My family has lived aboard s/v Texas Two Step (We let her keep the name she had before we got her; we're from Oregon.) for the past four years; sailing from Texas, through the Florida Keys, the Bahamas, and down the island chain of the Caribbean.
We are currently planning on a new boat, and looking to more distant horizons to take her. On our last passage I tinkered around in an attempt to create a new name for our future vessel and came up with Eulotica (or Eulotic).
We would like to vet it before adopting it. We would be grateful if this word savvy forum could help us with that process! What does it evoke at first (and second!) read? Particularly, we'd like to know if there are any negative, pegorative, or otherwise untoward associations that may be present that we have not noticed.
Thank you in advance for any help you can give us!
LeslieLouise and the Texas Two Step crew
Hi LeslieLouise, and welcome to the forum.
When I first read your question, I liked the sound of Eulotica … kinda rolls off the tongue. Didn't immediately suggest any meaning to me. I was aware that the prefix "EU" usually means "pleasant, well, good" (as in euphemism or eulogy). But the "LOTICA" didn't scan. On the other hand, "OTICA" is a common suffix meaning "all things" (as in "erotica" which derives from Eros, the goddess of love).
So then I did a search and found that "Eulotica" is apparently the genus of a type of parasite. See this citation. I'm not a biologist, so perhaps I read that abstract incorrectly. "Eulotica" could also be the genus of a type of worm. Probably not what you wanted to hear.
Now if the name was "Euotica" I suppose it could be interpreted as "all things pleasant," but that might be stretching it a bit.
Then again, as Alice said in Through The Looking Glass … "A word means exactly what I want it to mean."
Thank you for the kind welcome! I have long been a fan of the show via podcast for both the content, as well as the people friendly approach the show maintains. I am glad to find the same spirit in the forum!
Thank you for your feedback and research!
I should not be surprised "Eulotica" can be found in biology; the root I started with was "lotic" which my limited research turned up usage primarily in science based writing. The definition for "lotic" in my dictionary app reads, "Of, relating to, or living in actively moving water." The question now is if we are comfortable with the word's possible association with a parasite! I'll have to think about it for a bit, but our decision will likely depend on what percentage of people can make that link automatically. Right?
Let us know if you come up with any other ideas about it!
LL & T2S crew
Well for what it's worth, unless you're a biologist, maybe 1 out of 100 thousand people would make that association with the parasite/worm genus. And I was unaware of "lotic" meaning "associated with moving water." But since that is the case, Eulotica could be construed to mean "pleasant associations with all things involving moving water." That would seem to be a very appropriate name for your new boat, given your sojourning lifestyle.
Go ask Alice … but not when she's ten feet tall.
I think it sounds great. I didn't know the meaning of "lotic." Even so, it has a nice music to the sounds. Like H, I know that eu- equates to good and pleasant.
If Robert's point of association with erotica bothers you, trimming it to Eulotic would probably do the trick.
It sounds like a winner.
Heimhenge—Since we've been boating, I feel much more empathy towards Alice. >.<
Robert--Boat names can sometimes be the best ice breakers when you get into a new anchorage and are looking for new friends!
Glenn--Thanks! The erotica association will only be a dealbreaker if that seems to be the primary goto reaction. Eulotic came first, but seemed truncated for a boat name?
We'd love more feedback--even if just a quick :( or !
Robert said: A long name seems to me more impressive than short.
Yeah, all things being equal, I'd tend to agree. I see a lot of boats being towed around locally (we have a lake nearby), and the majority have names that are more than a single word. For example: Dusty Diva (which I saw just this morning). But only a small minority have cryptic names (like Eulotica) that I find myself wondering about or Googling out of curiosity when I get home.
Not being a "boat person" I was interested to learn that the name of your boat is a good conversation starter in a new anchorage. Makes total sense. I envy that lifestyle. Thought about doing a similar kind of sojourning, but with an RV instead of a boat. Probably a lot of experiential overlap. Plus, an RV can't sink (my wife has a phobia about boats because she's not a strong swimmer).
