Go on, spill it. May 2, 2016 8:51 PM   Subscribe

Everyone is most likely familiar with the Profile page's "About" section explanatory text: "What's the deal with your nickname? How did you get it? If your nickname is self-explanatory, then tell everyone when you first started using the internet, and what was the first thing that made you say 'wow, this isn't just a place for freaks after all?' Was it a website? Was it an email from a long-lost friend? Go on, spill it.' I am curious if anybody's user name actually WAS inspired by an email from a long-lost friend.

Previous nominally related Metas seem to have been complaints about the text's very existence!
posted by Celsius1414 to MetaFilter-Related at 8:51 PM (121 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Self explanatory. The nineties on AOL. I'm still pretty sure the internet is for freaks. It's just that we're all freaks.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:48 PM on May 2, 2016




Huh. So after almost sixteen years I just added an explanation. (I've explained it on the site before.)

Email is only good for coming up with acronyms for cute boys. Duh.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 10:20 PM on May 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Email? Is that some new version of Facebook messager?
posted by Joseph Gurl at 10:45 PM on May 2, 2016


Email is for the birds. Mine is a first initial, last name combo amalgamation. My instant messenger screen name was pcwally, which was first initial, middle initial, last(ish) name. In high school (year 2000), my girlfriend who I talked to on aim for hours everyday thought my screen name stood for "personal computer wally," and she still dated me! (Until she cheated on me and broke my heart for two weeks, aww).
posted by pwally at 10:47 PM on May 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


greg made a pokemons post and i needed to troll it
posted by poffin boffin at 10:53 PM on May 2, 2016 [20 favorites]


i started off with solar when I was 12 and then six months later somebody mistook me for somebody else so I added a suffix
later on I found out it was the name of an MTG card but this was entirely coincidence
i could probably get a better one but it seems churlish to change it now a decade later
posted by solarion at 3:17 AM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Completely unrelated to any past or present email addresseses or other online sigs. I had a moment of existential panic after moving to a foreign country and felt that I wasn't from anywhere. So I tried to say I was. I've though about B.N.D'ing but ... well hell, devil you know devil you don't superiority of one over the other etc., etc., etc.
posted by From Bklyn at 3:49 AM on May 3, 2016


Drinky Die:
"Self explanatory. The nineties on AOL. I'm still pretty sure the internet is for freaks. It's just that we're all freaks."
Okay this whole time I've been convinced your name was a play on "Pinkie Pie" and you were a Brony.
posted by charred husk at 5:06 AM on May 3, 2016 [19 favorites]


Oh. Yeah, so did I.
So.. not a Brony. This comes as a surprise.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 5:25 AM on May 3, 2016


Dad wanted me to Richard Blatcher Jr. Mom wasn't having none of that Junior shit and managed to get something else on the birth certificate. Which was wise, I would have made a terrible Junior, unlike my brother.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:35 AM on May 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


Nope, not an e-mail. A character from Dragonlance: Fizban. If I'm being honest, it's a shortened form of another named I used at a different forum: FizbansTalking_Hat.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by Fizz at 5:41 AM on May 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


After a meltdown at a nuclear facility my body consists of living thinking autonomous beer
posted by beerperson at 5:50 AM on May 3, 2016 [10 favorites]


Poetry book

Many people tend to assume I am a guy, I don't know if it's my tone or my username.
posted by Tarumba at 5:55 AM on May 3, 2016


In the year before signing up, I read both Proust and The Tale of Genji. If I had signed up a little later, I might have been cinnamon horse or fragrant chariot. A year or two later, wonder-living grandmothers could have won out, which probably would have been confusing.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:10 AM on May 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm so unhip I couldn't even use hoopy without having to use zeros, it's a wonder my bum hasn't fallen off.
posted by h00py at 6:22 AM on May 3, 2016 [11 favorites]


Bondcliff
posted by bondcliff at 6:41 AM on May 3, 2016


Mine was a nickname that sounds a little like my real first name. A co-teacher who had lived and worked in Japan gave it to me and I've used it online for a long time. Scarily, more than 20 years now.
posted by Miko at 7:12 AM on May 3, 2016


Mine's based on this fabulous moment in Canadian history that a) is a weird-ass commercial to have to celebrate my country since it's basically an incident of complete confusion and arrogance and b)sums up the thing that happens online where people get so set in their ways of being "right" that they ignore those with actual knowledge (expecially if those people are under-privledged).
posted by kanata at 7:14 AM on May 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


My name is totally eponysterical. I just picked a random phrase.

