Naming Inanimate Objects


Colleen Burke, Staff Writer

Inanimate objects often play a big role in our lives. We bless our cars, phones, and electronics with creative names. But I got to thinking, why? Giving something a name tends to create a type of bond, maybe not as strong as a Hydrogen bond, but one nonetheless. It makes the death or disposal of said object much more difficult for the owner, so why do we put ourselves through the pain?

The answer is simple: people like the idea of having a companion at all times. Whether it’s your phone in your pocket named Derek, or your car parked in your garage named Nick, having names gives you a sense of stability. It’s as if the fact that you can call them something or speak about them as if you knew them personally gives them a higher likelihood of not “dying on you.”

The art of choosing a name for your object is a complicated and personal journey. You can go with the first name that pops into your head such as Eddie or go through a long brainstorm with a few friends. Ultimately it is up to you to decide what is the most fitting label. It’s about as tough as choosing a baby name.

Although it is safe to give your object a simple household name, often it is more interesting to color outside the lines. Given the chance, it is helpful to take names thrown out by friends or even neighbors. For example, our families greatly used Honda Civic was knighted with the name Haiku by a passenger one very early morning on the way to school. Between Haiku and Pam, it was obvious what was more fitting. The name was given to us – just thrown out there and settled in quite nicely. Despite my growing dislike for the car, I will continue to be attached to it because of its name.

Unfortunately, not everyone is granted with a perfect name on their first try. To help you create names, I have created some guidelines.

Option 1: Think of your favorite character from a favorite TV show… if their name isn’t satisfactory, maybe think of a common word they use or one that described them.

Option 2: Think of two strange words, and simply morph them together.

Option 3: Name your object after an inspiring figure.

Option 4: Force or hire someone else to do the creative thinking for you.

Any of those options are bound to work. Naming might seem like a tedious task, but it tends to be a good investment. It makes items easier to speak about, and makes you seem a little less crazy when you talk to them.