Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ghana be closed during the holidays.

Alexandra is off to Ghana to adopt a baby monkey, bang some tribal drums, and eat every meal with her hands. The whole Eat My Words crew is taking off to recharge our batteries so we can start 2008 with a bang. We'll be back the week of January 5th, 2008. Thanks to all of you who have made this such a fantastic year for Eat My Words. We couldn't do it without loyal clients and cheerleaders like you.

Warm regards and happy holidays,

Alexandra and The Team

Eat My Words

Monday, December 17, 2007

"Need a good domain name, must be cheap, can't be lame."

Silcon Valley's dishy tech gossip rag, Valleywag, turned us on to this hysterical Web 2.0 satire video, "Here Comes Another Bubble," by the Richter Scales, sung to the tune of Bill Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire." I promise you will laugh out loud and watch it more than once.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

I'd Like to Buy a Vowel, Part II


San Francisco's newest 4-letter word is SPQR, a trendy restaurant, which gets gushing reviews for food, but like TCHO (see below), falls dreadfully short in the vowel department. SPQR is a little too much like SPOR. Eat My Words wouldn't go near the word "spor" for one of our clients. It's not something we want to taste. Plus, we're not sure how to pronounce it. The dyslexic version, "SPRQ," might sound little bit like "Spork." According to sources, SPQR is actually an acronym for "Senatus Populusque Romanus," which means "the senate and the Roman people." Okay, is it just us, or wouldn't the acroynm for Senatus Populusque Romanus simply be SPR? (Still sounds like SPOR.) We're not crazy about the names "Senatus," "Populusque," or "Romanus" on their own as a name of the restaurant either, but at least they have vowels.

Friday, December 14, 2007

I'd Like To Buy a Vowel

I don't know about you, but I like to be able to pronounce the things I put in my mouth. (You know, that whole "eat my words" thing.) And if two consumer product namers can't pronounce a $4 chocolate bar named T-C-H-O, that spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E. Designer chocolate begs for a hip name. The product is in "Beta" right now, so maybe it's just a code name during testing. Here are some other theories about the origin of the name...
  1. It's an abbreviation for "Techno" and they want to be "cool" like Flickr (another head-scratcher). Come on man, buy a vowel.
  2. The high-tech founder is alluding to technology as in T(ech)CHO(colate)
  3. It's an acronym for something like "The Chocolate Hedonist's Orgasm." (Hey, that sounds like something from Eat My Words.)
What do you think it means? And how the heck do you pronounce it? Inquiring minds want to know.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Are you talented enough to be an Eat My Words naming superstar?

We're always looking for fresh talent, so if you think you have the mojo to be a rockstar Eat My Words namer, send us your top 20 name ideas for a cool new consumer product: a sleek external hard-drive that stores an enormous amount of data. Before you take the test, please get familiar with our distinctive naming style at the Eat My Words website and look at our portfolio. Our style is unlike any other naming firm... our names make people smile instead of scratch their head. We don't do names like Flickr, Fusic, Fabtastic, or Fraganza. No experience necessary - in fact, if you have never worked for a naming firm, your chances of success are better because you haven't learned the old school way of mangling letters and forcing words together. Email your name test to: dreamjobs(at)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A name that's generating a lot of buzz...

Eat My Words loves to name consumer electronics but unfortunately we can't take credit for naming OhMiBod or any of their buzz-worthy "Acsexcesories."

"Simply plug OhMiBod into your iPod® or any music player and it automatically vibrates to the rhythm and intensity of the music. Let your body feel the vibrations as you get down with your favorite tunes."

Talk about a name that makes people smile.... even the $69 price fits the brand.

TIP: Even though the "i" in Mi is cute and a wink at iPod, Eat My Words would have spelled "OhMi Bod with a "y" instead because any time you spell a name differently than it sounds, it's a huge strike against you, especially when people "hear" your name then type it into their web browser. is a clothing store. Oops. (At least it's not porn.) We would have suggested that the client call the company OhMyBod (spelled correctly) and simply used a domain like OhMyBodOnline or OhMyBodGirl, which is perfectly acceptable in this case.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Dizzywood - a new spin on invented website names

