Name Reviews

Catchword name reviews

What makes a name good, bad, or meh? As naming experts, we’re highly attuned to the blunders and bullseyes all around us, and naturally we have some strong opinions.

McBrunch

A

There is no McSalad and McFries—can you imagine how annoying it would be if every item was a McSomething? Their naming protocol seems to reserve the prefix for big-ticket items–the ones that especially differentiate McDonald ...Read More

Galaxy Note Edge

B

Samsung has combined three evocative names for their phone, and managed to edge themselves into new tech-territory. But is this triple whammy name really equivalent to the sum of its parts? ...Read More

Lyric Thermostat

B+

In 2011, Honeywell, the world’s largest thermostat manufacturer, was blindsided by the Nest Learning Thermostat created by a couple of Apple alums.  Although Honeywell had multiple programmable thermostats in its portfolio, none had Nest’s learning capability.  It was a truly … More »

Bolt

A-

Bolt has many meanings—it’s a polysemic word. In fact, it is also a “Janus word,” or auto-antonym, because two of its meanings are contradictory (Janus being a mythical, Roman, two-faced gatekeeper). ...Read More

Ewephoria

B+

The name might be said to refer to two kinds of euphoria—that of the lucky sheep, who the farmer’s wife claims eat better than their own children—and that of the sweets-seeking Americans for whom the cheese was crafted. ...Read More

MUFG

D-

This particular name is the most disastrous kind of hybrid: it’s almost an initialism. But it comes across as an acronym, because the interior “U” invites the reader to pronounce it as a word (which would be, er…MUF-ga?). ...Read More

Fire Phone

A

It’s the savvy marketer who remembers that although they are staring at their brand logo/name/tagline/etc all day, their consumer is not. ...Read More

Strategy&

B-

We’re not used to company names that leave us hanging. I keep hearing voices in my head answering the telephone “Good morning, Strategy&.” And-and-and-what? ...Read More

OS X Yosemite

A+

It doesn’t take a naming expert or camping enthusiast to see that Yosemite evokes a gamut of great qualities—excitement, beauty, adventure, wonder, strength, grace, history, legacy, and fun, to name quite a few. ...Read More

Cortana

B+

Artificial Intelligence is a constant human fascination, and Microsoft’s choice of the name Cortana is a nice nod to this common sci-fi trope, from Hal 9000 to C-3P0, ELIZA to Smarterchild, and, most recently, Samantha. ...Read More

Amazon Dash

A-

Dash is what you do through the snow, on a one horse open sleigh! Or, it’s what good ole Rex does around the yard—and just look at the smile on his face! ...Read More

Fire TV

A-

The pyromania started with the Kindle, followed by the Kindle Fire, and most recently, the Kindle MatchBook service. And, the name has the added benefit of leveraging the brand equity already created by the Kindle Fire. ...Read More

Oculus Rift

A+

Because most people don’t know the term aside from guessing that it has something to do with eyes or vision, Oculus VR is able to imbue the word with meaning and feelings of their own, like awe and excitement. (By the same token, a name like “Vision Rift” would fall flat as the word “vision” has less connotative room to be filled with awe or excitement.) ...Read More

Loop

B+

Stuffed billfolds and swiping motions are hassles of the past with this small FOB device, which is available either embedded in a special phone case or as a keychain attachment. ...Read More

Orenitram

B

Pharmaceutical naming is crazy hard. Just ask me: I’ve done it a few times, and it was enough to temporarily kill my enthusiasm for language. Between an insanely crowded space, the lengthy approval process, and FDA proscriptions and restrictions, it’s … More »

Intel Security

A-

Check out Google auto-fill for a moment. When typing in “Get McAfe…” the top auto-fill is not “Get McAfee” but rather “Get McAfee off my computer.” ...Read More