Incidentally, I'm taking a Computer Science for Dingbats class this semester, and all of a sudden people's usernames make sense to me now! I know what haltingproblemsolved means! For some reason, I had imagined that it referred to a problem getting old-timey horse-drawn carriages to stop.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:28 AM on May 3, 2016 [6 favorites]


Family nickname from before I was born (weird family, I know), plus "aka" cuz I dunno, I didn't like "burlap" by itself. I know it's weird to have aka in your actual name. But OH WELL people will love me anyway I hope.
posted by aka burlap at 7:32 AM on May 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


'burlap' is one of my favourite words.
posted by h00py at 7:36 AM on May 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


Family nickname from before I was born (weird family, I know)

We called my daughter Lump before she was born, as we didn't know her gender, and we still call her Lump from time to time.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:36 AM on May 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


Does she often sit alone in an empty marsh?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:42 AM on May 3, 2016 [15 favorites]


My biggest regret. If I'd had any idea that I'd be such an active member 8 years on, I'd have picked a more clever name. Or at least one without a 1.
posted by Sophie1 at 7:46 AM on May 3, 2016


Exactly, Rock Steady! You've gotta have a gender-neutral nickname. It feels too impersonal to just say "it" or "the baby."
posted by aka burlap at 7:46 AM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Does she often sit alone in an empty marsh?

No, but that is where the name came from.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:51 AM on May 3, 2016 [6 favorites]


My username is a homage to one of my favorite superheroes - Saturn Girl. I've never owned a Saturn car.
posted by saturngirl at 7:52 AM on May 3, 2016


I, um, I was seventeen and I was trying to come up with a new handle because Sola felt too depressing, so I took a Latin root meaning "to know" and added -atrix to it to signify "knower [female]".

If I realized I'd still be using it nigh ten years later I would have chosen something a little less self-important. I nearly signed up here as "lasagna whale" after an answer on a exam I was grading that had exceedingly poor handwriting, but I also kind of like the permanency that comes of having used the same unique (as far as I know) name since 2007.
posted by sciatrix at 7:55 AM on May 3, 2016 [7 favorites]


Mine comes from a Jason Webley song, "Dance While the Sky Crashes Down". I've been using it since.. maybe 2003 at least. Not very interesting origin, but I haven't ever run across anyone else using it.
posted by skycrashesdown at 7:58 AM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Mine comes from a Jason Webley song, "Dance While the Sky Crashes Down"

Hey neat, I loved seeing Webley when I was in Seattle. Mine is my name because I have very little imagination.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 8:09 AM on May 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


In the late 1990s I was a docent at two different homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright (although neither was actually from his usonian period) when somebody invited me to jump into a Quake I deathmatch. I didn't really have a go-to handle at the time, having abandoned the one I used on BBSes and Q-Link as a teenager, and I pulled 'usonian' out of thin air in a moment of inspiration.

The late 1990s were a long time ago! I occasionally toy with the idea of doing the BND thing; in some respects I'm quite a different person now than I was then, but inertia is a powerful force.
posted by usonian at 8:21 AM on May 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


My user name didn't come from email, but did originate on IRC. "komlord" ends up being the most common fumble-fingered result of trying to type my somewhat standard online handle (that I've been using since about 1998). Plus it sounds gender neutral and important, which is a nice bonus.
posted by komlord at 8:42 AM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


My name is as a result of divine or Jerry intervention. I was listening to music when I was signing up. Wharf Rat was on. Just as I had to pick a user name, Jerry (Garcia) wailed, "My name is August West..." Now, so is mine.
posted by AugustWest at 8:49 AM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


I've only ever seen the whole Treehouse of Horror episode once (when it first aired!), but for some reason this scene got stuck in my head.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:56 AM on May 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


I decided to pay the $5 and sign up, then spent a solid year dithering about what name to choose. In the end, I wound up generating a bunch of prospective names through pungenerator.org and similar sites, then slowly whittled those results down to the one I thought worked best. Which I regretted almost immediately (should I have chosen something that sounded smarter? What if nobody takes me seriously on account of my name?), but I settled into it after a few weeks.
posted by Spathe Cadet at 8:58 AM on May 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


