back to article Adventures in (re) naming your business: Fire up the 4-syllable random name generator

Our goal as a company is to get hundreds of millions of our smart devices out there, in the hands of Joe Public. Saving money and carbon, and mental energy for the things in life that normal people actually care about. But, as I’m learning, we can't do it all at once: "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" …

  1. Wilco

    What is this Sh1t? Why is it here? What does it mean?

    1. stu 4


      WTF have I just read - it's like some sort of brain fart. did the author realise he said it all out loud ?

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: agreed

        Look up the word "satire" in a good dictionary.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: agreed

          What dictionary do you rate then? Does it have brand value? Does the name convey the true essence of how the publisher intends the reader to relate to the product?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: agreed

            We took the keywords that you supplied and combined them into a brand which we think, and we're sure you will agree, conveys the whole concept of a dictionary in a single, marketable, name.

            The three primary concepts you wanted to convey were: Book, Look-up, Lexicography...

            which we combined to produce BoLLex.

            I think we can rest assured that if you take us up on our BoLLex suggestion, then you will see this reflected in your sales figures.

            Of course, this is only one product from your company and so you will need a name following in the footsteps of e.g Webster's Dictionary, Miriam's Dictionary etc.

            We feel that, as a publishing company, the name Utter converts that sense of brief and cogent verbal communication and will serve you well in relating to a modern, younger audience who may rebel against the authoritative tone that a surname or university name may convey. Cf. Uber, Yammer etc.

            We also note that you wished use to consider possible premium versions of the product, such as the Concise version and the Complete version. We feel that our naming strategy allows for this, and for many future generations, the first product that will spring to mind when thinking of the definitive lexicon will be Utter Complete BoLLex.

            1. Pangasinan

              Re: agreed

              which we combined to produce BoLLex.

              I think we can rest assured that if you take us up on our BoLLex suggestion, then you will see this reflected in your sales figures.

              That name or very similar was used by a home movie camera company from Germany (?).

              Back in the days or Super8 films. (or the 70s as we knew them.)

              1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

                Re: agreed

                Bolex, actually. Very good 16 mm movie cameras. Still a good choice.

            2. cd

              Re: agreed

              Never mind the BoLLex, here's some Saxifraga


          2. BlartVersenwaldIII

            Re: agreed

            Well alright mister wiseguy, if you're so clever, you tell us what colour it should be!

          3. Glenturret Single Malt

            Re: agreed

            Yes, "The Chambers Dictionary" does just that for me. First off, a definite article is a must - no name is really complete without one; then the actual name combining as it does memories of my old Latin teacher with the hint of allusion to the legal world and a touch of Russian Roulette; and finally, the clincher, "Dictionary" - punchy and right to the point. Couldn't be bettered.

            1. TRT Silver badge

              Re: agreed

              The Pocket Oxford Dictionary is a handy companion. However, whilst trying to read a sewing pattern for a pair of cargo shorts I was making, a copy of The Oxford Pocket Dictionary would have come in handy. Welted, jetted, plackets... it's all very technical.

      2. TRT Silver badge

        Re: agreed

        But it did resonate with recent thoughts I'd had on companies such as Wahanda and a few others whose names escape me, but they were meaningless syllabic strings akin to baby babble offering virtual services such as a comparison of comparison sites, yet-another-restaurant-review site and being able to buy something you don't really want at a price you can't really afford from someone that you don't really like (a bit like Starbucks operating under a shill name).

        Anyway, Wahanda has rebranded as Treatwell. Meh. Bonus - no more annoying guitar singing adverts. But so many others are doing this, it makes me wonder what the point of the name was in the first place.

        1. Dwarf

          Re: agreed

          Its a bit like the file sharing thing called 'wuala', which always makes me cringe, given that the french word being copied is 'voila'.

          For some reason when people start saying nonsense words, the turbo encabulator always springs to mind.

  2. NightFox

    Coming up with 21st brand names is so easy:

    Take a verb loosely related to your product

    Add "a" to the end of it (or even "ia" if you really want to go for it)

    Job done. Make sure you charge a fixed fee, not an hourly rate.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Crazy Operations Guy

      Some additional rules:

      * You also have to drop the 'e' if the name ends in 'er'.

