Monday, June 24, 2024
How-tos

Why Is Amazon Called “Amazon”?


Amazon name tag.
Joe Fedewa / How-To Geek

Jeff Bezos settled on Amazon after looking through the dictionary for an “A” name. It was not the original name of the company.

Amazon is one of the largest and most successful companies in history. It’s so ubiquitous that you probably don’t think of the rainforest that bears the same name. But how did Jeff Bezos come up with it?

What Was Amazon’s First Name?

It’s hard to imagine Amazon not being called “Amazon,” but that wasn’t the first name chosen by CEO Jeff Bezos. After moving to Seattle, Washington in 1994, Bezos incorporated the company with the name “Cadabra, Inc.”

According to Brad Stone’s book “The Everything Store,” “Cadabra” was a reference to “abracadabra,” to suggest using the store would work like magic. The Cadabra name didn’t stick around for long, though.

Just a few months later, after a lawyer misheard the name as “cadaver,” Bezos decided to find a new name. At first, Bezos and his wife wanted relentless.com, but it sounded too unfriendly. Awake.com and browse.com were also in consideration—all three still redirect to Amazon.

Why Did Jeff Bezos Call His Company Amazon?

In the time before Google Search ruled the internet, being at the top of alphabetical lists still mattered. That’s what led Bezos to awake.com and another name, “Aard.”

Eventually, Bezos settled on the name we all know—Amazon.com. As the story goes, he was looking through the dictionary and liked “amazon” because it sounded “exotic and different.” Amazon is not only the name of a rainforest, but also the largest river in the world. Bezos said he planned to make Amazon the biggest bookstore in the world.

Bezos felt that branding was incredibly important for his company, especially as an online company. The rest is history, and now millions of people buy everything from tech products to household items from a website. The original purpose of the company—books—is still a massive arm, but Amazon does so much more nowadays.


Did Amazon’s name play into its success? It’s hard to know for sure, but a good name certainly doesn’t hurt. It’s entirely possible we could all be buying portable battery packs from Cadabra.com and reading eBooks on our Cadabra Wand eReaders.





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