We were at the beach.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 8:58 AM on May 3, 2016 [34 favorites]


I won a ribbon at the county fair.
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:19 AM on May 3, 2016 [10 favorites]


oh my gods, i had no idea a "spathe" was an actual thing. I thought it was just, like, a little kid with a lisp saying the word "Space Cadet"
posted by Greg Nog at 9:20 AM on May 3, 2016 [9 favorites]


. . . and now I'm regretting it again.
posted by Spathe Cadet at 9:24 AM on May 3, 2016 [13 favorites]


oh my gods, i had no idea a "spathe" was an actual thing. I thought it was just, like, a little kid with a lisp saying the word "Space Cadet"

Oh wow. Me too.

Sorry, Spathe Cadet. You still have a great name.
posted by zarq at 9:27 AM on May 3, 2016


random word generator
posted by fuse theorem at 9:28 AM on May 3, 2016


I panicked and picked something fairly random that doesn't really reflect me at all: I am a Capricorn, but I don't really care about astrology--except that one time a horoscope in The Stranger told me I was entering my Nick Cage phase; that was cool. So I added an ironic Top Gear quote about it to my profile. (In case I ever change it, it says "like many Capricorns, I don't believe in astrology".) I like stars and goats, though.
posted by capricorn at 9:28 AM on May 3, 2016 [2 favorites]




I chose my username by pointing to a page in the nearest book. I was tempted to do a do-over, but resisted. I wish I went with something else in a way, because I didn't consider how it makes me sound full of myself. Why, my comments are just so charming!
posted by to recite so charmingly at 9:40 AM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


. . . and now I'm regretting it again.

It's good! It's one of my favorite names on mefi! It makes me think of that little kid! They've got koolaid all over their mouth and their pants are hella dirty from the backyard and they're holding a cool stick they found!
posted by Greg Nog at 9:47 AM on May 3, 2016 [8 favorites]


We called my daughter Lump before she was born, as we didn't know her gender, and we still call her Lump from time to time.

We started by calling ours the Tadpole because that's how big it was when we found out about it but now that it's bigger and super active we call it the Loch Ness Creature or maybe the Sea Monster because you never see the beast itself but you can spot the ripples on the surface.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 9:50 AM on May 3, 2016 [5 favorites]


Mine is from this.
posted by Too-Ticky at 9:56 AM on May 3, 2016


I wreck picnics.
posted by workerant at 10:02 AM on May 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


A former co-worker when I first signed on (16 years ago? wtf!) gave me the
nickname variation of my real first name that became my username here.

Coworker has moved on (she's now orking cows) but I'm still here, aren't I?
posted by Lynsey at 10:06 AM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


IIRC I was just thoroughly enjoying reading a book about global sand seas.

I can't figure out if a day on MeFi when we all had to call each other by the nicknames bestowed on us by parents (or others) would be awful or awesome, but I'm certainly delighting in imagining it.
posted by barchan at 10:07 AM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Mine was our cat's name. The original Lucinda haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaated me - I would walk into a room, she would leave. Part of me wants to change my name because of that, but it's probably too late now.
posted by Lucinda at 10:10 AM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


My original username, cimbrog, has a bit of a story related to an old email. I was in a writing group (Omega from racc) where everyone had internet nicknames like Ricochet, Mean Mr.Mustard and Badger. I didn't. So my "nickname" became the first part of my old email address, cimbrog, which is just standard first-initial-contracted-last-name stuff. It looked kinda silly when everyone listed their names with their nicks: Marc "Mean Mr. Mustard" Singer, Matt "Badger" Rossi and Chad "Cimbrog" Imbrogno!
posted by charred husk at 10:13 AM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


My username is a now-23-year-old inside joke between me and me. It's an acronym for a nonsense phrase in German that rhymes in Spanish and slant-rhymes in French.
posted by dersins at 10:21 AM on May 3, 2016 [6 favorites]


Is someone handing out cool sticks?!
posted by beerperson at 10:21 AM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Chicky chicky noo noo
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 10:21 AM on May 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


barchan: "I can't figure out if a day on MeFi when we all had to call each other by the nicknames bestowed on us by parents (or others) would be awful or awesome, but I'm certainly delighting in imagining it."

