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The Word Salad Title taken to the extreme. This trope comes into play when the creators deconstruct words, rearrange letters, or create new terms to name their works. This usually takes one of three forms:

  1. A bunch of syllables tossed together
  2. Two or more words combined in an unusual way.
  3. A common term that's been altered or rearranged.

This is usually justified by the Rule of Cool, and related to As Long as It Sounds Foreign. Sometimes the title is random due to ease of trademarking a non-generic word. See also The Unpronounceable, which is this trope taken Up to Eleven. The proper noun version of Perfectly Cromulent Word.

Examples of Word Puree Title include:


Advertising

  • Dozens of merged (and unmerged) companies and prescription drugs have meaningless, merged names. Partly because you can copyright and trademark, say, "Avaya," but not "telephone."
  • "Verizon" is a combination of "vertical" veritas (Latin for truth) and "horizon".


Anime and Manga


Film

  • Lucky Number Slevin combines the common phrase "lucky number seven" with the main character's name: Slevin. The "L" in Slevin is often replaced with an upside-down 7.
  • The Spanish film Crimen ferpecto, which translates as The Ferpect Crime. The main character, who is characterized by his scrupulous attention to detail, is attempting to plan the perfect murder and rents a bunch of crime films for research. He is dismayed that one film is ironically mislabeled, "The Ferpect Crime," as he can't afford such mistakes. The English release is simply named The Perfect Crime.
    • In Australia it is called Ferpect Crime - a direct translation of the original Spanish.
  • Se7en is, for no particular reason, often spelled with a numeral 7 in place of the v.
  • RockNRolla is spelled like a stylized version of "rock and roller." It's a fictional underworld term used in the film, and is juxtaposed with one of the main characters, who is a literal rock and roll musician.
  • In Mary Poppins, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, though, given the movie's Genre Savvy-ness, this was most likely an Invoked Trope: "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" apparently means "Atoning for educability through delicate beauty.".[1]. Or in English, "It doesn't matter what it means, it's just fun to say".
  • After Two Fast Two Furious came out, the third movie in the franchise (The Fast and The Furious Tokyo Drift) was doomed to be known as "3 Fast 3 Furious" on theatre marquees everywhere. One parodist took it to its logical extent by releasing a fake trailer for 3 3ast 3 3urious.
  • Symbiopsychotaxiplasm.
  • Gothika is called Gothika for reasons known only to the person who named it.
  • The upcoming fifth film in the Final Destination series of films at one point was going to be called 5nal Destination (I am going to assume it was to be pronounced Five-nal Destination). Public outcry (besides the ones who liked how lame the title was) led to the film being renamed simply Final Destination 5.


Literature


Live Action Television

  • Kamen Rider OOO uses this trope to lampshade the ongoing Kamen Rider gimmick of multiple mix-and-match forms for the hero - each form has three modular parts, head, arms and legs, and interchanging them means adding together the names and sometimes parts of the names of all three parts to provide a way of referencing each form. Just to confuse things further, body part names can come in either Gratuitous English or regular Japanese. For starters:
    • The default TaToBa form refers to the Taka (hawk) head, Tora (tiger) arms and Bata (grasshopper) legs
    • Tora arms can also be part of RaToraTah form, made up of Raion (lion) head, Tora arms and Cheetah legs
    • Another form, SaGoZou, refers to Sai (rhinoceros), Gorilla and Zou (elephant). And so on.
    • Kuwagata (stag beetle), Kamakiri (mantis) and Batta = Gatakiriba, the green, insect themed form.


