How 6 Memorable Tech Companies Got Their Names

Just imagine if instead of "Googling" something, you "BackRubbed" it.

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5. Asus


Don't look now, but your computer may be named after a winged horse.

Asus -- founded, coincidentally enough, by some guys who used to work at the similar-sounding Acer -- got its name from Greek mythology. The title is taken from the final letters of "Pegasus," the magical creature born out of the blood of Medusa.

Asus's creators say they chose Pegasus because they felt their company would "embod[y] the strength, creative spirit, and purity symbolized by this regal and agile mythical creature, soaring to new heights of quality and innovation with each product it introduces to the market." Yikes -- is it just me, or does this explanation sound a bit like a mythical tale itself?

Inspiration aside, the shortening of Asus comes down to an alphabetical advantage: According to a 2008 interview with company founder Jonney Shih, the Asus assembly decided an "A"-name would be the wisest way to go.

Guess they didn't want to suffer the same fate as Xuthus, Zetes, and all those other oft-forgotten figures at the end of the alphabet.

6. Yahoo


As the tech world's most reliable source of ready-to-serve punchlines, it's only fitting that Yahoo is called Yahoo. And the story of how it came to be known is just as entertaining as the company's endless string of public gaffes.

Upon its inception, Yahoo actually had a different identity: "Jerry and David's Guide to the World Wide Web." Not surprisingly, that name didn't stick.

So Jerry and David -- co-founders and appropriately titled "Chief Yahoos" Jerry Yang and David Filo -- turned to the dictionary to find something shorter. They say they selected the word "yahoo" because they liked its definition: "rude, unsophisticated, and uncouth."

According to Merriam-Webster, "yahoo" also means "stupid" and is synonymous with "dimwit," "doofus," and "chucklehead." Who could possibly miss those prominent meanings, you might be wondering?

Why, only a real yahoo, of course.

Author JR Raphael is the chief chucklehead at eSarcasm, America's lowest calorie geek-humor Web site. You can find him on both Facebook and Twitter.

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