This week saw the release of GIMP 2.7.3, complete with a working single window mode.

With GIMP back in the spotlight, I came across a blog post by blogger Nick Ali in which he suggests that it’s time ‘The GIMP’ was given a ‘better name’.

I have personally never been that bothered by the name and its inferences but I do know of people who have refused to install it based solely on that very reason.

Does it need a new name?

In Nick’s post he quotes from a nutritional newsletter item discussing reasons that lead to over eating. (?!)

The quote: –

[Names influence people.]

A while back, someone who operated a healthy cafeteria called to say, “No one is eating in our cafeteria. What should we do?” So we simply changed the names of the foods they served.

Instead of Italian Pasta, we called it Succulent Tuscany Pasta. Or instead of Chocolate Cake, we called it Belgian Black Forest Cake, even though the Black Forest isn’t in Belgium. Once we added a descriptive name, sales jumped by 27 percent. And it’s not just that food. People rated the restaurant better and the chef more competent.

If you believe that something’s going to taste good, you look for the qualities that confirm that. If you believe the milk is spoiled, you drink the milk looking for confirmation of that, too.

I’m not sure food was the best analogy to draw here; I certainly wouldn’t want apps rebranded with lusciously worded prose for a name. Give me plain ol’ ‘Turpial’ over  ‘Easy to use free twitter application Turpial‘ ;P

But names are important, particularly in App Stores/Software Centres where they, along with their icons, are pretty much all potential users will judge on. And a name like ‘GIMP’ – which in western countries relates relates to something NSFW – is not the most descriptive of application titles out there…


The GIMP is an established ‘brand’ with a significant user base within the OpenSource community and beyond.

I regularly come across forum threads or user comments where people are asked what they used to create their avatar or wallpaper and the response is “the free gimp programme“.

And ‘The GIMP” is not a random name either, but an acronym for ‘The GNU Image Manipulation Programme’.


So, the question I ask to you folks is: Do you think the GIMP needs to be renamed? Would you feel more comfortable recommending it to others if it was titled differently?

Do you think The GIMP needs a ‘better name’? Vote in the poll below, and leave your suggestions for a new name in the comments.

Poll gimp