54

What application, language, or other software product name makes you cringe every time you hear it; or was just an astoundingly bad choice from a marketing perspective?

One name per answer, vote up the worst.

283

Microsoft Works

:)

160

.NET.

Utterly meaningless, and impossible to search for.

154 accepted

GIMP. It's hard to say GIMP with a straight face, and convince somebody that it's a good product if they've never heard of it before.

134

LaTeX - you need to be careful when searching for help...

96

Microsoft's

*C*ritical

*U*pdate

*N*otification

*T*ool

..now the Critical Update Notification Utility 'nuff said. That lasted about month.

85

Do websites count? Experts Exchange even sounds bad if you say it fast.

74

FCKeditor is another really bad name for a product.

74

FogBugz

It's bad enough without a nickname :)

66

SourceSafe. No it isn't.

56

http://www.libpr0n.com/

Its the library firefox uses to process its images.

I'm really not kidding.

There's also the handy library "confuse"

Which is a Configuration Parser Library.

And then theres LibEET, from the enlightenment family. The joke only shows up at link time with

 gcc   -leet
54

OpenOffice.org - honestly, drop the .org, that's 4 bytes my hard drive could be using for something fun...

40

The C and D programming languages always bug me because it is so hard to search for things about them. It's like giving something the acronym T.H.E. for something. Same goes for the X window system and for .net in general.

38

My favorite for the longest time was Microsoft's embedded operating system.

WinCE. Pronounced "Wince".

37

Pick any in the K(de) universe.

35

Harvest

a very large, and very bad revision-control system. The name sounds like a low-budget horror movie. Using the software is best characterized by:

"Software by Stephen King, User Interface by Salvador Dali"
33

LLBLGEN PRO

31

iPod,
do you pod too?

YouTube,
got problems with my tube? btw, you forgot the 'r' ...

MySQL,
it's not yours 'kay?

phpMyAdmin?
err, how do i php your admin?

.. okay not too funny though .. sorry :|

29

Cuil. I knew it was doomed as soon as I figured out how it was meant to be pronounced.

28

PMS - Policy Management System, except that's not what I think of every time I hear/say the acronym.

28

Dog pile (nothing like proclaiming your product to be s**t).

28

Another trio of product names that still confuse people to this day:

25

EtheRape has a pretty bad name.

25

Maybe I missed it but I'm surprised no one mentioned Microsoft Bob.

25

RSSBandit

otherwise known as arsebandit...

21
  • word
  • windows
  • sql server

they're generic words, not names. it should be illegal to steal meaning like that

21

Anything with 'Smart', 'Intelli', 'My' or 'i' in its name.

Makes me want to puke.

'Mobile Partner' for extablishing GSM data connections (Yes, in windows land you need to have vendor specific application littering all over you system32 to accomplish this). I really don't want to have affairs with My Mobile Partners, at least not with the Huawai E220 ones.

Why not "My Little Secret Mobile Lover(TM)"?

Or 'My iSmart IntelliPartner Enterprise Edition'.

21

form1.exe ?

20

FastDic: Firefox Add-on

18

ITITS

Information Technology Invoice Tracking System

was-is used to track contractor billing and payment.

18

The Coq programming language/proof assistant is pretty poorly named (if you don't live in France).

14

TortoiseSVN

yes, I realize it's because we're using it vs a large, and I mean large, and long-standing repository, and I do realize that the name is not lying to me, but still...

13

R

It's a statistics package. I think the name is some kind of play on S which was a similar preceding thing, but I find myself repeating it every time I bring it up to someone who's not familiar with it.

13

Yet Another Whatever

13

FrontRange Systems' HEAT - Help Desk ticketing system that sounds unsanitary at times. Typically referred to by co-workers as follows:

"Are you in HEAT?"

"You need to be in HEAT before you can get any attention from the help desk staff."

etc.

12

Alcohol 120% is forbidden in Iran :)) no offense, just making the point...

10

I know these are codecs and not applications, but I think it's hard to disagree with the fact that they could have chosen better names:

1) Ogg Theora 2) Ogg Vorbis

10

Visual Age for Java

slow clap

10

Unless I've missed it, 'git' hasn't been mentioned. Perhaps it doesn't mean the same in the USA as it does in the UK.

Skizz

EDIT: I just looked it up and it does indeed appear to be a British-English slang.

9

Another product, one I've seen demoed, had a much better name before HP bought it: Hewlett Packard Operations Orchestrator, or H-POO. It used to be Opsware Process Automation System (PAS).

9

The MS-DOS recover command had the opposite effect if you didn't know what it was for.

8

CLAiT. It's an IT qualification available in Europe. It stands for Computer Literacy and Information Technology. It may look fine on the surface but two things baffle me,

  1. The make the "i" lowercase when it really should be the "a"
  2. The A shouldn't be there - it represents "and" and conjunctions shouldn't be acronymised

So anyone who has done the course all have CLIT's. Apparently that's the reason for the strange name. I guess it was funnier when I was younger!

