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Analysis of the name ’23andMe’

23andme.pngAs you all know, I have high hopes for the genetic profiling company 23andMe. Although 23andMe has not officially launched a product available to the public, it turns out that the founders have chosen a great name for their company.

Nancy Friedman, a name developer and corporate copywriter based in Oakland, has written a lengthy analysis of the name ‘23andMe’ on her blog ‘Away with Words.’ She suggests that the name was deftly crafted and is even better than the oft-suggested name ‘46andMe.’ Ms. Friedman’s post is also the first place I’ve ever seen a pronunciation for Anne Wojcicki’s last name (which is wo-JIT-skee). Turns out I wasn’t too far off!

Blaine Bettinger

Intellectual property attorney, genealogist, and author of The Genetic Genealogist since 2007

5 Comments

  1. Thanks for the link and the kind words! One correction to what was probably a typo: the alternative I suggested was “46andMe” (the actual number of chromosomes), not “43andMe.”

  2. There are two drawbacks to the name 23andme:

    1.) It may limit the company to human genetics. This is OK; however, if the company has a Google like ambition to organize all genetic knowledge, it should have a different name.

    2.) Within humans, the name is exclusionary since it does not take into account conditions such as Klinefelter’s syndrome (esp. xxyy). In other words, 23 could be a rather simplistic view of a “me”.

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