When naming a business here, it mostly comes down to one word -- "Lowcountry."
If a business owner chooses to skip the common practice of naming a business after an actual person, there seems to be no more popular word in our region.
In Beaufort, we have maid services, medical centers, nonprofits, restaurants, publications and all sorts of commissions and clubs who rely on "Lowcountry" as part of their name. There are more than 80 of them by the last count in the phonebook.
Not that we don't branch out if "Lowcountry" doesn't suit us.
There are other options to identify your business with the region, mostly limited to a state symbol, a familiar landscape feature or a living, native organism.
"Palmetto" might rank next on the list. More than 40 disparate businesses including physicians, pest exterminators and security system companies all invoke that nickname of the state.
If you're getting too much "Palmetto," just add the nouns "bluff" or "moon" to further distinguish yourself.
Words such as "sweetgrass" are sometimes used to identify businesses as Beaufort or Lowcountry-based. Already there's a landscaping company, restaurant and even singing group that employ the name of the material basket makers on St. Helena Island use.
Failing all of that, go for "islands" or "trees" with a special emphasis on "pines" and "oaks".
Aquatic creatures -- crabs and frogs (even of the foolish kind) -- have both found their ways into business names.
The ancient Romans likely took a similar approach. There was probably a Tiber River Nail Salon where gladiators with flesh wounds and construction workers covered in the concrete dust of amphitheaters relaxed at the end of a hard day by settling back for bandages and pedicures.
After all, the key is location, location, location.
It's less about lack of originality and more about smart business. It makes sense to link your business to one of the most tourist-infused areas of the country.
As for me, I look forward to the day my grandchildren visit me at The Palmetto Oaks Nursing Home of the Lowcountry.
They'll probably find it across the street from The Sweetgrass Crab Lube and Tire Shop.
Ryan Copeland is a Beaufort native. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.