Lauren Teton, partner at the product naming firm Name One! has created an objective formula called the Teton NameScale for ranking the success quotient of names. It is based on the linguistic premise that most product names are neutral, but some names are much better, and some names are worse than the mean. Ranking characteristics range from pronunciation and spelling, to how much fun they are to say, and do they contain the letters S-E-X. Name traits are given point values in the proprietary formula so that one name can actually be scored against another.

Examples of Very High Scoring Names on the Teton NameScale

This is the highest scoring name ranked to date. It uses the magic 5 letter construction, with alternating consonant-vowel-consonant structure. It contains 2 of the highest scoring letters from Scrabble. And the name describes exactly what the product is. That is, Muzak gives the impression of music, but is really something unique unto itself.
Teton NameScale Score - 10

It uses the magic 5 letter construction, with alternating consonant-vowel-consonant structure. It starts with the most euphonious (pleasant sounding) letter of the alphabet. It contains the letters s-e-x. Lex sounds like “lux” for luxurious. It says “us”. If it had a meaning that meant car, it would outscore Muzak on the Teton NameScale.
Teton NameScale Score - 8

Dainty Rubbish
I love this name. Isn’t this how everyone wants their rubbish to be - clean and dainty. This name creates a picture in my mind.of a proper matron holding a nice clean trash bag in 2 fingers with the pinky in the air. It is a memorable mind picture. Memorable is good. (This company is located in Middletown, CT)
Teton NameScale Score - 8

Examples of Low Scoring Names on the Teton NameScale

Orudis KT
The first time I heard of this pain reliever was in a radio ad. If I had wanted to buy the product, I would not have know what letter of the alphabet it began with. I would not have known if it was spelled with a “D” or a “T”. It is not a natural (dictionary) word. It gives my mind no memory hooks to hang onto. And it contains the word “rude”.
Teton NameScale Score - 0

National Car Rental Center
The National Car Rental Center near Fort Lauderdale sounds like a place where you would do what?
A. rent a car
B. see the Florida Panthers or Aerosmith

Well those of you who don’t live in South Florida might be surprised to find that the answer is B. I understand that corporate sponsorship of stadiums and arenas is popular. But this name is downright misleading. This name loses big points in the “clear appropriate message” category. It gains points for the repeated sounds in “Rental Center” and ease of spelling.
Teton NameScale Score - 0

Are there names that you love, or that drive you crazy? Share your opinions on our bulletin board on this site at Maybe you’ll see your nomination reviewed in the next issue of the TalkingNames Name Review Newsletter!