Special Report

World Wide Mesh (and 49 Other Famous Things that Almost Had Other Names)

John Harrington

Source: Photo by Hulton Archive / Getty Images

6. The Great Gatsby
> Almost named: Trimalchio in West Egg, Under the Red, White, and Blue
> Category: Book

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece went by other titles, among them “Trimalchio in West Egg” and “Under the Red, White and Blue.” Fitzgerald liked the latter title because it stressed the book’s symbolism. In the end, he gave the go-ahead for “The Great Gatsby.”

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

7. Annie Hall
> Almost named: Anhedonia
> Category: Movie

Woody Allen’s original suggestion for the film title was “Anhedonia,” a term that refers to a person’s inability to experience pleasure. But “Anhedonia” was considered unmarketable, and it was jettisoned for other movie titles such as “Rollercoaster Named Desire” and “Anxiety.” “Annie Hall” would win four Academy Awards in 1978, including Best Director for Allen.

Source: Carla216 / Flickr

8. Nancy Drew
> Almost named: Stella Strong, Diana Drew, Diana Dare, Nan Nelson, Helen Hale and Nan Drew
> Category: Character name

Nancy Drew, the sleuthing counterpart of the Hardy Boys, was nearly called Stella Strong, Diana Drew, Diana Dare, Nan Nelson, Helen Hale, and Nan Drew. More than 500 Nancy Drew books have been published since 1930, written by various ghostwriters using the pen name Carolyn Keene.

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

9. Titanic
> Almost named: The Ship of Dreams
> Category: Movie

James Cameron’s 1997 epic about the doomed ocean liner hauled in a record-tying 11 Academy Awards, including for Best Picture and Best Director. “Titanic” was almost titled “The Ship of Dreams” and “Planet Ice.”

Source: Carl Court / Getty Images

10. Snapchat
> Almost named: Picaboo or Pictaboo
> Category: Company

Snapchat, the messaging app for ephemeral photos, was originally called either Picaboo or Pictaboo after the game peekaboo. The company’s ghost logo represents the “boo” part. That name lasted until the creators of the app received a letter from a photography book publisher that had the same name. So they changed the name to Snapchat.