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09 February 2010

Let's talk about names ... [More:] How did you come up with your user name? Do you use it on other sites or in your daily life? If you've had it for a long time does it still fit? Do you have other user names?

"Kangaroo" was bestowed upon me when I was pregnant with my son. My husband made a joke about me carrying around a baby in my pouch like a kangaroo. It's funny because a few years before that, before I'd even met my husband, I was in Australia for work, and feeling lonely and wondering if I'd ever get the chance to be a mom, and someone gave me a stuffed toy kangaroo, complete with joey in the pouch, and I took it as a sign that this thing I wanted so much would someday happen. And it did.

What about you?
Many moons ago, I had an icon site. So that's where mine came from. I wish I could remember the url, it was pretty cool in its heyday.
posted by iconomy 09 February | 11:25
First name, last initial. In the past in other places I had cute names, but felt like just getting simpler.
posted by danf 09 February | 11:27
Mine is my actual nickname (short for Alicia) used by my family and a few old friends. I only use this username on Metafilter and related sites for some reason.
posted by leesh 09 February | 11:29
Mr. Sammler's Planet
posted by jason's_planet 09 February | 11:34
Mine is my first initial, middle initial, and some of my last name. The 2 is from when I had trouble signing up here because it said I'd already registered. I'm regular rmless most places.
posted by rmless2 09 February | 11:40
Zorba: I'm coming to them ... the great scallop (holds one up) ... this tatty, scrofulous old rapist, is second in depravity only to the common clam. (holds up a clam) This latter is a right whore, a harlot, a trollop, a cynical bed-hopping firm-breasted Rabelaisian bit of sea food that makes Fanny Hill look like a dead Pope... and finally among the lamellibranch bivalves, that most depraved of the whole sub-species - the whelk. The whelk is nothing but a homosexual of the worst kind. This gay boy of the gastropods, this queer crustacean, this mincing mollusc, this screaming, prancing, limp-wristed queen of the deep makes me sick.

Mrs Jalin: Have you got one?

Zorba: Here! (holds one up)

Mrs Jalin: Let's kill it. Disgusting.

Zorba: throws it on the floor and Mr and Mrs Jalin stamp on it.
posted by The Whelk 09 February | 11:41
when i started online, a friend of mine told me to start chatting at talkcity . this was right before it went under (though its still operating in its reincarnated form), so all the variations of my name or location were already taken . i was also not going to have a nic with a number at the end of it or a nick with a hyphen or underscore. that reeked of plagiarism to me . so i spent hours typing in single word nicks only to get refused time and time again. at one point i picked up my old latin to english dictionary and started to flip through it and voila i stumbled upon rollick . right away i knew that this was the perfect word for my nick and it was available !

ever since i have used rollick as my online identity . a pet peeve of mine online is people who use alternate nicks (unless its a holiday costume nick)so i have always been rollick online . even my cheesy little website is
posted by rollick 09 February | 11:45
I don't remember.
posted by Eideteker 09 February | 11:47
I found the sad remains of my icon site in case anyone wants to laugh. Half of the graphics aren't loading, but you can tell it was pretty much chock full of pastelly goodness.
posted by iconomy 09 February | 11:47
I often feel like I live in a different place than everyone else. Literally sometimes, figuratively others.
posted by JanetLand 09 February | 11:47
There are three of these books, and I love them all.
posted by BoringPostcards 09 February | 11:52
Mine just seemed a little more compelling than Drew Peacock or Mike Rodge.
posted by Hugh Janus 09 February | 11:55
≡ Click to see image ≡
I looked over and saw my laundry drying one day, exactly as pictured above. And it made me laugh, my goth laundry hanging there like I'm Morticia Adams and so I used that name when Mefi finally opened its doors in 2004. I just use it everywhere because it's easier although sometimes I kind of wish I had gone with something a little more anonymous and bland. In the early days of the internet I was barfokitty and then I used to be shadowsandechoes, which I quite liked - Layman P'ang's dying words, "Take care of yourself in this world of shadows and echoes." - but I didn't want to be followed from one forum where I used it so it had to be retired.
posted by mygothlaundry 09 February | 11:56
A very long time ago I had to signup for something or other. I couldn't think of a username and I had a Terry Pratchett book sitting beside me. Then I just carried on using the nick everywhere I could (lots of gaspodes on the interwebs) because I have no imagination.

