Fun build labels
March 2, 2021 10:44 AM   Subscribe

An automated system builds our software at least daily. We like to give these builds fun names from a list. What's are some fun categories with lots of things in it that we could use to generate names? Past ones include: tomato varieties, pokemon, paint colors. Ideally a list would be readily available and would contain at least 100 things (500 is even better).

I'd prefer to avoid lists of people, movies, bands or other pop culture references.
posted by rouftop to Grab Bag (26 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
beetles come to mind, 'inordinate fondness' and all. maybe trees/plants.

aside: how is pokemon not a pop culture reference?
posted by j_curiouser at 10:51 AM on March 2, 2021

Mineral names.
Bird common names.
Mountains, generally.
Towns in Massachusetts.
Towns in the UK.
Zoo animals.
Pasta shapes.

Can you tell my job also involves making up a lot of aliases?
posted by janell at 10:57 AM on March 2, 2021

Best answer: Similar to tomato varieties, I'd suggest heirloom apple cultivars, of which there are several thousand. They tend to either be interestingly descriptive or delightfully boastful.
posted by mumkin at 10:58 AM on March 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Also
Ice cream flavors
Kinds of pie
Sea life
posted by janell at 10:58 AM on March 2, 2021

Countries of the world for major builds, cities within those countries for patches.
posted by mskyle at 11:02 AM on March 2, 2021 [2 favorites]

The word 'Jack' has a lot of definitions in a good dictionary, and there are lots of people by that name in history and fiction.
posted by AugustusCrunch at 11:12 AM on March 2, 2021

Dr. Seuss book titles or silly words
Names of imaginary places
Names of castles (real ones)
Weird town names (What Cheer in Iowa should get you started)

For many of the other suggestions you've received, you can use the same list but do so in a different language
posted by wwartorff at 11:18 AM on March 2, 2021

Star Trek ships.
Hitch-hiker's Guide character names.
-ologies: Epistemology. Ontology. Phenomenology.Eschatology.
posted by notsnot at 11:18 AM on March 2, 2021

Response by poster: Sorry, "pop culture" was bad word choice. More like I don't want the lists to be focused on people, movies, TV shows, or songs.

Though I could be convinced otherwise... It might be fun to break down "it's the end of the world as we know it" into each individual item mentioned. 😁
posted by rouftop at 11:19 AM on March 2, 2021

National parks (US centric)
posted by notsnot at 11:19 AM on March 2, 2021

Rose cultivars (and probably lots of other flower cultivars as well).
If it were at all practical I'd suggest having GPT-3 generate names for you.
posted by fedward at 11:31 AM on March 2, 2021

I like mumkins' apple cultivars. Maybe save a local one for the version you're finally going to ship, and you can eat them :)

154 Shakespeare sonnets? ("isn't this the 'shall I compare thee' branch?" "no, you've been out, remember? We're on 'unperfect actor' already."

maybe too judeochristian, but first lines of psalms could work the same way. I'm not psalmy enough to know how distinct they all are; there might be collisions in the "hey I like YHWH" space.

You could pick an arbitrary set of cities ordered by the shortest traveling-salesperson route insists that there are 107 valid 2-letter scrabble words. says there are well over 100 moons in the solar system, but I can't tell if they all have nice names.

Olympic events (50ish disciplines, but "400m relay" is different from "100yd dash", right?)

You'd have to remove some human names, but there are a zillion theorems worthy of mentioning on a wiki page

haha----seeing your note about "it's the end of the world as we know it", I think many high-school history classes assign one-line-per-student of Billy Joel's "We didn't start the fire"; that's a good source of nouns :)
posted by adekllny at 11:34 AM on March 2, 2021

Stars. List of proper names of stars.
posted by zengargoyle at 11:48 AM on March 2, 2021

Best answer: In addition to apple and tomato cultivars, there's also potato cultivars.

Kind of surprised that no one has suggested dog breeds yet. There's so many plus you'll have an excuse for looking up excellent dog pics to use as build mascots.
posted by mhum at 11:48 AM on March 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

Bavarian castles.
posted by JoeZydeco at 12:16 PM on March 2, 2021

One fun source for this might be Janelle Shane's AI Weirdness blog, which applies machine learning algorithms to categories like paint colors, Japanese-style mascots, kitten names (cf. Mefi's own Sparky Buttons! Possibly that is not the original kitten but let's be realistic here, it 100% is) and so forth. Funny in general but maybe useful for its list of categories of things with names.

Somewhere here there's also a question about naming conference rooms at an office, and depending on how edgy you want to get, that might be worth perusing as well for naming conventions.

Finally, consider parks of Northeast Ohio. Consider this resolved!
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 12:18 PM on March 2, 2021

Bone and muscle names?
Horses that won one of the horse races of the Triple Crown (Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes)
posted by Night_owl at 12:25 PM on March 2, 2021

to increase the available number of names you could also do adjective+noun pairs. Ubuntu does this with alliterative pairs for their release names.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 12:26 PM on March 2, 2021

Best answer: This corpora repository is just a bunch of Lists of Things, including hundreds of rivers, over a thousand minor planets, nearly 2000 kinds of cheese and yogurt, and many more.
posted by moonmilk at 12:28 PM on March 2, 2021 [2 favorites]

Towns along Route 66 in travel order. Similar: The Silk Road, Magellan's travels, Orient Express...
posted by tinker at 12:35 PM on March 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

Stars (in the sky)
Gems (ruby, diamond, etc.)
Monarchs (people, but historical, not pop culture)
Oscar-nominated movies
posted by hydra77 at 12:54 PM on March 2, 2021

Popular and scientific names of mushrooms are memorable, pretty vivid, and have at least some degree of familiarity for most people ('destroying angel' and 'fairy ring', for examples). Plus they're short-lived and do have a tendency to pop up overnight.
posted by jamjam at 1:14 PM on March 2, 2021 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Names of fabrics - if you combine historical and new ones you get a lot of nouns. Buckram, scuba, maline, tarlatan...
posted by clew at 1:57 PM on March 2, 2021 [2 favorites]

I give you: names of sentient ships from Ian Banks’ Culture novels.
posted by bq at 3:58 PM on March 2, 2021

Fruit-fly gene names!
posted by LadyOscar at 10:33 PM on March 2, 2021

Yeah, you don't want beetles. This is software. What you need is the true bugs.
posted by flabdablet at 12:16 AM on March 3, 2021

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