I name thee…
A bunch of people (mostly on Kickstarter) pointed out that I (well, my kit) needed a better name. I thought hard, I took long contemplative walks, I talked to fortune tellers and oracles, I sought guidance from the heavens…
And decided to call it: Chi-qoo (“chee-koo”)
Well, here’s the real story (although, if you don’t like the name, I still blame the oracles). The name is derived from the Japanese Chinese-derived pronunciation of the Kanji character for bamboo (“竹”): “chiku”
Wait. What? Okay, here’s a lesson in the history of the Japanese language. Long before Wal-Mart started importing cheap plastic things from China, Japan imported many nifty things from their neighbor. One of the many things that got imported was the Chinese writing system. The Japanese also developed two separate syllabaries (kind of like alphabets), but the Chinese characters are still used today, and are called “Kanji” (Kan=Han=China). To make things a bit more complicated, the Japanese assigned multiple pronunciations to most of the characters. There’s the “kun-yomi” pronunciation which is native to Japanese, and then there’s the “on-yomi” pronunciation which is derived from the original Chinese pronunciation. So, to get back to the name, “chiku” is the “on-yomi” pronunciation (the Chinese-derived pronunciation) of the Kanji character for bamboo (“竹”).
From “chiku” to “chi-qoo” took surprisingly long. I decided early on that hyphenating would help people figure out how to pronounce it. It also took a while to decide how the “ku” sound would be transcribed. The hard K sound can be “c”, “k” or “q”. The long “oo” can also be a slightly shorter “u”. So, the combinations were numerous (which is why I needed long contemplative walks). I sat on the name for a while, and at some point (actually, I think it was the corner of Waverly and Lincoln) I decided that “Chi-qoo” was right. As luck would have it, the domain chi-qoo.com was available so that was that.
The Chi-qoo Solar Kit is available for pre-order on our shiny new web store.