Skype is a program for online communication used by over 600 million people all over the world. The platform was released back in 2003 as software for peer-to-peer (P2P) communication. Since this was the original idea for the product, and what would make it different, the name had to reflect the project idea. However, the official name of the product Skype doesn’t do that – or at least not in an obvious way. What people often don’t know is that before the name skype was chosen to represent the project, another name was used – sky peer-to-peer. Sounds similar?
The idea behind sky peer-to-peer is a bit ambiguous and there are various explanations to why the word sky is attached to the type of computer network. Most common is the suggestion that sky was chosen to reflect that the network was passing the information through the air – the sky.
Probably due to problems with the usage of a long brand name before the launch of the software Sky peer-to-peer was shortened to Skyper. According to most of the information online the word was not supposed to signify anything expect for a shorter version of the previous name. However, web history teaches us that finding good domain name for a company/brand is vital. In this case many of the domains skyper.* were already taken. This situation lead to further (and last one) shortening of the software name – Skype. Speculations about Norse origins of the word; or the rhyming capabilities of Skype with hype, pipe, type etc. exist, but these are only suggestions. The official name origin of the Skype program lies simply in the computer network used for transmitting information – the sky peer-to-peer.
If you are further interested in the appearance of Skype – its logo and brand guidelines – check out this article in logoblink.com.
For more naming-related articles on made-up brand names you can check the naming article on the popular Absolut vodka, the naming of the famous Motorola company, or the name story behind Chromebook.
Subscribed to your blog, many thanks
1890s out of boonsville cal. Language developed called bootling
Had word skype (sky pilot) meant preacher!
Oh… I didn’t know about that, thanks for sharing :)
I found that the word skype was used in The Saint tv program S6 Episode 11, The man who gambled with life. One of the girls who talks to Roger Moore at the start uses it.