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James Iles

The Origin of Chips: Why Do We Use This Term?

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By James Iles, Dec 1, 2015
  1. It's a term that has been frequently used by domain investors in the past few months, but what does it mean, why do we use this term, and what does it describe?

    "Chip" is an abbreviation of "Chinese Premium." It describes a domain name that can be considered premium to a Chinese company or investor. Chips typically describe valuable domain names that are short and contain only premium letters, known as initials, which exclude the letters a, e, i, o, u or v.

    Although the term was initially used in relation to four-letter .COM domain names, it can be used to describe numeric domains without a 0 or 4 and other categories such as five-letter .COM's with certain patterns.

    @Tim Schoon, a domain investor and owner of PEJ.com Private Equity and Brokerage is credited with first using the term Chips to describe domain names. He first commented on why he thought the term had become so popular:
    For those who don't know, Giuseppe Graziano is a domain name broker who produced an excellent guide to investing in four-letter .COM domains, which is available to read here. His newsletter is also very informative and full of useful pieces of advice.


    Tim went on to describe how he started to use the term Chips to describe Chinese Premium domains in May 2015:

    The term Chip is also a very common word in the world of gambling. Gaming chips are used in many forms of gambling to represent a specific monetary value. Tim describes how the term Chips describes Chinese Premium domain investments perfectly for a number of reasons:

    Chip is a phrase that was initially popular when describing a four-letter domain name, but has started to become a regular description for many categories of domain name. As a word that appears very often on NamePros and around the industry, I think it's interesting to see where this came from, and why we use it. It is certainly more convenient than typing out "Chinese Premium(s)" multiple times in a paragraph or sales listing.

    The unintentional similarity between a casino chip and a Chip domain is also very interesting to note - both can be traded for cash and both can be used to take a gamble in the hope of making more money!
     
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
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  4. James Iles

    About The Author — James Iles

    James is a domain name industry writer. Contact james (at) jamesiles.co.uk For all inquiries relating to NamePros stories and interviews, please email: [email protected] For James' own blog, visit JamesNames.com

    This is James Iles's 104th blog post on NamePros. View all blog posts

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  5. Comments (18)

  6. Mahogany

    Mahogany Top Contributor VIP

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    We also use it because we are lazy typers. We=Average message board users.
     
  7. Keith DeBoer

    Keith DeBoer BrandableInsider.com PRO VIP ICA Member

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    Thanks James!
     
  8. RU

    RU I'm out of domaining. ~Russel VIP

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    Chip Chop
     
  9. Domain Shane

    Domain Shane Top Member DSAD.com Staff PRO VIP ICA Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    First time I've heard of that term. Thanks for sharing :)
     
  10. @Domain Shane I think I've seen Aaron use it once on your blog... ;)
     
  11. Nick

    Nick TLD.PARTNERS VIP

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    I am pretty sure a particular NP member started using it months ago. I don't like the term at all. Chinese don't use it and I think it's somewhat distasteful. The correct term is shengmu.
     
  12. Mahogany

    Mahogany Top Contributor VIP

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    We're American and lazy brother. Sad but true.
     
  13. Nick

    Nick TLD.PARTNERS VIP

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    We don't need to be ignorant. Things like this are part of the reason America is looked down upon by other countries.
     
  14. mirul

    mirul BrandCraze.com VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    +1

    WeChips = Western Chinese Premium

    :xf.grin:
     
  15. Billidn

    Billidn Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Why is 'v' included (with a,e,i,o, and u which are proper vowels and sometimes y if i remember correctly) .
    Y is also not listed in OP, just curious

    from search on google, it says
    V is not a vowel. A;E;I;O;U; & Y are the English vowels, although Y can also behave as a consonant when it is at the beginning of a word
     
  16. Domain Shane

    Domain Shane Top Member DSAD.com Staff PRO VIP ICA Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I did but now that I find out that some dude in Chicago is offended so I've switched to calling them Shamoos or something
     
  17. solarix

    solarix Top Contributor VIP

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    Why not just call them $$$$$? :)
     
  18. forge

    forge ok dude VIP

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    Soon to be discarded and replaced by a more widely applicable term: Chumps.
     
  19. Joseph Green

    Joseph Green Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    It's explained in this article:

    https://www.namepros.com/blog/investing-in-llll-com-a-starter-guide.883841/
     
  20. djum

    djum Top Contributor VIP

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    I know all 3: Chips, shengmu and initial.
    No difference, really, as long as everyone understand, what domains we talking about.
     
  21. Maxwell

    Maxwell Top Contributor VIP

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    It's a great, casual term for it imo
     
  22. mwzd

    mwzd Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    No one is using Chips to denote the Chinese, just their buying preferences and if anything it's flattering to them, the western world finally cares enough to recognize what they like.
     
  23. Sapphiro

    Sapphiro Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Because no chinese words starts with the V sound, no hanyupinyin spelling of any chinese words starts with "i" and "u"
     
biix
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