I like, don't love Terry Pratchett and Gaspode is not my favourite discworld character, so there's that, too. Hrm.
posted by gaspode 09 February | 11:57
Do you use it on other sites or in your daily life? If you've had it for a long time does it still fit? Do you have other user names?

To answer your other questions posed above:

* I use it in what you could loosely call "The Metaverse" i.e. here, MetaFilter and flickr. There are a couple of other names I use on other parts of the Internet because I don't necessarily want everything I do online to be accessible to anyone who can enter "jason's_planet" into a Google searchbox.

* I have this vague memory of being addressed as "JP" a couple of times in real life, at meetups I think. But otherwise, nah.

* I have been using this username for about three years now and I think it might just be time for a change. Lately, I've been feeling that this particular username and online persona have become a little stale in people's minds and perhaps a new name is in order.
posted by jason's_planet 09 February | 12:02
I hate creating user names. I've used a bunch, mostly nonsensical. This is just my metafilter-universe one.
posted by DarkForest 09 February | 12:12
When I was brainstorming domain names for my blog project (trying to get something punchy that conveyed "Wii" with "exercise") I totally wanted to use "wiiflex" because I'm a big dork like that! Then I had Duran Duran's "The Reflex" stuck in my head for weeks after. FLE-FLE-FLE-FLE-FLEX! So I went with Flex as my blog alias.
posted by flex 09 February | 12:15
When I was teaching kindergarten, my co-teacher was a really neat woman in her 70s who had spent her early 20s in Japan. It was a hugely important time in her life, and she really absorbed a lot of Japanese culture. After becoming a K teacher, she instituted an annual four-month-long study of Japan that all the kindergartners participated in. This went on at the school every year from the 60s to the 1990s, when I taught there, and was a real rite of passage. It included books, food, music, kimono making and wearing, calligraphy, origami, flower arranging, raising gypsy moths and all sorts of deeply involved things, and it was wicked fun.

One of the books we read included some mentions of the Miko, who are temple maidens at Shinto shrines. They help with ceremonies and staff the shrines for visitors. It's something young women do, and they typically wear really stylized red, white, and black garments.

That captured my imagination for some reason. About the same time as I was teaching (1995-99) I was becoming more active on the web. I could never get a nick that was anything close to my name - it's much too common - and I didn't want any numbers in my name, either. "Miko," though, is phonetically similar to my name, and was hardly ever taken in those days (now, it's another story).

I used to have a few other names, but I decided I didn't want to play the mystery-internet-identity game, which started to seem kind of childish after early days. In 2003 or 4 I started to coalesce my identities across places I frequented, so I am mostly Miko. These days, though, I am just not that interested in getting active on too many new sites, so it's basically confined to the MetaVerse.
posted by Miko 09 February | 12:18
iconomy, didn't you also have a site with vintage valentine images and stuff like that? I really liked it.
posted by Miko 09 February | 12:19
County of residence + first name.
posted by essexjan 09 February | 12:22
Real name is Melissa. Some people used to call me "Melisma", which is a musical term for a passage that goes on and on and on, since I go on and on and on. Melismata is the plural of Melisma, since I go on and on and on about many different things.

So far, I've only used it in the Metaverse. I wanted to be lazy and use a previous handle that I'd used in many different places, but I made the mistake of 1) using that handle on an adult site many years ago and 2) discovering that parts of the site were searchable.
posted by Melismata 09 February | 12:27
The name of the protagonist of books by James Blaylock, who is exiled from town for stealing his own pie and later becomes a deep-sea pirate.

I originally just used it as a login back in the days when newspaper sites were registration-only, since it was pretty unique back then.

Whould have picked something snappier if I'd known it was going to become my main Internet identity.
posted by TheophileEscargot 09 February | 12:31
Signing up in the daily window days of MetaFilter, I had to think quick. It was raining. I like the rain. I was on a Rat Pack kick.

I hate it. Sounds light and hippy and feminine and easy to dismiss.

Rain, Baby! Would have been better, but now. . .I would choose something else.

I also only use in on MetaFilter, MetaChat and Flickr.

