what’s in a name

One of the first things we began to creatively wonder about when we began the business was the company name.  The Lord gave us six unique and fun names to consider that to the best of our knowledge are not present in the marketplace.  Logos were designed for three of our favorite.  At some point we’ll probably have a t-shirt for one the “company’s”, the logo and name are just that fun.  But with some input from dear friends in our community group and a lot of back and forth we landed on Alive Oak Wood Co. 

There’s a great radio program on NPR called ‘A Way with Words’.  It’s a road trip staple for our family.  I’m convinced the name of their show is meant to be a phonetic joke, sounding like ‘away with words’.  For two hosts who love the English language and also appreciate the occasional frustrations of using your words, I can see them joking about just doing away with language at the end of the day.

Similarly, alive oak is a play on ‘a live oak’, a tree common to Texas.  Two great live oaks grew in front of my childhood home.  And one of the greatest trees in Dallas, also a live oak, grows in front of a historic home on White Rock Lake.  Many a days have been spent walking or cycling past that tree.  Phonetically ‘alive’ and ‘a live’ sound alike.  Unless your Texan. Alive is pronounced ‘uh-live’ and a live ‘ ay live’.  

Grammatically, ‘alive oak’ is improper. ‘Alive’ is a predicative adjective and typically follows the word is describes, unlike ‘a live’ which is subjective and precedes.  

There’s also a great album performed live by a band from Vermont that is a play on an expression like our name.  

We also wanted to find a name that gave glory to God. When we came across a line that Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus, we knew that ‘alive oak’ was the one.  He perfectly summarizes the gospel message. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our sin, made us alive together with Christ - by grace you have been saved”.  It’s Jesus’ redeeming work on the cross that alone saves us.  And if he was willing to die for a man like me, his love is surely great and merciful.  

alive oak wood co