Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Naming an Online Business: How Inventive Can You Get?

Felted Bracelet with Lace Edge Settings
“Zazzy’s not a real word.”  I may have heard that once or twice.  Well, I say, “Is so!”  After all, Sheldon Cooper used the word on an episode of The Big Bang Theory, and he’s really smart, right?  Plus, I googled it and found this definition of "zazzy" on urbandictionary.com:  "a basic cross between ‘zany,’ ‘pizzazz’ and ‘snazzy’ to create an adjective suggesting that something is too great to be confined to one word.”  Hey, I like that – what can I say?  And it really didn’t hurt that the “Zazzy Substitution” episode of Big Bang was about cats; I like anything to do with cats.  ;-)
My zazzy Siberian cat, Mishka

Okay, so maybe zazzy’s not a “real” word, but I think it’s catchy.  The fact is -- it’s just not that easy to find a unique business name in the age of ebay and etsy and a million blogs and other websites.  So cut me some slack, people.  Naming an online business is just not what it used to be.  Ten years ago, when I had my first website, I easily got my first choice for my business name.  Not this time!  I was determined to choose a name that on one else was using on the internet in any way.  But I didn’t get my first choice or my second choice – or even my third choice. I had to think even further outside the box, and I learned some new, albeit made-up, words. 

Zazzy Peacock Felted Necklace
           One of the words I really wanted to use was “funky.” The urban dictionary says it means something that is different or strange but cool (so far, so good), with a secondary meaning of having a foul odor.  Uh oh.  I dug a little deeper (well, only Wikipedia deep) and found a very fascinating connection between these two meanings having to do with funk music.  The gist of it – this is my vague understanding based on reading Wikipedia – is that jazz musicians (and artists, let’s say) radiate a positive energy and earthiness in creating and working through their artistic process.  This made me like the word even more, but alas, it was not meant to be.  Some lucky artist is using the name “Funky Peacock” on etsy.  I’m still using the word to describe my art though.  I do think my work is different but cool, and I’d really like to think it exudes a creative energy and earthiness too.

            By the way, I also briefly considered using the word, “zen,” but quickly realized that I am way too much of a stress case to pull that one off.  I mean, really, what do I know from zen?  I do yoga, but I’m nowhere close to zen.   Recently, I used the word “cockamamie” on facebook, and a friend challenged that word too.  Hmm ... Cockamame Peacock  -- there’s a name I didn’t consider.  I bet no one’s using that one!

            So tell me, did you have a hard time finding a unique name for your business?  Do you have any favorite made-up words you’d like to share? 

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