I like Glenn's suggestion about shortening the name to just "Eulotic" and dropping that final "a." Not like an association with "erotica" is necessarily a bad thing, but if you're going to be explaining the name to new friends, the combination of meanings for EU + LOTIC is much more direct and to the point.
Since you ask for more feedback, here's an idea inspired by Robert's suggestion that longer names might be more impressive: Waxing Eulotic. That would still inspire inquiries at new ports of call, but it's a more "dynamic" name that describes exactly what you and your crew are doing. I can imagine a fellow seafarer accosting you with the question "So is that some kind of new wax you're using on your boat?"
Sadly, thanks to Big Pharma and its marketing goons, to me Eulotica sounds like the name of an antidepressant, erectile dysfunction cure, sleep aid or pain medicine, e.g., Cymbalta, Viagra, Lunesta, Lyrica, …Eulotica.
I prefer Eulotic or, in use, The Eulotic.
Don't let the association to a parasite sway your decision–some of my best friends are parasites–without them the biosphere would collapse. And maybe the "mediciney" taste isn't so bad either (see first link below). However, you might want to consider a name that people in your destination countries can easily relate to, pronounce, grok.
Further thoughts and links regarding that pesky, ubiquitous, "a" ending:
Do you recall when, in 2003, Phillip Morris decided to distance itself from its association with cancer sticks by rebranding itself Altria? Sounds real perty, don't it?
- – -
Most people never knew or have forgotten that the name of Eli Lilly's recently approved erectile dysfunction drug, Cialis (tadalafil), adorned a yacht in the America's cup race. Lilly now sponsors the race. Derived from the French word for sky, ciel, and associated with rigid yacht racing, Cialis implies the sky is the limit. The success of these marketing campaigns is apparent: Pfizer sponsors a Viagra car on the NASCAR circuit, and the New England Patriots professional football team promotes Levitra. Stigma is no longer a serious issue.
- – -
What makes a good name?
"A lot of it is more art than science," said William Trombetta, professor of pharmaceutical marketing at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia. "There are certain letters that express power and control, like Z, M or P. Other letters, like S, are more passive. Depending on what the drug does, you want to give the name certain features."
Want to sound high-tech? Go for lots of Z's and X's, such as Xanax, Xalatan, Zyban and Zostrix.
Want to sound poetic? Try Lyrica, Truvada and Femara.
Want to suggest what it does? Flonase is an allergy medicine that aims to stop nasal flow. Lunesta, a sleeping drug, implies "luna," the Latin word for moon — a full night's sleep.
Then there's Viagra, the erectile-dysfunction drug made by Pfizer. It uses the prefix "vi" to suggest vigor and vitality. The word rhymes with Niagara, suggesting a mighty flow.
Good Stuff everybody!!
So many good points made, I'm just going to weave into the conversation!
We have had the pleasure of so many conversations with boaters explaining boat names; it's the norm for our crew to guess amongst ourselves in advance and then dinghy over to ask for the "real" story behind the name! We get a kick out of seeing how far off we were. We particularly enjoy meeting people that have obviously put some effort into picking a name, especially those with a "twist", thus ensuring an interesting conversation! (And Glenn--I'm convinced us sailors who live on the water are required to have some kind of complex to make it work--messianic or otherwise!
Natatorium--So much interesting information on picking a name! I'm sure glad the "consumers" of our future name are starting off with knowledge that it is a boat! That sure simplifies things.
Radio transmissions in consideration for boat name length:
While a long boat name can be impressive (Texas Two Step is relatively long) and a short one (O is fun! Our crew has replaced the word "ocean" with "the big O" when talking amongst ourselves. :-) is quick to say; one major consideration for us is usage on the radio. As you may already be aware, we spend a great deal of our time being hailed and hailing other boats on the VHF radio. The VHF is turned on all the time, literally 24/7, when we are on the boat. This is for general communication (boat to boat, cruiser community "nets", etc.) and safety (in remote areas for boaters to assist each other, calling government agencies like coast guards, etc.). We need to factor in 1. our usage and 2. how it sounds to others.
