“…Where’s Bert?” – What’s In a Name?

My name is Ernie.  Well, technically Ernest, but all my people call me Ernie or Ern.  When I was younger, I disliked my name.  I heard all the jokes, “Hey Ernie, where’s Bert? etc.”  Why couldn’t I have a name like other people, a regular name?  My name made me stand out and at times, I just wanted to be invisible.  I did not want anyone to see me or hear me because I did not think I had anything to offer.  Until … I found out why I have this name.  You see, I was named after my grandpa.  For the longest time as a child, I did not know he had a name, he was just Grandpa to me.  But his name was Ernest.  He was a proud and resilient family man, a provider to his family during one of the toughest economic times in our country, a war hero in WW2 (ohhhh, the stories of his bravery and heroism are legendary), a pillar in his community, a defender and practitioner of his great faith and so much more.  But I did not see any of that, he was simply my grandpa.  Once I found out who I was named after and what he was to so many people, I did not care anymore about the teasing or standing out because of a different name.  I was named after one of the greatest men I have ever known.   To me, his name represents strength and courage and fun and greatness.  I began to love my name.  Now I wear my name proudly.  I may not be as good a writer as Ernest Hemmingway, a brilliant physicist like Ernest Rutherford, a brave explorer like Ernest Shackelton or an Academy Award winning actor like Ernest Borgnine but I am ERNIE.  I am a husband, dad, grandfather and friend to many and that’s plenty for me as I have things to say and things to accomplish!

And, when my son gave my first grandson his middle name of “Ernest”, I cried and not because my wife was chopping onions!  Dang, I’m getting all weepy eyed now just thinking and writing this blog post.

Anyway, why do I talk about a name and what does it have to do with my business?  It is because choosing a domain name is important!  Your business name represents YOU and what YOU are trying to convey.  In a future post I will detail and explain the domain host I chose (it’s a good one so stay tuned to this blog for a future post), but for now let’s discuss how to choose a name for your website and/or blog.  My domain erniesonline.com (Ernie’s Online Journey) was not my first choice.  In fact, it was my third choice.  My first choice was already taken and my second choice was way too expensive.  But I am glad they were not available as my domain name suits me just fine and I am very happy with how it describes this venture – me online and my journey to success! Choosing a professional website or brand name involves considering factors like relevance to your idea/brand, easy spelling, memorable, and domain availability. It should reflect your business or purpose clearly while being concise and easy to remember.

Below are some points to consider when choosing a domain name:

    • Reflect Your Brand: Your website name should align with your brand identity and convey the essence of what you do or offer.
    • Keep it Simple: Avoid using complicated or lengthy names that are hard to spell or remember. Stick to concise and straightforward names. Choose a name that is easy to pronounce and doesn’t lead to confusion when spoken aloud.
    • Check Domain Availability: Make sure the domain name you want is available and preferably with a .com extension, as it’s the most widely recognized and trusted.
    • Consider Avoiding Hyphens and Numbers: Hyphens and numbers can make your domain name harder to remember and type correctly. Try to use only letters if possible.
    • Be Unique and Memorable: Conduct a search to ensure that your chosen name isn’t already in use by another website or trademarked by another company. Aim for a name that stands out and leaves a lasting impression on visitors, making them more likely to return to your site in the future.
    • Consider Future Expansion and Be Timeless: Choose a name that will still be relevant and scalable as your business grows and evolves. Choose a name that you can see yourself using for the long term, as rebranding can be costly and time-consuming.  Avoid trendy or overly specific names that may become outdated or limiting in the future.
    • Get Feedback: Once you’ve narrowed down your options, ask friends, family, or colleagues for their opinions to ensure your chosen name resonates well with others.
    • Consider Social Media Availability: Check if your chosen name is available on popular social media platforms to maintain consistency across all online channels.
    • Get Professional Help: If you’re struggling to come up with a name or want expert guidance, consider consulting with branding professionals or using online tools to generate ideas.