We're not usually fans of invented website names, but when Rocket Paper Scissors asked Eat My Words to name their new virtual world, we jumped at the chance to make up a fun word. Like the website, the name had to inspire a sense of imagination, discovery, exploration, and most of all, fun. (The client's original name was Zoodaloo, which is cute but hard to spell and too similar to other names with Zoo in them.) We knew we could come up with a distinctive name that made this magical story-driven world sound like a fun and entertaining place for kids. And we did. The winning name was Dizzywood. This is an excellent example of an invented name because it combines two familiar words into a name that actually sounds like a real place. And unlike 99% of invented names, Dizzywood is easy to say and easy to spell, which is critical for customers to find you on the Web, especially when your audience is comprised of 8-12 year olds. TASTY TRIVIA: Our runner up name, RubySneakers, got dinged because Turner Networks, who own the rights to the Wizard of Oz, is highly litigious over the use of Ruby. Talk about a wicked witch! Dizzywood is currently in Beta testing and you are welcome to try it out at

How to avoid an invented name trainwreck.

Names should make people smile instead of scratch their head. Especially invented names, which are often mangled gobbldygook. Start-ups and old-school naming firms fall in love with invented names for three reasons: 1) They sail through trademarking; 2) the domain names are always available; 3) they want the ego boost of coining a word. It's the easy way out. But the results are usually disastrous. Most invented names are forced and unnatural sounding. Some of our favorite offenders: Doostang, Motiva, Ziizoo, Fragranza, Advogato, Mathnasium, and our #1 head-scratcher, Xobni. Eat My Words first heard about Xobni when one of their investors wisely suggested we rename them. This internet start-up fails on so many levels: It's difficult to spell, impossible to pronounce, and evocative of absolutely nothing. What is Xobni? It's inbox spelled backwards. Cute to the founders. Dumbfounding to customers. If you have to explain a name to someone, it's a bad name. And if there is a hidden meaning in your name, make it a bonus instead of a brain grinder. For instance, our friends created a cool do-it-yourself ringtone software named DJ Nitrogen. Great name. What's even better is that NITROGEN is an anagram for RINGTONE. Super cool and fun to know. But the name doesn't depend on people "getting" the hidden meaning. For more on the subject of invented website names (and a few more jabs at Xobni), read "How Do You Tell a Web Name From a Typo?" in the Washington Post and David Pouge's "The Dr. Seuss Jumble: Naming Web Sites" from The New York Times.

Meet Heidi, our newest addition.

You may have met the our new office manager Heidi Paul at the blowout Fallapalooza party or had the pleasure of talking to her when you called the Eat My Words idea kitchen. From fielding phone calls, to planning our parties, to chasing down checks, to cataloging the extensive Eat My Words art collection, Heidi is our Super Girl Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and of course, Friday. As a multi-talented textile artist, graphic designer, and gallery manager, Heidi has mastered the art of right brain/left brain thinking. And her boundless curiosity, upbeat attitude, and cool-as-a-cucumber demeanor makes her a welcome addition to the Eat My Words clan. You can learn more about Heidi in her Boastful Bio.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Introducing Neato, the home cleaning robot (and household word)

For months we've been waiting to officially let this name out of the vacuum cleaner bag... Eat My Words is pleased to announce, Neato - a sexy little home cleaning robot from Neato Robotics, formerly known as Home Robots. The word "Neato" is fun and playful. The word "Robotics" is serious and sci-fi. They balance each other beautifully. And you thought Roomba was a good name. Ha! We'll let you know when it rolls into a store near you.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Fallapalooza Party Photos

Fallapalooza was a huge smash and we had a full house of clients and colleagues. Guests dined on everything from mini crab cakes to mini cheesecakes. Specialty cocktails included Fall Down Drunk, Leaf Blower, and October SKYY. Here are some of the party photos. More (with captions) in the official Fallapalooza Photo Album.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Steam Me Up Scotty

Five celebrity chefs armed with kitchen knives and the miracle product we named Glad Simply Cooking Microwave Steaming Bags, are battling for the title of "Steamiest Chef. " Just roll over your favorite bobble-headed chef to "learn their steamy secrets, get their steamy recipe, and then vote for your favorite." Right now, Sam Talbot from Top Chef, is leading the pack but someone else could smoke him out. If only all the things that we named were this interactive. What's next, a Spoon Me spooning contest? Actually, it's already in the works!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

What's Cooking

We have a lot of food on our plates right now including naming healthy snacks for kids and two new Star-kist products which we have to keep under wraps for now. Sorry, Charlie. About 60% of our current naming gigs are for products that don't make you fat or drunk - like software, schools, and sportswear. We're doing name explorations for sound pioneer THX, Knowledge Learning Corporation, a luxury goods retailer, and lots of Web 2.0 start-ups. We'll let you know when we can let the monkey out of the bag.

