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What does Amazon mean?

By Snap Agency September 23, 2016

In History – Amazon was a legendary nation of women warriors. It has also been long considered to be the earth’s longest river, though scientists now say it is slightly shorter than Africa’s Nile River.

In Modern Slang – Amazon could be referring to an aggressive, strong-willed, tall woman.

In the Animal Kingdom – Amazon refers to various green parents that live in south America and Central America and are often kept as pets.

In modern eCommerce – Amazon is a popular, Seattle-based eCommerce company that has the strongest market share for commerce done online of any eCommerce platform. Want more info? Read our post “Why is Amazon so Successful” – or further elaboration below the history of the word – for how Amazon.com got its name. 

What is the history of the word Amazon? The story goes that the word Amazon-originated from the Greek a-mazos – meaning “without a breast,” because they cut off their right breast to be able to better at shooting a bow and arrow. The real meaning is the Ionian Greek form of the Iranian word ha-amazon, meaning “fighting together.” Apparently, Ionians mad their H’s silent like cockney slang – so ha-amazon became amazon.

Why did eCommerce giant choose the name Amazon when they started off as a small online bookseller?

Jeff Bezos, the brilliant founder of Amazon.com first named his company Cadabra, after the term used in magic but changed it when a lawyer misheard it as “Cadaver.” Needless to say, Bezos didn’t want to be caught dead with that kind of sound-a-like.

Two real key reasons that are reportedly why Jeff Bezos chose Amazon:

  • He wanted to suggest that Amazon would be very large – so naming it after the river long considered to be the world’s largest made a lot of sense. This idea is supported by the original Amazon tagline “Earth’s biggest bookstore.”
  • A lot of online directories in the early days were organized alphabetically, Bezos decided that having his company’s name start with an A could help him be towards the beginning.

How’d that work out for Amazon?

  • Amazon is now the largest eCommerce store in the world. It original just sold books but has become much larger now with everything from furniture, electronics, and even food now. They were just Business to Consumer (B2C) before, and they have now expanded to Consumer to Consumer (C2C) similar to Ebay.
  • Things they do very well include integration with Audible for audiobooks, showing alternative buying options on other sites, and the suggestions they give you for other things to buy which are very intuitive. For more read: “7 Reasons why Amazon is so Successful