- to be very popular
- to be known across a region, in every household
- to be famous
- The character is a household name because people are able to identify with the struggles that he faces.
- I am going to launch a product that will become a household name in the next 2 years.
- Their Italian cuisine is a household name in that town.
- The judge made himself a household name with such a great decision.
- You are a Hollywood actor. Of course you are a household name in my country!
- You have to work really hard to become a household name.
The invention of the television set made this phrase more apt to use. Something that would be on the television would soon and automatically become a household name. People often discuss popular TV shows at work and when hanging out. Television stars, shows and products aired are usually a point of discussion. The phrase was probably in use before the invention of the television set too but has taken off only afterwards.
A household name is one that is common in use in terms of a product. Product manufacturing and distribution has been around even before the TV set was introduced and hence the phrase is believed to be older too.