I always found it strange answering to it at meetups and stuff, too.
posted by rainbaby 09 February | 12:33
When I signed up for my college email address in 1997 I didn't want to use my name and for some reason thought of Dresden but mistyped it (I may have been reading "Slaughterhouse 5" at the time). Since then, I've used it in a variety of places and lately I use it to keep a consistent "net identity."
posted by drezdn 09 February | 12:43
I used Obscure Reference on a gaming site which was full of obscure references.
I was also using the name St Fu, but I was feeling less hostile and more meta/distanced.
posted by Obscure Reference 09 February | 12:49
It was my email address from Lyco. (First three letters of last name, first four of first name.) It was a hilarious thing in my class that everyone referred to each other by their email names. My homie is Boralex, my suitemates were Choheat and Schjenn. Another person I still talk to is Bersumm.

I'd gone by a bunch of other names in high school online (usually variations on a2la2d, gp, gothprincess, or psycho316), but none of them really fit. Sperose did and so it kinda stuck. There's not too many other Sperose's out there so if you spot one out in the wilderness, it's likely me.
posted by sperose 09 February | 12:56
Elsa is not my birth name, but it refers to my birth name both directly and obliquely. It's the name I use everywhere online, except for one or two places where I use my birth name.

It feels like a real name to me; when I see it in writing, I assume it refers to me, which doesn't happen with my birth name, oddly enough. A few weeks ago, someone called out "Elsa!" on the bus, and I turned, absolutely certain they must be calling me. (They were not.)
posted by Elsa 09 February | 13:05
I canme up with mine in five minutes the day I registered for Metafilter and wanted something that sounded catchy and unique. It has no meaning, but it's become very "me". Not only am I Orange Swan here and on MeFi and Flickr and MonkeyFilter and in the letters threads and probably a few other places I can't think of at the moment, but I named my house Swan's End and my book review blog The Orange Swan Review. Swans are now my personal symbol/mascot and I collect cool swan stuff. When I was adopting a cat and it seemed likely I might get a female cat, I considered naming her Leda.

I have come up with another username that I use whenever I feel the Orange Swan name would be just too recognizable. I used to be Orange Swan on Lavalife, for instance, and now I use the alternate username. My YouTube account is also under this other name because I didn't want to get mocked for my musical tastes.;-)
posted by Orange Swan 09 February | 13:07
ThePinkSuperhero was a Halloween costume I did in high school, wearing an old pink scuba diving suit my mother had lying around (I won the costume contest that year, btw). I find the name becomes more and more applicable as I get older.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 09 February | 13:10
Mine is boring: first name, middle name. However, I am inordinately pleased that in all the 10+ years that MeFi has been around, it's so boring that no one else ever thought to use it.

The cool part is when I get to be the first "Trisha Lynn" (my preferred spelling/handle when spaces are allowed) and everyone else has to step to mah groove.

The sad part is that there's another Trisha_Lynn on Twitter and her friends keep forgetting to put that underscore in there so I get her messages. She's also hotter than me and seems to have a more livelier night life. *pout*
posted by TrishaLynn 09 February | 13:13
I first used box at Metafilter. I wanted a common English word, something short, with a heavy Scrabble letter in it.

If I was going back to do it again, I might've tried to get 'joe,' which has all those qualities and is also my name.
posted by box 09 February | 13:21
I have this vague memory of being addressed as "JP" a couple of times in real life

Hey, those are my initials! I get called that all the time. :)
posted by JanetLand 09 February | 13:22
take. a. wild. guess.
posted by jonmc 09 February | 13:30
This is the second common handle I've had since I started hanging out with strangers on the internet. Before, I was "Sarebear" - a nickname I detested but used with friends at first and then it sort of spread. My current username started in college, when "sarebear" seemed very juvenile. (Now "muddgirl" sort of feels the same...)

Recently, I've tried to own my online presence, political and cultural ideas, etc., so I mostly use my real name (it's a relatively common name, so I'm not much more visible than before). Metafilter, Metachat, and flickr are pretty much the only places I use Muddgirl any more, except as a login ID on Amazon and the like.
posted by muddgirl 09 February | 13:43
Jam Out, Never-ending Music Collection?
Just One Nougatty Milk Chocolate?
Jack Off Now, Man-Child?
posted by Hugh Janus 09 February | 13:43
When I joined MeFi ten years ago (that long! jesus, i've been wasting my life!) I got the feeling that there weren't too many Londoners on there. dodgygeezer seemed London-ish to me so I went with that.