My mother still calls me "Lincoln" because when I was little, she misremembered the name of the first character in the poem "Wynken, Blynken and Nod". I know.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:30 AM on May 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


Our three greatest presidents.
posted by ChuraChura at 10:37 AM on May 3, 2016 [10 favorites]


I just picked a cool word from the Phrontistery.

Oddly enough, "iridic" has become a mildly popular handle over the years. It was locked down on Twitter long before I tried to join up, and there are any number of other iridics on the popular sites and services. The local iridic on Wordnik once commented on the name's appeal:
A perfect monovocalic...What's more, that triad of three lovely short i's is balanced by three shapely consonants. An evocative denotation merely confirms this word's place in the first rank of underrated latinates. (Five stars; would adopt as a username again.)
posted by Iridic at 10:43 AM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


My name means frog frog in Swahili. I had a REALLY COOL frog ring at the time, and was taking Swahili. Swahili often doubles things for emphasis, and I like frogs.
posted by ChuraChura at 10:49 AM on May 3, 2016 [18 favorites]


it was made in desperation, in hopes that people from another site, which had gone offline, would find me
posted by thelonius at 10:55 AM on May 3, 2016


did they?
posted by sciatrix at 10:56 AM on May 3, 2016


Mine is boring: song I liked. My spouse, Comrade Doll, has a better one. She used to go a bit over the top sometimes telling "You don't know how good you have it" stories, relating to having grown up in Communist Romania. My roommate, way back when, would do a killer impression of these stories: "Growing up in communist Romania, we did not have real toys. I had only one toy. It was block of wood with face painted on it named 'Comrade Doll.'"
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:56 AM on May 3, 2016 [13 favorites]


I can't figure out if a day on MeFi when we all had to call each other by the nicknames bestowed on us by parents (or others) would be awful or awesome, but I'm certainly delighting in imagining it.

My terrific weirdo dad used to call me Ratface Bananahead, which would make a fantastic username.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 11:00 AM on May 3, 2016 [7 favorites]


Playing video games online in the late 90s, I was intrigued when online death matches started reporting kills in scrolling text: "Doombringer was shot by WarriorGodz." I wanted to see it say "Invincible was killed by Lacy Panties," so I made that my user name. I was never good enough to make the joke happen that often, but I ended up using an abbreviated form of that nickname for lots of different things.
posted by layceepee at 11:26 AM on May 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


You know those rubber gripper thingies that you use to open stuck jar lids? Like these? When I was picking my user name, my eyes fell upon an orange one of those that was sitting on my desk.
posted by OrangeDisk at 11:27 AM on May 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'd lurked for the usual couple years, when along came a question I knew the (obscure book title) answer to --- rushed to sign up so I could answer it, and had to come up with a name on the spot.....

BND is awfully tempting, sometimes.
posted by easily confused at 12:10 PM on May 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


> I am curious if anybody's user name actually WAS inspired by an email from a long-lost friend.

The text doesn't actually suggest that option.
(Pedants gonna pedant)
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:20 PM on May 3, 2016


When I was 11 I really liked dragons. The AOL limit 10 characters, all the handles with "dragon" were taken, and "ocher" is a 5 letter color (I don't know why I thought -er was better than -re.)
posted by ocherdraco at 12:33 PM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


French Fry is my actual nick name. Spud if you are one of my big sisters.
posted by French Fry at 12:49 PM on May 3, 2016


Oddly enough, "iridic" has become a mildly popular handle over the years. It was locked down on Twitter long before I tried to join up, and there are any number of other iridics on the popular sites and services.

Yeah, I love the fact that my nonsense handle is used by several other people on various parts of the internet. I don't understand it, and I'm sure they didn't pick it for the same reason, but it works in my favor.
posted by bongo_x at 12:56 PM on May 3, 2016


did they?

The site came back......
posted by thelonius at 1:04 PM on May 3, 2016


I am curious if anybody's user name actually WAS inspired by an email from a long-lost friend.

