What Should You Name That Theme?

Friends, I’ve been thinking a lot on what we call WordPress themes the past few days. The name of the theme is important, much like the name of the book matters. “The One Who Walked and Walked and Walked (and Walked) with the Ring” is a far worse alternative to “The Lord of the Rings” after all.

There are some rules when it comes to WordPress themes and their names, at least if you want them to appear in the theme directory on WordPress.org (which is a domain and should be spelled wordpress.org but I’m sure someone will yell at me if I do that so I won’t, I’m very unsecure and fear every conflict after all). You can read up on those rules here (please do), but in short: You’re not allowed to have “Theme”, “WordPress” or stuff like “HTML 5″ in your theme name on WordPress.org. Neither are the developer name accepted in the theme title, which makes sense since that’s credited elsewhere.


So what to name a theme and why on earth am I pondering this? The answer to the latter question is pretty obvious: I’ve got a theme, some themes really, that are due to roll out early next year and they all have project names right now, from Odd Alice. I’m pretty sure those won’t make it to the final release (sorry Alex!) so I’m stuck with the task of coming up with something new.

Here are some ideas:

  • Super Pretty Theme. Ooops, scratch that, can’t name it “theme”.
  • Super Pretty Theme Theramin. Doesn’t make any sense.
  • Name Borrowed From One Of My Past Girlfriend. Err, no.
  • Name Borrowed From Your Past Girlfriend. That could work, but you and your ex would probably give me weird looks and I’m not sure I can live with that. Not after what we did.
  • SOMETHING #X. Where SOMETHING is a constant and X is a number starting at 1 and getting added to with every theme we release. Nah.
  • Something In Latin. Fuck no.
  • Something In French. Merde!
  • Something In German. Can I call it Gesündheit? No wait, people won’t know how to google that. Doh!
  • Something In Swedish. Remember that font designer collective (or whatever it was) that released a bunch of fairly nice fonts with exotic names in the 90s? If you knew what those font names really meant you wouldn’t have put that credit in the footer there, chum.
  • Something with cats. No comment.
  • Something with dogs. “This theme is ALSO man’s best friend!”
  • Something with an animal that isn’t a cat or a dog. Why would you want to do that? The Makakkaaakakak Theme? No wait, there’s that theme thing again.
  • Something Technical. Now I’m even boring myself.

Names are hard, and you’ll have to stick with them otherwise you’ll feel bad. (Best reason ever.)

If all else fails, I’ll just do what I always do when I need to name something: Pick a word out of a song or song title, preferably a song you like but not necessarily. So I could call a theme “Weep” just because I’m listening to Skunk Anansie right now. Or “Great Balls of Fire”, “Dirty Dreams”, “Private Dancer”, “Somebody Put Something in my Drink”, “Too Drunk to Fuck”, or “Hit Me Baby One More Time”.

I think I’ll mull this one over some more. At least I’m not naming my kid, right?

How do you pick a name for your theme? Help a deranged bastard with way too many sex-themed song in his playlist!

Yes. “Weep” too.