The protocol for hailing involves saying the hailed boat's name three times and the hailing boat's name three times (e.g.: O,O,O,Texas Two Step, Texas, Two Step, Texas Two Step). Two things here--1. the ease with which it is to say the name (if you didn't already, try out the hail example above out loud :-) and 2. the ability of radios scanning multiple channels to stop on your "active" channel in time to pick up the transmission while the first boat name is being spoken. We often start to hear transmissions on the third or forth word spoken--possibly why it is required to state the name three times.
We, as you likely did just now, have found "Texas Two Step" to be quite a mouthful when spoken three times in a row. Unfortunately, one syllable boat names often don't even get heard when they are being hailed--some skippers are clever and will begin such a transmission with, "Sailing vessel O…" in order to get scanning radios to catch the transmission before getting to the name; but that is not the norm.
The hailing is just the beginning! The hailed boat replies in a similar protocol form with both names, to agree on which "working channel" to switch to, then a similar routine is performed on the new "working" channel. This whole process is performed several times every day on cruising boats such as ours. We have found that simply shortening our name to "T2S"--for boats that are already familiar with us--takes much of the tongue-twist out of the day. On the plus side, we always hear "Texas Two Step" when being hailed. >.<
Adding the -a:
I started with Eulotic, and we may very well end with it, but that thing with saying it three times in a row has left me feeling a little chopped up. The -a has been an attempt to fix that; as well as add some feminity to the name--since we all know boats are divas! Try Eulotic and Eulotica out loud, 3X fast and let me know what you feel!
Thanks again for all the feedback so far--looking forward to more!
LL and T2S Crew
I see this is degenerating quickly
We do want as much feedback on Eulotic vs. Eulotica as we can get.
However, now I'm thinking about how radio protocol can influence how a boat is perceived and it reminded me of a couple quick anecdotes.
It is the rule in come countries to say, "over" after every radio transmission and those skippers usually continue to do so out of habit when elsewhere--so some names come off sounding slightly humorous with the "over" at the end. Ironically, the skipper of one boat, Happy Ours, is a bar tender in the US Virgin Islands and they always use "over". We get a chuckle every time we hear them say, "happy ours over".
More apropo to the cruising lifestyle is the sailing vessel named Another Way--which is then heard as, "another way over!" Our crew often does back-talk, or off-radio commentary, if you will; and will say something like, "Another way over from where?!"
Likewise, with Broad Reaching (one of the nicest points of sail for cruising sailors), our usual off-radio commentary, "They are broad reaching over? now?! You pick up the cockpit and I'll get some snacks ready!"
As you might be picking up—we get a little rummy out here.
LL and T2S Crew
Well, I can say I've learned a lot about the seafaring lifestyle that I did not know before. But now you've got me thinking about that classic exchange in the cockpit from the 1980 comedy movie Airplane:
Roger Murdock: Flight 2-0-9'er, you are cleared for take-off.
Captain Oveur: Roger!
Roger Murdock: Huh?
Tower voice: L.A. departure frequency, 123 point 9'er.
Captain Oveur: Roger!
Roger Murdock: Huh?
Victor Basta: Request vector, over.
Captain Oveur: What?
Tower voice: Flight 2-0-9'er cleared for vector 324.
Roger Murdock: We have clearance, Clarence.
Captain Oveur: Roger, Roger. What's our vector, Victor?
Tower voice: Tower's radio clearance, over!
Captain Oveur: That's Clarence Oveur. Over.
Tower voice: Over.
Captain Oveur: Roger.
Roger Murdock: Huh?
Tower voice: Roger, over!
Roger Murdock: What?
Captain Oveur: Huh?
Victor Basta: Who?
BTW, to answer your main question … based on others' comments, I'd vote for Eulotic over Eulotica. Sounds more like an adjective (and probably is), and avoids the genus and drug-name associations of the latter. Either that, or Waxing Eulotic (which I also still like).
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