Okay, we’ve refined the…

Okay, we've refined the search for a journal name a bit.

I think we're going to avoid some of the more common food names (such as chutney, mango, masala, roti) -- they're a bit clich� for South Asia, and just tired from overuse).

Some of the names are interesting in political ways (coolie, pukka), but perhaps too-loaded for a journal that's meant to be more literary than political. If I ever start a South Asian political rag, though� And pundit does sound like a scholarly journal.

Typhoon sets up a high bar for dramatic content, and is also perhaps too close to Monsoon, an existing mag name. Dinghy is too close to Catamaran, ditto. Pyjama has too many different spellings, and also might suggest it's meant to be smutty (especially with me editing it). Names like Chakra, Sutra, Mantra, Mandala, Shanti, etc. seem more likely to be either yoga or religious journals.

And while there are a lot of words that mean arts and literature in S. Asian languages, they don't carry any English connotations currently; I think there's something really nice about a word that comes from a desi language, but also has a meaning in English, given that we'll be publishing in English. (If, at some point, DesiLit evolves to have a Tamil literary journal as well, and how awesome would that be, then perhaps we could use Kavya for the name, for example. Except that's also my daughter's name, so it might be confusing if I were working on the magazine. :-).

I'm torn on Jackal -- some people find it too negative, although I kind of like the power of it.

Here's day two's list -- I've taken some of the top contenders from day one, and added some interesting suggestions that came in. Let's keep churning the list, and thanks for all the suggestions so far. I read and enjoyed them all, even if they didn't make it to this round. :-) More suggestions are welcome too, but also responses to these.

_____________: A DesiLit Arts and Literature Journal

  • Almirah
  • Bangle
  • Calico
  • Cashmere
  • Chaat
  • Dal
  • Dhol
  • Ginger
  • Indigo
  • Jackal
  • Jaggery
  • Juggernaut
  • Khaki
  • Teak

5 thoughts on “Okay, we’ve refined the…”

  1. I like “Cashmere” and “Khaki” for evoking the feel of those fabrics. When I think “Calico” I think “cat” because I don’t actually have experience with calico fabric. 🙂 I also like “Teak”

    “Almirah” is not an English word I knew, so if you were going for that level of familiarity, it’d fail with me. Same with “Dhol”. “Indigo” feels generic to me (rather like the name of a nightclub).

    “Bangle” might be nicely subversive since bangles are showy and ornamental.

    How would you feel about “Cheetah”, “Shawl”, “Cowrie”, “Jute,” “Lacquer”, or “Opal”?

  2. “Juggernaut” and “Ginger” are already in use, by bodybuilders and redheads respectively.

    Most of these feel too… generic? I like “Jaggery” best.

  3. Bangle. I like all of the connotations. I also like the look of it in print, the sound of it on the tongue, the myriad images it evokes.

  4. I love Almirah, but I am familiar with the word. It just makes me picture opening a big cupboard of stories of all types, because when opening an almirah in India it’s usually a colourful explosion of saris.

    Indigo is worrisome to me just because in Canada Indigo books is our main bookstore.

  5. I love Almirah too, but I think we’ve decided it’s just not commonly-enough known, and is difficult for unfamiliar folks to spell. Indigo has both that problem, and that it’s apparently lesbian-identified, which I hadn’t realized.

    I think we’re actually down to Jaggery and Teak as the top contenders, based on various places I’ve been asking.

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