11 Ways to Play the Name Game

Call me goofy, but I loved singing “The Name Game” as kid:

Meryl, Meryl, bo-beryl,
Banana-fana fo-feryl

Yeah, yeah… I know how some immature kids like to use names like Chuck and Mitch. I’m sure you’ve heard your share.
I’ve always been fascinated with names, how they came to be, and their origins. So it’s no surprise that I do naming projects. Coming up with names can become a brain consuming process. By that, I mean your brain goes on a roll and just keeps spitting out names, words, and ideas — good and not so good.
You have many options and resources to play the name game to find a perfect brand for a product, company, blog.

  1. Make best friends with reference resources: Dictionaries (rhyming and specialty), thesauri, Flip Dictionary, word references, anagrams, etc.
  2. Ask clients about themes. Some clients may already have a theme going or planning on one to help with branding.
  3. Ask clients about their interests and favorite things.
  4. Ask clients what names they like and dislike.
  5. Use interests, themes, etc. and research them until you’re dizzy.
  6. Make an initial list.
  7. Mix and match words.
  8. Create variations of words and phrases.
  9. Subscribe to Marcia Yudkin’s Name Tales newsletter.
  10. Have POP! Stand out in Any Crowd nearby for use.
  11. Use a domain naming tool. I’ve heard how some of these tools use your search to grab domain names. But not all do that. Unbelievable. Blog entry: Brainstorming domain names.

Sometimes I go crazy in the process and my head won’t stop seeking names and playing with them. I’d be playing with my kids, hitting tennis balls, chauffeuring and my head would as play jigsaw puzzle with words and names. If something good comes to me, I quickly capture it in my TitaniumBerry (it ain’t black) so I’ll have it when I return to my desk.
So if I like names so much, why am I stuck with plain ol’ meryl.net? For the same reason web designers struggles to design their own web sites. Besides, I might as well as capitalize on my uncommon name and put a positive spin on it after has given me fits for years (I struggle with the “r” so I tell people “Meryl like Meryl Streep, two-syllables-not-one and rhymes with Cheryl.”
Oh, great… I have an old team song going in my head…
“Meryl’s my name and basketball’s my game. Blue is my color and …” I’ll stop there. Oh, now I have a Sesame Street song in my head… “We All Sing with the Same Voice.”
My hair is black and red
My hair is yellow
My eyes are brown and green and blue
My name is Jack and Fred
My name’s Amanda Sue
I’m called Kareem Abdul
My name is you
I live in southern France
I’m from a Texas ranch
I come from Mecca and Peru
I live across the street
In the mountains, on a beach
I come from everywhere
And my name is you
Stopping now before my brain becomes a jumble of names, words, and songs.

3 thoughts on “11 Ways to Play the Name Game”

  1. As a fellow “Meryl” I just had to post a comment to say I thoroughly enjoyed reading this! I especially loved the part about “Meryl like Meryl Streep, two-syllables-not-one and rhymes with Cheryl.” — it’s like we are living the same life! Take care.


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