The Hall of Unwanted Dotcoms
Anyone who has tried to register a dotcom will tell you that all the short, monosyllabic, easy to pronounce names were taken long ago. But a little research reveals that's not strictly the case...
If you've ever been involved in a naming exercise, you'll know the feeling. You come up with the most unlikely coinage, then check the availability of the dotcom and find it's already taken. Either there's an organisation somewhere in the world for whom the name is perfect, or the professional dotcom squatters have snapped it up in the hope of a future bid. If you're after a short, one-syllable, easily pronounceable name, there is simply nothing left.
Or very nearly nothing.
There's a certain sub-group of domain names that remain available for a minimal fee, even two decades into the age of the internet. They are all one syllable, easy to pronounce and seven letters or fewer: qualities that are gold dust in normal circumstances. Yet they are presumed so awkward, ugly and uninspiring that nobody – not even the dotcom squatters – can bring themselves to go near them.
This blog post is a testimony to those names. By the truest test of all – the market – these are the ugliest monosyllables in the language.
These names are all available for a minimal fee from any domain registration service as of September 18 2012. There are more out there, though the list stays as close as possible to relatively straightforward words. Feel free to add more suggestions in the comments (one syllable, seven letters or fewer, easy to pronounce).
More importantly, please let us know if any of these are taken off the market, especially if it's as a result of seeing them here. While Creative Review has no commercial interest, it would be interesting to track the fate of these sad monosyllables.
And if any reader can sell in gludge.com to a client, they deserve some acclaim.
CR for the iPad
Read in-depth features and analysis plus exclusive iPad-only content in the Creative Review iPad App. Longer, more in-depth features than we run on the blog, portfolios of great, full-screen images and hi-res video. If the blog is about news, comment and debate, the iPad is about inspiration, viewing and reading. As well as providing exclusive, iPad-only content, the app will also update with new content throughout each month. Try a free sample issue here
CR in Print
In our October print issue we have a major feature on the rise of Riso printing, celebrate the art of signwriting, examine the credentials of 'Goodvertising' and look back at the birth of D&AD. Rebecca Lynch reviews the Book of Books, a survey of 500 years of book design, Jeremy Leslie explains how the daily London 2012 magazine delivered all the news and stories of the Games and Michael Evamy explores website emblematic.com, offering "data-driven insights into logo design". In addition to the issue this month, subscribers will receive a special 36-page supplement celebrating D&AD's 50th with details of all those honoured with Lifetime Achievement awards plus pieces on this year's Black Pencil and President's Award-winners Derek Birdsall and Dan Wieden. And subscribers also receive Monograph which this month features Rian Hughes' photographs of the unique lettering and illustration styles of British fairgrounds
Please note, CR now has a limited presence on the newsstand at WH Smith high street stores (although it can still be found in WH Smith travel branches at train stations and airports). If you cannot find a copy of CR in your town, your WH Smith store or a local independent newsagent can order it for you. You can search for your nearest stockist here. Alternatively, call us on 020 7970 4878 to buy a copy direct from us. Based outside the UK? Simply call +44(0)207 970 4878 to find your nearest stockist. Better yet, subscribe to CR for a year here and save yourself almost 30% on the printed magazine.
Didn't Rowan Atkinson use some of these in his classroom roll-call, on 'Not The Nine o' Clock News'?
Yes, if anyone's devising a campaign for Gludge or Splegg, Rowan Atkinson would be a good VO.
(Sketch here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiWJWLCoH2M)
i sense some student branding projects coming on...
i just had to stop myself buying grulch.com at the checkout. i have a cold.
Tempted to buy frunge.com then spend my life trying to successfully mix funk and grunge music. Goldmine.
how about http://www.rdctn.com as in reduction?
They all sound like Dr Who monsters to me
I totally just bought gludge.
I feel like there should be some sort of ceremonial exit for Gludge as it leaves the Hall of Unwanted Dotcoms. Thanks Marcus and, erm, good luck with the new venture.
