Name Critic rates Ubuntu


Our Rating

Did you think we had lost our mind? Rating such a strange name a perfect 10? Well, at first we knew it was at least a 9, because of its uniqueness, symmetry and phonetics, even though most people don’t have a clue as to what it means – and maybe they don’t even care. After all, it is a lot smoother than other names that more clearly have English or Latin roots. And only a few of us would immediately think that the name has a rather African flavor to it.

Then we saw that the problem of recognition has been approached in a correct and very professional manner. Pick a unique name and then explain it until it becomes common. So from the front page of their website we have: Ubuntu – An African word meaning “humanity to others” or “I am what I am because of who we all are”. They go on to explain that the Ubuntu distribution brings the spirit of Ubuntu to the software world.

As a real added value, the fact that the name starts and ends with a vowel (indeed the same u vowel), it is easily used with other descriptors or even concatenations.
So playing off the name, they have related projects callled kubuntu, edubuntu, xubuntu. For more information, please visit

Interestingly enough, a check of the trademark directories shows that actually a number of other companies have also filed for registration of this trademark, but they are in other fields like clothing, wine, etc. For years, the fashion and a few retail products have used real foreign words bravely. But usually they have been French, Italian or Asian. Now we see the start of exploration of names from other interesting and musical languages. It is great to see a tech company do this, and we predict you will see more of it as names and domains get ever scarcer.

Hamba Gahle (Take it easy in Zulu)

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