In a manner of speaking, although he wasn't long-lost at the time. My late best friend Evan and I thought the phrase "Careless Whisper" was hilarious in its inanity. He, also being hilarious, started going by "friendlyfrenelum" in various places, including email address. Eventually, when I decided I needed a new handle because the old one was a book reference I wasn't really feeling anymore, I copied the style but not the insincerity with "errantmystic", which I still use all over the place because I'm a classic late adopter and it's never taken as a username. The "mystic" part was probably more true at one point than it currently is, and I am lately uncomfortable putting it out there because internet atheists can be uncompromising in their reflexive scorn, so whenever possible I abbreviate it to "Errant", which is one of my favorite words and as good a single-word descriptor of me as any.
posted by Errant at 1:11 PM on May 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


The text doesn't actually suggest that option.
(Pedants gonna pedant)


Shhhhhhh...

;)
posted by Celsius1414 at 1:50 PM on May 3, 2016


Michele is my actual name, on my birth certificate and everything. I tried to sign up under that, but it was taken already. So I added my actual location, because I am creative like that.

My profile used to have that story in it, but then I thought I could just put Michele in the name slot and California in the place slot and people would figure out most of it without any explaining. The only part they wouldn't know is that I first tried Michele and it wasn't available.
posted by Michele in California at 1:51 PM on May 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


mykescipark = Myke from the band Science Park, which was a pretty stupid choice of handle since Science Park hadn't released an album for four years by the time I joined in 2005, and hasn't since (despite promises made on MeFiMusic).
posted by mykescipark at 2:08 PM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Everybody knows this cartoon. This is how I am when people talk to me about investment options, which happens more often than you might think. Plus on the internet no one knows you're a dog. So, ginger. But ginger is always taken, probably by people who are actually named Ginger, so I superlativized.
posted by gingerest at 2:58 PM on May 3, 2016 [6 favorites]


Sophomore year of college, two of my friends made a drinking game out of Jenga by writing things on the blocks like "Drink 5 seconds" or "Drink 3 seconds" or something. Only some of the blocks had writing on them.

They played it with one particular circle of friends, a bunch of guys who were on or had been on the university soccer team. So when day when our friends weren't in their room, a buddy and I added our own writing, but we said things like "Punch Campos 3x (hard!)" or "Imitate Neville" or "Drink Coleman's dip" and so on. One of the guys on the team had a round head and had a buzz cut, his nickname was "Orb." On one of the Jenga pieces, I wrote "Moon Orb."

Years later, my buddy emailed me to tell me how he was having a ball trolling a Cleveland Browns fan message board after the Steelers knocked them out of the playoffs. I decided to go on the board, too, and I wanted a user name that I thought he'd recognize, so I came up with "MoonOrb" on the spot.
posted by MoonOrb at 2:58 PM on May 3, 2016 [8 favorites]


I was a very new dad when I joined MetaFilter. My daughter's name is Aletheia. So...Pater Aletheias. As I pronounce it, it is similar to "flatter a gay theist," which is something I do fairly regularly.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 3:33 PM on May 3, 2016 [6 favorites]


Hmm...as I think about it, "flatter an atheist" works even better, and I do that, too.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 3:34 PM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


'octothorpe' is one of the spellings of ATT's name for the # symbol; sometimes it's spelled without the 'e' at the end. It goes back to at least 1998 for me as it was my /. id back then.
posted by octothorpe at 3:37 PM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


mine (the original quonsar) originated in the mid-70's while terrorizing a citizens band radio channel. but you already knew that.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 4:45 PM on May 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Mine's derived from a nickname a couple of schoolmates gave me that they thought I'd find embarrassing. But I didn't - I rather like being called "ace" (never mind that it was an acronym for something less flattering). Who's laughing now?
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:48 PM on May 3, 2016


We have a cat, who officially is named Prynne, who will Smush her face into blankets to the point that we worry she can't breathe. She will get in between my husband and me where no space is available and Smush her face down. As I write this, her face is stuffed into my husband's armpit. We call her suffocating kitty when she does this. My old on-line handle was too well known and easily Google-able so I went with her nickname. I kind of wish I hadn't though, since it seems like a mean/animal cruelty name in retrospect.
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 5:07 PM on May 3, 2016 [5 favorites]


There was no such thing as email yet, when I decided to make an anagram out of my name. My word processor at the time was a 1930's-era Royal manual typewriter. When I finally got a Mac in the early 90's, I beat the holy crap out of my keyboards because I was used to driving the letters home with emphasis, and the nearly 1-inch throw of the keys on the Royal.

