The origin of Amazon’s name

Before Amazon became the world’s largest online shopping platform, there were several different options for names — and if you type some of them, you’ll still get redirected to the Amazon homepage.


At first, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos called his (at that point) book selling website Cadabra Inc. The name was a play off “abracadabra” to show how magical online shopping was. But after a lawyer misheard the name as “cadaver,” Bezos figured he should rebrand it.

A bit of brainstorming led Bezos to relentless.com — a name he and his wife were passionate about, according to Business Insider. He was told Relentless sounded unfriendly, but Bezos still bought the domain name in 1994. To this day, if you type relentless.com into the search bar, you’ll go to the Amazon homepage. Same goes for browse.com and awake.com, two other names Bezos considered as options.
He also suggested the name Aard, with the intention of making it to the top of alphabetical lists. Before the present days of Google’s complex algorithms, search engines would arrange links alphabetically, so having an “A” name would be a definite advantage.

Finally, Bezos settled on Amazon. For one thing, he could still keep his company at the top of the alphabet. But borrowing the name of the world’s longest river was supposed to evoke how huge it would be, according to Mashable. After all, the site’s tagline was “Earth’s biggest bookstore” when it started — now it became Earth’s biggest shopping platform, making millions of customers happy.

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