Like many of the rest of you I'd probably choose something different if I had to start all over. Having said that it is quite good fun being at meet ups and being called "dodgy"

For a time I did seriously toy with the idea of changing my online identity to WalterFuckingMondale. I don't why - I guess I liked the idea of being horribly abusive to a blameless old politician that I know absolutely nothing about (except that he got beaten by Reagan in the early eighties. right?)
posted by dodgygeezer 09 February | 14:01
Stole it from an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer because it made me laugh really super hard. (S4, Superstar)
posted by fluffy battle kitten 09 February | 14:10
Mondale was a Senator from Minnesota, he was Carter's vice-president, he ran against Reagan/Bush in '84 (with Geraldine Ferraro) and got absolutely slaughtered, electoral-vote-wise. And he said 'Where's the beef?'
posted by box 09 February | 14:23
When I joined MetaFilter I picked a variation of my first name. But somehow I stumbled on MetaChat, lurked for a bit, and decided on "red" for the color variation that I dye my hair, and "vixen" because, well, I can be one. I've tried to use it on other sites I belong to, but someone else out there also uses the same name (and judging from where she belongs, she may really BE a Vixen!!!), so I do have another, generic name.
posted by redvixen 09 February | 14:27
init(ialized) applet(te because I'm a girl).

And because I know you're wondering, I pronounce it inITapPLETTE.
posted by initapplette 09 February | 14:29
Man, I would pay money to get to transfer my metafilter history to a new name.
posted by serazin 09 February | 14:37
Miko, yes, good memory! Madamjujujive posted it to Metafilter a few years back. I've had a lot of sites, now I have none. Sometimes I miss it.
posted by iconomy 09 February | 14:55
Mine was a small play on my first name (richard) and the whole @ symbol thing, and seemed like a good idea. Hence richat.

I seem to recall some folks have thought that it was some sort of French-type thing, given my Canadianism. This is not the case, I'm as anglo as they come.

I do tend to use it all over the place. I'm generally annoyed when I wanna sign up someplace and it's taken, but that happens infrequently. I like it still, and suspect I'll keep it. Changing one's screen name almost seems *sneaky* to me!
posted by richat 09 February | 15:10
I remember going to iconomy's site way back in the day. I think I still have it bookmarked on my old laptop.

I used to have this great "Slang and Jargon" dictionary that listed "Cold Cook" as a slang term for undertaker. It also said that in the Old West, funeral parlors were referred to as "Cold Cookeries." I don't think I've ever found another reference to this. They may have made it up.

When I registered for MeFi, it got jumbled up in my head somehow and I registered as "ColdChef", even though I wasn't an undertaker at the time and had no desire to ever be one. And yet, here I am.

Every time I do a Google search for myself, I always hit these people, who I assume must hate me (even though my nickname predates them.)

I wasn't really fond of "ColdChef" for a long time, but now it's grown on me. Though I still cringe when anyone calls me that in real life.
posted by ColdChef 09 February | 15:15
I used to muck around with icons, though I was mostly grabbing interesting 32x32 or 16x16 images and refining them so they made sense. Then I found people who did a proper job within those limits, and I was in awe. I actually downloaded some icon packs in the last few years, when I got a work computer that was in need of minor customization. I was happy that Iconfactory was still around.

I have a number of user names, mostly chosen on my mood (which I then question after my mood changes). While lurking on MetaFilter, I really enjoyed the creative user names, and wanted to choose a suitable one. Eventually I chose filthy light thief, an incorrectly remembered clip from a Slashdot comment, lost then found by ErWenn (he MeMailed me outta the blue with the link, which made me feel welcome to the weird MetaFilter community). The actual line is:

dirty air thieves (people who live), dastardly noise thieves (people with ears), horrific light thieves (photographers)

if you don't pay for it it's a sin, viva extremist capitalism!

I like how it turned out, because I never feel horrific, just a bit filthy.
posted by filthy light thief 09 February | 15:27
init(ialized) applet(te because I'm a girl).

