Naming Conventions

Yesterday I pointed to a list of IKEA Naming Conventions, revealing the logic behind how they've named their products. In my life, the main families of items I see named are computers (generally, servers). At my office, we name the servers after sushi -- so you have otoro, hamachi, maguro, and so on. At web hosting company Pair, servers are named for the phonetic spelling of alphabet letters (including common alphabets like Greek and obscure stuff like Ogham -- shown in the photo to the right) -- so you get pi, rho, upsilon; and beith, nuin, huath. Ubuntu Linux releases are named with alliterative monikers like "Breezy Badger," "Dapper Drake," and "Gutsy Gibbon." At college, I interned in an office where the computers were named after Simpsons characters (my machine was "Itchy").

But it's not just about naming computers. When my childhood cat Raisin had kittens, we named them after various royal positions: Duke, Duchess, Prince, Princess, etc. Radio call signs are based on alphanumeric conventions. Planets have a shockingly rigorous naming convention. Even ancient Roman names follow a naming convention.

So let's have it -- what naming conventions have you come across? I'm particularly curious about children named according to a convention (my parents seemed to go for saint names, so my brother and I are Michael and Christopher...though I guess Michael is technically an archangel).

(Idea via Lyza Danger Gardner.)

Eye-Related Idioms From Around the World, Illustrated

"Apple of my eye." "Feast your eyes on this." "I have eyes in the back of my head." English has quite a few idioms that include the word "eye." But it's not the only language that does.

Contact lens retailer Lenstore gathered and illustrated 10 eye-related idioms from around the world that don't exist in English, which you can scroll through in the interactive infographic below or view here. In Spanish, the saying "Me costó un ojo de la cara," translated as "It cost me an eye from my face," means "to buy something that was extremely expensive." It's similar to the English idiom "It cost me an arm and a leg." In German, "Tomaten auf den Augen haben" ("To have tomatoes on the eyes") means "failing to spot something obvious."

The wonderful world of idioms stretches far beyond just eyes, though. Here, you can find out the origins of horse-related idioms like "hold your horses," and here you can learn about strange international rain-related idioms, like Greece's particularly peculiar "It's raining chair legs."

Learn more about how different cultures view the eye through the lens of these unique idioms below:

[h/t Lenstore]
Afternoon Map
The Literal Translation of Every Country's Name In One World Map

What's in a name? Some pretty illuminating insights into the history and culture of a place, it turns out. Credit Card Compare, an Australia-based website that offers its users assistance with choosing the credit card that's right for them, recently dug into the etymology of place names for a new blog post to create a world map that highlights the literal translation of the world's countries, including the United States of Amerigo (which one can only assume is a reference to Amerigo Vespucci, the Italian explorer who realized that North America was its own landmass).

"We live in a time of air travel and global exploration," the company writes in the blog. "We’re free to roam the planet and discover new countries and cultures. But how much do you know about the people who lived and explored these destinations in times past? Learning the etymology—the origin of words—of countries around the world offers us fascinating insight into the origins of some of our favorite travel destinations and the people who first lived there."

In other words: there's probably a lot you don't know about the world around you. But the above map (which is broken down into smaller bits below) should help.

For more detailed information on the background of each of these country names, click here. Happy travels!


More from mental floss studios