Naming Names

The question has been posed: would you rather have the job of creating the name of lipstick colors, or the name of ice cream flavors? Why?

My first reaction was to pick the color naming job. The name of a lipstick doesn’t have to tell you what it tastes like, only what it looks like, or (perhaps more importantly) what it should make the wearer feel like. Thus you can quite seriously name a lipstick something like Ferrari, Inferno, or Deadly Diva.

But I think that’s where I’d have a problem with my employer. I think I’d probably go off the deep end in naming my lipsticks. We’d end up with a cosmetics line with names like Wrathful Red, Pestilential Pink, and Goblin Green. The sorts of things the girl next door wouldn’t be caught dead wearing, except at Halloween. And then the irony would be that she’d look in the mirror and think to herself, “Hmm, I look pretty good in Raspberry Armageddon,” but would be too embarrassed to buy that color off season.

So I’d better just go for naming ice cream. At the very least, I can just fall back to listing the ingredients, which doesn’t work as well for lipsticks. (Beeswax and FD&C Red #40 Delight? No, I don’t think so.) But then again, if I were just to parrot the Nutrition Facts label, I wouldn’t add much value. No, I’d have to come up with a witty, yet delicious name for each new flavor. Something like, er, Choco Cluster Crunch. No, wait. Maybe Vertiginous Caramel Coffee Swirl. No, I’ve got it. Sticky Chunky Nutty Hunk Ripple.

Er… Raspberry Armageddon?

Okay, maybe I wouldn’t make the best ice-cream namer, either.

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