One of my favorite things about the English language is how many words it contains—nearly 600,000 at last count—four times as many as Spanish. English has been influenced and absorbed by so many cultures, there are multiple ways to say the same thing. And that’s kind of like our entire job at Identical: finding new ways to use words to distinguish your brand.

The problem is, you can only store so many words in your brain.

Cue my favorite thesaurus.

As a copywriter with over 15 years in advertising and brand naming, I have a love-hate relationship with thesauruses, especially today’s default digital version: On the one hand, a thesaurus is an indispensable tools for expanding vocabulary and finding just the right word to convey a specific meaning or tone. On the other hand, using thesauruses can be horribly frustrating when they fail to provide you new terms you hadn’t thought of.

I had the chance to speak with Anthony Shore, a famous brand namer and owner of Operative Words, who recommended (“Moby” from this point forward). Since then, it’s my go to synonym searcher. It’s not fancy. It’s UI/UX is outdated. But it does everything you need it to do without distraction. may be the more popular and better-known of the two, but when it comes to finding truly useful and distinctive synonyms, Moby gets the gold star. Here's why:

Quantity of Synonyms is too strict. It's sticks to more exact synonyms, which means fewer. It’s going to give you about the same amount of options as a four-inch-thick hardcover. Moby, however, bends the rules—just like writers of the English language. The reference tool makes wider assumptions about which terms can be considered relatable. It looks across the Internet to see how the words are used in writing, and it constantly updates.

Synonym Searched

Moby Synoyms Synonyms













Breadth of Synonyms

Let’s compare some of the results from the two thesauruses:

“Love” offers up a decent selection of synonyms, including "affection," "devotion," and "passion." But Moby takes it to the next level with choices like "adoration," "flesh," and "idolize." With these options, you can convey a wide range of emotions, from the giddy excitement of a new crush to the deep, abiding love of a lifelong partner.

“Horrible” suggests words like "dreadful," "awful," and "terrible." OK. Those are pretty top of mind. But Moby digs deep with options like "schlock," "rank," and "villainous." These synonyms are stronger. Not only do they convey the same level of negativity as "horrible," but they add a layer of nuance that can help you capture the exact tone I'm going for when naming and writing.

“Trust” is a bit lackluster, offering up only the basic synonyms of "reliance," "confidence," and "faith." Moby, on the other hand, reveals "percentage," "friendship," and "borrowing power." These choices allow you to tailor language to the specific context and tone of the piece you’re writing, whether you’re describing the trust between two business partners or the trust a child has in their parent.


A few basic options like "filthy," "grimy," and "unclean" show up on, but Moby really shines in this category—words like "sordid," "lecherous," and "smutty." Egads! Not only do these synonyms convey the same sense of dirtiness as the more basic options, but they also add a layer of flavor and style that can elevate your writing from basic to brilliant.

Moby is the clear winner. Its extensive and growing database of synonyms, specific options, and range of nuance make it an indispensable tool for anyone looking to take their writing to the next level. Plus, it's just more fun to say "Moby-Thesaurus" than ""—makes you think of Christopher Walken dancing.

Joe Nafziger