Stack OverflowWhat is the most poorly named application out there?
[+50] [109] Jerph
[2008-11-04 20:15:14]
[ polls naming marketing ]

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.

how is this programming related? - Elie
(1) Programming languages, frameworks, and tools all have names, and programmers care about those things, and find poor choices interesting and amusing. There's relevance to marketing as a bonus. Should have added subjective tag perhaps? - Jerph
why is this interesting? - Foredecker
oops, missed the fact that this is a Community Wiki post. - Elie
(1) Reopened. It could help people avoid bad names for their applications. - Thomas Owens
Foredecker - at least to know how not to name your apps :) - Sunny
Would hope responses did not include associations of names with bad products (after the fact, as it were) - gbarry
Not a programming question, IMHO. - Richard A
(5) Clearly the most lame question ever asked on SO. - rp
(2) This should be closed because it isn't programming related, BUT I LOVE THE TOPIC! :) - pearcewg
(4) Really don't understand why people start discussions such as these. Completely subjective. - Bobby Alexander
[+285] [2008-11-04 20:19:09] BradC

Microsoft Works


(10) That was best line I have read all day !!! - Dining Philanderer
(1) Oh yeah... this one made my day :) - Sandman
(1) Win! Thread Over! - tunaranch
(18) It doesn't just work, but Microsoft Works Suite! - senloe
[+163] [2008-11-05 03:13:43] Kyralessa


Utterly meaningless, and impossible to search for.

(1) (I know it's not an "application" but the question text mentions language, software product, etc.) - Kyralessa
(16) On the other hand, it lends it self nicely to domain names eg. etc :) - Dan Diplo
@Dan Diplo Wouldn't the correct form then be or asp.dotnet? - ErikE
C# used to be a pain to search for as well. Ah, the halcyon days before SEO. - Mark Sowul
[+155] [2008-11-04 20:17:10] Kibbee [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.

(35) It doesn't help that it has an absolutely terrible user interface - written by geeks for geeks, not for artists. - Paul Tomblin
(14) I dunno - Photoshop seems totally unusable to me :) - warren
(2) It is pretty good value though. - tpower
(4) I personally like for what I use it for, but there are occasions I need to dust off GIMP - Fry
(10) @Paul: UI grows on you. Now blender.. thats a lesson in horrible UI. I feel like a blind man whos been attacked by lots of midgets using that. - Kent Fredric
(4) Why because it doesn't fit peoples built-in intuition about how to do 3d character animation? It's like saying the A380 has a poor cockpit because you can't just sit down and fly it. - Martin Beckett
(1) @mgb: Exactly. I'm not a very good 3D artist, but after a while you get used to it, and for the most part it is quite intuitive after a while. If only SketchUp could use G/S/R. - Lucas Jones
(1) GIMP's UI is good in theory, unfortunately various windowing bugs and a toolbar that covers your images makes for a frustrating app. - DisgruntledGoat
The name of that app always reminds me of Pulp Fiction. - lillq
@Martin Beckett: Isn't being able to sit down and use it the definition of a good UI? - Brendan Long
(1) @martin beckett now there's an interesting word: cockpit - Jason
@martin: i have no preconceptions about character modelling and animation, but i have absolutely no clue how to use it. I have the vague inkling that it is extremely powerful (after all, it has a game engine!) but it doesn't even integrate with Windows well (to say nothing about the fact that i can barely operate the camera or make primitives). Maya, for example, is a great tool. With minimal training (a few videos) it becomes one of the best GFX programs i know. - RCIX
@Kent Couldn't agree more on Blender. Heard they're gonna fix that in v2.5 though. - Jake Petroules
I've always thought of it as gIMP, somehow that's easier to handle - blissapp
+1 for the GIMP. The latins used to say, “Nomen omen”... - Agos
(1) @RCIX - blender is what we call a sovereign app, people that use it will be in it for 8hours a day. For these kind of apps (games engines, cad, maths packages) easy to pick up isn't an issue because they aren't used by casual users. Even windows integration isn't important - it's better to be able to switch seamlessly between ProEng on Windows and Proeng on Sparc rather than between ProEng and Word. - Martin Beckett
@Martin: good point, though it's one of the reasons blender will never become more than a niche app. - RCIX
(1) Being used a few actual 3D artist programs (3D Studio MAX, Lightwave 3D, Softimage|XSI, Maya and a couple others) a bit more than the basic "how do I make a cube?" level I can wholeheartedly agree that Blender's name purely expresses where you want to stuff your head into after using it for five minutes. - Esko
I personally like the Blender GUI, and I'm not an artist by any means. It's very efficient once you get used to it - if a little ugly. But it's going to look all nice and sparkly in 2.5 - download the alpha and tell me that it doesn't look awesome. - Lucas Jones
@Lucas: It may feel efficient if you haven't learned any other software out there. Your comparison baseline is zero, even 0.0001 is more than that. And the new alpha doesn't make things any better. - Esko
@Esko: I think we'll have to agree to disagree! :) - Lucas Jones
@Lucas: Certainly, unfortunately the matter of preference is very subjective. For a programmer Blender's UI sure may feel logical etc. but for an artist it's like shaving your beard with a saw. - Esko
I think that the Blender GUI is the most beautiful of them all. Microsoft Encarta World Atlas 97 was also great. - Andreas Rejbrand
(1) @warren: Photoshop's UI is terrible too. Try Paint Shop Pro - it's almost as powerful, but the UI is 1000x better. - BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft
We use GIMP in the enterprise. Our team says it like "gimp" but anytime we talk about it outside the team (particularly if management types will see/hear it) we just say "GNU Image Manipulation Program". No biggie! - Jeff
[+135] [2008-11-04 20:33:19] Ian Hopkinson

