If you want empirical method then you need test users, measurable criteria for "better names" and methodology of measuring. Here are some ideas:
Approach 1: If you have a lot of test user you can do use classic prototype-decide approach:
Prepare 2 versions of UI (could be prototypes): One with current technical names, other with simpler alternative names. Both UIs should be different only in names used. Also have set of simple typical tasks that the users might want to do with the UI prepared.
Tell one half of test users to accomplish prepared tasks with first UI (technical naming) and other half of users to do same tasks with second UI (simpler naming).
Measure how much time they spent for each individual task (scenario) and how many errors (miss-clicks) they have done. For each pair of names (technical and simpler) choose one that took less time to find and caused less errors.
Approach 2: You can adapt previous general technique to suit your needs better. For example you can have the test users to play this "game": Describe an operation or entity for which you want to chose right name to the group of users. Present randomly chosen half of the test users with 5 choices of which one is correct technical name for described. The other half of test users gets same set of 5 choices but with technical name replaced by non technical name. Choose name which was chosen correctly and fast by test users.
Example: All users get this question: "You have finished working with the systems and you want to ensure that nobody else can use it under you name. What button do you press?"
Randomly chosen test users get this choices:
Terminate current session
Other test users get choices:
Lets say that 40% of the users that received first set of choices has correctly chosen
Terminate current session in 10 seconds and another 35% of users chose it in 30 seconds. 75% of test users that received second choices answered
sign out on 10 seconds another 20% in 30 seconds. You conclude that name
Sign out is clearly better then
Terminate current session.
Approach 3: Just ask the test users to explain what do they think that some name means. If they answer correctly for the first time they understand the meaning of it. Chose the names understand by most test users.
Important: The ratio of technical and less technical users in the test group should correspond to they expected ration in production.
Important: Test users must understand that it is the names that are being tested not them (and their answers will be confidential).