David - hope the cold gets better soon.
Wow. Some of those are great names!
what about myteev.com
GLUDGE.COM GAVE ME A SEIZURE AND SAY "AWWW" LOL
GLUDGE.COM GAVE ME A SEIZURE AND SAY "AWWW" LOL
I think I will start a band named Crench just for the blarse of it. Thanks for brightening my day!
Ha ha, http://www.gludge.com is pretty psychedelic. Although now my eyes are bleeding.
A quick check reveals that many of these names have been registered over the course of 20-21 September, although content has yet to go up.
As far as I can tell, klorp.com and grulch.com now belong to the same guy in Germany. Brolge.com has an owner in New Jersey. And gludge.com belongs to Marcus (see above). Others have gone to anonymous owners elsewhere.
It remains to be seen if these are domain squatters or people with interesting plans. If you’ve bought one of the domains and are reading this, it would be nice to hear from you.
As of 14.30 on 21 September 2012, these eight names remain unclaimed:
Seriously, guy in Germany, what’s wrong with throdge.com?
Hi Nick, after seeing your page, I registered two of the names, gruld.com and blarse.com.
I have no immediate plans for them, but I really liked the idea of having a very easy .com. I think blarse.com is my winner, though I think crench.com was the clear winner of this list.
I'll find a use for the domains, but in the meantime, I don't really consider myself a domain squatter, since I didn't register the domains to sell them, but rather to have them, although I don't yet know what for.
Hi Adrian – thanks, that's great to hear. I'd definitely be interested to track what happens to them, even if it turns out to be nothing much. I'm at mail[at]nickasbury.com if you want to get in touch.
I couldn't resist seizing this clearly valuable opportunity to own a piece of unloved internet real estate, so splegg.com is mine.
Though I was sad I was not enterprising enough to have registered gludge.com (and possibly if it were not for Marcus' trendsetting, I wouldn't have considered any of them in the first place), I take some pride in the Urban Dictionary definition of 'splegg', which is:
"northern irish slang to describe a situation which is too cool for any other words." (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=splegg)
I'd like to imagine some day a large tech company will create a 'splegging'-based service and want to buy the domain for vast amounts, but in reality they will probably go for spleggr.com.
Thanks Jimmy. Interesting that splegg already has a backstory – you could be onto something.
Throdge, thrord, skrolch, wrimb, sprolge, plooped and prork all remain available.
Very tempted by prork.com Could maybe sell it to an ork that does PR or combine prawns and pork as a delicious snack. Prork scratchings anyone?
I must confess to also having taken thrord.com. I had an idea for a website involving a word with no existing definition, and I'm not sure how much mileage there is in alternative definitions for "splegg"...
For anyone interested in tracking the progress of this, the Hall of Unwanted Dotcoms is now down to a single name.
You can follow the story through the comments on the original post:
Followed by an update in which the list is dramatically reduced to five:
And finally today's update, in which we are down to the last name:
Some of the purchasers have been in touch, but if you are one of them and have yet to come forward, it would be good to hear from you.
Hi - I am the one who registered thlunk.com. It was the one that inspired the most ideas in my head, but I have been away for two weeks - hence no action with it just yet.
The other reason I picked it was because it sounded more solid and aggressive (rather than the liquidy sound of some others), and it was also one of the more onomatopoeic words (it was close between thlunk and phlut for me).
Can't wait to see what some of the others here do with their new domains. This should be fun.
Excellent, thanks Adam. Look forward to seeing what happens.
I agree thlunk is a solid name. This whole exercise has reaffirmed my faith in the market, with thlunk being the first to go (quite rightly), and the very weak wrimb.com the only one to remain unclaimed.
|How Fredrik Bond achieved an 'epic strut' for Moneysupermarket.com|
|Björk's Vulnicura album artwork|
|Artist INSA makes his latest animated gif... from space|
|Vital Arts transforms Royal London Children's Hospital|
|Brilliantly funny new ad from Canal+|