It’s been a while since The Name Inspector did a regular old post on a great name. So you know what’s a great name? Fab, that’s what. As in Fab.com, the daily-deal site that features art prints, t-shirts, jewelry, furniture, and other designy things.

At a mere three letters, this name is the ultimate in brevity, but gets a lot of bang for its buck. Fab stands in for two words, both right for the site. One, of course, is the word fabulous, which expresses a superlatively positive opinion, and is frequently uttered, in The Name Inspector’s imagination at least, by effusively fashionable people. This word gives rise to a secondary association with Fab Four, a Mod-era moniker for those Merseybeat moptops otherwise known as the Beatles. (The Name Inspector is feeling especially alliterary today.) And maybe, for some people, there’s even a tertiary association with Ab Fab (Absolutely Fabulous), the name of a funny mostly-1990s British sitcom starring Jennifer Saunders.

The second word that Fab suggests is the word fabricate. This is a site that features the work of designers and makers. It’s nice to shine a light on the creative act itself. (Some people might argue that fabricate implies putting something together out of ready-made pieces, but let’s not quibble.)

The name Fab even packs a bit of poetry into its tiny form. You have to involve your lower lip when saying both consonants, so there’s a nice continuity to the pronunciation and a nice symmetry to the sound.

Now, The Name Inspector hates to be crass, but he can’t help wondering…how much did they have to pay for that domain name?

8 Responses to “Fab is!”

  1. on 08 Jun 2012 at 11:28 am Fritinancy

    Great analysis, Chris. As you probably know, the company’s original name was “Fabulis,” which of course needed to be spelled out every time it was uttered. The founders say only that they got “a great deal” on the shorter domain. Easy to say when you’ve raised more than $50 million in funding in 2011 alone.
    http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2750881

  2. on 11 Jun 2012 at 5:25 am Shakirah Dawud

    I like the name, too, but I read the entire post hoping you’d illuminate me: what do you call the “ae” thingy in the middle? It’s purely decorative, I assume?

  3. on 11 Jun 2012 at 12:19 pm John Humphrey

    Hi Name Inspector! Not the exact number, but Jason Goldberg describes how he acquired Fab.com in an audio snippet I clipped from a Kevin Rose Foundation interview. Found here: http://www.domainnoob.com/blog/2012/05/psyching-out-a-domain-owner-and-what-kevin-paid-for-oink/

  4. on 13 Jun 2012 at 2:47 pm The Name Inspector

    Shakirah, you’re right, I should have explained this in my post. Those symbols aren’t the Fab logo but a phonetic representation of the name. A long time ago I included phonetic representations in every post. Then I stopped (for reasons that are too boring to go into) but have decided to revive the practice.

    The “”ae” character in the middle is a Latin ligature (two letters squished together) that became a single letter in some alphabets, including Old English, where we call it “ash”. In the International Phonetic Alphabet, ash is used to represent the vowel sound in words like “cat” and “fab”.

  5. on 13 Jun 2012 at 2:47 pm The Name Inspector

    Nancy and John, thanks for the extra background about Fab!

  6. on 14 Jun 2012 at 5:00 pm Tommy Coffee

    Playing the negative nancy, fab, when associated with fabricate, makes me think of an invented story or lie, which then causes fab to remind me of the word “fib.” This then links me to the homesexual founders and the lies behind their so called “natural” culture. And of course this reminds me of the other three letter word starting with “fa.”

    I don’t like the name. Just as “fab” is a lazy representation of “fabulous,” it is also representation of their lazy wrists.

  7. on 15 Jun 2012 at 9:36 am The Name Inspector

    Tommy, the comments on this site shamefully overrepresent the tolerant and open-minded. Thanks for introducing a little balance by presenting a narrower, more bigoted perspective. I know nothing about the sexuality of the company founders, but would I be surprised to learn that gay men had something to do with a site dedicated to delightful design? Not at all! What a dreary world it would be without some gay fabulousness, and some fabulous gayness. All of us could stand to be a little more fabulous.

  8. on 10 Aug 2012 at 12:16 pm Carl

    While I love the name Fab and I think it can be a wonderful site, I don’t see men going to the site. No man is going to tell his friends that he likes Fab.

    Sorry but you are alienating 50% of the population.

Comments RSS

Leave a Reply