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Choosing A Domain Name? Beware Of Slurls

December 11, 2010

Settling on a domain name is a big task - there's not only making the list of choices, but then hoping that one of them is available. Sometimes what would appear to be a prime domain name may be available; but there may be a reason - perhaps it's a "slurl".

The term slurl was coined by a British software developer, Andy Geldman and is a combination of two words - slur and URL. 

A slurl refers to a domain compromising of multiple words that when put together, can form other word combinations and  mean something quite different to what the registrant intended; and often of an adult or gruesome nature. Rather than post examples of slurls here; you can visit; a site that keeps a running list of active sites that have fallen victim to the domain naming faux pas.

Another type of slurl is one where the words comprising the domain name don't also spell another phrase, but may be interpreted as a slang term for something else.

While amusing to onlookers, registrants who inadvertently register and begin using a slurl domain name often find it embarrassing - and it can affect their business. Once alerted, some registrants, have changed their domain names; either by registering a name with a hyphen to help make the nature of the site clear, or registering a totally different name altogether.

Slurls are only one potential pitfall when considering a name - learn more in our guide to choosing domain names.

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