, it wasn't the last. But is it the biggest? If you only look at the original burgers from fellow fast food restaurants and don't take eats like McDonald's Quarter Pounder and Wendy's Quad Baconator into account, the Whopper does give its competing burgers a run for their money.

In fact, according to a Washington Post writer who actually weighed Wendy's Dave's Single Burger, McDonald's Big Mac, and BK's Whopper against each other, the Whopper's patty was the heaviest hunk of meat. And if you really want to get into the nitty gritty numbers, Price Listo measured out Burger King's most renowned product and found that it beat out the Big Mac in terms of size by nearly 50%. So, it seems that James McLamore successfully carried out his mission when he set out to start selling a burger filled with ¼ pound of beef, and even when compared to its competition, the Whopper is truly something "BIG."