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Middle Names Considered

Why do so many women bear the middle names Ann, Marie, or Lynn? And what's up with all the middle Michaels, Johns, James, and Lees?
posted by Iridic on Feb 11, 2014 - 158 comments

name that smell

Smells can be very hard to identify and name, unless you are given some prompting - or you speak Jahai, the language of an indigenous group in the Malay peninsula.
posted by divabat on Jan 3, 2014 - 23 comments

Names for Change

Name this mouthwash. Name this winter coat. Name this urinal. Name the herb garden. Name this salt and pepper. Name this fire extinguisher. Name this Case Manager. Name this pie. [more inside]
posted by threeants on Nov 26, 2013 - 28 comments

"Gigablast pivots into Flurbit, largest event search engine in the US!"

Web2.Hell collected the names and taglines of real web2.0 start-ups that somehow were actually funded. "Remember Nothing! Zukmo Everything!" "Unlike on other sites, your posts must be one word long!" (The phenomena of baffling name choice lives on in current day successes like Snotr, LiveMocha, Magoosh, Squidoo etc., etc., etc.)
posted by blankdawn on May 19, 2013 - 51 comments

"a watchful eye on technology and marketing"

Back in the day, Ken Segall helped create Apple's Think Different campaign and helped name the iMac. More recently he worked on JC Penney's Yours Truly, commercial, before JCP ousted Ron Johnson as its CEO. He writes a sharp, entertaining blog called Ken Segall's Observatory, where he offers opinions on advertising and design geekery. His take on Ron Johnson's failure is interesting, as is this post on what it takes for an advertisement to stand out in a crowd. He calls attention to surprisingly decent ads from Microsoft and Dell, critiques terrible ads (from Microsoft and JC Penney and even Apple, and comments on whether skeuomorphism has its advantages. He's also fond of discussing product names. Give this one a skip if advertising gives you hives, but for those of you who're interested in things like this Segall's blog is especially choice stuff.
posted by Rory Marinich on May 3, 2013 - 26 comments

Creative Naming Schemes

A good naming scheme is scalable, unique, and easy to remember. The purpose of these naming schemes is to name networked servers, wireless access points or client computers, but it can also be used to name projects, products, variables, streets, pets, kids, or any other project where unique names and rememberable names are required.
posted by TangerineGurl on Oct 24, 2012 - 120 comments

Not Just for Summer Anymore

The Weather Channel is teaming with the National Centers for Environmental Prediction’s Hydrologic Prediction Center (HPC) to name winter storms in the US starting with the 2012-2013 winter season. [more inside]
posted by aabbbiee on Oct 2, 2012 - 55 comments

How to name your startup (and how not to)

Before naming your startup, read this. "This guide is divided into three, independent sections: Why Bad Names Hurt You, Coming Up With Names, and Examples of Strong and Weak Names." [more inside]
posted by beagle on Apr 22, 2012 - 57 comments

The Strange Art of Picking a TV Title

How TV show titles are picked, aka why "Friends" wasn't named "Across The Hall".
posted by reenum on Mar 19, 2012 - 74 comments

Name Games

Why leave name choosing to the whim of marketing consultants, grandparents and significant others? Wordoid will name your company or designer drug so as to sound natural in a range of languages. Wordmixer and Company-Name-Generator may help too. Babynamegenie will conjure up a tag for your offspring. This dog name generator accounts for your pet's size and physique. FakenameGenerator (see previously) will surround you with credible sounding friends and colleagues. Thenameinspector blog may be able to help with find something unique.
posted by rongorongo on Nov 22, 2011 - 36 comments

VLA no more

Rename the VLA (Very Large Array)! The famous desert radio telescope, made of a bunch of independently movable giant satellite dishes, has just finished a ten-year upgrade and they're holding a contest to pick a new name in celebration. Deadline December 1. (via Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy, which mentions another naming contest, for schoolkids in the US to pick a name for the GRAIL satellites)
posted by LobsterMitten on Oct 18, 2011 - 70 comments

I Say Brook, You Say Bayou

The many names for streams in north america and in the UK. Wikipedia's take.
posted by stp123 on Sep 3, 2011 - 82 comments

Names and the Generation Gap

The Generational Sweet Spot, or Why Your Parents Have Such Bad Taste. Laura Wattenberg, naming guru, on names and generations.
posted by ocherdraco on May 5, 2010 - 297 comments

Does your son's name end with the letter "n"?