My daughter's nickname was Pooter Bear, and she HATES it when I bring that up, but she's probably not going to read this, so. My son used to frustrate my step-daughter & she would exclaim "Jacob-acob-acob!" At him. This got lengthened to Jacob Acob Acob Miles Vreeland Graphics Incorporated by the time he was 2, probably the longest nickname anyone has ever had.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:10 PM on May 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


Like Greg_Ace, mine was thought up by a schoolmate to annoy me, but I was okay with it (to my schoolmate's irritation) and it stuck. Some folks know me only by my nickname. I've had it for ~35 years now.
posted by scruss at 7:59 PM on May 3, 2016


It's just my initials and perfectly reflects my creative ability.

Over the years, it's become a real-life nickname due to my using it to sign off e-mails for reasons which now escape me. I wish I'd chosen something with more characters, in part because of my frustration when I went to choose a Gmail address (having received an invitation when that was the only way to play) only to find that there is a three-character minimum :-(
posted by dg at 12:51 AM on May 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's from this song, which also figured into a long-running joke from the college days. The handle's stuck ever since.
posted by SisterHavana at 1:19 AM on May 4, 2016


Mine is from
1) Nicki Minaj Anaconda:
"Now that's real, real, real,
Gun in my purse, bitch I came dressed to kill
Who wanna go first? I had 'em pushing daffodils
I'm high as hell, I only took a half of pill
I'm on some dumb shit"

but also
2) I have the gorgeous "Dressed to Kill" book of 1920s fashion by Virginia and Daisy Bates. It sits on my desk at work and I longingly look at it's spine and dream about the day I can quit my job and design clothing.
posted by Dressed to Kill at 5:32 AM on May 4, 2016 [3 favorites]


Rock Steady: We called my daughter Lump before she was born, as we didn't know her gender, and we still call her Lump from time to time.

Our first son was "bean" for a while, before we knew he would be a little he. Then he was tiny little super guy, at least to me, because holy shit, we made a babby! Now he's Mr. Bear, and his little brother is Mr. Tiger, though he has been re-nick-named Pishtaco thanks to his anthropologist aunt telling us about the blond-haired blue eyed fat stealers.

#ParentFilter (I mostly wanted to share the Wiki link to Pishtaco)

I'm filthy light thief because I was trying to think of something different from my prior handles (usually sasquatch-related), and appropriately quirky and interesting for MetaFilter. While lurking on /. read a great snarky reply about "extremist capitalism," but I couldn't think of the exact wording, so I went with filthy light thief as a photographer being one who steals light.

Then ErWenn MeMailed me out of the blue with the citation for my handle, and I (re)learned that it was "horrific light thief." I don't feel like I'm fully horrific, and I like to think of myself as a bit of a dirty hippy, so it all works. (As a bonus, my initials are the same as an oldschool demo and warez group, which is named for the Fairlight CMI sampling synth, and all that tickles the part of my brain that likes those kind of things.)
posted by filthy light thief at 7:47 AM on May 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


Not an e-mail, but in the same vein: my username was derived from a CAPTCHA. The "more" was added to meet a character minimum.
posted by enjoymoreradio at 8:53 AM on May 4, 2016


Zut alors, I have missed one!

Sacre bleu! What is this?
How on earth could I miss
Such a sweet little succulent crab

Quel dommage, what a loss
Here we go in the sauce
Now some flour-I think just a dab

Now I stuff you with bread
It don't hurt, 'cause you're dead
And you're certainly lucky you are

'Cause it's gonna be hot
In my big silver pot
Tootle-loo, mon poisson, au revoir!
posted by zutalors! at 11:02 AM on May 4, 2016 [4 favorites]


René Auberjonois in one of his finest roles. :)
posted by zarq at 11:09 AM on May 4, 2016 [4 favorites]


Mine is my old SCA name and my Dewey Decimal Number if I were a book.

The Dewey number still largely holds true, but the other bit hasn't been my name except online in almost a decade.
posted by teleri025 at 2:55 PM on May 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


barchan: "I can't figure out if a day on MeFi when we all had to call each other by the nicknames bestowed on us by parents (or others) would be awful or awesome, but I'm certainly delighting in imagining it."

