‘So, that’s why it’s called Bluetooth!’ and other surprising tech name origins including ‘Apple’

“The startup world is filled with all manner of intentionally misspelled nonwords and incomprehensible baby talk,” Evan Dashevsky reports for TechHive. “It’s enough makes one nostalgic for an earlier time when tech names actually meant something.”

“The stories of how some of the world’s biggest brands and technologies came up with their names open a window to a different era—a simpler time before Web squatters took all the normal names and corporations focus-grouped language to death,” Dashevsky reports. “A better time. Here we present the hidden—and occasionally accidental—histories behind some of the biggest names in tech.”

Dashevsky reports, “According to Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography, the largest electronics firm in the world picked up its name in the most casual of ways. As Jobs and Wozniak were mulling over a name for their nascent company, Jobs had just returned from a visit to a communal apple farm. Off the cuff, he proposed the name ‘Apple Computer.’ The term, he explained to Isaacson ‘sounded fun, spirited, and not intimidating. Apple took the edge off the word ‘computer.’ Plus, it would get us ahead of Atari in the phonebook.'”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. (WP) The word TWAIN is not officially an acronym, but it is a backronym. The official website notes that “the word TWAIN is from Kipling’s The Ballad of East and West — ‘…and never the twain shall meet…’ — reflecting the difficulty, at the time, of connecting scanners and personal computers. It was up-cased to TWAIN to make it more distinctive. This led people to believe it was an acronym, and then to a contest to come up with an expansion. None was selected, but the entry Technology Without an Interesting Name continues to haunt the standard.”

  2. Apple and Microsoft are relics from an age when tech companies were either named after fruit or had “micro” or “soft” in the name. Orange Micro had the best of both worlds!

    Back before Jobs’ biography was released I email Woz to ask him where the name Apple came from. He was good enough to reply, but couldn’t remember for sure!

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