Good luck in your domain name choice, but you can’t have mine.  It is taken and it is a pretty cool name, in my opinion!

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” – William Shakespeare, “Romeo and Juliet”

“A person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest sound in any language.” – Dale Carnegie

And, as usual, a few FUN and BAD dad jokes:

Why did the website go to the beach? To surf the net!

Why did Bert wear sunglasses while reading a book? Because he heard that Ernie’s jokes were so funny, they made everything “brighter”!

Until next time, Stay Fresh, Friends!

26 thoughts on ““…Where’s Bert?” – What’s In a Name?”

  1. Hi, Ernie! I love the story behind your name. It’s so nice that you carry that legacy, and your grandson will carry it forward!

    Choosing a domain name is a difficult decision that can easily become nerve-wracking. That’s a very helpful list for considering how to choose one.

    I’m wondering how you got your signature at the end of your blog post. Did you take a picture and upload the image to your blog?

    1. Hi Nakina – Thanks for the visit. I tend to overthink things and when I finally decided on a domain name, it was already chosen! Very frustrating but I am really glad I landed on my current domain name. As for my signature, I signed it on a white piece of paper and then scanned it in to make a JPG (you can use any format you wish – PNG is also good). I then cropped it and angled it the way that I liked. I added it to my media page in my chosen Theme in WordPress. Now, when I am done typing out my blog, I simply position it where I want after I add in the media. I hope that helps. 🙂

  2. Awww, I think that is so lovely that you discovered why you were named after your grandfather. It changes your entire persona as who you thought you were. What a great legacy you were born into. Great job on the blog post. All the points about a domain name are right on cue. Thank you for the expert tips.

  3. Ernie, thank you for sharing your heartfelt journey of coming to embrace and cherish your name. Your story beautifully illustrates the power and significance of a name and identity. Your advice on choosing a domain name for a business resonates deeply – it should reflect your brand identity, be simple, memorable, and reflect your purpose clearly. Your tips on domain availability, simplicity, uniqueness, and future scalability are incredibly valuable for anyone embarking on their online journey. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and personal story that adds a deeper meaning to the importance of names and identity in business.

    1. Thank you so much for your visit in your nice comments! Yes, choosing a name is so important and consideration for what you are trying to portray and the message you are trying to give. I truly appreciate your comments. Have a great day!

  4. Yes names are precious. It’s tough if you hate your name. I have a story to tell about my brother who changed his name because of a mentally ill man whom everyone knew and had the same name as my brother and father. We’d get regular hate phone calls. So my brother changed his name. I bet my dad wished he could’ve done the same.

    My brother had a domain reflecting his changed name and did well with it.

    1. I am so sorry that your brother had to change his name. This is truly an unfortunate situation that cannot be predicted. I am so glad he was able to make a positive use of his new name and hope he continues to do well. Thank you so much for your visit!

  5. Hi Ernie,
    It’s funny how a name can have such power over a person (in a good way or a bad way). It was, I’m sure, horrifying when those kids would tease you with your name, but at the same time glorifying when you realized where your name came from and who it came from. Then it had true meaning. It’s just so funny how a name can go both ways. Such a nice story…Great post though explaining the importance of a domain name and your business. Thanks!

    1. Thank you so much for your very positive and kind comments. Yes, names do have power. I choose to use the power for good now and am proud of my name. It took me a while to choose my domain name but I’m glad I chose it as it has meaning to me. Thank you for your visit and hope you are well!

  6. You had me at Ernie. When i was kindergardener Ernie and Burt were my favorite. The power of a name can be significant, and knowing the history just brings it home. Thanks for sharing. here’s to you Ernie.

    1. Hi Scott, thank you so very much for your kind remarks. Yes, Ernie and Bert were favorites of mine as well when I was growing up. I still think we can learn a lot from Ernie and Burt, ha ha ha! We all have a history, good and sometimes not so good, but we must make the best of our history. I appreciate your visit and hope you are well.

