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79,812 News Articles

How 10 great products got their names

Etymology of iPod, BlackBerry and Wikipedia

They sound right now, but how did our favourite products get their odd names? From iPod and BlackBerry to Twitter and Wikipedia, PC Advisor explains.

BlackBerry: Sweet Addictiveness

BlackBerry

Canada's Research In Motion called on Lexicon Branding to help name its new wireless email device in 2001.

The consultancy pushed RIM founders away from the word "email", which research shows can raise blood pressure. Instead, they looked for a name that would evoke joy and somehow give feelings of peace.

After someone made the connection that the small buttons on the device resembled a bunch of seeds, Lexicon's team explored names like strawberry, melon and various vegetables before settling on 'blackberry' a word both pleasing and which evoked the black colour of the device.

Firefox: Second Time's a Charm

Firefox

Choosing a name that evokes a product's essence and is available can be quite complicated, as the Mozilla folks found out. The early version of Mozilla's browser was called Firebird, but due to another open-source project with the same name, the Mozilla elders renamed their browser Firefox, which is another name for red panda.

Why? "It's easy to remember. It sounds good. It's unique. We like it," they said. Best of all? Nobody else was using it.

NEXT PAGE: Twitter and Windows 7

  1. Apple iPod
  2. BlackBerry and Firefox
  3. Twitter and Windows 7
  4. Wikipedia and Mac OS X
  5. Red Hat Linux


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