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

(8) looking for help on how to include jpg's or png's into a Latex file proved... interesting... - Mats Fredriksson
Hehe ;) This is really fun - Martin K.
(19) i guess people that mean the "normal" are also really confused when they google for latex and find a board for programmers xD - Donar
(8) I think this one would have been pretty hard for the early LaTeX guys to predict. - Steve Johnson
(1) I once had an interesting experience googling "latex tables". Doesn't seem to be a problem any more, though. - gnovice
(23) Don't forget that reputable book for learning LaTeX, called "The LaTeX Companion". I looked like an idiot ordering it at the bookstore trying to explain it was not a book about rubber sex dolls. Even some of the chapter's titles are a little risque. - dreamlax
(3) I'll never forget the look on the face of my mother when she saw what I was searching for while writing my thesis! - Agos
(1) ah, but remember, the last letter isn't an "X" it's a chi! (uhuh, like anyone cares...) - Brian Postow
At least now there is, which should be safe for work (and academia). - Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen
[+98] [2008-11-04 20:43:42] StingyJack





*T*ool the Critical Update Notification Utility 'nuff said. That lasted about month.

(13) There's a line in the Seattle mass transit system called the South Lake Union Trolley. For obvious reasons, they later changed to the South Lake Union Streetcar. But not before the name stuck. - BradC
(5) Reminds me of good old George's 'The War Against Terror' acronym - Dan Diplo
(28) @BradC, I have a T-Shirt that says "I rode the South Lake Union Trolley" - Corey Ross
[+86] [2008-11-04 20:22:52] Chris Marasti-Georg

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

(6) you mean Expert sExchange? =) - StingyJack
(21) I think they were going for the "Pen Island" approach. :D - GalacticCowboy
I love pen island - Chris Marasti-Georg
(33) Powergen Italia is another one in that category. - Michael Stum
@Michael: I'd forgotten about that one!!! - Mitch Wheat
(6) The original domain was actually expertsexchange,com, then they added the hyphen :P - RJFalconer
lol, expert sexchange. - Anders
(1) 'mole station nursery' and therapist are also regretting not reading them outloud. - Martin Beckett
(21) don't forget, that one always makes we laugh!! - Matt Warren
(1) don't forget about WeEnergies - dotjoe
Don't forget these gmail addresses. In gmail addresses, dots can be placed anywhere, For example, you can send an email to through If you are creating a gmail, be careful. - SHiNKiROU
[+76] [2008-11-04 20:26:36] Jerph


It's bad enough without a nickname :)

(5) Joel discusses the original name FogBUGZ here:… - Jonathan S.
(6) fogbugz is a bad name, it sounds like l33t speak which might have been cool then but doesn't look very professional when you are selling to a bank. - Martin Beckett
(2) What's wrong with FogBugz? The z is a little dumb, but Fog Creek Software + Bugs = FogBugs. What's the problem? Or is it just the z? - Brendan Long
[+74] [2008-11-04 20:22:50] Kibbee

FCKeditor [1] is another really bad name for a product.


