The Origins of a ‘Anonymous Animals’ in Your Google Docs


The suspicion of a video phone has been around for decades, yet for years, a record was never widely accessible for a normal Joe. Then, a association with a bizarre name harnessed a energy of a internet and a ever-growing ubiquity of webcams to move that dream to a masses. But what does a name Skype have to do with articulate to other people online?

Skype is a peer-to-peer communication technology, clarification one chairman connects to another person, around a Skype service. Of march to a normal person, a tie is function in a mysterious, fragile realm. So when they were building a name, they strike on a rather detailed “Sky peer-to-peer,” that was shortened to “Skyper.” However, when they went to register a web residence for their new product, was already taken. So, they motionless to try dropping a “r” and, certain enough, was available.


Would President Obama have fought so tough to keep his “LeapFrog” phone? Because a phone was leaps and end over all else on a market, this was one of a names deliberate for a BlackBerry. Another probability was “Strawberry,” given a small keys resembled seeds. But when someone felt a word “straw” sounded too slow, another berry was suggested. For anyone dependant to their BlackBerry, a origins of a nickname “CrackBerry” should need no explanation. More probable names were mentioned in a 2011 essay in The New Yorker: EasyMail, MegaMail and ProMail.


Reddit—which allows members to contention links to online content, that is afterwards voted adult or down to confirm that submissions are many estimable of being review by everybody else—was started in 2004 by then-college students Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian.

The name Reddit is small some-more than a play on a word “read it,” as in, “I review it online.” But, as one member of a site (also famous as a “redditor”) forked out, there is a Latin together to a site’s name that incited out to be a flattering cold coincidence. One lax interpretation of “reddit” is “render,” that can meant “to contention for care or approval,” that is accurately what people do on a site.


ebay pointer outward office

Whether you’re cleaning out a attic or looking for a understanding on your subsequent must-have gadget, there’s a good possibility you’re going to ramble over to eBay. But where did this powerhouse of e-commerce come from and what does that name mean, anyway?

Oddly enough, there’s indeed a fable surrounding a initial of eBay. For a while, it was widely believed that, in 1995, then-28-year aged module developer Pierre Omidyar combined a website called AuctionWeb customarily so that his fiancee could buy and sell collectible PEZ dispensers. It does make for a good story, yet a PEZ partial isn’t true—Omidyar was simply looking for a approach to make something engaging online that would move “together buyers and sellers in an honest and open marketplace.” What’s not legend, though, is that a initial object sole on eBay was anything yet glamorous—a damaged laser pointer. Omidyar customarily dictated a laser pointer inventory to be a test, yet was astounded to find that someone indeed bought it — according to legend, someone who collected damaged laser pointers.

Thinking he competence be on to something, Omidyar started operative in aspiring on a program. While considering names for a site, he primarily designed to use a name of his mechanism consulting company, Echo Bay. However, was already taken (and still is). Omidyar condensed a name to “ebay” and bought a web residence we all know and love.


kindle on shelf in book store

As e-readers became mainstream, a strangely named Kindle from Amazon led a charge. The device’s moniker—which comes from a suspicion of “kindling” a fire—is not meant to be a puncture during paper books. Instead, a association says a Kindle refers to an egghead glow of new ideas that could widespread to readers all over a universe who now have discerning and easy entrance to a immeasurable digital library during Amazon.


Since 2004, Woot has offering deals to clinging fans, famous as Wooters, who obsessively check Woot’s sites to buy all from computers to flashlights to a “Bag of Crap” (BOC)—a coveted, poser squeeze bag that was often sole out within mins of a unveiling. (Amazon Prime members can not suffer that advantage with giveaway shipping, interjection to a fact that Amazon now owns a brand.)

If you’re during all informed with internet culture, you’ll know that “woot” is also an countenance of excitement, infrequently spelled “w00t.” According to Matt Rutledge, Founder and former CEO of, that is where a association got a name, yet it goes a bit deeper than that.

“The association Woot was designed from a belligerent adult to fit that name and adjust itself as a open ’employee store’ form of murder retailer,” Rutledge said. “What form of store would we bucket adult and contend ‘w00t!’ to? Answer…that would be what we built and essay each day to reach.”

Woot is named after “w00t,” yet where does “w00t” come from? That’s indeed a bit of a mystery. Some trust it initial seemed in a mid-’90s, adopted from a songs “Whoomp! (There It Is!)” and “Whoot! There It Is!” Others conclude it as a acronym, “We Owned a Other Team,” imagining as a feat cry for online gamers. Still others contend it comes from an aged hacker tenure used whenever someone has gained full, or “root,” entrance to a server, exclaiming “w00t! we have root!”

Whatever a origin, there are a few critical distinctions between “w00t!” and “Woot.” The association name does not have a zeros replacing a Os, and a exclamation indicate is customarily used in a trademark or when there is genuine means for excitement. 


Etsy sign

Founded in 2005, a online marketplace Etsy has amassed over 7 million purebred users and saw revenues of customarily over $106.4 million in 2017. And while a name is catchy, many have mostly asked what it means. For a while, a association was tight-lipped about a origin, withdrawal users to come adult with their possess acronyms or explanations. However, in a Jan 2010 talk for Reader’s Digest, co-founder Rob Kalin finally gave fans a hint: “I wanted a nonsense word given we wanted to build a code from scratch. we was examination Fellini’s and essay down what we was hearing. In Italian, we contend ‘etsi’ a lot. It means ‘oh, yes.’ And in Latin, it means ‘and if.'”