Spoon Me opens to glowing TV & news press

Our Spoon Me frozen yogurt client, has opened its doors in Salt Lake City, replacing the cheeky "Spooning Soon" sign out front with hysterical signs on the front door declaring "No Shirt. No Shoes. No Spoon" and "No Spooning on Sundays." The Spoon Me t-shirts are flying off the shelves and owner Ryan Combe is mobbed by teenage girls whenever he wears one in public. (He says he'll retire in 2 years from the merchandise profits alone.) As the first "green store" in Utah (!!!!), they are ultra eco-friendly. Other smart ideas: replacing the tip jar in favor of a donation jar for local charities, discounts to customers who ride public transportation to the store, and a 20-dollar bonus each month to any employee who reads a book. (But not The Book of Mormon.) Spoon Me is already a media darling - here's a video clip from ABC news:
10/5/07 - New Utah yogurt shop puts environment first

Alexandra returns from China

Alexandra is back from a month in China. Here are some of the photos... there's more in the official album.

It may not be our sexiest name, but it's certainly the steamiest!

While we are usually annoyed by the obnoxious product placement on our favorite TV show, Top Chef, we freaked out (in a good way) when our new Glad Simply Cooking Microwave Steaming Bags took center stage. These super space age bags are perfect for steaming veggies -- just fill, zap and serve. No waiting for water to boil, no messy pots and pans to clean. And according to the Man from Glad in this painfully cheesy video demo, you can even use them make "tasty omelets and fluffy desserts."

What NOT to name your product or company.

We're continually amazed that people trademark names that are spelled differently than they sound. In today's word-of-mouth world, what you hear is what you type in your browser, so it's imperative that your name is easy and intuitive to spell. Case in point:, a high school sports website. When Jeff says, "Yo Steve, check out," Steve hears "tackle" and when he types it in his browser, he lands at Bass Pro, a fishing tackle website. So Takkle loses a customer and Steve thinks Jeff is a dork. During a panel discussion at the recent MashUp teen marketing conference, Alexandra asked Takkle CEO David Birnbaum if, in hindsight, he would have chosen a name that was easier to spell. He said he would stick with Takkle. Proving Alexandra's point, founder Lance Tokuda jumped in and said that RockYou loses thousands of customers a day who type in "rocku." We wonder how often the Takkle guy has to say "that's Takkle with two K's," when he isn't sporting a Takkle baseball cap that he can point to.

Introducing Cake Financial. Easy. Money.

We were asked to create a tagline for a new investing service called Portfolia, which doesn't exactly stand out in a sea of Wall Street websites. So we convinced them to let us rename the company. This easy-to-use site lets you check out the actual portfolios, watchlists and real-time trades of top investors and your family and friends. Plus you can see how you stack up against others, which is fun unless you suck in the market. And you can do it all safely, securely and anonymously. For free. It's cake. And that's what we named it - Cake. If you're an investor, check out the alpha version of this "social investing revolution."

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Hot Fun - Eat My Words Summer Party

The annual Eat My Words summer party was a huge success thanks to perfect weather and the great mix of the 60+ clients and friends who showed up. Held outdoors in the courtyard, the party was a who's-who of industry insiders including Landor's Global Director of Naming - Anthony Shore, techonorati Stewart Alsop, Jay & Andy from Igor, Heidi Caldwell from DDW, Bill Larsen of Anthem, and Jon Weber of Metromint. Designamo's included packaging superstar Peter Matsukawa, Tony Auston, Joel Templin of newly hatched Hatch, and Bonnie McFarland of Del Monte. Speaking of Del Monte, the party marked the official launch of the Sonic Bloom, which is the DM energy drink we named Bloom, mixed with vodka. (Thanks to DM for the truck load of product, and to new client Metromint for the massive supply of mintwater, and to SIGG for donating 60 super slick water bottles featuring the designs we named.) Also on the drink menu, Mother Pucker pink lemonade and Mojohitos. Herbs & Spices catered the event and served mini cheeseburgers, grilled cheese sandwiches with brie and wild mushrooms, fresh crab cakes with lemon aioli, and homemade ice cream sandwiches. Yum. Despite having no less than four professional photographers in attendance, including Kevin Ng David Campbell, Lisa Keenan and Kelly Powers, we were too busy catching up to take many photos, but there are some more good ones in the official party slideshow.