(1) Yeah, how do you pronounce it? <eff>ed Itor? - Thomas Owens
thats (almost) what you say when you want to include it in your open source project - alex
(18) I had a boss once whom was dyslexic. Im saying no more. - Kent Fredric
TinyMCE and WMD are pretty bad too. What's so hard about naming rich text controls? - Jon Winstanley
(8) they changed the name today or so to CKeditor for that reason. - Tobias Langner
(2) FCKeditor ... the only thing missing is U! - Robusto
Eh. FCK is the Danish football (soccer) team. Having seen this elsewhere (plus the sheer amount of UNIX fsck jokes out there), I'm not so bothered. - new123456
[+66] [2009-09-07 16:29:34] CodeByMoonlight

SourceSafe. No it isn't.

(18) I actually lol'd - TWith2Sugars
(2) Been stung by it. - kjfletch
[+55] [2008-11-04 20:24:15] Eric Caron - honestly, drop the .org, that's 4 bytes my hard drive could be using for something fun...

(6) I forget the details, but they have to put it in there for trademark reasons because someone else trademarked OpenOffice. - dsimcha
(5) Does that mean I'm allowed to make a product called and not get sued? - Kibbee
(34) Keep in mind that "being allowed" and "Being able to afford a lawsuit that actually proves that you are being allowed" are two different things. - Michael Stum
Maybe - WrightsCS
[+55] [2008-11-05 03:20:33] Kent Fredric

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

Hmm, this could be a point for discussion. I think that open source code libraries can and should have funny names. It's part of the culture, and the users would never encounter the name. Any user-facing app, even if it's geeky, should have a friendly name. You never know when it will get popular for some reason. - Jerph
(12) According to them why they named it: The main goal of the library is to render pornographic images in an efficient way. Plus, the name "imglib2" is boring. - alex
(8) @alex: Well what else do people use web browsers for? - Brendan Long
(4) Link-time-only jokes -- a whole new comedy niche waiting to be discovered! :) - j_random_hacker
libiberty probably set the path for libeet. - ninjalj
That's actually a good name. - Click Upvote
[+39] [2008-11-04 20:58:02] lacker

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.

(7) For a while there searching for F# yielded nothing but musical theory :( - Jim Burger
(10) For a while, Googling for "The Who" without quotation marks resulted in " 'The' is a very common word and was excluded from your search. 'Who' is a very common word and was excluded from your search." - Adam Rosenfield
(1) Did you know that E W Dijkstra was involved in the production of the THE operating system (in the days long before searches with the web became an issue). (Dijkstra, E W "The structure of THE multiprogramming system", CACM 11 5, pp 341-6,May 1968.) -- notable for being implemented on a 27-bit CPU architecture - Jonathan Leffler
IIRC, for a while, googling C# got you info on C and C++. facepalm - MiffTheFox
[+38] [2008-11-04 21:36:32] Charles Merriam

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

WinCE. Pronounced "Wince".

[+36] [2008-11-04 20:44:50] Steven A. Lowe


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"

(14) BWA HAHAHAHAHA. Thats a great line. - StingyJack
+1 for the tagline - Jonathan Leffler
another +1 for the tagline - ldigas
But then again, I love Dali ! - ldigas
[+36] [2008-11-04 20:18:21] Sunny

Pick any in the K(de) universe.

(2) There are several bad examples in both KDE and GNOME land. KDE apps I like the name of are Umbrello, Juk, and Okular. Gnome names I like are e.g Grip. Bad ones include "Kedit", "Gedit", and the winner, "GColor2". - gnud
(5) Kate (KDE Advanced Text Editor), on the other hand, is a pretty good name. - Thomas
[+32] [2008-11-05 03:06:00] Mitch Wheat



(5) It never occured to me as a poor name choice ;) :P - Frans Bouma
(1) Label Generator Pro? - LarryF
I answered with this before I read down... Frans Frans Frans, it hardly does exactly what it says on the tin does it? - Charlie
(1) Of course it does: _L_ower _L_evel _B_usiness logic _L_ayer _Gen_erator. :P - Frans Bouma
(3) Completely offtopic but it reminds me of I18N, which stands for internationalization, because there are 18 letters between the I and the N of that word. Bad name as well, imho. - Niels Bom
Looks like a Welsh name to me. - dreamlax
(1) @Niels - Speaking of which, I used to always pronounce I18N as "I-L-8-N", which I took to be short for i nternationa l iz 8 io n. ;) - MiffTheFox
@MiffTheFox, using 1's and L's in a name together is confusing, as is using 0 and O's together. Depending on the font this can get even worse :) - Niels Bom
It's a good product, but I still think the name is very poor. - Mitch Wheat
[+31] [2008-11-05 09:36:52] Lukman

do you pod too?

