At it amour and nails: polish naming and the fine art of punning

  • @gillian_orr

Long gone are the days when nail polish colours were called things like Midnight Blue and Red Vixen; with so little to differentiate between competitors' shades, companies now rely on the most outrageous and puntastic names to shift their product.

The most ridiculous are even compiled in a blog, Stupid Nail Polish Names, which pokes fun at the likes of "Red Thong In Divorce Court", "No More Waity, Katie", "Miso Happy With This Colour' and, er, "Jizz".

OPI are famous for their bonkers - and sometimes mildly offensive – polish names (they called one "Iris I Was Thinner"), so I decided to check out the launch of their autumn/win- ter 2012 collection, which was inspired by Germany, because "Berlin is the hottest city in Europe right now". Their Germany range includes "Don't Talk Bach To Me" (phlegm green, sorry, "sassy lime-yellow"), "Nein! Nein! Nein! OK Fine!" (olive; hopefully not a reference to intercourse) and "Every Month is Oktoberfest" (plum; go figure). So how do OPI come up with their sassy names?

"It takes six people eight hours to name 12 shades," says Suzi Weiss Fischmann, OPI's creative director. "For this we sat in a room and ate German food to get inspired." So, is punning a prerequisite skill for those interested in a career in polish naming? "Of course! And you have to be kind of crazy," laughs Fischmann. Just lacquer her go! Eh?