  7. Ernie, what a great post, thank you. That took me back talking about Bert and Ernie and I remember watching the Muppet show as a kid I used to love it. Anyway the problem is many people are ignorant and when they hear a name they don’t think about the value of it or the meaning of it. It’s just a sound. Then they tie that sound back to something that reminds them of the past or of something else that’s not relevant. Names are very important not only because of their meaning but also of why our parents or grandparents called us these names. My name Atif means kind, affectionate and generous. I always tried to be that way, as that’s what my parents named me. Wishing you all the best take care, thanks, Atif

    1. Atif, I only know you from blogging and from Internet profits. But what I do know of you really matches your name! I like your thoughts on a name is just a sound. Interesting. Had never thought about it in that way. Thank you for your visit and have a great day!

  8. Sarah Goulding

    I love this post. A name is everything. We named our daughter after my husband’s grandma for similar reasons. She was everything to everyone and the kindest lady to walk the planet. My daughter brings so much joy and I know she would be proud.
    A fantastic post, it brought a lot of love and value:

    1. Sarah, thank you for sharing this story. It is very similar to mine now that I know the meaning of my name. And yes, I bet she would be proud! Thank you for your visit and hope all is well!

  9. I love how you tied your own name and its value to you into the choice of a domain name. They truly are lasting impressions. Your story gave a lot of personality to your post and was a very enjoyable read.

    1. Hello, thank you much for your visit. Yes, I do want to make a lasting impression and my domain name hopefully will help me make that impression and help me be successful. I wish the same for you! I appreciate your kind comments and wish you the best!

  10. I feel like I’m starting to repeat myself here.. or maybe it’s dejavu… but I swear I’ve made mention that you are a phenomenal story teller. I truly appreciate you sharing the story of how you received your name. The love and admiration you had/have for your grandfather is palpable… and I swear someone in this house must’ve started cutting onions around me, too! I appreciate that you chose this example as your blog topic … I think it’s something that’s rarely discussed when starting your business but it should be. Your business name.. or your domain name… is less what YOU like, but more what you can brand yourself with… and will remain timeless for some time to come. YES and YES!
    Excellent post, as always, ERNIE! 🙂

    1. Awe, Thank you so very much for this kind post! I must admit, I’m a close follow of yours as well as I tend to learn from you as I’m sure others do. My name does mean a lot to me and I hope others have a connection with their name. What I have learned, is that my name does not define me, but it supports me when people recognize my name and recognize who I am. My desire is that people get to know the “me” behind my name, behind my resume, behind my blog, etc. And yes, I am a storyteller. Just ask my wife and the rest of my family (ha ha ha ha). I do like to talk! It is a skill I learned when I was a corporate trainer for so many years as I discovered people tend to learn when they put themselves in a situation. I do that for myself every day. I put myself in situations from people’s experiences, imagine myself in that experience, and tried to make good decisions. Thank you so very much for your visits to my blog and hope you are well!

  11. Hi Ernie,
    I really enjoyed reading about your name and how it came from your grandpa.
    I didn’t like my name growing up either, in fact most of my family couldn’t even pronounce it.
    My family is Portuguese and those with English as a second language only know to say Danny rather than Denny.
    I like your list to consider when choosing domain name, it’s so helpful and many will benefit from it!
    All the best moving forward.

    1. Thank you for coming and visiting my post! I love your story in that your name is a legacy from your Portuguese heritage. Names not only identify us in person but can identify us in who we are and what we represent. I appreciate your comments to my post!

  12. Ernie,

    When I was young people called me C John and people would say see john run, see john jump, see john go. Never the less I changed it as I go older to avoid the teasing of my name. However, I have learn to appreciate the name. I was name after my dad who is no longer with us. There is a country song that says, ” You got to stand for something and uphold your family name or you’ll fall for anything. .. don’t be a puppet on a string”.

    Names are important just like domain names are important. They say a lot about a business and it’s website in just a few characters. Thanks for sharing some tips on how to determine a proper domain name.


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