Fellow namers and word nerds, have Christmas and Hanukkah come early? Merriam-Webster, America’s “leading provider of language information,” recently announced its top 10 words of 2022.
Ahh, the cozy, inviting scents that fill our homes over the holidays — cinnamon, gingerbread, spruce, cedar, and…broken rosary, or old books?
Believe it or not, these are some of the holiday candle scents available this season. What does a broken rosary smell like, you ask? Apparently, it’s woody and floral (with a hint of Catholic guilt?), and it can be yours for $44.
Within recent years, scented candle names took a distinctly evocative turn. They went from being merely descriptive to evoking emotions, memories, and experiences. And as the holiday shopping season approaches, they’ll be everywhere. Traditional ones, like Yankee Candle’s basalm & cedar or peppermint pinwheels, are still around, of course. But Zinzin’s finely tuned naming noses sniffed out some doozies. So, let’s follow the holiday scented trail of this candle naming trend — will it wax or wane?
To keep the creative juices flowing in our naming hearts and minds, we here at Zinzin like to explore topics tangential to our task at hand — creating powerful, evocative names to help brands build positive, emotional connections with audiences. While it’s well known today that the strongest brands make emotional connections, I think artists figured this out a long time ago. Namely, one of the most influential American abstract painters of the 20th century: Agnes Martin.
Famous for her grid paintings born from an ordered process approaching science in its rigor, Martin’s goal was to evoke emotional states that connect with the viewer. What’s awesome, Zinzin friends, is that we use a similar approach to naming.
Moreover, Martin had specific opinions about naming (giving titles to) her paintings. So, let’s explore some of the work of the infinitely fascinating Agnes Martin, draw inspiration from it, and see what naming lessons we can learn.
Zinzin believes that language is alive and on the move. It’s like a living, breathing organism – always changing, morphing, evolving. Cultures change too, and names come and go over time. But some don’t. Why has one naming practice, in particular — brands named after different Indigenous cultures — lasted so long in America? And how is it changing? Let’s take a look at some American brand names derived from Indigenous peoples and cultures.
The World Series is here! This namer is a big fan of Major League Baseball (MLB), and Zinzin always loves to explore worlds outside of its own to find naming inspiration. So, let’s look at the rich naming traditions in the world of baseball, where the use of nicknames, in particular, is as fun and fascinating as the sport itself. More specifically, let’s look at the team naming history and current (active roster) player nicknames of the two teams in the 2022 World Series: the Houston Astros and the Philadelphia Phillies.
What do humans, bottlenose dolphins, sperm whales, and green-rumped parrotlets have in common? Any guesses? Need to phone a friend? Give up? Ok, I’ll tell you: it’s learned language, even naming! In this sense, I’m talking about the ability to create a signature call, like a name, and communicate with it. (But if you ever hire a green-rumped parrotlet to name your company or product, let us know how it goes.)
While Zinzin knows just how important names are to human animal identity and culture, we’re fascinated by the way they impact nonhuman animals as well. Why? Well, I guess the short answer is that we namers at Zinzin are a curious bunch and love language. We revel in the fact that language is alive on the move: it’s a living, breathing organism, always changing, morphing, evolving. By understanding how other species create and use names in their worlds, perhaps we’ll learn more about ours too.
In naming, Zinzin loves the practice of getting outside of ourselves, our specialty, our industry. It keeps the creative juices brewing, because great names are all around us. They bubble up within the language of poetry, literature, art, science, nature…and beer. That’s right! Oktoberfest 2022 is upon us, and this Zinzin namer is ready to be inspired by its history, traditions, and quirks.
Alas, I’m not typing this post directly from Germany, but let’s step outside of naming for a few minutes and travel-by-brain to this 200+ year-old festival devoted to Bavarian culture and beer. It’s sure to leave us amazed, enlightened, and perhaps a little thirsty.
When a name catches my eye, I’m tickled pink. But this one has me seeing red.
Heterosigma akashiwo is the scientific name of marine algae that aggregates into harmful blooms, resulting in red tides. These red tides, or harmful algae blooms, are currently blooming to unprecedented levels among Bay Area waters, to the detriment of marine life and the bewilderment of scientists.
Appearing in the news throughout the summer, Heterosigma akashiwo has scientists and conservationists scrambling to learn more. Meanwhile, I scrambled to learn more about this eye-catching name that’s admittedly kinda fun to say, and how it came to be.
Zinzin has named a lot of things, but we’ve never named or renamed a virus. Alas, the World Health Organization (WHO) didn’t ping us to rename monkeypox, but it did ask all of us for suggestions, specifically for a new disease name, in an open online forum.
However, when we read a recent news release by WHO titled, “Monkeypox: experts give virus variants new names,” we namers-by-profession couldn’t help but wonder…WHO used what experts? How did they arrive at these names? And what are the new names?
In this post, we will break down WHO’s naming process so far, using their press release (linked above) as our primary reference.
At Zinzin, we love to name drop. Especially, when it’s a name we created for our fabulous client, Antimatter, doing sassy new things in the world of software as a service (SaaS).
That’s right; we said it: sassy.
Let’s take a look at two seemingly unconnected dots: the B2B SaaS infrastructure company, Antimatter, and why the word “sassy” is more than our attempt at being cute with SaaS. Zinzin believes both characteristics — serious and sassy — can successfully co-exist in a name when it maps true to its brand positioning.
Call us crazy (or just plain Zinzin), but naming is in our DNA, even when we’re watching the NBA. In honor of our local team, the Golden State Warriors, and their awesome run to this year’s NBA Finals — their sixth finals appearance in the last eight seasons — we take a brief look at Warriors naming history and current player nicknames. We also included a nicknaming-nod to the Warriors 2022 Finals rival, the Boston Celtics…because we may be “Zinzin,” but we love a good (naming) showdown.