7

inclued has got to be near the top on my list.

6

ViaGrafix

They used to make instrucional videos for computer-related stuff. Imagine newscasters walking you through how to build an HTML document. It was agonizing. The highlight was the day Viagra was released to the public, and suddenly everyone started referring to this company as "ViagraFix".

Which was actually an applicable name. The videos seemed to go on forever.

6

I've got to go with Bing!

6

Zune.
It actually means 'fuck' in Hebrew.

6

Qtpfsgui

Qtpfsgui is an open source HDR workflow tool (An open source alternative to Photomatix).

The Etymology of the name is:

Qt: A cross-platform application development framework, widely used for the development of GUI programs (in which case it is known as a widget toolkit)

pfs: pfstools package is a set of command line programs for reading, writing and manipulating high-dynamic range (HDR) images and video frames.

GUI: Graphical User Interface

The name of the program starts with six consecutive consonants which is technically impossible to pronounce!

5

The Unix "kill" command is my favorite - kill is used to send messages to processes (including, but not limited to "kill yourself" messages).

5

Unix. Why would I want the name of my operating system to sound exactly the same as a word for castrated men (eunuchs)?

4

My company uses an IP phone setup by quite a popular provider. I can't recall whose product it is as I am away from the office right now. Anyway, the main Windows-based user application is called 'Desktop'. This creates much confusion.

4

Anything starting with:

* i - iPhone, iTunes, iPod, ...
* k - kMail, kOrganizer, kNode, kAddressBook ...
* programming language names with less than four letters: C,C++,C#,F#,R ...
* as well as those that are already used words: Ruby, Python ...
* anything with attributes in their names: Visual ..., Active ...,

The list goes on ...

But then again, what's in a name ?

3

Apple's iTunes. Yes it does manage music, but anymore it does much more.

3

PikiPimp

3

Naming one product after a substring contained in another product's name is rarely a good idea, especially when they do almost the same thing. The only way this could be more confusing is if the IBM version had used the word "Connector":

3

Windows Me?

I don't like Apple TV either, everytime I bring up people (who don't know what it is) think it's an actual TV made by Apple.

Some above reminded me of ECDL "European Computer Driving Licence". Awful name for what is a simple IT qualification. Makes it sound more important than it is (i.e it isn't important at all)

3

The programming language Lisp.

I am not a Lisp programmer, but it naming a language after a speech impediment just doesn't sound right. And I've heard it said a few times (only half-jokingly), that it's one of the reasons Lisp is so disliked.

3

Almost all custom software we write is destined to be called either:

  • [name] Manager
  • [name] Management System

Hypothetical e.g.:

  • Bug Manager
  • Time Management System
  • Inventory Management System
  • Keyboard Manager

The suffix's are redundant, and i wish they could have unique names, e.g.:

  • Bug Splat
  • Time Clock
  • Wheresit
  • Clack
3

Moodle

It used to stand for Modular Object Orient Distributed Learning Environment. Unfortunately it only holds true for the Learning Environment part. It is neither modular nor object oriented.

Plus everything around it is oodle-ized.

When you have to say it in a meeting you sound like an idiot.

3

Any shareware with "Pro" in its name, they sound very money-hungry and lame.

3

There's a linux front-end for MPD (Music Player Daemon) called ncmpcpp! Although it's a great program, couldn't they think up a name that's even remotemly pronounceable?

2

NU*DIST, now happily called NVivo.

2

LLBLGen Pro

It's brilliant, but what a name...

2

A credit card processing company in the UK is called

CommIdea

say it out quickly, and sounds like chlymdia, always interesting in meetings.

2

Whilst it's a great product, Bugzilla has a poorly thought out name. It is actually a really useful issue-reporting tool, where issues could be actual bugs, but more-often-than-not are feature requests or questions about functionality etc.

However, as soon as you tell a client you will set them up a Bugzilla account to report issues, the name just gives the impression that your product is going to be riddled with errors. It just doesn't inspire confidence or give a good impression.

2

There's also the 'WMD' text editor right here on Stack Overflow.

2

Brainf**k Programming Language

2

In the category not-entirely-aptly named:

PlaysForSure (Microsoft, 2004)

A logo program for services and devices that used Windows Media DRM.

2

Extremely long product names are poor:

Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate UPGRADE Limited Numbered Signature Edition

It's just too long (and MWVUULNSE doesn't pronounce that easily)

2

Anything with a name that is not google-compatible, either by containing lots of non-alphanumberic characters or by being a commonly used word where most results will give you unrelated things.