If it ever happened, I'd have to battle it out with Mrs. Pterodactyl's kid - my childhood nickname was "Nessie," after my best attempt to pronounce my actual first name.
posted by capricorn at 3:29 PM on May 4, 2016


I like soup. Just not enough to commit to the tattoo.

Was hangry while signing up, and had a tub of wonton soup at my elbow. For a while, I was a bit embarrassed to have chosen something punny on the fly rather than figuring out a handle with cool numbers or literary allusions, or both. But the site seems pun-inclusive

When I first came across a comment by Spathe Cadet, I swooned a little at that user name.
posted by wonton endangerment at 5:41 PM on May 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


Back before I entered university I was gaming with a group at the university. One of the guys would let me use his university dialup account to access the internet (something you'd otherwise need to be independently wealthy to access at my time/place). He first gave me his username/password combo orally and his password was Mithril from LotR. At the time I'd only ever seen the animated Hobbit movie and didn't know how Mithril was spelt. Between that and his American accent I tried all sorts of spellings of Mithril trying to get in without success. However I kind of liked the way the Mitheral variant sounded and later I chose it as a handle one evening when we were playing Rabbit Hunt. It became one of several computer handles I used when given username choice til it became the default choice mostly because not being an actual word it is almost never taken.

Amusingly I'm sometimes referred to as Mithreal or MythOrReal; the later of which I quite like and would have made a much better handle.
posted by Mitheral at 5:58 PM on May 4, 2016


Now I've got a vision in my head of a good ol' boy buying chain-mail armor: "Yeah, lemme git some'a that mith-er-ul stuff."
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:18 PM on May 4, 2016 [4 favorites]


Before I signed up I had in my head that I was going to be stately plump buck mulligan, but I've only ever read about ten pages of Ulysses. And I am neither stately nor plump. Whether my actual name is Buck Mulligan I cannot confirm or deny.
posted by Miss Otis' Egrets at 6:58 PM on May 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm eisforcool because whenever we had to do those obnoxious icebreakers that involved using the first letter of your name to think of an adjective to describe yourself I got stuck with "enthusiastic erika" or "energetic erika."

Those aren't any good at all. Especially compared to like "awesome Alex" or "super Susan." Those guys had it made!
posted by eisforcool at 9:02 PM on May 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


excellent erika!
posted by lazuli at 6:41 AM on May 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Also I agree that's a seriously obnoxious icebreaker.
posted by lazuli at 6:42 AM on May 5, 2016


The latent question that is never asked is why our organization needs icebreakers at every meeting.
posted by Celsius1414 at 7:01 AM on May 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Explain my nickname? I'm a.......


Why yes, I do have a weakness for puns. Why do you ask?
posted by Frayed Knot at 7:23 AM on May 5, 2016 [8 favorites]


That's when the word Erinaceous becomes useful. "Erinaceous Erin. Yes, I do like communicating in grunts and squeaks, wiggling my cute little nose, being covered in spines, and hanging out in British peoples' hedges."
posted by ChuraChura at 7:47 AM on May 5, 2016 [6 favorites]


I've been using this nickname (with a couple of variants) online for about 15 years, or thereabouts. I wanted something "cool" that would "age well" and not be too trendy or weird. I'm not sure if I succeeded at that, but I'm still using it, so I'll consider it a minor victory.

My birthday's in June, and as a kid I was really into birthstones, astrological signs, lucky flowers, Chinese zodiac years, basically anything that could be used to categorize or describe someone born around the same general time frame. I had this little reference-type book that I'd gotten at a book fair when I was like 6 or 7, and I would consult it regularly for the zodiac, lucky flower, birthstone, etc. of an individual whenever I learned their birthday.

So anyway, I was a teenager, trying to think up a cool new username for my email account. I decided that "pearl" and "rose" sounded beautiful together, and since they happened to be the birthstone and lucky flower for June, that would nicely relate to me without being too obvious about it.
posted by PearlRose at 7:54 AM on May 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


As it says in my profile, my name comes from my first dog - a big yellow mutt who was with me through five towns and eight homes in three states over the years, and who was my "constant" through a lot of crazy things, both good and bad. I loved that dog so much.

