Saturday, December 8, 2012

Pixel & Other Technology Inspired Names

Pixel a.k.a. Pixie
A couple of months ago my brother and his wife bought a gorgeous new pet cat, who they named Pixel and nicknamed Pixie. It struck me as such a cute idea - my brother's a bit of a computer geek so Pixel was obviously his idea, but then they have a the cutesy name Pixie to use too. Plus, kittens and cats can often be mischievous little imps, just as pixies can be.

Then I turned on the TV today and lo and behold, what should I see but a cartoon called 'Pixel Pinkie'. It's an Australian show about two girls, one of who has a phone with a character called Pixel Pinkie in it that grants the girls wishes that then go terribly wrong. So chances are that this name would not seem to weird to children in today's world.

Considering 'Pixel Pinkie' this morning (which I took as a kind of sign) and the events in the past couple of weeks,  I figured today was the right time to profile Pixel as a name for a person. One of the events I refer to is the recent uproar created when it became known to the world that a baby girl was named Hashtag. The second is the report that the name Apple is also on the rise (for boys). When viewed together, many are once again claiming that "technology" names are an up-and-coming a trend. And if  the below stories and the comments they have attracted are any indication, this trend is not for everyone:


While I'm not personally a fan of Hashtag as a name (or Facebook, Like or Google, which have also been given to actual children), I'm not sure I see a massive problem here. People have often been inspired by famous figures, movies, books, characters, TV shows, current events etc when looking for names. If it's reasonable to think that Hurricane Sandy will spark a spate of Sandy related names, why couldn't the technology that we use every single day also provide inspiration for people?

The trick is to be a little more selective in how you do it - which means subtle and creative sounding. Hashtag and Google are too in-your-face. The reference is obvious, and they don't "sound" like names. They're not even creative variations on the names we already know and like. One of the reasons I love Pixel is because it is so closely related to Pixie, and sounds similar to several other established names such as Nyx, Nixie, Dixie and Trixie. It's cute for a girl, and could also work for a guy, especially if used with tougher sounding nickname Pix.

There are many other technology inspired names that could easily (or even at a stretch) meet this "subtle and creative" criteria. If you are intrigued by the idea of a technology age baby name but aren't sure where to start, here are my favourite ideas. Some are brands or companies, some are programs, some are languages, and some are just common terms. But all are names that aren't already well known "normal" ones that I think could pass with raised eyebrows rather than rolled eyes from your friends and family.

Acer
Adenine
Alef
Argus
Asus
Averest
Axum
Batch
Bing
Camino
Cel
Chrome
Poster for 'Pixel Pinkie'
Dart
Delphi
Esterel

Explorer
Euphoria
Fantom
Fortran
Haskell
Haxe
Jako
Java
Limnor
Linux
Lynx
Magma
Maple
Maquette
Matrix
Maxima
Mesa
Mirah
Neko
Nexus
Oriel
Perl
Pico
Quanta
Raster
Reia
Scala
Timber
Torrent
Unix
Vector
Vuze
Wistron
Zeno

Zimbra


7 comments:

  1. Pascal jumps to mind as a very subtle tech name, since it is an actual given name, and is also a programming language.

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  2. I think Pixel is actually a pretty cool name, and there are others of these I like, such as Batch. But I am not a big fan of brand names and that is what a lot of these boil down to (Bing, chrome, acer, etc)

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  3. I like Pixel, it's cute, but yeah some of the brand names seem a bit in your face.

    Although people have used Apple, Mac and Siri, so ....

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    Replies
    1. "Apple" was probably named after fruit.

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  4. Our 6 year old girl is actually called Pixel - and nicknamed Pixie. Or Pix.

    During a very, very early ultrasound scan the nurse said "there she is, the little pixel there (referring to a barely visible dot in the middle of the screen) - and it kinda stuck. Suits her too.

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    Replies
    1. A real life Pixel nicknamed Pixie - how cool!

      I love your story behind it too :)

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  5. ooh, my Cat is famous! Here is some more on the naming process.

    While we were brainstorming, I was following pre-Pixel around with a camera (as one does). My wife suggested Pixie while I was reviewing shots. Now due to low-light, moving-object, point-click camera and the kittens markings I was having trouble getting a clear shot of her side. All site shots were looking pixelated on the small camera screen. Pixel was suggested, the rest is history :)

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