Should you use a play on words in your name?

When you tell someone that you’re going to start a business, what’s the first thing that they ask you? It’s not ‘what are you going to do?’ It’s not even ‘where are you going to run it?’ It’s ‘what’s your name?’ Everyone wants to know the name of your business!

So, if you’re in this situation, you’re probably wondering, what makes a great name? You want something that’s catchy, aesthetically pleasing, and unique. When someone says your name, you want the perfect image coming to their head of just who you are and what you can do for them.


For some brands, the perfect name is a play on words


wood-cube-abc-cube-letters-48898A simple switch of one word for another is a great way to get people talking about you. A hair salon that is named ‘To Dye For’ is a catchy play on words that people can instantly understand and remember.

Even using a word slightly differently can be a lot of fun, such as a Mexican restaurant named ‘You Want to Taco Bout It?’ If someone can look at the name and instantly understand it, that’s definitely going to get them talking about you; and when done right, it can provide new customers that may have overlooked your name otherwise.

You Want to Taco ‘Bout It?

A little bit of humor that people will immediately understand, such as a play on words, can be a good naming strategy. A play on words can make for fun names—names that people will remember, making it a whole lot easier for them to tell all their family and friends about you (which is definitely a good thing).

It’s In the Bag

What do you think of when you hear this sentence? You’re probably thinking about having everything figured out and being fully prepared for something, right?

Well, what about a storage and organization place? Or a handbag shop? Either of business might consider this name, because it’s fun and memorable.


But Don’t Go Overboard


A play on words will always have a certain playful tone. If you don’t want this, then the technique is not for you. Also, you must be particularly diligent in validating any names that use a play on words.

A play on words that is not easy to understand will make for a terrible name. Standing out is one thing, but making people stand around scratching their heads and trying to decipher the meaning of your name… well, that’s not.