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

it's not yours 'kay?

err, how do i php your admin?

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

(12) Names with 'my' in them annoy me - in general. - Jonathan Leffler
+1 for MySQL :) - ldigas
(2) One per post please. -1. - user9876
(12) lolwut? this was like 14 months ago .. go find some fresh posts to -1 them will ya? - Lukman
(3) gotta spend that rep on something :) - CannibalSmith
anyway, seems like i'm not getting or losing reputation points from recent votes on this old answer .. does stackoverflow has some kind of age threshold on adding/removing reps? - Lukman
(5) owh wait .. maybe it's because this is community wiki? - Lukman
@Lukman Hmm interesting conversation with yourself :) +1 - alex
"My" is a Swedish girl's name & "MySQL" was named after a girl called "My". - Snake Plissken
[+29] [2008-11-05 03:10:19] erickson

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

How is it meant to be pronounced? - Thomas Owens
(1) Koo-ill,(kewl) presumably. - Mitch Wheat
(3) Yes, "cool". Only in this case, cool == lame. - erickson
I always thought it was quill... - Terry Donaghe
quail (fifteen characters) - CannibalSmith
Oh man, I've been pronouncing it as "queue-ill" - dreamlax
Kewl? I totally read this in Eric Cartman's voice in my head. :D - Stefan Monov
[+29] [2008-11-04 20:18:26] Elie

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

(2) We had a Patient Management System. Our name, after we gained new corporate overlords, became POS (an anachronym we live up to daily!). Who thinks of these things? - peacedog
[+28] [2008-11-04 22:47:16] community_owned

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

[+28] [2008-11-05 09:23:29] bk1e

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


(5) I doubt most people would even remember DIVX, but I agree the original DiVX ;-) name was retarded. - Adam Lassek
(4) This is the first time I know there's a difference, seriously :| - Moayad Mardini
I just learned about the difference. This is evil, seriously. - Agos
[+26] [2008-11-04 20:19:19] Kibbee

EtheRape [1] has a pretty bad name.


(4) I'm only familiar with EtherApe. I hadn't heard of yours before. ;-) - Kirk Strauser
(15) I'll take "The Rapists" for $200, Alex. - BradC
(7) That's "therapists", Sean! - Steven A. Lowe
(6) As an Analyst and Therapist I laugh at your poor name choices. Sincerely, Tobias Funke, Analrapist. - DisgruntledGoat
Reminds me of the Frisky Dingo episode where they went after a monkey with a sword named Rapier Ape. They thought he was called Rapier Ape because he was rapier than Rape Ape. Still on the lookout for Rapiest Ape. - Hooray Im Helping
[+25] [2008-11-11 17:42:06] community_owned


otherwise known as arsebandit...

(3) I think that's a brilliant name! - Dan Diplo
[+24] [2008-11-05 02:41:54] Jeremy Bade

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

(1) It seems like an oddly appropriate name to me. - nickf
(12) More of a bad product than a bad name. - Martin Brown
(1) But Microsoft Bob is a valid punchline to ANY joke! - Brian Postow
[+20] [2008-11-05 13:31:23] community_owned

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'.

Yeah, nice nick :) - serg
(2) Forgot 'Easy' or '1' - Sorin Comanescu
for me these days, its anything with "cloud" - StingyJack
[+20] [2008-11-06 14:20:29] community_owned

form1.exe ?

lol! probably the most used app name in windows +1 - Petruza
Project1 - It's time - Coxy
[+20] [2008-11-08 07:50:51] barfoon

FastDic: Firefox Add-on [1]


