Etsy Bitsy Spider

If you were a crafter or someone that enjoys buying, selling or creating handmade items you probably have noticed that a few years ago a strange name appeared on the internet; Etsy.

The website was created in June 2015 and functions in a similar way to EBay except it deals with items that are either handmade or vintage. Ever since then Etsy has expanded to offer a myriad of services from an Online Lab, hosting events (related to crafting), forums, questions and answers database, guides and even credit card readers.

The most intriguing thing however is its name; Etsy. While it sprawled a few discussions over multiple media (including Quora and the Etsy’s official forums), many theories have appeared. In an interview with one of the founders Robert Kalin he mentioned that the name had no meaning. He just wanted a word that had no meaning and catchy. So while watching Fellini’s 8 ½ he kept hearing the Italian word “Eh, si” which means “Oh, yes” so he wrote it down and that is how it became the name.

Yet, one of the developers surfaced later to mention that the founders (as well as the company employees as it would seem) have vowed that it would be their “secret ingredient” and they’d never reveal it. In fact it seems that the company agreed to give a different story each time they were asked to keep the guessing game going.

That however didn’t turn people down, a few guesses came up including one that relates to the Unix operating system where users of the system used to pronounce a file directory named “etc” as “It-See” and therefore it was a play on the way they pronounced that directory. Others even went to length to denote that if you compare the orthographic composition of the word Ebay with Etsy you’d be able to see that they are really similar and therefore it maybe a play at Ebay’s name.

But perhaps that is the point, a meaning or no meaning a name holds its strength from its composition and its use rather than its meaning. Google has no meaning and so is Sony; yet they are two of the most famous and powerful brands in the world. Etsy seems to follow suit. The name is simple, easy to pronounce and most of all memorable – at least it reminds you of the song “Itsy bitsy spider” which is catchy in of itself. What do you know… perhaps that is actually what the founders intended?

 

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