Tagged With names


At Lifehacker we love a portmanteau. A lot of our sister sites, as well as their subdomains, are combinations of existing words: Deadspin evokes backspin but also ESPN; Gizmodo contains gizmo and mod. Lifehacker’s subsites find a second meaning within a word or phrase: Skillet contains skill, Two Cents is money advice. We’ve covered some great tools for inventing pun names before. Now there’s Entendrepreneur, a powerful tool for combining any two concepts into a portmanteau or a rhyme.


I’m bad at names. So are you. Everyone’s bad at names. You’ve read a million tips for remembering people’s names, and none of them have worked. But maybe this one will! It’s one of the simplest, least gimmicky tricks I’ve heard, and I’ve used it before without really thinking about it.


Maybe I have face blindness. Maybe I'm just a dick. But I frequently run into acquaintances and can't remember their names. If I'm with my wife, she knows what to do: she immediately introduces herself, so they can say their name back. I might look slightly rude for not jumping to it, but at least my secret's safe. And I know I'm not the only one who needs this help.


As anyone who works in a school or childcare centre will attest, Australian parents come up with some pretty weird names for their offspring - including Google, Tron and Hippo. While most names are reluctantly approved by the state or territory's Registry of Births, there are a few that you just can't get away with.


Life's more fun with nicknames. That's why we name our wireless networks "Julia Louis-Wifus" or "23cm tops come to Apt. 3B". But say you need to name a whole set of things, like software versions, conference rooms, or just placeholders in an example. At that point you can't just make up random names one by one. You need a system.


We know that our names may influence just about every avenue of our lives -- where we live, the school courses we enrol in, the grades we achieve, the jobs we choose, the jobs we get called back for, how far we go in those jobs, who we love and where we donate money. Now there's evidence that our names may also affect the way we look.


Choosing the right name for your baby is tougher than it sounds. You probably don't want an overly weird name lest your child gets teased at school. On the other hand, nobody wants to be saddled with a boringly common name like John or Chris (thanks for nothing, Mum!)

Instead, most parents plump for something that sits between unique and familiar. If you're stumped for ideas, this list of 100 popular baby names - 50 boys' and 50 girls' - is well worth a look.


Naming things is hard, especially if the name needs to be unique. Over the years I've worked for sites named Urlesque (rhymes with burlesque, it's about memes), Slacktory (it's a factory for slacking) and Valleywag (which came scarily close to being called "Boomshank"). I always loved the evocative site names of the Gizmodo network. Sploid connotes splatter, tabloids and explosions; Deadspin promises ESPN with an unexpected angle; Kotaku puts the slightest spin on the Japanese term for obsessive nerdy interest. More famous names like Instagram, Medium and Upworthy also compactly convey multiple meanings. The same approach is popular for fictional character names: Darth Vader, Voldemort and Ebenezer Scrooge read immediately as bad guys.


At time of writing my wife is eight and a half months pregnant with our second child. We still don’t have a baby name. Correction: we have two baby names. It’s taken us almost the entirety of my wife’s pregnancy to round our choices down to two names. Here’s what I’ve learned along the way.


Unconventional names are in vogue right now. Celebrities are naming their offspring after fruit and cardinal directions. Modern day parents are giving their children names based on Instagram filters. It can only be expected the kids will be none too impressed when they grow up and are teased mercilessly at school but what are the legalities around bestowing your child a creative name?


Hi Lifehacker, I have recently relocated to Australia and I'm faced with a strange problem with my name. I have a first name which I do not use -- my middle name is my preferred name. My question is how easy is it to change my name, and what are the consequences of having some documents with my full name and some with my preferred name?