The 60-year-old franchise's coy announcement was made on Twitter on Tuesday. What does the "b" stand for? "Bizza Hut & Bopeyes are also family favorites". Arabic has no "p" sound, and speakers of the language usually substitute a "b". Across the Middle East, Pepsi is known as "Bebsi". IHOP will release more on Monday.
It's still to be determined whether IHOP is actually aware of the connection.
"Someone Arab has bought significant share of IHOP and now they're the International House of Bancakes", said another.
"Did an Arab person take over IHOP?" asked Fatima Syed, a reporter on the Toronto Star newspaper. Nobody knows. This week, they have been going back and forth with Twitter users about the possibilities, never fully releasing its meaning. IHOP tweeted and posted to its Facebook page this week that it plans to "flip" the "p" in its name June 11, sparking a flood of internet speculation about what the new "b" will stand for.More news: EA announces Sea of Solitude
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That one seems like a stretch. The change could be prompted after Dine Brands Global, the parent company of IHOP, announced in late February that it would close 30 to 40 IHOP restaurants to acquire and grow small chains that offer healthy food.
When a tweet from Patrick Ford begged the company to "stop b-ing elusive and tell me what is the answer b!", the company responded, "batience, Batrick, batience".
The company even tweeted an audio guide to "helb you bronounce it broberly", it said.
"This is how we, Arabs, have been pronouncing it for ages", one replied.