Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 157 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

What is the origin of the name you use on Stack Overflow or if you use your Real Name on Stack Overflow, what's the origin of any online handle you use?

Most Popular Reasons

  • Uncontrollable Circumstances (birth)

(Adding reasons as they come in...)

share|improve this question

migrated from Jul 24 '09 at 13:20

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

closed as too broad by animuson Sep 17 '13 at 1:42

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Cognomen == name. BTW, Etymology is the study of the history of words and how they enter language. So your usage wasn't completely incorrect, just not completely correct either. And origin is a better word anyway. – Robert S. Dec 10 '08 at 19:33
My motivation is pure profit. Or boredom. Whichever comes first. – Robert S. Dec 10 '08 at 21:18
Usually, boredom comes first. Even on dictionary. =) – Seiti Dec 11 '08 at 0:41
We are Digg. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. – Piskvor Dec 11 '08 at 21:31

103 Answers 103

Mine originates from my university way back in 2000. We automatically received an email box with autogenerated names from our initials and a seemingly random number: k for Karnok (last name), d for David (first name), 304 random integer.

share|improve this answer

Start Trek. (I'm not a trekkie.)

share|improve this answer

I chose mine while imagining strings that I couldn't find on Google. I particularly grew fond of some of them, and I keep using them, some as screen-names, others as passwords. I do like the name because I never get into any availability conflicts anywhere on the web that I'd like to register.

share|improve this answer

A town in Belgium, most likely + my parents.

share|improve this answer

back in the day when I was younger, some members of the bike club I was in thought I looked like a I had a quiff like Bill Haley. From Bill Haley and the comets.

A little bit of clever jiggery pokery and you get cometbill.

share|improve this answer

From the days when I was heavily addicted to Minesweeper (or was it Tetris?). A typo when bashing out my name for the latest high score.

It stuck, and has been with me ever since.

(Browsing through these answers 18 months later, it's interesting to observe that a LOT of users have switched to their real names)

share|improve this answer

I got mine from Wikipedia, and, though I don't use it on StackOverflow, I used it on anything that has a wiki, and am starting to use it elsewhere. When I signed up on WikiPedia, Arlen was taken, so I just added 22 to the end of it, and now I am known as Arlen22 on IRC, WordPress, and WikiMedia, along with most wikis.

share|improve this answer

My nickname is a concatenation of the first two characters of each name part of my full name Bauke Luitsen Scholtz. It was invented at 1995 when I as being a kid created a small ANSI DOS Batch program to select DOS games out of my collection and directly run it: "Gamemenu made by BALUSC". It had a blue Norton Commander like UI with keyboard navigation and the games were definied as name=executionpath pairs in an ini file. It was for personal purposes only.

Later when I for the first encountered Internet and joined the IRC chatrooms at 1996, this acronym was used as nickname to identify myself. After quickly becoming more familiar with the netiquette and having learnt that CAPS == SHOUTING, I decided to lowercase the middle characters so that the nickname "BalusC" was born. The last character is still uppercased, because "everyone did it also", referring to the so-called good old l33t speak.

Up to now this nickname is still pretty unique (only at Youtube there's someone who uses the same nickname and that's not me) and practically all Google hits refers to myself and/or my (former) website(s).

You're free how to pronounce it: ba-lusj or ba-lusk. I don't care, I'm deaf. Just wave to me :)

See also:

share|improve this answer

Timothy Richard Green = TRiG

I invented it for myself when I was still in primary school. Then, in college, I joined h2g2 and used it there. It's stuck ever since.

I usually sign my posts too, putting my TRiG (and a smiley, usually) at the bottom of each. The StackExchange sites are the only ones I don't do this.

I also sign posts on Facebook, because I find real names confusing. (Most of my Facebook friends are Internet friends first met on other communities where pseudonyms are the norm.)

share|improve this answer

My nick comes from an Esperanto sentence (kiam la luno renkontas la sunon: "when the moon meets the sun"). I sometimes use it shorted as kiam, which seems to be a name in some languages (I don't know exactly in which one).

share|improve this answer

Mine originated as creed, but since 1996 (yes I've been on the internet that long), all websites on the face of the earth have had creed registered due to some band. Perhaps you've heard of them? So I just slapped on the country I live in to add some flair and originality to it.

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .