Last month we wrote about “word collisions” – the unexpected juxtaposition of complete words to create a memorable name such as DreamWorks.
A cousin of this name-creation approach is the blending or compressing of two words into one new word. Our everyday language is chock full of blended words:
- “brunch” from breakfast + lunch.
- “infomercial” from information + commercial.
- “motel” from motor + hotel.
- “smog” from smoke + fog.
- “webinar” from web + seminar.
In brand land are examples of well-known blended names such as Microsoft (software for microprocessors) and Netflix (flicks over the internet).
Blended names can be highly effective for two major reasons. First, on a totally practical level, blended names are neologisms (coined words), and, as such, are much easier to register as trademarks than natural words.
Second, a blended name gives you the ability to evoke two or more concepts in a single new word. For example:
- Amtrak, for traveling America by track.
- Frappuccino from Starbucks, merging the idea of an icy frappe with a cold cappuccino.
- Groupon, for a group coupon.
- Prevacid, for preventing acid.
- Rolodex, a rolling index, which describes the original physical product itself, rather than its benefits.
- Verizon, combining the Latin veritas for “truth” with horizon.
So over your next working brunch, add this versatile and creative technique to your arsenal of name-generating tools.