utterz-phonetic.jpg

Of the name Utterz, with special reference in the final paragraph to movies of the late 1990s.

Sometimes The Name Inspector must respond swiftly to the cries of an innocent web surfer in distress. The listenerd has issued a plea for help with the name Utterz, for a mobile blogging platform. With Utterz you can dial a special number and speak a blog post into your mobile phone. It will appear as an audio file in a Twitter-like stream on the Utterz network, and special widgets can make it appear in other places too.

Utterz is one of those names that makes you think, “Haha, don’t they know what that sounds like?”. But when you check the website you find they know exactly what it sounds like. In fact, they play the cow connection to the hilt: “Be Herd!” is their tagline, and their phone number is 712-432-Mooo. Their mascot is a cute cow with very prominent teats talking on a cell phone.

So the name is an intentional pun that exploits the homophony of the words utter and udder, with a cheesy little z-for-s twist on the spelling. The word utter, basically a synonym of speak, makes a very literal and direct connection to audio blogging.

You have to have some respect for a name that knows it’s ridiculous and flies its freak flag high. And yet…

There’s something about the whole teat/cell phone/web connection that’s a little unsettling. A little Matrix-y. Everyone knows web use can be obsessive. Addictive even. This name plays right into that idea: our cell phones are our own personal connections to the great life-giving, milk-giving webcow in the sky. It’s enough to give a person, as Cher Horowitz from “Clueless” might say, “an overwhelming sense of ickiness”.

UPDATE, September 20, 2008. The listenerd has reported that Utterz has changed its name to Utterli. And the cow theme is gone from the site. The Name Inspector now sleeps more soundly.

[tags]utterz, utterli, the name utterz, the name utterli, utter, udder, cow, webcow, mobile blogging, name change[/tags]

5 Responses to “Utterz”

  1. on 19 Sep 2007 at 9:42 am josh

    Whew! Thanks. I’m now calmed and reassured, Name Inspector.

    Utterz. Heh.

  2. on 19 Sep 2007 at 11:32 am eddie guerrero

    $100 says the name Utterz was chosen over Utters because the domain name for the later was already taken…

  3. on 19 Sep 2007 at 12:12 pm The Name Inspector

    There there, Josh.

    Eddie, that’s a sucker’s bet. There’s little doubt you’re correct. The endless search for available domain names makes us do some unfortunate things.

  4. on 04 Oct 2007 at 8:47 pm Mark

    do you really think they put so much thought into their name?!
    (and what do you think, if anything, about my ‘faceosphere.com’?!)

  5. on 15 Feb 2009 at 5:29 pm akkeb truber

    udderly descriptive

Comments RSS

Leave a Reply