The first name for Duct Tape was Duck. During World War II the U.S. Military needed a waterproof tape to keep the moisture out of ammunition cases. So, they enlisted the Johnson and Johnson Permacel Division to manufacture the tape. Because it was waterproof, everyone referred to it as "duck" tape (like water off a duck's back). Military personnel discovered that the tape was good for lots more than keeping out water. They used it for Jeep repair, fixing stuff on their guns, strapping equipment to their clothing... the list is endless.
After the War, the housing industry was booming and someone discovered that the tape was great for joining the heating and air conditioning duct work. So, the color was changed from army green to the silvery color we are familiar with today and people started to refer to it as "duct tape." Therefore, either name is appropriate.
The following is a list of other alternate industry specific names that have created this great tape:
100 MPH Tape - A name recognizable, no doubt, to U.S. Army.
200 MPH Tape - Pit crews across the nation's auto-racing circuit know that duct tape holds even when you're going over 200 M.P.H. This nickname has been trademarked by "Duck" brand duct tape manufacturer Manco.
1,000 MPH Tape - The U.S. Navy uses duct tape to repair radomes. A radome is the dome that fits over a radar antenna. On an airplane, that's usually the nose cone. The tape and any other repairs need to be transparent to the radar waves. This applies to radar carrying equipment and fighter aircraft. Since the planes fly so dam fast, they call it "thousand mile an hour" tape.
1,000 Mile Tape - Norman Vaughn, arctic explorer for whom Antarctica's Mount Vaughn was named, puts it on his dog sled runners to prevent ice build-up and says it lasts 1,000 miles. He is also the one who recommends sleeping with the tape to keep the adhesive pliable in cold climates.
Gaff Tape (also Gaffer's Tape) - This special grade of duct tape (often colored black) was developed by the entertainment industry to hold lighting equipment and cables in place and has a dull finish so that it won't reflect lights. Gaff Tape also has a specially formulated, less tacky adhesive that won't leave a residue when it is removed.
Minnesota (or, insert your own rust-inducing state here) Chrome - In the land of lakes, snow, road salt, and rusty cars, they use duct tape a lot more often than they visit the auto body shop.
Missile Tape - The Aerospace industry, according to a Martin Marietta worker, used a green duct tape that they secured and routed wiring and cables on test missiles. They called this green duct tape "missile tape".