Words, called lingual marks, are the most common form of trademark. Whether single words, phrases, hyphenated words or made-up words, all lingual marks are able to receive legal protection, as long as they meet the requirements of a trademark.

The meaning of a word or phrase used as a trademark matters significantly. The closer the word's meaning is to the product being sold, the less distinctive that word is for trademark purposes. Distinctiveness is a major factor in a trademark's legal strength.