Andrew Gelman recently posted this strange trend in baby naming originally posted on Laura Wattenberg's blog in 2007. Why do so many boys' names now end with the letter "n"?
posted by srs on May 14, 2009 - 156 comments

What's in a name?

Thousands of new products and businesses every year need names. The creation of these names, is a business in itself, and is usually a pretty secretive process. But Igor, a naming and branding agency, offers a surprisingly detailed and illuminating primer on the naming game. Igor describes how they do it and who they’ve done it for. Igor’s naming taxonomy charts for various products (including one for the company names of naming companies) help illustrate the research portion of the process. Check out: studies of successful names like Pepperidge Farm’s cookie names, and why AT&T Canada’s name change to Allstream was a bad idea. And don’t miss Igor’s two blogs (metablogged here): Snark Hunting, “all about naming and branding in popular culture” and Wordlab, on “naming and branding issues.” For fun, try Wordlab’s own tongue-in-cheek naming tools, like the Drug-o-matic drug name generator, Name Your Band, and the Morpheme generator.
posted by beagle on Sep 7, 2006 - 25 comments

Heavenly names

+2. Two new moons of Pluto (itself named by a British schoolgirl) get their own names -- Nix and Hydra. The origins of planetary names can be fascinating, but there are also thousands of other named features that can be examined (with pictures) in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature. [Prev. discussion on Pluto here.]
posted by blahblahblah on Jun 22, 2006 - 25 comments

puerile adolescent snickering

Onancock Some towns just have bad names.
posted by longsleeves on May 28, 2005 - 97 comments

President Tomato Ketchup

Imitation chicken. Kennedy Fried Chicken, JFK Fried Chicken, J. F. Kennedy Fried Chicken, Kantacky Fried Chicken, et al. [via cardhouse]
posted by sklero on Dec 30, 2004 - 41 comments

Kazoku sorrote no seppuku ga yokatta.

To add to the recent JapanFilter phenom, here are two unrelated items: a brief tutorial on using Japanese commodes, and a list of Japanese car names. Interested in buying a Nissan Homy? A Mitsubishi Bravo Exceed, perhaps?
posted by antifreez_ on Dec 5, 2003 - 9 comments

Mozilla criticized for name conflict after announcement

The name "Firebird" was chosen by Mozilla to rename their Phoenix product. However, Firebird is also the name of a popular and long-standing open-source database project -- and the Mozilla organization was clearly aware of this naming conflict before making their decision. Some feel that such an action, within the context of the open-source community, is unfair and constitutes bad etiquette, at the least. The discussion is ongoing, but LinuxWorld reports that the Mozilla organization has deleted recent message-board comments that criticized their decision.
posted by TreeHugger on Apr 16, 2003 - 18 comments

Ride to Glory

The Name Game Valley Creek Farms "solicits help from clever people each year to help name their young horses." If you consider yourself a gifted wordsmith with a knack for penning equine monikers that will get the bugs a buzzin' and make the farrier smile, this is your chance to take the reins. But it's not easy. The rules are extensive and your choice may already be taken. But with luck, you may one day hear your literary masterpiece of 18 letters or less roll off the caller's tongue and become part of thoroughbred history.
posted by snez on Feb 27, 2003 - 13 comments

Potential Stomp Ass Thread

What's with that tacky ass name? A coffee shop which opened in a rather prominent area of the city in which I reside has started a little controversy here. Turns out the shop's name has created a fair amount of controversy elsewhere. How long until the f-word shows up in prominent signage across America? Meantime, what's the wildest or tackiest name for a business you've ever heard? Any ideas for potential businesses with "cuss" word-oriented names? Is there a possible trend in there somewhere?
posted by raysmj on Feb 24, 2003 - 90 comments

Best in Show

Fido, Spot or Rover are mere nicknames for show dogs. This site explains the long show dog names, most popular names, and CNN's Jeanne Moos reports.
posted by Frank Grimes on Feb 11, 2003 - 9 comments

my band name's better than your band name

Meanwhile, Back in Communist Russia... BBC Radio1 clowns/idiots Mark and Lard have an ongoing quest to find the worst band name ever. Personally I think some of the bands in the poll have the best names. What makes a crap band name? Something unimaginative like The Michael Schenker Group? Something crass like Speculum Fight or Alien Porno Midgets? What, for that matter, makes a good name? Do tell.
posted by nylon on Jan 22, 2003 - 84 comments

