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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...)

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migrated from stackoverflow.com 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.

    
Etymology == wrong word? – George Stocker Dec 10 '08 at 19:23
    
This question shouldn't be closed. It was a wiki to begin with, it's a part of Stack Overflow, and I can write pages on why it's at least as relevant as 'Facts about Jon Skeet'. – George Stocker Dec 10 '08 at 19:27
    
Etymology is the wrong word. I had to change it, or else the investment in my linguistics education would be all for naught. – Robert S. Dec 10 '08 at 19:28
    
Thank you. I sometimes use big words without knowing what they mean. – George Stocker Dec 10 '08 at 19:28
    
Also, reopening. It's not downvoted and it's Wiki'd and tagged. – Robert S. Dec 10 '08 at 19:28
    
@Gortok, I'm flabbergasted at the audacity of your shenanigans apropos this gregarious epistolary notice about cognomens. – Robert S. Dec 10 '08 at 19:29
    
What's funny is that I know all except one word (cognomens). – George Stocker Dec 10 '08 at 19:31
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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
    
It is a better word, you're right. It's as Mark Twain said, The difference between the right word and the almost right word is like the difference between "Lightning" and "Lightning Bug" – George Stocker Dec 10 '08 at 19:35
    
I'm amazed that this question has been downvoted a net amount of three times. It started as a wiki, has stayed a wiki, and is in the same vein as many other questions. I don't think I'll ever understand some people's motivations. – George Stocker Dec 10 '08 at 20:34
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My motivation is pure profit. Or boredom. Whichever comes first. – Robert S. Dec 10 '08 at 21:18
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Usually, boredom comes first. Even on dictionary. =) – Seiti Dec 11 '08 at 0:41
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We are Digg. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. – Piskvor Dec 11 '08 at 21:31
    
Can't tell whether I'm on this topics comments or on an IRC channel – Shahin Jan 13 '09 at 0:04
    
How is this related to programming? – Seventh Element Feb 13 '09 at 22:03

103 Answers 103

My current display name is derived from the R-9DH Grace Note, a ship from the game R-Type Final. It's also the name of my personal laptop, because she has many features similar to the ship. She's sleek and slim, she's gorgeous, she's futuristic-looking, she's silvery-coloured, she has a light blue tinted HUD that matches the tint on the ship's canopy, her LEDs match the details on the ship, she has a beautiful sounding name, and she has an Extended Photon Belt Wave Cannon.

I actually kinda like the name, too, it sounds nice on the tongue and almost looks like a proper full name (even if my name isn't Grace). So this one is probably a keeper.

My original display name, ccomet, is just an abbreviation of the email address I used for my gravatar when I first posted an answer to Stack Overflow. It was always kind of a dull name, I only kept it because I generally avoid changing names online in order to avoid confusing people on who I am. Some mechanical kerfuffles superceded my comfort with the name, so I have basically ended that name. But I still like the gravatar for that email, anyway.

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And a Grace Note is a type of note in music. – Arlen Beiler Jun 25 '10 at 20:10
    
@Arlen The entire series of R-9DH models are musically inclined, actually. The R-9DH3 is Concertmaster, for example. – Grace Note Jun 25 '10 at 20:39

I've been using chegueverra, ever since I began my life revolution of working in IT. I was going nowhere and almost living in a dump ... Everytime, I face a problem or get a bit down on myself, I remember what it was like before ...

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I just hope you don't piss off the Bolivian government. – Robert S. Dec 10 '08 at 19:34
    
I'm not planning any trips there soon ... :P – CheGueVerra Dec 10 '08 at 20:05
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And why CheGueVerra and not CheGuevara? :-/ – OscarRyz Dec 11 '08 at 0:51
    
I don't claim to be him, so it's more symbolic – CheGueVerra Dec 11 '08 at 23:26
    
@Out Into Space: If all those T-Shirts don't piss them, he wouldn't either! :) – utku_karatas Dec 13 '08 at 2:59
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you really might want to do some research on this man, not exactly a positive role model... – Steven A. Lowe Dec 19 '08 at 6:13
    
@utku karatas: I saw one of those once with the caption "I died for the cause and all I got was this lousy t-shirt" – Andrew Kennan Jan 7 '09 at 7:34
    
+1 for picking a different visage and name. That guy was about as evil as they come. Amazing PR they do on him though. – tim Jul 24 '09 at 19:03
    
@andrew: A friend had one that said: Your hero is dead. and in the back: My army killed him. To give a little more context, I am an argentinian (why do you think he got called che?) and my friend is on the army. (Currently being right or center arround here == murderer, "facho", and many many other bad things... at least in public. Will need to remember to delete this post if I put my real name... Just in case. I prefer to be apolitical youtube.com/watch?v=V2c7ZZNcWsA ). – perbert Aug 5 '09 at 22:21

Firstname + first letter of lastname = small amount of anonymity on the internets...