      * Domain name must use idiotic 'domain hacks', bonus points for using the ccTLD of an oppressive regime.

      * The name of the product you sell and the company name must be the same

      * The name must also be a common word, making it completely un-searchable.

  3. David Harper 1

    Choose your company name carefully

    I'm reminded of a story that I heard thirty years ago about the Italian government's plan to set up a genetics research centre. They were going to name it by prefixing 'gen' (to signify genetics) to the name that Italians give to their own country. I'll let you figure it out. Suffice to say, they went with a different name.

    1. Dabooka

      Re: Choose your company name carefully

      Story in these parts goes that when polytechnics became universities, the former Newcastle Poly were well along the road to renaming themselves City University of Newcastle upon Tyne, before a u-turn and going with Northumbria University instead.

      I need to believe this is true.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Choose your company name carefully

        "Haway the c*nts"

        Has a ring to it...

        1. CustardGannet

          Re: Choose your company name carefully

          When the Royal Ulster Constabulary was being rebranded in 2001, it took at least 6 months for someone in authority to notice that the proposed new name, the Northern Ireland Police Service, had a somewhat unfortunate acronym...

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: Choose your company name carefully

            There was a Powergen Italia, although it wasn't the Powergen we all knew and loved.

      2. CAPS LOCK

        "Choose wisely..."

        I believe that Bradford University has a Management School. In fact I know. In fact they call it the School of Management. Obviously much better...

  4. Alan Bourke

    Sign up today.

  5. Christoph

    "invents four-syllable names with extra lashings of “q” and “z” and “j” and so on"

    Don't be silly. You'd end up with some ridiculous letter combination like "XKCD", and nobody will ever remember something like that.

    1. peasant

      Be very good as a Scrabble cheat though

  6. Roger Greenwood

    Brand names are tricky

    When I first saw the name "Yahoo" I laughed, but look at it now.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Brand names are tricky

      Names mean different things is different places - there's a nice little open source program built by some European academics called "Biomechanics Tool Kit" - abbreviated to BTK - it did not go down to well in the US where BTK was the sign-off for a mass murderer aka "Bind, Torture and Kill".

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Brand names are tricky

        You know why certain American country music radio stations never took off in the United Kingdom?

    2. Crazy Operations Guy

      Re: Brand names are tricky

      " When I first saw the name "Yahoo" I laughed, but look at it now."

      And now you are laughing even harder?

  7. Bob Rocket


    Put me down for one (whatever you eventually call it) I like playing with stuff and a mark1 might be worth something in 30 years.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You would think that coming up with a name is the easiest thing in the world

    And so did I, having coming up with various product and company names before.

    Until this time around, when we came up empty handed after MONTHS of trying everything, from brainstorming, to asking friends, family, and strangers, to using scrabble, to using /usr/share/dict, to opening industry-related books at random and finding words/phrases, to resorting to /dev/urandom |strings.

    Some industries are not the sort where a remotely silly name would go down well, speaking over a dozen languages between us made it even more difficult (a good-sounding word in any given language is guaranteed to be offensive in some other tongue), and Google searches destroyed whatever hope we had left of having thought up something unique.

    In the end we said fuck it, let's pay someone a couple grand and get it done and over with.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: You would think that coming up with a name is the easiest thing in the world

      Hmm... Fuck IT. Might work you know...

  9. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken
  10. YumDogfood

    I'll just leave this here...

    1. tfewster

      Re: I'll just leave this here...

      Remember Wang computers help desk "Wang Care"?

  11. WereWoof

    New Zealand Immigration Service NZIS which spellcheckers changed to NAZIS.

  12. Securitymoose

    Wot no journalist?

    Has everyone at the Register forgotten how to write news stories? Catch our attention with a headline and then the next paragraph is supposed to tickle our intrigue, not irritate the bejazus out of us. Get rid of the ramblers back to their musings over a pint of Old Stodgy, and wake your editor up. Hang it all, I'll do the job if you can't find a decent one. I'm sure we'd rather have no news than a load of whatever this was.

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