Naming tip: number 63 in a series

Here’s how to construct an entirely new brand name.

One type of coined word name is the morpheme construct.

A morpheme construct is formed by combining groups of letters, often existing prefixes, suffixes and roots, into new words.

A morpheme is defined as the smallest component of a word that contributes meaning or grammatical function. That includes syllables and single letters. A single letter may be inserted as a transition between two syllables to make the new word easier to pronounce and/or spell. (Magitor). Syllables could be existing prefixes, stems or suffixes, or they may be newly arranged letter groups.

To construct morpheme-based names you’ll need a comprehensive list of prefixes, roots and suffixes. You can download these lists from several linguistically-oriented web sites. You might want to try the Medical Assistant web site for a comprehensive list of roots, prefixes and suffixes. A Dictionary I have found useful is called Word Stems by John Kennedy. It is also helpful in finding additional meaningful word parts.

Now you just pick those morphemes with meanings you wish to associate with the brand and “mix and match”, sometimes with existing words, sometimes with letters that have acquired a meaning or connotation (e, x, o), sometimes with other morphemes.

But be careful. An important aspect of morpheme constructed words is that they must be pronounceable. In fact, they should border on the familiar because people have an aversion to coined words until those Names have acquired a meaning for themselves. This may take a little time, but may be particularly fruitful in the long run. Look at Google as an example.

Martin Jelsema

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