In the What topics can I ask about here?, it clearly says it is off-topic to ask questions about:

Naming, including naming programming variables/classes

But would asking if a name of a product is bad or not is bad or not?

It is on-topic in ELL: I name a product with an English word, and many people say it's a bad name. Can I ask why it's bad here?. The way to asking in there is:

I chose this word to name a product because I thought it would make people think of X and Y, but now my friend says that it's a bad name because Z. The product is a type of sth. Does the word have a bad connotation when used as a name for this thing?

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    Whether a name is "appropriate" for a product or not is mainly a marketing issue, but here it is mainly an opinion-based one. You may ask about the positive or negative connotations of a term, but applying it to a product to atttract potential buyers is a different matter.
    – user66974
    Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 10:29
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    Yeah, in short, we don't address naming questions at all, because they can only be answered with opinions, not facts. If there's a Marketing.se in Area51 (I don't know if there is or isn't), you might be able to ask there. Also worth noting that cross posting is strongly discouraged on SE, so simply re-asking your ELL question here would be inappropriate. If you want to ask a new, related question, you can, but it must seek a fundamentally different answer. Just looking for a broader audience to poll about your brand name wouldn't be kosher.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 10:50
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    I think this type of question is more likely to be on-topic at ELL because non-native English speakers are less likely to understand all of the connotations of a particular word. One example off the top of my head is Could Mycoon as a company name be insulting? It looks a lot like tycoon, which is a fine word, but some people are likely to see mycoon as something really insulting that would be best avoided if you're naming something.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 14:09

1 Answer 1


It depends.

If you are essentially asking, "What do you think about some name?", then yes, it's off topic at ELU. The name is predominant, and this is just naming by another name.

The basic criterion for Stack Exchange posts is that they should have some authoritative reference value (to someone else) after the question's poster has been satisfied. Naming is traditionally seen as too arbitrary, too complex and subjective to be authoritative, and more cultural than linguistic. Like proofreading, naming is also considered to be too specific to be of interest to others.

But if by your phrase "asking if a name of a product is bad" you mean that you produce a name and want to talk about its connotations, etymology, etc as a word, then that's just talking about the English language, and hence on-topic. In this latter case, it's irrelevant that the word happens to be a name.

  • So, to be clear - may I describe the "flavour" of a company (its activities & products) and ask for an English word which captures that "flavour"?
    – Mawg
    Commented May 3, 2020 at 14:33
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    @Mawg That sounds like an interesting exercise. It would depend on the specifics, but Iā€™d lean towards calling it on-topic.
    – Lawrence
    Commented May 3, 2020 at 14:40
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    No need. I will post a question, when I can think of how to best formulate it
    – Mawg
    Commented May 4, 2020 at 17:34

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