The Strange Roots

Blizzard 🌨️

Blizzard, the American computer games development company, started life as Silicon & Synapse but customer confusion and misspelling of the name caused co-founders Michael Morhaime, Frank Pearce and Allen Adham to have a rethink.

Blizzard have intentionally put at least one spell or ability called "Blizzard" in their games since choosing the name.

They wanted to rebrand as Chaos Studios, a name that Adham said "was pretty representative of our development process", but the name was already taken so they opted for Ogre Studios instead. However the company president Jan Davidson didn't like the name so they flicked through a dictionary to find an alternative:

"We only found Blizzard because Jan said she didn't like Ogre, and so Allen started going through the dictionary," Morhaime said. "Allen started going through and writing down cool names, in alphabetical order. I don't know how far he got. At least to B (...) Once we found Blizzard, we said that's it, that's the one… And Blizzard came up pretty clean, back then. Now it wouldn't, now it's ours!"

Root: The word blizzard is thought to be onomatopoeic - like blow, blast and bluster - and emerged in the United States from the early 19th century, initially meaning a 'violent blow' before later becoming 'a furious blast of frost-wind and blinding snow' or a ‘snow-squall’.

Sources How Blizzard got its name | Oxford English Dictionary.