[+19] [2008-11-04 20:25:29] Javier
  • word
  • windows
  • sql server

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

(7) I nominate this for the "How is Babby Formed" post of the day. - FlySwat
Why not bash on Bash, X, and Terminal then? All of those are generic. The key is that they can't copyright the name itself, and the trademark becomes more difficult to enforce. - tloach
(8) Generally when someone says "it should be illegal to..." you know a bad idea is coming. - eyelidlessness
I agree! It bugs me that many people believe "SQL" refers specifically to Microsoft SQL Server, not the ANSI/ISO standard language SQL. Just search StackOverflow for the tag "sql" and you see a disproportionate number of questions about MSSQL. - Bill Karwin
@tloach: terminal might be, the others aren't. @eyelidlessness: there are laws against that, but totally ineffective; so evidently i'm not the only one opposing the use of generic as trademarks. - Javier
How is SQL Server a generic word? - tsilb
(1) "sql server" isn't generic, but how many times do you hear people talk about "a SQL database" when they mean "a SQL Server database"? Once is too many times. - Kyralessa
(2) @tslib MySql, Postgres, Oracle etc. are all SQL servers. It's like renaming IIS as "Web Server". - Adam Lassek
(5) It is called "Microsoft SQL Server" - Eduardo Molteni
(1) @Javier: Not that I disagree with your sentiment, but you might as well add in the OOo programs too: writer, draw, calc, impress, base... - nickf
@nickf: right, 'writer' is a very generic word. their only excuse would be if they say that the product name is OOo, and 'writer' is just a module, or even just a feature. - Javier
how is impress generic? - voyager
A long time ago, IBM named things like "Disk Operating System" (for the 360 series), "Operating System", and "Personal Computer". Since Microsoft started taking over the role, we got "Word" and "Windows" and "SQL Server". One wonders what we'll get if Google becomes dominant. - David Thornley
But OOo don't sue you if you call your product anything with the word windows in it. Even if like X-windows you were around long before microsoft. - Martin Beckett
[+18] [2008-11-04 20:47:21] StingyJack


Information Technology Invoice Tracking System

was-is used to track contractor billing and payment.

Now that's creative! - Sorin Comanescu
(12) Shouldn't it be iTits? - erikkallen
[+18] [2008-11-11 17:20:50] Erik Hesselink

The Coq [1] programming language/proof assistant is pretty poorly named (if you don't live in France).


wow - that is all KINDS of special right there - warren
(1) Only if you're a dyslexic native English speaker. - mcv
(2) @mcv: Or you want to say it out loud... - Lucas Jones
[+14] [2008-11-04 20:23:28] FOR

TortoiseSVN [1]

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...


Use smartsvn, it's better at dealing with large repositories. - Joeri Sebrechts
Thanks for the suggestion Joeri; I've switched and will see how it turns out. - FOR
What would you consider large? I'm considering switching but am not sure of what types of performance improvements I should expect. - Jonathan S.
More than 33,000 revisions, over about 3.5 years; the local copy clocks in at 5.5 GB for 67,000+ files (admittedly, that includes the compiled version of the app which is not on svn). - FOR
(4) So-named because it's a "shell" extension, right? - harpo - The Disintegrator
[+13] [2008-11-05 03:50:50] Peter


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.

How is it worse than S? How is it worse than C, C#, C++, F# and so on? - gnud
(14) - "What do you program on, pirate?" - "aarrr!." Okay, where do I leave my banned OpenID? - voyager
@gnud - there should be a rule somewhere that programming language names should have at least 4 characters which are not part of any word. Tried searching "python", "ruby" lately ? WTF ? Is it so hard to come up with a name? I know they can't come up with a meaningful one (yeah, ruby's meaningful :), but at least they could try to make something new up. - ldigas
[+13] [2008-11-11 17:56:52] Alex. S.

Yet Another Whatever

[+13] [2009-07-31 11:46:38] Saul Dolgin

FrontRange Systems' HEAT [1] - 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."



[+13] [2009-09-07 15:26:47] haver

Alcohol 120% [1] is forbidden in Iran :)) no offense, just making the point...


[+10] [2009-09-07 15:48:43] Skizz

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.


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

(2) The guy who named git isn’t American though (Linus Torvalds) and the name was chosen because of its (British) meaning. I can’t say that it’s a misnomer. It’s actually rather funny. - Konrad Rudolph
I didn't know that Linus originated the project. I wonder what this says about Mr Torvalds? - Skizz
(8) I believe it says exactly what he meant to said: See : Git is a relatively mild British slang term, used to denote a silly, incompetent, stupid, annoying, childish or senile elderly person. Linus Torvalds said: “I’m an egotistical bastard, and I name all my projects after myself. First Linux, now git” - VonC
@VonC: Broken link. - user9876
[+10] [2008-11-05 09:27:20] bk1e

The MS-DOS recover [1] command had the opposite effect if you didn't know what it was for [2].


[+10] [2008-11-04 22:29:26] JP Richardson

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

(15) That's not even the worst. The next-generation Theora encoder is named... Thusnelda. Seriously. - Adam Lassek
(11) Hmm, actually, I quite like the names Ogg Vorbis and Ogg Theora. - bjarkef
Theora and Vorbois share very few letters. ogg is just a file container that can hold anything, even executable code. - Rook
Thusnelda is the worst name I have ever heard, bar none. I'm in awe of its badness. - j_random_hacker
[+10] [2008-11-04 23:14:00] Ash Kim

Visual Age for Java

slow clap

[+9] [2008-11-04 20:27:55] warren

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).

