Cool Code Names

top-secretHow cool is it to use a code name for an important project rather than “version 2.5” or “next gen”?  Same for a game-changing initiative that will fundamentally change the landscape and trajectory for the company.  This article includes a list of more than 300 code names to consider for your project.  In fact, one column includes code names grouped by a particular theme (can you figure out the theme for the last group in the list?) and another column just lists a bunch of cool words and phrases to consider for code names.  I’ve used many of these code words over the years and hope you enjoy using them too.

Why Are Code Names Needed?

First, it’s fundamentally fun and cool to use code names but that’s not necessarily the reason to start using code names.  The key reason relates to confidential programs and activities that are talked and written about in ways that could possibly be exposed to people that shouldn’t have knowledge, including the general public.  Haven’t you ever been in a coffee shop or restaurant and overhead a conversation that was clearly confidential?

The most common use cases I’ve seen are as follows:

Other Hints & Tips

If your company has multiple products or product lines, consider assigning a theme to each and then using code names from those themes. It will help your employees and business partners more easily remember what the code name stands for.  For example, one of the companies I worked for in the past used names of philosophers for one product line, types of snakes for another and Greek/Roman gods for another.  You’ll see such category groupings below.

For acquisitions, use a code name that has the same first letter as the target company.  But realize that if your general employee population finds out that you use this approach, they might be able to figure out who your acquisition target is.

The Lists

Themes
Badger
Black Cat
Cheetah
Jaguar
Leopard
Lion
Mountain Lion
Panther
Puma
Siamese
Tiger
Wolverine

Black Widow
Centipede
Hornet
Scorpion
Tarantula
Yellow Jacket
Wasp

Apollo
Athena
Hercules
Iris
Medusa
Triton
Zeus

Anaconda
Cobra
Copperhead
Cottonmouth
Python
Rattler
Sidewinder
Viper

Barracuda
Gator
Great White
Hammerhead
Jaws
Mako
Moray
Orca
Piranha
Shark
Stingray

Axe
Bayonet
Blade
Dagger
Excalibur
Machete
Saber
Samurai
Scimitar
Scythe
Stiletto
Spear
Sword

Aurora
Avalanche
Blizzard
Cyclone
Downpour
Duststorm
Freeze
Frost
Gully Washer
Gust
Hurricane
Ice Storm
Jet Stream
Lightning
Mist
Monsoon
Rainbow
Sand Storm
Seabreeze
Snowflake
Stratosphere
Storm
Sunrise
Sunset
Tornado
Thunder
Thunderbolt
Thunderstorm
Tropical Storm
Twister
Typhoon
Updraft
Vortex
Waterspout
Whirlwind
Wind Chill
Volcano

Aristotle
Confucius
Descartes
Edison
Einstein
Epicurus
Freud
Machiavelli
Marx
Newton
Pascal
Plato
Socrates
Voltaire

Baccarat
Backgammon
Blackjack
Jeopardy
Keno
Monopoly
Pictionary
Scrabble
Trivial Pursuit
Roulette
Stratego
Yahtzee

Aquaman
Batman
Captain America
Catwoman
Daredevil
Flash
Green Arrow
Green Lantern
Hulk
Iron Man
Phantom
Thor
Spider Man
Superman
Wonder Woman
Wolverine

Appaloosa
Clydesdale
Colt
Maverick
Mustang
Palomino
Pony
Stallion
Thoroughbred

Antigua
Aruba
Baja
Bali
Bora Bora
Borneo
CapriFiji
Cayman
Cozumel
Ibiza
Jamaica
Kauai
Majorca
Maui
Nantucket
Tahiti
Roatan

Bald Eagle
Blackhawk
Blue Jay
Condor
Eagle
Falcon
Hawk
Mallard
Oriole
Osprey
Owl
Perigrine
Pelican
Raptor
Raven
Robin
Thunderbird
Vulture

Dagobah
Death Star
Devaron
Hoth
Jakku
Lothal
Naboo
Scarif
Tatooine
Zanbar

Lancer
Volunteer
Searchlight
Passkey
Deacon
Rawhide
Timberwolf
Eagle
Tumbler
Renegade
Mogul

Cool Names List
007
Advantage
Alert
Backhander
Blade
Blaze
Blockade
Blockbuster
Boxer
Brimstone
Broadway
Buccaneer
Champion
Cliffhanger
Coachman
Comet
Commander
Courier
Cowboy
Crawler
Crossroads
Deep Space
Desperado
Double-Decker
Echelon
Edge
Encore
En Route
Escape
Eureka
Evangelist
Excursion
Explorer
Fantastic
Firefight
Foray
Forge
Freeway
Fun Machine
Game Over
Genesis
Hacker
Hawkeye
Haybailer
Haystack
Hexagon
Hitman
Hustler
Iceberg
Impulse
Invader
Inventor
Iron Wolf
Jackrabbit
Juniper
Keyhole
Lancelot
Mad Hatter
Magnum
Majestic
Merlin
Multiplier
Netiquette
Nomad
Octagon
Offense
Olive Branch
Olympic Torch
Omega
Onyx
Orbit
Outer Space
Outlaw
Patron
Patriot
Pegasus
Pentagon
Pilgrim
Pinball
Pinnacle
Pipeline
Pirate
Pirate Ship
Portal
Predator
Prism
Raging Bull
Ragtime
Reunion
Ricochet
Roadrunner
Robin Hood
Rover
Runabout
Sapphire
Scrappy
Seige
Shadow
Shakedown
Shockwave
Shooter
Showdown
Six Pack
Slam Dunk
Slasher
Sledgehammer
Spirit
Spotlight
Starlight
Steamroller
Stride
Sunrise
Super Bowl
Sunset
Sweetheart
Top Hand
Touchdown
Tour
Trailblazer
Transit
Trecker (Trekker)
Trio
Triple Play
Triple Threat
Universe
Unstoppable
Utopia
Vicinity
Vector
Vigilance
Vigilante
Vista
Visage
Vis-à-vis
VIP
Volley
Whizzler
Wingman

Wait, there’s much more!!!

If you enjoyed this article, you’ll love what I cover in my video library called Founders Academy, which includes all of the key concepts and insights to help you dramatically increase your odds of success using topic-specific streaming video modules.  Click Here to Learn More

“Founders Academy is a must!  Gordon unlocked new value in concepts I thought I was already familiar with.” (startup founder)

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Author: Gordon Daugherty

Over the past 15 years Gordon has seen nearly 1,000 startup pitches, advised more than 200 entrepreneurs and been involved with raising over $45M in growth and venture capital. Throughout his 28 year career in high tech, serving twice as President and three times as CMO, Gordon has both an IPO and a $200M acquisition exit under his belt. Now his emphasis is purely focused on helping startups and early stage tech companies. Through his Shockwave Innovations advisory practice and as Managing Director for Austin’s Capital Factory startup accelerator, Gordon is an active angel investor, VC and startup advisor.

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