An anonymous reader writes: An overlooked barrier to the adoption of free software may very well be in the names chosen for the software. I just recently installed Xubuntu on an old laptop for my 8 year old nephew, and found that I had to go through and sanitize the installed software. Why? Because I didn't want him asking my sister what "Gigolo" or "Gimp" meant. It's hard for me to take software seriously when its named after a male prostitute. Even when the names aren't off-color, they're often uninformative. I'm fairly sure my sister couldn't tell at first glance what LXRandr (from LXDE) or Orage (from XFCE) do.
The problem compounds itself further when dealing with distributions as a whole. When I installed an older version of Ubuntu for my father years ago, there was no concept of unified naming in the operating system — and that's a problem that's only slowly being fixed. By "unifiied naming" I mean that he was bombarded with names like "GNOME" and "Ubuntu" and "Linux" all seemingly referring to the operating system. He thought he was using something called "Ubuntu" but because of the way manuals and help and news articles were written, I had to explain to him the difference between a "kernel" and a "desktop environment". Users of Windows don't have to know that they're using the "Windows Shell" and the average Mac OS X user has no idea what "Quartz" is or why they should care about "xnu" or "Darwin".
So, I ask Slashdot: what is to be done? Is this a real problem deserving careful thought, or are whimisical and off-color names just adding spice to our computing lives?