Some sixty years after The Blob first blorped redly onto movie screens, it feels like it could not have been called anything else. What other name could there be for a quivering jelly that dissolves all before it? The Creature from the Black Lagoon is the Creature from the Black Lagoon . The invading Body Snatchers are invading Body Snatchers. The Thing is the Thing, Them are Them, and the Blob is the Blob. It could be no other way.
But back in that dim pre-Blob pre-dawn, the creators of the 1958 horror film didn't yet know the monster they were birthing was the Blob. The working title of the film was The Molten Meteor, since the ichor out of space rode to earth on an asteroid which crashes in Pennsylvania. The Molten Meteor is alliterative, admittedly, but it doesn't have the tactile stickiness of that final Blob.
Credit for the title that appeared on marquees in 1958 is usually given to actress Mary Katherine Linaker, also known by her married name, Kate Phillips. Linaker appeared as the lead in The Girl From Mandalay (1936), in a supporting role in the 1940 Ginger Rogers vehicle Kitty Foyle, and in dozens of small and uncredited roles from 1935 to 1945.
Linaker also did some scriptwriting, including co-writing The Blob with Theodore Simonson. According to a brief New York Times obituary, she is supposed to have named the film by accident, While working on the script, "Phillips referred to the giant jellylike creature from another planet that had plopped into a field outside a small town as 'the blob.' Overhearing her, the producers changed the name of what became something of a cult classic."
That's the usual story of how The Blob got its title. But producer Jack H. Harris in his book Father of the Blob remembers things differently. He says that Linaker was hired to give the script an edit, but that she was unpleasant to work with and was let go after only a couple of days in return for $125 and a writing credit. Harris insists, with some bitterness that Linaker "had nothing to do with the final film. The fact that she has taken credit for the film she didn't deserve and is erroneously credited in various places on the internet and elsewhere as having named the film is a very small yet very wet towel on the film and its legacy."
If Linaker didn't name the film, though, how did it molt and morph from The Molten Meteor to its final form of blobby perfection? Harris doesn't say. Maybe Ted Simonson brainstormed the new title. Or maybe someone else referred to the jelly-like space antagonist on set as the Blob, and the name adhered. It's also possible that Linaker did in fact name the movie in the two days she was attached, and Harris didn't know, or forgot in the midst of his irritation with her. There's no way to know for sure. The origin of the name "The Blob" is shapeless and mysterious, like that uncontainable Blob itself.