Shaun Gilchrist on Naming His jQuery Plugin “Bling”

Shaun Gilchrist, a Lisp programmer who also works with Javascript, recently released a popular jQuery plugin called Bling which makes it easier to dynamically create HTML fragments via JavaScript.

Why’d he choose the name Bling? Here’s Shaun:

I wanted a short name which related to jQuery. The $ prefix is well known in the context of jQuery/web programming as well as the hip hop lexicon, but there it would be known as bling. This was the swagger I desired. I also wanted something playful/non serious to indicate it is clearly a hack and not to be taken too seriously.

When you’re trying to come up with a name it often helps to look at words that are associated with your topic. In this case, Shaun wanted a name that related to jQuery, jQuery uses the dollar sign symbol heavily, a dollar sign is associated with money, which is related to the term bling.

“Bling” also helps describe the personality of his plugin: it was a quick project that’s not intended to take over the world or anything like that. Contrast that with a name like “Fortune”, a word that’s also related to money but carries a much heavier mental association.

Not bad for a playful hack 🙂

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