My device naming scheme

January 25, 2021

You might have noticed that my blog is called Purple Royale. Sounds silly? Get ready, because it will get more colorful up in here!

So you know how devices have names? iPhone or John's iPhone or 5PLA7 or whatever else. I don't like these names. I don't like the plain name, not the code name, and not the <someone's name> <device name>.

Many years ago I was looking for a device naming scheme. It had to be interesting to me, it had to have at least "a lot" of possible names, and it had to be easy for me to generate these names.

I googled and I asked what other friends use. I remember a friend (and a great dev) used physicist names, which I found cool but not too interesting and hard to generate for me. Yes, googling for a name is too much work. Other schemes I found I think on Wikipedia were not too interesting either, so much so, I don't even remember them or care to find them again. I decided to make my own.


I'll name my devices with colors. Thats interesting to me, there are definitely a lot of them to not run out soon, and its easy for me to think of a color, and only if I want a very unique color, I can use online help.

List of names I've used, roughly in order šŸ¤·ā€ā™‚, with explanations and my thought process:

  • red

An iPhone, it wasn't red. But a good color to start with. red.

  • black

Another iPhone, that one was black. black.

  • purple

My first macbook, that I got used from a good friend. purple is my favorite color (could you tell?), and that was my main machine, so it deserved it. purple.

  • blaxk

iPhone X black, hence the x instead of c. blaxk.

  • blue

A server I had running. Running my own server is cool, blue is cool, blue.

  • redo

A server I had running but in Japan, so, redo šŸ˜…. At that point red, remember, the first iPhone on the list, that was gone, so red would be free to reuse too, but I wanted something more Japanese. I thought of the JP flag, has red, make it a bit more Japanese-y, redo.

  • green

The macbook I had from work when I worked at a company doing football streaming. football, green.

  • white

My ipad. Generic device, generic name. white.

  • royal-purple

The next macbook, I bought that one myself new. It was an upgrade from purple, so royal-purple.

  • pavlos' airpods

šŸ˜¬ Yea that one was like that. For some reason when I got the first airpods, I didn't think they needed a device name like that. Shameful šŸ˜›.

  • royal-black

That was my next iphone, I felt like keeping the black color for my phones, so from blaxk i went to royal-black, similar to the macbook. At the time of naming, I didn't feel like looking for a different shade of black, so the easy name was that. royal-black.

  • maroon

My next airpods. This time I got a nice name for them. red was the first iphone I named, maroon is close enough but darker, fitting for the airpods, used usually with my iphone. maroon.

  • samblue

I got a nice TV, a Samsung. I saw that I can change the name of it, so I thought of something nice, blue is nice. Samsung + blue, samblue.

  • lavender

The next work macbook. This one is close to purple as a color, because I really like that company I'm with. Its subject is art, I enjoy working there a lot, lavender felt like a good combination. lavender.

  • royal-blanc

Not a new device totally. My royal-black broke and I got it replaced. So as it needs a new name but not a totally different name, I made a small change typographically speaking. royal-blanc.

  • the-pink

I got a little gaming PC for myself. It's small, it's cool, it allows me to play games and talk with my friends, quarantine style. Even though I have the lights on the case colored purple, the PC is a nice little fancy thing, so I wanted pink as a name. Just pink didn't feel special enough. the-pink.

  • wh1te

Similar to royal-blanc but not really. I got a second ipad from my brother. Sticking with white for the ipads, that one felt like an upgrade to the last one, so again, small change. wh1te.

  • hookers-green

I got a gaming laptop to be able to play and talk with friends while I'm away from home. It was an unexpected buy, but one that definitely was a good one. It's windows, which I like slightly less than mac, it's a lenovo, which I like less than macbooks. So I looked for a less great color. To me that was green. green was free since I had left the company that gave me that macbook before, but still I didn't want to reuse. green was that one. This should have another name. I googled for shades of green, and there it was. A funny silly name for a shade of green, perfect for that laptop! hookers-green.

  • yellow

I decided to name the linode server I have to yellow. It's in Europe this time, but the color has nothing to do with that. Just a color that will not be used for any of my main daily devices, so I might as well use it there. yellow.

  • neon-orange

I got a Synology to use as an extra backup thing and some other uses. So you know that neon orange vest that workers wear, so you can spot them from afar and in the dark? That's what this NAS is doing. It's a worker, backing up, doing things for the betterment of my data. And I need to acknowledge that. neon-green.

  • gray

I got an Android phone as a second/travel phone, not wasting my iPhone's battery etc! I decided to call it gray, because its kinda gray anyway, but also Android feels kinda bland but also customizable, so it feels not like a blank canvas exactly, but kinda. So gray.

  • mauve

My current phone. Gotta stick with my favorite color shades, so this one is mauve. Simple as that.

  • emerald

My new work macbook. This one is related to money so I wnated something gem-y, green, which naturally came to emerald.

My current devices are mauve, royal-purple, emerald, maroon, the-pink (when I'm home), hookers-green (when I'm not home), wh1te, samblue, yellow, neon-orange.


So there we go! People have asked why my phone is called that or commented on the name of my airpods etc. Now we all know where these come from. From the need to have a unique device name (unique within my devices, but being unique in the sea of John's iPhones doesn't hurt either. They are fun and easy to remember, for me. They are easy to recognize, for me. They make sense, to me.

Do you have an interesting device naming scheme? Let me know on twitter.

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