One name that I’ve never added to the annual pop culture watch-list (but that I’ve been tempted to add for the last few years now) is “Warby,” from Warby Parker.
So how did the hipper-than-thou eyewear startup get its name? Here’s the story:
In May 2009, our co-founder Dave was wandering around the New York Public Library when he stumbled into an exhibition about Jack Kerouac. The four of us had long been inspired by Kerouac, who spurred a generation to take the road less traveled.
The exhibit included some of Kerouac’s manuscripts, drafts, and journals. In one of the journals, Dave noticed two characters with interesting names: Warby Pepper and Zagg Parker. We combined the two and came up with Warby Parker.
So let’s pretend it’s 2009 again. You and your friend Dave are at the NYPL, and he asks you to choose between the names “Warby Parker” and “Zagg Pepper” for his new company. Which one do you pick?
[Blair’s] decision [in 2000] to send in British troops at the height of a brutal civil war is widely seen by Sierra Leoneans themselves as the critical moment in their country’s salvation. It turned the tide in the conflict and helped bring an end to an 11-year nightmare.
In 2010, The Guardian noted that “nine and ten year-old boys called Tony Blair are not uncommon now in Sierra Leone.”
One of these babies, Tony-Blair Kamara, was born in 2001 in the capital city of Freetown. His father said that he “would not be here speaking to you [if not for] all these risks Tony Blair took, because it was a political risk intervening where you know some of your troops will die.”
Hubs and I went to a baseball game on Friday night, and one of the women sitting behind us spent time talking with her friends about the orchid in her office. And you know what? That orchid had a name: Octavia. The woman went on to say that she knew of another office orchid with a name (Desdemona) and that she thought all orchids deserved names because they’re so hard to take care of.
(I swear I’m not a creepy eavesdropper. I couldn’t help but overhear this stuff.)
Giving names to plants is nothing new, but her last point made me wonder if people are more likely to give names to finicky orchids than to plants that don’t take as much effort to grow.
Have you been introduced to any named orchids lately? More importantly, what name would you give an orchid?
P.S. In terms of baby names, both Orchid and the Spanish version Orquidea remain rare in the U.S. The fact that they stem from the Greek word for “testicle” (orkhis) could have something do with it.
P.P.S. The man-eating plant named Audrey in The Little Shop of Horrors may have been inspired by a man-eating orchid from a 1950s Arthur C. Clarke story, which in turn may have been inspired by an man-eating orchid from a 1890s H.G. Wells story. Disappointingly, neither of these two carnivorous orchids had names.
In August of 2008, a couple in Sweden named their baby boy Linux after the open-source operating system.
Linux’s dad said that “[t]he reaction from family and friends has been positive — they all like it. Our families think it’s a bit of an unusual name but still a nice one, and our friends like it because it sounds cool!”
He announced the name to fellow Linux users that October, asking community members to send along “any stuff with the name Linux on [it], like stickers, pens, and so on” that they could spare.
The baby name Linux is also being used in the U.S these days:
2015: 6 baby boys named Linux
2013: 8 baby boys named Linux
2012: 5 baby boys named Linux [debut]
The operating system was created by Finnish software engineer Linus Torvalds. “Linux,” which Torvalds pronounces LEE-nux, is a portmanteau of Linus and Unix (the name of an earlier operating system).
What do you think of the name Linux? Do you like it more or less than Linus?