The name "big bang" introduced by Fred Hoyle in 1949 is one of the most successful scientific neologisms ever. How did the name originate and how was it received by physicists and astronomers in the period leading up to the hot big bang consensus model in the late 1960s? How did it reflect the meanings of the big bang, a concept that predates the name by nearly two decades? The paper gives a detailed account of names and concepts associated with finite-age cosmological models from the 1920s to the 1970s. It turns out that Hoyle's celebrated name has a richer and more surprising history than commonly assumed and also that the literature on modern cosmology and its history includes many common mistakes and errors. By following the story of "big bang" a new dimension is added to the historical understanding of the emergence of modern cosmology.