Pun Names - Genious or Ridiculous?

Word games in names and claims are currently very trendy. There is hardly a retail or restaurant chain that does not advertise for customers with a more or less funny word joke. First and foremost the hairdressing shops, followed by restaurants - "Pastabilities" - and needlework shops - "World of Woolcraft". Company and brand names in the business sector are also increasingly playing with words in a more or less brilliant way. What has to be considered and how can one avoid drifting into ridicule or even ending up in lists like the "20 worst pun names"?


Comical or essential

Those who add a play on words to their names want one thing above all else: to attract attention. That usually works, too. Anyone who discovers a pun in a name has at least looked at it a second time, turned the name upside down and remembered it with a hopefully amusing aha effect. That's nothing bad at first, as every company wants to be remembered by its future customers.

Nevertheless, there are unfortunately many examples where such a play on words goes wrong. It remains in your head, but as a ridiculous joke and not as an ingenious name finding. Beside the classic hairdresser damages like "Hair-2-e-Tan-ity" or "I Kneaded This Massage!", for example, a pub called "Pubinjay" or an Asian (?) restaurant called "Freddy MoreCurry" is more wanted than skillful. For a funny pub name this might just be possible. But if you want to start a serious business and not just sell fun articles, you have to ask yourself how funny it can be.

Less is more

But why do we perceive one word-play as ingenious, the other rather as an embarrassing mistake? If you have a word game in mind for a shop or startup, you should take care not to exaggerate too much. Changing the spelling several times like Freddie MoreCurry or Headonizm seems bulky and exaggerated. Just imagine spelling these names on the phone.


Adding, omitting or changing only one letter or syllable, on the other hand, can have the desired aha-effect without overshooting the mark too much - e.g. in Carsablanca, Seven Tea One or Bag again. A term in which the word or letters that describe one's own company are accidentally already present is also well received - e.g. Unpublished for a bar or Cosmopolitan (tanning salon). In the Name Factory on Namerobot you will quickly find suitable approaches and word combinations.

In any case, the name should remain legible and not look like a word monster. "Bioddicted" for an ecologically motivated company is perhaps a good approach, but difficult to pronounce and not really a hit visually. The wild mixture between several languages, e.g. English and German, should also be enjoyed with caution. For example, the "Pubagai" (Pub + popinjay on German) seems to be overdone, while the delicatessen shop "Speis Girls" (Speis = German for "dish") looks more elegant.

Refer to the purpose

Tip from a pro: The word that the name reminds you of or with which you "play" should have something to do with the meaning and purpose of the company. The "Atmosfair" company offers effective climate protection by CO₂-compensation for air travel. The play on words "sphere" and "fair" fits perfectly here and clearly emphasizes the company's goal. Also the name of a furniture repair shop "Wooden It Be Nice" looks very charming as "wouldn't" and "wooden" are very close together.

The above mentioned example "Bag again", which immediately reminds you of "Back again", works all the better because the bags offered there are made of fully recycled material. Being "back again" fits the theme and provides the desired memorizing effect. With the "Flashbag" brand, on the other hand, it is not clear where the reference to the "flashback" comes from - whether the bags are also designed from recycled material or in a retro look. So the play on words goes astray and the "aha" effect is not really sustainable.

A matter of taste

Conclusion: With careful handling, wordplays can have the desired effect and stand out. Who does not exaggerate it and establishes a direct relation to the company’s purpose, can quite positively attract attention with a word play name. And once you are convinced of your own ingenious word play idea, don't let it get you offended! Tastes are different and often there is more laughter than celebration at first. If you pull through and be successful, then everyone will like the game in the name in the end.

Join us! The largest Pun Names Collection

While writing the article, the idea came up to collect the best word game finds. There are enough bad or weird ones, but where does someone with a clever turner hit the bull's eye? Have you discovered successful word games in names? We are looking forward to your name finding piece best with photo by email, Twitter with Hashtag #coolpuns or directly in the comments below. So give us your witty wordplays :-)

* By submitting I allow the NameRobot company to publish my photos in the blog and to use them for other purposes (e.g. in social networks) and confirm that I am the author of the photos.

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