Then, in 2013, co-founder Chris Maguire common another story behind Etsy’s name, final with “We afterwards done a founder’s agreement to give a opposite start story for a site’s name each time someone asked about it.” So Etsy fans competence never know a brand’s loyal origins.


When Microsoft was building a name for their hunt engine, they wanted something that was a singular syllable, memorable, and easy to spell. Of march once they got into a fixing process, there were other things to cruise as well. For example, one idea—“Bang”—was deserted given we couldn’t make a noun out of it yet sounding, well, inappropriate.

The marketers motionless to put their income on “Bing.” Not customarily was it a singular syllable, easy to spell, and easy to remember, it also sounded like “Bingo,” that is customarily pronounced when you’ve found what you’re looking for. The name also reminded people of a impulse an suspicion is hatched, arrange of like when that small light tuber goes off over a animation character’s head. You hear a “Bing,” that is what Microsoft hopes will occur when we use their website. Even better, in China, a website is called bì yìng, that translated means, “very certain to answer.” But Bing’s detractors are discerning to advise that a name is unequivocally an acronym: Bing Is Not Google.


Can we suppose if, instead of “TiVo-ing” a latest part of Lost, we were “Bongo-ing” it? “Bongo” and “Lasso” are customarily dual of a 800 probable names a selling folks kicked around before settling on TiVo. The final name was cobbled together from “TV” and a engineering acronym “I/O,” that stands for “input/output.” Little did they know their noun would turn a noun and their oddly-named invention would perpetually change a approach people watch television.


man uses bluetooth headset in car

Despite a miss of grace displayed by people who scream into their Bluetooth headsets wherever they go, a name of a device indeed has a rather royal origin. In a 10th century, Danish King Harald Blatand was means to combine warring factions in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark underneath one banner. Similarly, a developers of a Bluetooth vigilance wanted to combine many opposite forms of technology—cars, computers, and mobile phones—under one communications network. So when they were entrance adult with a name, they went with a English interpretation of a Danish king’s final name, “Bluetooth.”

11. HULU

screen with streaming services

Hulu means many things to many people. To some, it’s a good online apparatus for examination their favorite TV shows and movies. But to a local Hawaiian, it means “hair.” To someone who speaks Swahili, it means “cease.” To an Indonesian, it means “butt.” While these translations are accurate, a folks behind fixing a code were desirous by a integrate of Mandarin Chinese definitions instead: “interactive recording” and “a hollowed-out gourd used to reason changed things.” 


little child plays Super Mario Wii game

First of all, “Wii” is pronounced “we,” that emphasizes a amicable judgment that Nintendo envisioned for a console. The name is also universal, yet any approach interpretation into any sole language, reinforcing that comprehensive suspicion and avoiding any Hulu-like situations. The association even favourite a double-i spelling given it looks like dual people station side-by-side. The name was not renouned during first, yet a judgment apparently held on, given Americans have purchased over 20 million Wiis given a entrance in 2006, creation it one of a many successful video diversion systems ever.


iPhone with wikipedia on screen

While a start of a second half of a name competence seem rather obvious, a initial half is still a poser to many. “Wiki” is used to report any website calm that is privately designed to be edited by a users. The name was initial coined by Ward Cunningham to report module he wrote in 1994 that was meant to speed adult a communication routine between mechanism programmers. He borrowed a word from a Hawaiian language, where it means “fast,” after conference it in a Honolulu airfield when an worker told him to take a “Wiki Wiki Shuttle” between terminals. Many people incorrectly trust Wiki is an acronym for “What we Know Is.” However, that clarification was indeed practical to a word after a fact, creation it instead a backronym.

14. ASUS

Asus Company Sign

Netbook computers were one of a many renouned tool trends of a 2000s with around 14 million of a affordable small laptops sole in 2008. One of a large names in netbook prolongation is a Taiwanese mechanism association Asus, that gets a name from a swift equine of Greek mythology, Pegasus. But if we took a discerning peek during a phone book, “Pegasus” wouldn’t have been too high in a office of mechanism companies. So, to boost their prominence in alphabetical lists, they forsaken a initial 3 letters of their name. It was an surprising strategy, yet apparently it worked.


Two immature prius cars

While building a world’s initial mass-produced hybrid vehicle, Toyota believed a Prius was going to be a prototype of a cars of a future. To name their groundbreaking car, they incited to the Latin word “prius,” clarification “[to go] before,” a base of a complicated word “prior.” And with a flourishing recognition of hybrid vehicles, it appears they were right about a Prius’s legacy. What they couldn’t have predicted, though, was a debate a name would emanate when people wanted to impute to some-more than one of a cars. Many suspicion a plural was “Prii”; others believed it should be “Priuses.” The central word from Toyota used to be that there is no plural form, it’s customarily “Prius” (sort of like “moose”). That was until 2011, when an online check crowned “Prii” a central plural. 

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