I'd always assumed it had something to do with Java applet programming...
posted by DarkForest 09 February | 15:33
It's amazing that I still am unsure of the gender of some of you. Doesn't matter much but I still take note of it.
posted by danf 09 February | 15:38
There's a long and increasingly tedious story about how Craig became Wendell that exists in several MeCha and MeTa threads. As for oneswellfoop, it was a malaprop that had tickled me for years, even more after Roy Blount Jr. published a silly little book titled "One Fell Soup" (which contained the short poem that rhymed broccoli with luckily). When the blogging craze was in its earliest phase in 1999, I embraced the format; I was already using Wendell for nearly all my on-line communications, but I didn't feel comfortable with using it in the blog title. Foop was one that stood out for its silliness, which was something I wanted to express in the blog, and was available. After clearing it with a psychiatric therapist that both I and my Crazy-not-yet-Ex were seeing, I started using it at the free-site place Lycos, and started blogging. When I became the 206th member of MeFi, I used wendell (lower case), consistent with my previous user-naming. But the first time I, as wendell, did a FPP (with TWO now-dead Yahoo News links), mathowie himself referenced my blog name in commenting "ha! good one foopster..."

In 2002, I lost the domain, during a period of depression, bankruptcy and off-line-ness. But when Matt opened up registration in late 2004 for the mere price of $5, I decided I did not want anyone else to be 'oneswellfoop', so I got it myself (landing a user number one digit away from an amazing coincidence with wendell's, 20007). Later, I did the same thing at Twitter, and when I decided to retire wendell last year, I became active as oneswellfoop and registered the 'name' here and at MonkeyFilter. (I could have used another name I got at MeFi for purely sock puppet purposes, evilmidnightbomberwhatbombsatmidnight, but I didn't.)

I have registered, where it remains the 'home' for my unfulfilled on-line projects, under the 'business name' OneSwellFoop NetWorks, but the .com is still out of reach; when the original domain squatters finally gave up on it late last year, I was beaten to it by a mysterious Japanese entity who have filled a temporary page with bits of random content harvested from from my old blog and the squatters' link pages (without links). I don't know whether to feel flattered or annoyed. Depending on what they do with the domain, I may yet need to consider another change.

BTW, Wendell is not totally dead. I'm holding onto my wendell-based domain names,,,, and especially, where I am seriously playing with the idea of a "Wendell Webcomic" using my former alter ego as the eponymous main character (and featuring arguments between him and his author, embracing my split personality).
posted by oneswellfoop 09 February | 15:46
There was a SlashDot thread somewhere in the early years ('98) about the origins of the use of the # symbol on phones at ATT. I created my /.username right after that and remembered Octothorpe from that thread. I didn't really think that I'd still be using it a dozen years later.
posted by octothorpe 09 February | 16:02
amro is the first two letters of my first name and the first two letters of my middle name. I go by amroke too sometimes online which is the same but with the first two letters of my last name added. But I like to pretend that it's a Japanese word.
posted by amro 09 February | 16:05
I wanted a name that was unique to Google. I used a fantasy name generator for inspiration and got something like 'Ardoral'.
posted by Ardiril 09 February | 16:14
I toyed with a bunch of handles in the mid-90s chat rooms before I settled on rhapsodie_hongroise, the Hungarian Rhapsodie piano duet I was learning to play with a classmate. Goddamn I loved playing that song. But it was long and was often truncated by the chat room list to rhapsodie_hon and I didn't like people calling me hon. So I shortened it to rhapsodie, the French spelling of 'rhapsody,' a piece of music with a lot of emotion and irregular form. I even registered as part of that identity.

By the time I signed up with MeCha I was over using a handle - I was using my real name, Valette, everywhere else by then. But I wanted a connection to my MeFi username so I kept rhapsodie. I've been meaning to reregister Valette at both sites, but meh.
posted by rhapsodie 09 February | 17:00
An old friend and I were joking around trying to come up with insults that were too ridiculous to be offensive. At one point we came up with "wimpdork babyjerk." When I needed to abandon an older username due to increasing unavailability, I remembered this one and it seemed the perfect choice. It even has sentimental value!
posted by wimpdork 09 February | 17:22
I didn't put much thought into it. I was eating a tangerine when I signed up for MeFi. I only use it there, here, and at Flickr.

