Mykie. Kuri. Yui. Yobi. Asimo. Ozlo. Jibo. Cujo.
Say those five times fast, and you could be speaking an entirely different language. But these aren’t just words: They’re the names of a slew of automated home robots and virtual assistants—all of which seem to be in competition for the cutest name. Their names also sound astonishingly similar—and according to the linguist and verbal branding expert Christopher Johnson, there are a host of reasons why. A linguist explains the nuances behind the names we give technology.