IBM Tivoli has (or had) an 'Orchestrator' for managing complex sets of machines - for things like bringing systems online in massive web systems without affecting the already running systems. Sounds like HP has a similar product with a similar name. - Jonathan Leffler
same name - but this is for runbook automation .. automating processes like when a change request has been approved, it can tie-into your script tool (HPSA, AUTOSYS, pssh, etc) and submit the blocked job - warren
[+8] [2008-11-04 20:20:42] warren

inclued [1] has got to be near the top on my list.


(1) Yeah, mine too, it looks so much like a typo - Andrew Marsh
[+8] [2009-09-07 16:18:22] Stephen Newman

I've got to go with Bing!

Maybe, but it's still a big improvement on the cumbersome Windows Live Search name. - Dan Diplo
(3) I actually think that Bing is a great name. Man is this question subjective. :) - Jerph
They are missing the 'l' - new123456
Bing is the Chinese word for "disease". :) - WTP
[+8] [2008-11-05 16:20:32] James Hughes

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!

+1 for bringing back warm nostalgic memories - Russ Cam
[+7] [2010-01-12 13:26:13] spatz

It actually means 'fuck' in Hebrew.

(5) Wow, didn't know that. - Jerph
Fits with Apple's market cap exceeding MS. - kenny
Not precisely. "zonah" vs "zoon" - and it means something like "adulterer" - bobobobo
@bobobobo Actually, Zune is pronounced "ZI-YUN" and not "ZOON" as you appear to think, so it does mean 'fuck'. - spatz
[+7] [2010-01-12 13:57:07] Mahmood

Qtpfsgui [1]

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!


(2) Agreed, this is the kind of software that could become popular for "normals". I vote that they change the name to "Cute Puffs". Yes, that's a fine name. - Jerph
Hungarian owned? - Jookia
[+6] [2008-11-04 20:38:30] callingshotgun


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.

There used to be a vitmain tablet company called AIDS - they didn't survive the 80s - Martin Beckett
[+6] [2008-11-05 09:19:32] community_owned

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

Actually, it's used to send signals to processes, which are quite different from messages; the default handler for nearly all signals aborts the process. But I do agree, like most Unix commands, it's ill thought out and banal. - Software Monkey
yeah but it feels to to do a killall -9 whatever also kill actually ends the process right away, i'm not exactly sure why ctrl+alt+del doesn't work most of the time. - Rook
I think it's well named, assuming you use it to send the default TERM signal (or KILL), which is what most people do. - Adam Crume
[+5] [2008-11-11 17:31:30] Jim

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

(5) You do know thats why it's called unix - because it was a cut-down version of multics. - Martin Beckett
(2) Maybe it pefectly describes what users feel like doing after using it (castrating themself) , i kid, kid its a wonderful OS... - Darknight
yeah, good thing no one has used "unix" in 30+ years. - Rook
(3) hey you americans have a pretty serious phonetic issue with vowels. If unix's i and eunuchs u sound the same, you could as well use an asterisk for every vowel and anyone could pronounce them the way they wanted. :D LAUL - Petruza
They are pronounced the same way in this case. - Nick
[+4] [2008-11-11 17:14:13] Damien

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)

ack to ecdl, you better learn cooking. ( i know this post is from '08.. ) - pduersteler
It is important. These days, if you don't have it, you'll have to repeat the first year. - Nick
[+4] [2008-11-12 00:59:39] community_owned

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] [2009-09-07 16:14:14] ldigas

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 ?

(2) j* - the Java community is addicted to j* names. - Paul Nathan
Is "Lua" a stupid name then? - luiscubal
add KLite Codec pack - Behrooz
[+4] [2008-11-04 20:43:35] Mindaugas Mozūras

PikiPimp [1]


[+4] [2008-11-04 20:20:04] Derek

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

At least that one you can attribute to history - at first, all it did was manage music. It was only later that it became iTunes+Videos+Movies+iPhone+... - Paul Tomblin
(4) And really, it's not the name that's the problem, it's the fact that it does more than it was designed to do. - eyelidlessness
[+4] [2010-01-12 12:27:42] Edan Maor

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.