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Mine is stolen directly from 'Drawn Together' where it was the name of one of the characters.

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I could tell you, but I'd have to kill you.
(I'm not Keith, I'm slightly insane but not angry, and the V is not 5).

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Too many Dilbert cartoons around my desk (according to my pointy haired boss that is!)

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'cuz I am Mohit Nanda!

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I've been "Galactic Cowboy" or some variant for as long as I've been online. Back in the dark ages of the early 90's, the Galactic Cowboys were one of my favorite bands (still are, but that's beside the point...) and it was just a cool-sounding name. If you look closely at my avatar, his t-shirt has a Galactic Cowboys logo.

On many sites you can't have a space or other symbols in the name, so I just gave up long ago and ran them together.

So, yeah, I've been "Galactic Cowboy" for more than 15 years.

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epaga ist agape backwards.

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initials T K and tkforeverer... it's longer than forever and the domain was taken.

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Years ago in High School, I decided I would make up my own language.

I was a huge Mac fan at the time (this is ~1997) and I wanted to be able to say "Death to IBM". So the word I picked for "death" was "kogus". Seemed cool at the time, but sometimes I wish I had just used my real name.

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It is an abbreviation of my name... the algorithm that is to select the letters of your first, middle, and last name up to and including the first vowel, then also include the consonant following the first vowel of your last name. Twisting the rules is necessary if names start with vowels or end with vowels.

For example, John Harold Smith would be johasmit, Jane Lynn Doe would be jalydo (no trailing consonant, Lance Abert Campbell would be labecam, you get it.

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They call me so at work, my real name is Massimo and maghis is shorter and sound similar. They often call me Mago too (means "mage" in italian :D)

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My last name, spelled backwards. It's both easier to spell and easier to pronounce that way. I like it because it sounds menacing and silly at the same time.

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My day job currently involves maintaining a CRUD++ app, and my username comes from one of the test contacts we have on our development version of the app.

There's nothing stopping anyone senior in the company from logging into our dev system besides not knowing the URL and not knowing (insecure) login details, so anything offensive or insulting is out of the question. So, in order to be humorous and have a little fun, some of our test data veers into silly territory. Who in their right mind would found a company called 'Inflatable Dartboards 'R Us'?

One notable contact has the lyrics to the theme tune of Fraggle Rock as his address, but since that one's a bit of an in-joke to us, I've chosen another one whose name describes the data in our dev system.

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Long ago, in a time where Commodore 64s were common with puny 300 baud modems, there was a BBS where I used the handle, "Mr. PizzaMan," as I do enjoy the food now called a 'za to me and figured I'd take it as my name since I was named after my father.

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Back in college I got into Starcraft and playing online on battle.net. I don't remember the name I used at first but my roommate and I got good enough (it helped we played in the same room) and actually were ranked pretty highly. One game I was playing Protoss and our opponents were Zerg and when I sent in a bunch of zealots and ravaged one of the enemies he said "u made me, instantsoup!"

I don't believe he was intentionally calling me "instantsoup" but his poor grammar stuck and I became InstantSoup!

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Its my name and I am a nerd so:

Rick Schott + Nerd = _rick_schott

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An anagram of my name. It's simple to figure out for those who know or care about my real name, and distinctive for those who don't care.

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Richard Highou? – Sedat Kapanoglu Oct 7 '09 at 7:40

I've been using Mr. Vile as my online name for about 3 years, it was originally based upon a video game character from the game "Banjo-Kazooie" on N64, Mr. Vile is a red crocodile.

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I grabbed mine from a Phone Book after I had to get a new one following a little accident involving "negotiations". I swear, it was an accident!

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Jonathan Sampson. I used to use other names online, but soon realized that it would benefit me to use my real name, and thus associate all of my activity online with my person. Since doing so, my Google-rankings have climbed, I get job-offers more frequently, and I am overall happier. Just need to be careful about what I do online.

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It's the name of my first Dungeons and Dragons character. Yes, this is somewhat geeky. "Beska Miltar" from the suggested character names in the back of the original B1 module. Whee!

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I just use my name everywhere in the hopes to rule the first page on Google results for my name! Now that I've got 9 out of 10 for my name, I'm going for just my last name as well (only 1 out of 10)! Who says success can't be measured in Google rank?

Also, "Blixt" is what everyone calls me in real life, so it's a pretty natural choice. =)

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I do own the Google search for my name (Chacha102). So that is pretty much the origin.

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Many years ago when I first signed up for an MSN instant message account, I looked at my default profile and it had randomly selected a nickname for me. Lo and behold Soldier Moth was born

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Mine is a Simpsons reference. "Disgruntled Goat" was one of the supplementary Itchy & Scratchy characters mentioned in the episode "Itchy & Scratchy Land".

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Does SO enforce unique usernames?
My chose username was taken on one openid provider so I just used the next one provider in the list.
There is of course no reason why the other mgb on the first provider should use it here - but what if they did?

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