One Way To Select Original Names: For Example, Porma

The photo above was taken in 2014 near Stuart, FL.

Creating original names is deceptively simple. Whether for a creative work, fiction, or the name of a new product or company, name-choosing is a task that requires work.

Take a unique name I spent time on selecting, Porma. 

I started with a need: A name for a male character for a fiction story. 

One of my friends teased me that I always used my real name in place of coming up with a cool or original name. So, to best him for once, I spent about one or two hours making this name from scratch.

I found my need, and defined it. “A name for a male character for a fiction story.”

Then, I approached creating the name in a simple manner, similar to building blocks when one makes a tower. I chose each letter of the name, one by one.

P, which is a nod to the first initial of my actual name, Philip.

O, because I felt out that other vowels were too sharp or strong for the name. I wish I cold just have Pz___, but most names combine vowels with consonants. A was too sharp when I felt myself saying this part of the name. I was too predicable because my actual name uses I as well.

R, because by this point I had felt out that I wanted this name to be very easy to say. I could have been sly and ended up with a name like Potkuko, but the name would feel very difficult to say. P O and R together forms a very smooth name that is easy to pronounce and say often.

M, because M is similarly a soft, smooth letter to pronounce.

I had to write down five to ten names on paper before I crossed out most of them to feel happy with one name.

I also searched the name on the Internet, to intentionally see if something would show up that could make a third party bias to the name. From current search results, Porma is a word that does not have a strong positive or negative association in the Internet. However, it is a unique name given to a small number people, such as in the Philippines. Free of any societal bias to the name, I was left with a blank slate to assign my own meanings to the name Porma. 

The end result: Porma. A name that is a nod to myself, yet is also unique so that it stands out among other words and names. It is a name that is very easy to say, and sounds smooth and soft to call out or have to hear many times. Even I would not want to hear Potkuko being mentioned over and over, despite the fact that I came up with the name myself. The name is also pretty short, which fits with the practical and easy smoothness of the name overall. Again, a name like Pormatankus could be a beautiful and fitting name. However, for the sake of design and better mass appeal, a name that is more of a joy to say than a pain makes more sense. Pormatankus’s buddies in his world would likely nickname him P or Porm anyways, naturally.

Porma is also a name that is fast to say. This trait helps with saying a name 100 times, such as names used in a book or a video game, so that the consumer is not bored with a difficult name to process or recite.

*Originally published on Jan 2016 on LinkedIn

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