Named after a speech impediment? No - it means LISt Processing. - new123456
[+4] [2010-05-28 23:25:32] SHiNKiROU

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

[+3] [2010-05-12 20:59:44] TheClair


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] [2010-01-12 15:05:31] Ian Boyd

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

This is a good discussion, but doesn't really fit the question well - it's not specific enough to get much traction vote-wise. - Jerph
i thought it was self-explanatory. The most poorly named application out there is one that ends in "Manager" or "Management System" - Ian Boyd
[+3] [2010-06-14 23:09:45] Veddan

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?

"NCurses Music Player Controller Plus Plus", but that's a bit of a mouthful ;) - Daenyth
(1) I had to read it again to realize it wasn't nincompoop. ;D - Dian
[+3] [2008-11-05 09:13:31] bk1e

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] [2009-09-07 16:27:32] Lee D

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

[+3] [2009-07-31 11:14:19] Alistair Knock

NU*DIST, now happily called NVivo [1].


[+2] [2009-07-31 11:17:37] Charlie

LLBLGen Pro [1]

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


(2) Duplicate answer - already nominated. - Jonathan Leffler
Yes I noticed that afterwards - Charlie
[+2] [2009-09-07 16:26:08] Dan Diplo

Whilst it's a great product, Bugzilla [1] 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) I disagree - because it's a bug-reporting system that happens to do ticket-tracking - warren
And not only errors, fucking giant fire-throwing errors all over Tokyo. - Petruza
[+2] [2009-07-31 11:47:27] pzycoman

A credit card processing company in the UK is called


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

[+2] [2010-06-16 22:02:32] Brian Postow

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

[+2] [2010-06-12 18:02:00] ThiefMaster

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] [2010-06-16 21:37:59] Pete

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] [2010-05-12 20:53:58] Teguh Alam Hidayat

Brainf**k Programming Language

(4) Even if not-so-politically-correct, it is very self-describing. - Chris
[+2] [2010-05-28 23:48:21] ChristopheD

In the category not-entirely-aptly named:

PlaysForSure ( Microsoft, 2004 [1])

A logo program for services and devices that used Windows Media DRM [2].


[+2] [2010-05-28 23:49:59] ChristopheD

Extremely long product names are poor:

Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate UPGRADE Limited Numbered Signature Edition

It's just too long (and MWVUULNSE [1] doesn't pronounce that easily)


(1) In Argentina Windows Vista is also known as Windows Bosta. Bosta means horse shit. - Petruza
[+1] [2010-05-28 23:02:57] community_owned


Summary from

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

[+1] [2010-01-12 13:18:08] Anthony Faull

WIMP [1] (windows iis mysql php)


(4) I remember when WIMP stood for Windows, Icons, Mouse and Pull-down menus! - John Topley
(2) I thought it still did.... ;-) - blissapp
(1) Astrophysics, anybody? W eakly I nteracting M assive P article? - new123456
[+1] [2010-01-12 15:14:22] HLGEM

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!

Do you have a link? It's a common term and there are a few possible products you could mean. It was hard to search for. You know, it's actually not a very good name for a produc... - Jerph
[+1] [2010-06-12 18:23:00] Esko

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 [1], JAXP [2], JSF [3], JMeter [4]...well you get the point.

Now, for those who don't know, Groovy [5] 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 [6].

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] [2010-09-17 23:51:01] user92546

The "Truth In Advertising" award goes to:

Microsoft PowersHell

[+1] [2010-12-23 06:27:44] Thunder

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

[+1] [2010-06-16 21:32:05] Petruza

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) "Coño" means cunt, and it sounds just like conio.

[+1] [2009-07-31 11:31:47] Reuben Mallaby

Java - ruins my morning coffee experience.

(4) It's worse for coffee-lovers living on a certain Indonesian island... - DisgruntledGoat
[+1] [2009-09-07 16:09:30] JaredCacurak

David Pollak's Goat Rodeo [1]


[+1] [2009-09-07 16:20:30] Dan Diplo

For me it's Immediacy CMS [1] - anyone who has had the misfortune to try and develop for it will know what a misnomer that is...


[+1] [2009-09-07 16:29:15] Yassir

Microsoft Windows ME

[+1] [2009-07-31 11:09:42] Dante

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

Are you catalan? - Petruza
No, Portuguese. - Dante
[+1] [2009-07-31 10:36:17] n002213f

Bicycle Repair Man [1], a Refactoring Tool for Python

JDIC [2], JDesktop Integration Components. I'm not sure if this was intentional


BTW in Russian communities "bicycles" are programs that are matching the wheel in "reinventing the wheel" phrase ("reinventing the bicycle"). - Vi
You are, I hope, aware that Python names are frequently taken from Monty Python routines, and there was a Monty Python sketch in which, in a world where everybody dressed like Superman, one man dashed into a dark place and came out with coveralls and a toolbox, and everybody gasped at Bicycle Repair Man. For people familiar with Python in-jokes who have watched most of Monty Python, it does make sense.... - David Thornley
[+1] [2008-11-05 13:58:53] Alex Brault


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] [2008-11-05 16:09:54] Agusti-N

IIS it's so poor.

