To paraphrase a famous line from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, “a theme by any other name would look as sweet” … and in the same manner that one can see “code is poetry”, a good theme will be known by its quality more so than by its name. The name should just be a point of reference so you can find it more easily.
Also keep in mind, that when you choose a theme name you should recognize what and how that name should be used within the theme’s code. For example, the theme name will directly translate into the theme’s slug. The theme slug should be expressly used as the theme’s textdomain. Also keep in mind, in many cases the theme name/slug should also be used as the prefix for any of the theme’s functions that may be used to ensure there is minimal chance of code clashes and/or conflicts.
So what makes a good name? I would say something unique but still easy to remember. People might joke about naming a theme “Fred” which is all fine especially if Fred is a great theme then it will be rather easy to search for, but seriously … Fred?!
Why not try something a little more interesting, something to make the theme stand out a bit. Maybe “Black Gypsy Moth” … or “Hecuba’s Huzzah” … how about “SKU Biddy Bah Boo”?! These can all be good, or bad, theme names but for the most part the real test will be in the code and design; and, what the theme does for the person using it.
Also, don’t forget the power of a single word theme name, and that does not mean to say it has to be a “real” word. Why not try making something up yourself … could you see “Gooderama”, “Crazylicious”, or even “Bestest” as a theme name? I can. I might even grab one of these for myself. It’s still first come first served so be quick about it, these are all free to use.
Will playing off of another popular name, or flavor of the day/week/month really be that valuable down the road? Maybe, but why not stand out with a truly unique name upfront rather than share the limelight with something or someone else.
Part of the fun and the challenge of theme design is giving the finished product a name that suits the work. Although this is something that often needs to be done before the code is written, it is still worth the time to take a step back and think of something unique to aspire to … you’re not just creating a copy of another theme you are creating your own unique work, doesn’t it deserve a unique identifying name as well?