2

screen. As in, GNU screen. An immensely useful tool, but for the uninitiated, doing a search for screen isn't going to get them anywhere.

2

I'm surprised no one has mentioned fsck... Useful as a covert curse, but wicked hard to pronounce.

1

My pet peeve has always been paint.net.

1

Acrobat. When it was released, MacWeek awarded the "Feet of Clay Award" to Adobe marketing for waiting forever to select a name and then picking something meaningless.

1

I know it's not strictly a product - maybe it falls under the category of language - but I think "JSON" (Javascript Object Notation) is a really weak name.

Try holding a debate about it when there's someone on the team called Jason.

1

I worked on a software called ZEUS. God of gods... The most pretentious name I´ve ever seen.

1

4D.

I remember searching for help about it on the Internet (Which was already difficult since it's kind of obscure) and finding memory dumps...

1

IIS it's so poor.

1

Bicycle Repair Man, a Refactoring Tool for Python

JDIC, JDesktop Integration Components. I'm not sure if this was intentional

1

Microsoft Oxite. Where I come from we read the 'x' as 'sh'. Now say with me: Oshite.

1

Java - ruins my morning coffee experience.

1

David Pollak's Goat Rodeo

1

For me it's Immediacy CMS - anyone who has had the misfortune to try and develop for it will know what a misnomer that is...

1

Microsoft Windows ME

1

WIMP (windows iis mysql php)

1

Clarity - if you've ever used this program, you know that clarity is the very last thing you would get from it. Worst GUI ever, worst database ever and worst thought out project management process ever!

1

LAME

Summary from Sourceforge.net:

LAME is a high-quality MPEG Audio Layer III (MP3) encoder licensed under the LGPL.

1

Not an application directly but this topic reminded me of this so...

Being in the Java land I'm already used to that a lot of the stuff available starts with J; just to give a few examples there's JDOM, JAXP, JSF, JMeter...well you get the point.

Now, for those who don't know, Groovy is a dynamic JVM language based on Java which allows for a very fast product development using Java-like syntax with closures and all that juicy stuff.

So on to the naming horror: Groovy nowadays supports class-specific dependencies through a system they call "The Groovy Adaptable Packaging Engine" or "Groovy Advanced Packaging Engine". Both of these would be Gape which sounds funny although a bit troublesome so they clearly thought for a moment that they should have a more friendly name for the system and decided to take the 'r' from Groovy and came up with Grape.

Combine this with the info in first paragraph and the notion that Groovy is meant for Java developers and I guess you can already see how people usually read that name...

1

Not exactly a product so you could as well ban me for life, but the famous <conio.h> made our university classes funnier.
See, in Spain, (I'm Argentinian but we do speak in spanish) "Coņo" means cunt, and it sounds just like conio.

1

The "Truth In Advertising" award goes to:

Microsoft PowersHell

1

Facebook its popular but what a name ... does it mean the book of faces ?

0

brainfuck, a programming language

0

Well, not an application, but a gadget that is called:

A nother

S mall and

U nique

R obot

F rom

O berpfaffenhofen

0

SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model)

0

I'm not sure this counts as it's not an application but I was working on a piece of code once where I came across a class called AddressList.

Upon closer inspection, the class was nothing whatsoever to do with addresses, not a list or collection. No connection whatsoever to either Address or List

I guess before (stupid) people used IDEs, they'd re-use an existing file containing a class they no longer needed and just stick new functionality in there. Of course Java mandates that the class and file names are the same, so they kept the old class name. Pfft!

0

I hate that most Python modules' names start with py. Some are nice and creative, like pyjamas and pygments, but most of them don't add anything to the name. I don't need to tell apart non-Python modules while I'm programming in Python!

0

Clean and Nice have always seemed to be particularly unfortunate choices of language names. Hard to google.

0

Microsoft Works.

0

I'd say that the company that Excel's at Access'ing the Outlook out of the Windows in your Office to make a Power Point wins. Word, man.

(apologies for apostrophe abuse)

0

OpenVMS

VMS stands for Virtual Memory System

It's all but open source.

0

Kijiji. That's a lame name.

0

Windows Phone Seven Series. 'nuff said.

0

Jiglu. Or any of those goofy, awful "Web 2.0" startup names.

0

Each and everytime I hear someone from work say the word 'POCO' I go into a deep rage over the disease of making confusing acronyms for simple concepts.

0

MongoDB - Mongo is a sort of slang where I come from, so it gets a chuckle out of my developers every time I mention it. Such children :-P

-1

How about company names? I think anything with the word "ass" in it is HORRIBLE.

Assetize Assetain

are two that come to mind. COMEON!

-1

grep

According to WikiPedia : global / regular expression / print

-3

i think jude is not a optmial chocie for an uml tool because in german Jude is the the word for jew

-6

+1 vote for GIMP, worst name ever even chimp would be better