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An hors d'oeuvre, appetizer, or starter is a small dish served before a meal. Some hors d'oeuvres are served cold, others hot.[4] Hors d'oeuvres may be served at the dinner table as a part of the meal, or they may be served before seating. Formerly, hors d'oeuvres were also served between courses. Typically smaller than a main dish, it is often designed to be eaten by hand (with minimal use of cutlery).

Hors d'oeuvre in French means "outside the work"—that is, "not part of the ordinary set of courses in a meal". The French spelling is the same for singular and plural usage; in English, the typographic ligature is usually replaced by the digraph ⟨oe⟩, with the plural commonly written hors d'oeuvres and pronounced /ɔːr ˈdɜːrvz/. "Appetizer" is a synonym for hors d'oeuvre. "Starter" is sometimes used to denote an hors d'oeuvre, sometimes to denote more substantial courses, known in Europe as entrées.

A small number of food historians believe that the tradition may have begun in Russia, where small snacks of fish, caviar and meats were common after long travels. However, it may be that the custom originated in China, possibly coming through Steppes, into Russia, Scandinavia, France and other European countries. The tradition may have reached Italy, Greece and the Balkan nations through Russia or Persia. Many national customs are related, including the Swedish smörgåsbord, Russian zakuska, Lebanese mezze, and Italian antipasto. During the Roman Period the meal practice was to have two main courses which were supplemented before the meal with small amounts of fish, vegetables, cheeses, olives and even stuffed dormice. These would be served at the start of the meal known as either gustatio or promulsis. The Greeks called the appetizer course propoma.

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If you've ever attempted to name a company you'll know that choosing the right brand name is an art in itself. The best domain names were taken over 10 years ago but in today's modern Internet age the domain name is the brand and it's integral to choose the right name for your company, a name that captures the essence of your business.

Giving your brand the right name is much like naming your own child. It has to be unique, but at the same time, it should be simple and memorable for people outside the family. Particular sounds inspire positive emotions and they result in experiences that are liked, remembered, and shared. Marketing and PR companies have been leveraging this strategy for decades to reinforce positive, memorable experiences through sound.

The best company names are short, snappy, emotion-driven and memorable as a result. If you're struggling to name your company think about the emotions that you want to be felt by your target customer. A 2003 study by neuroscientist Vilanyanur Ramachandran detailed the relationship between certain parts of the brain and metaphors. In the study Ramachandran concluded that sounds are metaphors for images and that people experience sounds through tastes and colors. The instant we hear a new word our brains immediately work trying to make sense of it: Does it sound like something we've heard before? How does it feel? What does it remind us of?

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A great name can create buzz, position you as a true leader and innovator, and reinforce your value proposition in one word. That's powerful! It can convey a culture or a position, and differentiate a company, product or service from the rest of the market. Whereas a poor name can negate the work you do to build a position in the market.