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How Tech Companies and Gadgets Get Their Names

How Tech Companies and Gadgets Get Their Names
By now, most of us have heard the story of how Google got its name -- from a misspelling of "googol," an impossibly high number (10 to the 100th power, or more than the total number of atoms in the observable universe). But Google isn't the only company out there with an odd name. And it certainly isn't the only name with an interesting origin story.

'Mental Floss,' a magazine packed with trivia and the sort of information that many would consider "useless," has compiled a list showing how several tech companies crafted names from apparent gibberish. Did you know that Bluetooth is a reference to tenth-century Danish King Harald Blatand, who united warring factions in Norway, Sweden and Denmark? Or that Prius is a Latin word meaning "[to go] before?" FInd out the origins of those names and more (like BlackBerry, Tivo, and Nintendo Wii) by clicking on the 'Read' link below.

The whole naming thing made us curious, so we looked into the background behind names like "Facebook" and "Twitter." Check out the gallery below to find the origins of those names ane more. [From: Mental Floss]


Origins of Tech Names

    The Web site mental_floss put together a list covering the origins of 8 high-tech names, and it got us thinking about some of the other popular -- and oddly-named -- sites, software, and applications out there. Ever wonder where "facebook," "skype," or "delicious" came from? Read on!

    Facebook:
    The social-networking site was named after the student address book at Harvard, where Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg spent almost 2 years."

    Skype:
    The name for the Internet phone service is a mix of "Sky" and "peer-to-peer," though it doesn't really have anything to do with either term.

    Twitter:
    The name Twitter is inspired by bird speak -- brief and ongoing. No wonder the short, 140-word messages one posts on the social-networking/microblogging service are called "tweets."

    flickr:
    Photo-sharing site flickr was named largely by accident. Flickr co-founders Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake initially tried for "flicker.com," but the domain name was taken. Fake suggested 'flickr,' and the rest is history.

    bebo:
    Founded by Michael and Xochi Birch, Bebo, a popular social networking alternative to Facebook and Myspace, is an acronym for "Blog early, blog often."

    delicious:
    Joshua Schachter, founder of the well-known social-bookmarking site, used the .us domain to form the word "del.icio.us."

    ubuntu:
    Ubuntu, a version of the free, open-source UNIX-based operating system used in computers such as the eeePC and the Zonbu, gets its name from Zulu. It means "humanity to others."


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Tags: branding, corporate, tech companies, TechCompanies, top, trivia

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