Here in the U.S. we’re headed into a long holiday weekend—a friend of mine calls it Interdependence Day, which I like a lot. If your dog hates fireworks and you’re not thrilled with the tinpot-dictator-y look of tanks at the Lincoln Memorial, perhaps you’ll enjoy spending some of your leisure time reading my newest post on Medium. It’s about how I’ve always hated my own name, and how that antipathy led to a career creating names for companies and products. It’s also a love letter to a dictionary.
It’s been almost five years since I wrote about a branding trend I’d noticed: names that began with Ever. There were the classics: Eveready batteries, Everlast sporting goods, Everclear knockout alcohol. There were the new Evers on the block: Everlane for fashion, Evercharge for EV charging (get it?), Everplans for death planning, Evernote for note-taking, Eversnap for photos, Evergage and Everspin for … something else.
Half a decade later, the trend is still trundling along. Exhibit Umpteen is a new restaurant, or restaurant concept—it won’t open till 2020—called simply Ever. Or, more precisely, “Curtis Duffy’s Ever,” Duffy being the Chicago chef who’s opening the joint with general manager Michael Muser. The New York Times food section published a breathless preview this week that included this tidbit about the name:
It would have the best china, they said, the best furniture ever. They’d use ingredients that were fresher, more seasonal than they ever had before. They’d make a meal more elaborate than anyone had ever seen.
Ever: That word just kept coming up. So, they decided, that would be the name.
“It’s this little word, this little four-letter thing that we pack into the most epic experiences of our lives,” Mr. Muser said in a phone interview. “This experience, that we’re going to put in front of everybody, this is our Ever.”
The Ever wordmark, which could be recycled into a drugstore perfume label if the whole $300-to-$500-tasting-menu thing doesn’t work out.
NASA has renamed a facility in West Virginia after Katherine Johnson, the mathematician whose story was told in the book and and subsequent film Hidden Figures. Johnson, who was born in West Virginia, will turn 101 in August.
You can help name some newly discovered moons of Jupiter, but only you follow some restrictive rules. The name “must be 16 characters or fewer, preferably one word. It can’t be offensive, too commercial, or closely tied to any political, military or religious activities of the past 100 years.” And that’s just the beginning. (Hat tip: Chris Labarthe.)
You’re probably heard of babies named after brands: Porsche, Chanel, Armani, and, lest we forget, Tiffany. Now the Baby Name Wizard blog tells us about three baby names from the 1980s and 1990s that were inspired by TV advertising.
Last week wine distributor Lot18 and MGM – producer of the Hulu streaming series The Handmaid’s Tale – announced one of the more harebrained merchandising collabs of recent years: three wines named after the show’s most prominent characters, Offred, Ofglen, and Serena Joy. It went about as badly as you might expect, and within 24 hours the wines had disappeared from the Lot18 website.