I use an equally arbitrary name in a few other places. At this point, if I could do it all over again I'd consolidate and make them all something closer to my real name. (Though perhaps not exactly my real name, since it's utterly distinctive.)
posted by tangerine 09 February | 18:08
It was suggested to me by a floor lamp.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs 09 February | 18:09
I have little imagination, and the Simpsons was on telly at the time I created my account, so it was always going to be Max Power, Handsome B. Wonderful or Rembrandt Q. Einstein. Max Power is way too common (and the name of some dumb car magazine), Handsome B. Wonderful is a bit awkward, but Rembrandt Q. Einstein still makes me giggle if I'm in the right mood.

Years ago I had a metafilter account under another username, but I closed it again after only a month or two and I can't for the life of me remeber what it was called.
posted by Rembrandt Q. Einstein 09 February | 18:18
There is a character called GomiBoy in William Gibson's novel Idoru, the character is pretty geeky and "gomi" although it means trash sounds cute. And it's a mix of Japanese and English. So I became "trash"child and then it stuck and there you go. I'm the only one I know of around the place - if you find a gomichild it's probably me.

There is a GomiGirl - she's actually a very close friend of mine in real life and we met after our usernames were established. We are known as the Gomi Twins on forums we both frequent.
posted by gomichild 09 February | 19:28
My dad's nickname for me. The long version: pipsidipsula. White-haired, potbellied man in Bermuda shorts and white v-neck t-shirt, smoking a cigar and reading the paper on the couch: How's it goin' there, pips ol' kid, pipsidipsula...; I couldn't move through the room fast enough. I sure miss hearing it, though.

At Miami of Ohio, where I took some classes, it became the only name people knew me by. I had a professor/friend who started it after I used the nickname in a poem about going to my dad's bedspring factory on Saturdays. When I started taking more and more creative writing classes, instead of the education classes I was supposed to be taking, it really caught on. And now here, of course. I don't know where my father got it. No one else in my family uses it.
posted by Pips 09 February | 19:31
My full name is Sabrina. People started calling me 'brina in high school. It stuck with me for a long, long time. I still sign my personal e-mails "brina," though only very old friends call me by anything but my actual given name these days.

I've been contemplating getting a new MeFi/MeCha nick to make myself less ... obviously me, because there are some things I'd like to be able to talk about without identifying myself. But seriously, I was amazed the nick was available when I signed up for MeFi (during the very last window before the $5 fee was introduced) and was then amazed again when it was available here at MeCha.

I don't think I use this nick anywhere else, but there are still places on the web where I call myself "brina" instead of "Sabrina." It's just easier not to have to type those two extra letters, y'know?
posted by brina 09 February | 20:50
I use my first initial/first seven letters of last name most places, but that is pretty distinctively me, and I wanted slightly more anonymity/disconnect for metafilter. So I chose the most generic name possible! The two different identities are slowly getting pulled together, but I guess I am mostly okay with that. I am of the type who believes that everything online is ultimately public and I should be willing to accept that anyone may see anything I put online ever. Except for my geocities page, which I am sure is now very dead.
posted by that girl 09 February | 21:01
Evilcupcakes came about when I needed to get a new email address on the fly. I have no idea where it came from, it just popped into my head. I use it EVERYWHERE. Other names I have used: Stella Lugosi, Fifi Liquorpants, maenadicpanic, and hyenagirl.
posted by evilcupcakes 09 February | 21:15
One of my friends in high school was Ukrainian, and when we went off to college she would sometimes address her letters to me with the Ukrainian version of my first name, which is "Mykhylyna." I thought that was cool. The first time I ventured onto a social site* of any kind, in about 1992-3, I set that as my username. One of the first people I met said "OH MY GOD GET A NAME THAT'S EASIER TO TYPE!"

*OK, it was a MUD.
posted by Miko 09 February | 22:50
Mine's Newfoundland slang for 'poor miserable bastard' (more or less). I only use it on MeFi-related sites (here, the Mothership, PoliticalFilter, WeEndure's MeFi group) as I don't otherwise have a .net-presence.
posted by hangashore 09 February | 22:55
It's my initials. I got so excited by being given the keys to the sekrit back door of MeFi at a time when sign-ups were closed, that I had not even given any thought to what to put in the box. The trouble is that it's so common it's often taken (which is why I sign up for everything just in case I might want to use it). It's also often too short, so I've used things like thedg or therealdg, but lately I just keep repeating it until it's long enough to satisfy whatever random number has been chosen as the minimum user name length. hence, I'm dgdg in quite a few places.