Music

  • IDM Artists seem to like this trope:
    • Aphex Twin has "Icct Hedral," "Druqks," "Flim,"(sic.) and "Heliosphan," among numerous others. Weirdly, he's been known to intermix his gibberish titles with titles from real languages, particularly Cornish.
    • Autechre, a band that fits this trope itself, has tens of songs like this. "Pir," "Altibizz," "PlyPhon," and "Ccec" are just a few of many.
    • The same goes for Plaid: "Tearisci," "Eyen," "Sincetta," and "Crumax Rins" are some of the more obvious ones.
    • Subverted within the IDM genre by Venetian Snares. The track titles from Rossz csillag alatt szuletett may all look like this trope in action, but no, that's actual honest-to-goodness Hungarian. And as if that weren't enough, he used some Hungarian titles on Detrimentalist as well.
    • Mouse On Mars has albums titled Agit Itter It It, Niun Niggung and Pickly Dred Rhizzoms. The track titles on these albums are further examples.
  • European folk band Qntal admit that their name means nothing, and it was simply a selection of letters they thought looked nice.
  • Hip-Hop artist Aceyalone.
  • Funk music from The Seventies, for some reason.
    • "Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic " by Isaac Hayes, Parliament's "Aqua Boogie (A Psychoalphadiscobetabioaquadoloop)" - actually, a lot of George Clinton's songs.
      • "Promentalshitbackwashpsychosis Enema Squad (The Doo-Doo Chasers)" by Funkadelic, which uses...doo-doo as a metaphor.
    • "Prisencolinensinainciusol" by Italian artist Adriano Celentano in 1972
    • More recently but in the same vein: Outkast's "Spottieottiedopalicious" and "Southernplayalisticcadillacmuzik."
  • The "Jackson 5ive" did this with a distinctive logo that appeared on some of their albums, and on other promotional materials (and on the TV show). However, it was otherwise spelled normally as "Jackson Five" or "Jackson 5".
  • Ruins has such song titles as "Djubatczegromm" and "Bliezzaning Moltz". Kōenji Hyakkei, another band with Tatsuya Yoshida, uses similar titles for most of their songs; examples include "Graddinoba Revoss", "Vallczeremdoss", and "Qivem Vrastorr". (Note that one of Yoshida's main musical influences is the band Magma, who used an actual Con Lang for their song/album titles and lyrics.)
  • The Police's "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da".
  • "Thela Hun Ginjeet" by King Crimson. (It's an anagram of "heat in the jungle".)
  • "Paracetamoxyfrusebendroneomycin" by Amateur Transplants, sung to "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" from Mary Poppins and a portmanteau of the generic names of various common pharmaceutical drugs.
  • Deadmau5 (pronounced "dead mouse")
  • Many of Extrawelt's songs have German word puree titles.
  • Look up Sum 41 song "Hyper-insomnia-para-chondroid".
  • The song titles on Skinny Puppy's The Greater Wrong of the Right and Mythmaker albums.
  • The album Nespithe by Finnish Technical Death Metal band Demilich, an anagram for The Spine generated by reversing the order of three-letter clumps of the phrase. It also contains a song entitled "Erecshyrinol", an anagram for "No Lyrics Here" generated using the same algorithm.
  • "Bawitdaba" by Kid Rock.
  • The British punk rock band Splodgenessabounds seems to fit this perfectly.
  • So do the British New Wave band Spizzenergi, or Spizz Energi, or Athletico Spizz 80, or Spizzoil, or Spizzles. (The band had one heck of a time sticking to just one name.)
  • "5ive Gears in Reverse", by Elvis Costello.
  • Californian guitarist Willie Oteri in 2000 released an album entitled "Concepts of Mate Ma Toot". Matema is, according to Oteri, a word for "supreme being" in some African language, while Matoot is - still according to the musician - an ancient Finnish deity. Also, he recorded it with Mike Malone, Brannen Temple, Chris Maresh and Chris Tondre. Taking the first two letters of the last names of each musician you get... Ma Te Ma To Ot.
    • In 2009 Oteri released, this time with Dave Laczko, an album entitled "WD-41". The songs are called "G-9", "J-1", "U-5", "BB-2", "Q-1", "W1-A" "W-5" and "W1-B".
  • The band Geggy Tah, kind of: They intended it to mean nothing, but while on tour in Scotland, they found out that they had accidentally picked a name that means "mouth thanks" (or "shut up, thanks"). "Geggy" and "Tah" were actually childhood nicknames of main members Greg and Todd, since both had younger sisters who had trouble pronouncing their names when they were young.
  • Chumbawamba: The band is known for making up different origins for their name to see if people will buy it, but the truth is they just picked some nonsensical syllables as an alternative to having a name that would end up sounding dated.
  • The Mars Volta seem somewhat fond of made-up portmanteaus: There's the albums Amputechture ("amputation" + "technology" + "architecture") and Noctourniquet ("Nocturnal" + "tourniquet"), as well as the song title "Dyslexicon" ("Dyslexic" + "Lexicon").
  • Styles of Beyond has several song titles which are a mix of Xtreme Kool Letterz, Word Salad Title, and this.
  • Coldplay's 2011 album Mylo Xyloto is pretty much this, and the band itself has admitted so.
  • Sebadoh, who got their name from nonsense syllables Lou Barlow would often use when working on songs before the lyrics were finished.
  • Spoon's Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga - the album title was originally the working title for "The Ghost Of You Lingers", and was supposed to sound like that song's staccato piano part.
  • Kishi Bashi sounds like some random syllables strung together, but is in fact a variation on the only member of the band's name - K. Ishibashi.


