The stupidest names in software

James Thornton


The GIMP: Great program. Stupid nameI don’t know about you, but I think there are way too many ridiculous brand and product names in today’s tech world. I’ve just taken this quiz that illustrates the similarity between nonsensical Web 2.0 names and some the equally ridiculous pharmaceutical brands out there. Testing software all the time, I regularly come across applications that are so awfully-named you’d think they’d be dreamed up by a drunk child.

For me, the key to a good product name is clarity and memorability. This is one of the reasons why brands such as iTunes, Windows Media Player and Photoshop have succeeded. A program name must go some way to giving a clue about what the program does. Many don’t though, and suffer for that as a result. Here are some of the biggest culprits, but feel free to join my campaign against badly-named software and suggest your own.

  • The GIMP – As far as I know the only graphics app named after a sex slave
  • Monkey’s Audio – I’m sure a chimp must’ve dreamed up this stupid name
  • MobyDock – An awful pun for this desktop utility
  • Deckadance – Another highly unoriginal play-on-words
  • Floppy Office – Unsurprisingly, this limply-titled USB app flopped
  • OphCrack – I think the developer of this app was on crack at the time
  • Bloodshed Dev – Good name for a war game. Bad name for a C++ compiler
  • Floola – Sounds like something a baby would gurgle after a heavy meal
  • Tvkoo vivi-player – More nonsensical rubbish that tells me nothing
  • Zattoo – What is it with software authors and their love of ‘oo’s?

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