If I had the chance to start again, I'd choose something much more unusual. Tough call though, to find something unusual enough that it's going to be available everywhere, meet all the username requirements and be possible to type/remember.
posted by dg 10 February | 01:35
It's just my name and use it anywhere I can get it. I used RedFern (hair colour/middle name) when I first landed online. And I've used silverbees or silverbee (hair colour/meaning of deborah). I'd like to use a name more fun/silly/different but haven't found the right one.
posted by deborah 10 February | 01:48
I'd rather be ninyabruja everywhere, but it's pointless to change it now. Witch Baby from Francesca Lia Block's punk fairy tales.
posted by brujita 10 February | 02:17
For a while I had a different name for every single site/forum I was a member of/commented on, but that got real tedious. So I started condensing everything to a name that I was already using as my fake production company (meaning the "label" for all of my mix discs), which was around the time MeFi opened the gates and I joined. Shortly after I was banned, which upset me so much I ditched the name for everything.

When I rejoined MeFi I did so on a whim, so I didn't have a new name planned. "Slack" and "agogo" were two words that liked the sound of, so I put them together. I wanted something unique, so I went with two words that didn't appear together in a Google search. It really has no meaning other than I thought it sounded good. Once I got comfortable with the name at MeFi I started using it elsewhere. Now it's the only name I use on the internet other than FaceBook where I use my real name. Now I'm even starting to sign my cartoons Slack-a-gogo, so it's even creeping into my real life.
posted by Slack-a-gogo 10 February | 09:12
Like dg, I was so excited when there was a small window to sign up for MeFi, I had to just go for something. My website is ubergeek-femmes, so I went for the abbreviation ugf. HATE it. Would also pay to be able to move my usernumber and history to a different name.

Sil has been around for a long time - it comes up from a really terrible made up name I gave myself when I was 14? 16? for CompuServe or one of those services to play video games. I thought the full name sounded sexy and mysterious; now I look at it and it seems silly, immature and trashy. However, I'm not particularly good with making up usernames, and it had been part of my gaming for so long, it's often my character's name (it's never, ever taken).

In one of the most recent rounds of MMOs, my guild started calling me Sil rather than the full name, and it was a term of familiarity and affection, so when I signed up for MetaChat, there you go. Not my favorite, but if I could, I'd pay to change my MetaFilter name to be Sil so they'd match nicely.

I often think I should sit down and come up with a unique username I like, but I never get around to it. My online presence is pretty fragmented at this point, littered with failed trial names that I only used on one site.
posted by Sil 10 February | 12:10
Awesome thread, by the way. I may copy the origin of my username into my profile. Really interesting to see that some other people outgrew their usernames too, or had trouble coming up with one they liked. Really interesting to hear the stories behind each name.
posted by Sil 10 February | 12:12
My shit's in my profile, which seemed like the natural place for it.
posted by Wolfdog 10 February | 12:17
Odd that it's almost, but not quite, the same as my MeFi profile, and I'm not sure why I rephrased.
posted by Wolfdog 10 February | 12:34
I was the wild one in my family. My gfamily used nick-names a lot, my older sister was The Lady, my brother was the King, my little sister was the Baby and I was the Wilder. and that pretty much tell ya everything ya need to know about my fucked up upbringing!!
posted by Wilder 10 February | 13:49
≡ Click to see image ≡
A Japanese wood spirit that I first encountered in Princess Mononoke. I have a couple other online names (some of which I can trace back to BBS's in the 80s!) and I tend to use the one that fits the site. I first started using kodama on a cycling site, but I can't really remember why I picked it (besides the fact that I really loved they way they were animated in that film). Perhaps though it was the outdoor connection.
posted by kodama 10 February | 23:35
I was Madam somewhere else, but it was taken when I picked my MeFi name (if I recall), so I picked the first thing that came into my head.

Madamina, il catalogo e questo...
posted by Madamina 15 February | 12:48
OMG BABY BUNNY! || Boss hog