Other

  • Dali's painting entitled "Galacidalacidesoxyribonucleicacid" (though Gala was the name of his wife, and the "deoxyribonucleic acid" part is commonly known as "DNA" and not at all gibberish.)
  • The ice cream brand Häagen-Dazs means nothing. It's a meaningless phrase that was just made to look Scandinavian(ish) to be exotic-- it's an American company. It does not, for the record, look at all Scandinavian(ish) to actual Scandinavian(ish) people.
  • The photography company Kodak has a meaningless name, chosen because it was snappy, easy to remember, and George Eastman was a big fan of the letter K.
  • Sony just hashed together a name that would be easy for all their potential customers around the world to pronounce.
  • Remedy, a temporary personnel service, changed its name to one less cromulent: Aquent purports to mean 'not a follower' from Greek a– (which, strange but true, is related to English 'un–') and Latin sequent. To this occasional former employee, who has a bit more Latin and Greek than the genius who came up with that, it only suggests watering.
  • Henry Schoolcraft coined many place-names from syllables of Indian languages plus Latin and Arabic. Lake Itasca in Minnesota, which he considered the source of the Mississippi, is named from Latin veritas ('truth') and caput ('head').
  • The last place-name in the English alphabet (at least in the US) is Zzyzx, California.
  • The extinct primate Ekgamowechashala is a combination of the Lakota word "igmu" (cat, itself an idiom), "wicasa" (man), and the diminutive "la". The orthography makes this difficult to see.
  • After a Ben Franklin variety store in New Ulm, Minnesota lost the franchise rights, the owners swapped the N and B on the sign, then turned the N sideways, to spell out "Zen Franklib". The company still thought it was too close, so the store became "Zen Rfanklib".


Tabletop Games


Toys


Video Games

  • "Wii" was chosen because it is easy to say (despite the fact that the phoneme for [wi] ヰ is obsolete in Japanese, replaced by [ui] ウィ/ウイ), is a homophone for "we," and the two i's look like two players. The gaming community staged a short rebellion over the name, preferring the earlier code name "Revolution," but the name stuck.
  • Qix and its sequel Volfied
    • The majority of (more or less) abstract puzzle games, such as Tetris, Quarth, Zoop, Pnickies and so on.
  • Arkanoid
  • Cocoron
  • Galaga
  • Galaxian
  • The text-based game ZZT was so named to appear at the bottom of Usenet listings.
  • Portal's predecessor, Narbacular Drop, contains a completely meaningless word in the title so as to facilitate web searches.
  • Xevious. All the games in the series are named after Arc Words in a Constructed Language.
  • Pu Li Ru La
  • Many Pokémon (including the title itself) fit this. While some are fairly obvious, others are actually almost a real word. Magnemite, for instance, is one letter away from magnetite.
  • Minubeat. Combines "minute" (the time limit of the game) and "beat", since it's a Rhythm Game.
  • Nexuiz, a slight alteration of the word "nexus".


Web Original / Web Comics

  • Dr. Zanasiu in the online RP Darwin's Soldiers was named by pounding random keys on a keyboard.
  • 5ideways. During its run the author referred to the fans as "5idewinders".
  • Xkcd mentions in its FAQ that it doesn't stand for or really mean anything.


Western Animation

  • In Chalk Zone, they have only 2 winter holidays combining Ramadan, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and Christmas: Chrishanukkamas and Ramakwanzadan.

Notes

  1. "Super" = "above", "cali" = "beauty", "fragilistic" = "delicate", "expiali" = "to atone", "docious" = "educable".
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