[+1] [2008-11-05 09:48:10] community_owned

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.

One of my friends must of heard about it but not done any research on it, as he asked me "if I knew about Jason?" in an email. - alex
[+1] [2008-11-05 09:53:03] community_owned

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

(1) Also the name of an Async-I/O based web-server designed for high-volume static content (guess the industry ...) - ConcernedOfTunbridgeWells
ZEUS was an operating system for Zilog Z8000 chips back in the days of yore - indeed, it was Unix based, but didn't have a user 'root'; the superuser was, of course, 'zeus'. - Jonathan Leffler
and don't forget z/os - which sounds the same on the phone :) - warren
[+1] [2008-11-04 20:52:28] plinth

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.

Meaningless is good, particularly if you're establishing a trademark. Meaning something other than what you're implying (like "expertsexchange") is bad. - David Thornley
[+1] [2008-11-04 20:46:26] Mike

My pet peeve has always been

Because it's a paint tool, or it's written in .NET? - GalacticCowboy
why? Seems appropriately named, as it was designed as a MS Paint replacement written in .Net. - BradC
(9) I think the problem is that .NET is a retarded name, and thus anything it gets attached to becomes retarded by association. - davr
I think that means StackOverFlow is retarded by association because your username is on here. - FlySwat
(1) Paint.Net is emblematic of the same thinking that causes g/k syndrome in Gnome/KDE, or prefacing every application with 'Win'. It's just lazy. - Adam Lassek
@adam: you are correct, as long as you don't pick on Amarok. ;) - voyager
[0] [2009-07-31 10:57:29] Sorin Comanescu

brainfuck [1], a programming language


(3) I always thought it was kinda appropriate - seanb
[0] [2009-07-31 11:29:57] BeowulfOF

Well, not an application, but a gadget [1] that is called:

A nother

S mall and

U nique

R obot

F rom

O berpfaffenhofen


[0] [2009-09-07 16:37:38] Roberto Bonvallet

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] [2009-09-07 16:26:11] oxbow_lakes

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] [2009-09-07 15:52:08] madphp

SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model)

actually, i think SCORM is kind of a cool name. it denotes things like war and ambush, but has nothing to do with that. - Otaku
[0] [2011-02-16 09:51:59] Ciaran Archer

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

[0] [2011-06-04 01:03:10] demongolem

Struts 2. This doomed a perfectly good framework from the beginning

[0] [2011-06-04 15:12:38] WTP


Makes me hate my life when I need to Google something about a real programming language called C. Also, it's a Java-clone and not even similar to C.

[0] [2010-06-12 18:38:27] Luc M


According to WikiPedia [1] : global / regular expression / print


[0] [2010-06-12 18:41:25] Ben L.

Windows Phone Seven Series. 'nuff said.

[0] [2010-06-16 21:40:10] Lukasz Dziedzia

PHP, which stands for "PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor" [1]

this is crazy...


(3) Meh, recursive acronyms are common... GNU: Gnu's Not Unix. - Brian Postow
[0] [2010-06-16 21:47:28] Tim Ridgely

Jiglu [1]. Or any of those goofy, awful "Web 2.0" startup names.


[0] [2010-06-16 21:51:44] Gnostus

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.

But that's the point! The word POCO was invented partially to make fun of that very problem. It is funny when it's used non-ironically, because it's a necessary distinction to make sometimes. - Jerph
[0] [2010-01-12 12:44:59] Martin DeMello

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

[0] [2010-05-28 23:04:13] user30997

Microsoft Works.

Nice answer, but already posted. - Sam Pearson
[0] [2010-05-28 23:46:45] dascandy

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] [2010-05-29 00:03:14] Luc M

OpenVMS [1]

VMS stands for Virtual Memory System

It's all but open source.


[0] [2010-05-29 00:20:11] SODA

Kijiji. That's a lame name.

[-1] [2010-06-02 22:01:22] Mateo Ferreira

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

Assetize Assetain

are two that come to mind. COMEON!

[-2] [2009-07-31 11:34:45] Larry Watanabe
(5) What kind of things was you searching for? hmmm... - Darknight