I love our current dog just as much, but she is so very different. I've really never known a more ridiculously happy circus of a dog. It's probably a good thing that I signed up for an account when I did - if I'd used one of our current dog's nicknames, I would probably be Ass Tornado.
posted by DingoMutt at 12:26 PM on May 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


When I signed up, I'd never had an online nickname before. I looked at other people's MetaFilter names, and for the life of me I couldn't come up with something as clever. So, since I'd recently moved into an apartment, I chose apartment dweller.

I'm glad I chose a name that began with an A because I was part of the Great Enspousening. If my name was further down the list alphabetically, I might not have made it.
posted by apartment dweller at 1:58 PM on May 5, 2016


i really like burgers
posted by burgerrr at 2:37 PM on May 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm kind of amazed - my username is about twenty years old this year. The only reason it's misspelled is because there was an eight character limit on names when I started.

Given my current proclivities, the fact that my username is an example of cultural appropriation I always thought was appropriately self-deprecating.
posted by Deoridhe at 5:55 PM on May 5, 2016


If I had realized so many years ago that my mefi username would end up dominating my online life and identifying me basically forever . . .maybe i would have chosen more carefully. Or maybe not. I looked around the room and saw my rack of drying all black clothes and thought god look at my goth laundry and, well. Then I just used it everywhere - and still do - to be consistent. Anyway my wardrobe is still 90% black and my laundry is still goth.

Before metafilter I was shadowsandechoes in a few places and even before that I was barfokitty and sometimes I wish I had just stuck with that one forever, because it was a good name no matter how much it annoyed my father.
posted by mygothlaundry at 7:50 PM on May 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


I vaguely remember that I was in a yes-dude role of some kind, and didn't like parts of it.

It's been 16 years.

Can't tell you more than that, because that's all I've got.
posted by yesster at 8:45 PM on May 5, 2016


Been performing in public since I was in first grade. Trying to be ironic, I guess.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:51 PM on May 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Eh, I have no nicknames I'm willing to own to, and have no imagination, so picked a name tangential to my "real" first name (RFN), but with connections to me. It kind of fits me better than RFN anyway, or I would have just used RFN*.

*RFN was an obscure Spanish first name in the U.S. when I was born, but became a popular girl's name a few years after I came along. I like it, but RFN mostly is not a name people would ever think of when they think of me. (RFN did help me get a job once, sight unseen, because person doing the hiring was hoping I was a tall beautiful woman, based on the name, instead of a short dumpy average looking woman ... .)
posted by gudrun at 8:14 AM on May 6, 2016




I started the MetaFilter signup process a few times, but was not on speaking terms with PayPal for a while; eBay (correctly) suspected an associate of shill bidding on auctions for external laptop batteries. They also accused me of "drop shipping" but I don't even know what that is. Anyway, I believe Matthowie explained somewhere that when you start the signup process the username you provide is reserved even if you don't finish. This is how my top 2 or 3 choices were taken - by me! And I had some good ones that would have fit right in!

When I finally decided to go through with it, my SO had a horse that I would see pretty frequently. While I would not say I was/am a horselover, I did have horses on the brains at the time. I think I looked over at my bookshelf, and the rest is history.
posted by Horselover Fat at 8:07 PM on May 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


"Halting Problem Solved" would be a decent epitaph for a computer scientist.

(I was also wtdoor for a while, after American naval hero W.T. Door.)
posted by haltingproblemsolved at 11:50 AM on May 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


(I should make it clear that I didn't know about the shill bidding until eBay informed me of their suspicions/suspended my account)
posted by Horselover Fat at 2:18 PM on May 7, 2016


I used to be a web developer, but didn't like "webgirl" as a nickname, and everything was all "double you double you double you dot" .. so I picked that.

Unfortunately, some people think "dot" is short for "Dorothy" and will call me that. (But "lengthening names incorrectly" is a whole different pet peeve, so moving on ..)
posted by dotgirl at 3:34 PM on May 7, 2016


h00py: "'burlap' is one of my favourite words."

You'd love boontling.
posted by chavenet at 8:00 AM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


ugh - late to the party again.
i hate everything
posted by bitteroldman at 9:34 AM on May 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


« Older Quote from... Dan Luu?? About effort and intent   |   What topics to include a content warning for? Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments