Archive for the 'Metaphor' Category

Duncan Riley has posted on TechCrunch about Incuby, a social network where inventors can promote their inventions. The Name Inspector thinks this is a great idea for a web business. But not a great name for one. Clearly it’s intended to be a fun tweak of incubator, which is what we call organizations that help [...]

Microsoft recently unveiled Surface, a tabletop computer with an amazing multi-touch interface. There’s no keyboard or mouse–you interact with Surface through its display, which is touch-sensitive and can respond to simultaneous touches from multiple fingers or people. That means you can “grab” objects and move them around, re-size photos by stretching them out with your [...]

Shelly Farnham and Peter Brown are the co-founders of Waggle Labs, a Seattle software and consulting company that specializes in social technology. Their new product, Pathable, lets participants in social events tag themselves with their interests and personal connections to find other similar participants. Shelly and Peter were kind enough to share a story about [...]

The name Twitter is not itself a pun, but it’s a set-up for a pun. It pretends to be a simple metaphorical name that casts the textual cacophony of its special kind of web exhibitionism as bird noise. But then there’s the connection to the expression all atwitter, used to describe someone filled with emotional [...]

A while ago Allegra Searle-LeBel sent in a story about naming her online media-editing startup: We had been struggling for about 2 months, trying to find the right name. There was this funny, almost mystical sense that it existed *somewhere*. We just needed to keep slogging through the troughs of lame options and almost good [...]

If you found the title of this post a little confusing, then you have some idea what’s wrong with the name Tenacious Offense. This name belongs to young Seattle-based company that seems to be a kind of rent-a-bizdev team for small startups trying to land big clients. Thanks to Brant Williams for writing and sharing [...]

It’s probably safe to say that Amazon (or Amazon.com) has achieved the status of an iconic name. So, does the word Amazon bear any meaningful relation to the company Amazon.com? Amazon is of course the name of the South American river which is the largest in the world. There were also ancient women warriors, made [...]

A reader suggested doing a profile of this name, and The Name Inspector thought that was a pretty good idea. The name Digg depends on felicitous ambiguity, of which The Name Inspector is something of a connoisseur. (He even wrote a dissertation about it, though the kind he focused on there was a bit different). [...]

PageFlakes shows how a quirky but vivid metaphor can make for a good name. In this case the name is for a customizable Ajax personal home page similar to Netvibes. The quirky, one is almost tempted to say flaky, thing about this name is of course the word flakes. Flakes are insubstantial little things and [...]

Pandora is the character from Greek mythology who opened a jar (or box) and released evil and woe into the world. Doesn’t sound like good material for a name, does it? Isn’t calling a music service Pandora kind of like calling a women’s athletic shoe Incubus? No, it’s not like that at all. When people [...]

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