KPMG Consulting is now BearingPoint

KPMG Consulting is now BearingPoint "Employees briefly rallied behind the chief executive's surname, Blazer, but that's also the name of a Chevrolet sport-utility vehicle. The name BearingPoint is based on navigational terms that signify 'setting a direction to an end point,' the company said." It seems like this one's going to last a bit longer than Monday did.
posted by dayvin on Oct 3, 2002 - 16 comments

It's big, it's bad, and it's coming your way. Beware Bonnie! No, no, wait. Hide from Hanna! Hmm, nope. Run from Rene! Geez, this naming thing isn't easy. How do you name a tropical storm? Should the name be masculine or feminine? Should it roll off the tongue with ease or be a mouthful? Are there some names you can't use? If a tropical storm was closing in on your neighborhood, what would you call it?
posted by debralee on Sep 12, 2002 - 10 comments

Another unfortunate

Another unfortunate product naming problem (2 links). How would you like your last name to be the same as an upcoming Erectile Dysfunction drug? This family doesn't.
posted by internal on Sep 10, 2002 - 15 comments

A Rose Is A Rose Is A Not A Good Name For Your Daughter:

A Rose Is A Rose Is A Not A Good Name For Your Daughter: What's in a name? A lot, apparently. Find out at the hilarious Institute for Naming Children Humanely. Still not convinced? Check out the hidden meaning of your name, nickname and cybername at the wacky Kabalarian web site. [First link via utterly linkalicious pelp]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Jan 26, 2002 - 61 comments

What's it like to be born a sellout?

What's it like to be born a sellout? Two parents not only expecting a new child, but expecting a corporate donor to give them half a million dollars for the naming rights to their son. Their ebay listing claims it's for the child's education, though the article says they're looking to buy a new home. And if you actually think naming your offspring "Aaa-Oh-El" is a good idea and would like to copy it, too late, the imitators have already sprung up. (via NextDraft)
posted by mathowie on Jul 26, 2001 - 20 comments

First, National Airport was renamed for him. Then, the International Trade Center in downtown DC was christened in his honor.

Now the powers that be have named a new naval aircraft carrier the USS Reagan.

I realize people are trying to honor the old bastard. But doesn't this seem inappropriate (even rude) considering he's not quite dead yet? Or is Alzheimer's close enough? *sheesh*
posted by ratbastard on Mar 5, 2001 - 38 comments


Microsoft

Microsoft announces the product names for the next version of Windows and Office. They'll be called "Windows XP" and "Office XP", respectively.
posted by milnak on Feb 5, 2001 - 20 comments

San Francisco Muni to consider naming stations after advertisers.

San Francisco Muni to consider naming stations after advertisers. If you've been in SF (or any major US city) recently, you've probably noticed the buses covered with ads inside and out, the two stadiums named after corporations (all US stadiums seem to be now), and subway platforms coated in billboards. Now, they're considering selling the names of each station off to the highest bidder. Is this going too far or should a city do anything to make a buck? (I'm reminded of the book Generation X where the author jokes about rampant advertising, and how one day you'll ask your friend what time it is, and he'll simply say "Pepsi")
posted by mathowie on Jan 23, 2001 - 40 comments

How you say

How you say Duking it out with Accenture for the title of most disagreeable computer-generated faux-English corporate nomenclature de la semaine, a company with the perfectly good name Productivity Works has gone and screwed it up by renaming itself isSound. "Because the future is listening," the homepage tells us. What it's listening to is all of us stammering to pronounce an unnatural string of letters. In related news, despite admitting it still works, isSound isShitcanning itsScreenReader, pwWebSpeak.
posted by joeclark on Jan 3, 2001 - 5 comments

Now this is really stupid.

Now this is really stupid.

14-year-old Francis Di Masi's petition to have his name legally changed to "Frank" because he gets teased mercilessly in school about it was rejected. The judge said in his decision that "Learning how to deal with these taunts [is] part of growing up."

My first name, family name and nicknames have always given other people trouble when it comes to spelling and pronounciation, so I know what it's like to grow up getting name-related grief every single day of your life; "tedious" doesn't even begin to describe it.

So while I don't think "Francis" is altogether a bad name, why shouldn't the kid get to legally call himself whatever he wants? I mean, if some moron can change his name to DotComGuy without a hitch, why not Frank?
posted by lia on May 31, 2000 - 21 comments

Well, the eToys/ETOY fiasco may be over.

Well, the eToys/ETOY fiasco may be over. Although, I don't like it when their lawyers say they're not pushing the case any longer, and specifically saying they're not dropping the case. As if the threat will always be there or something.
posted by mathowie on Dec 29, 1999 - 0 comments

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