Old Internet Handles


#1

Most of us probably have 'em. Who did you go around as?

In my first Internet community, the #monkey-island IRC channel, I went by HermanToothrot at first, mainly because that was about the only character from those games nobody was using, and also I was maybe 13 at the time.

Later at around the time Quake came out I upgraded to MrCoulomb, inspired by an illustration in a physics textbook of Mr. Coulomb carrying charge around the circuit. I had to change that one because people kept thinking I was MrColumbo

A few years on came SurplusGamer, which was supposed to be a slightly self-deprecating 'the world probably doesn’t need another -Gamer internet user thing, but I started liking it less and less and once a certain -gate happened, I wanted to get as far as possible from it, even though in a way it was making fun of the whole gamer identity thing. So thanks, PSN, for still not letting me change this.

Nowadays I’m KestrelPi pretty much everywhere else. It’s just an anagram of my name, Peter Silk, and I’m happy enough with it. It has a ring to it, doesn’t really have any connotations I’ll come to regret (probably) and it was either that or ElkPriest (I didn’t want people to mistake me for someone to come for for spiritual advice).

Also, Kestrel Pi is a name that I regularly use to name characters in games that let you do that, since it weirdly seems to fit in all sorts of settings, sounds pretty gender neutral and saves me having to think of something else.

So what’s your story?


What does your username signify?
#2

Kestrel Pi is great! I love that kind of stuff. A friend of mine also uses an anagram (“Chinese Dr. No Jass”) that I think is super cool.

I still go by my very first handle “Sturek” on some platforms (usually less personal ones). It’s a Vulcan character from Star Trek: Academy and I was really into Vulcans when I was, like, eleven. Short, recognizably Vulcan to Trekkies, but obscure enough to not be too popular.

I use DerBonk for most stuff, now, however (at least the stuff that I don’t mind being tied to my real name). It’s just my (maiden) last name with a German definitive article (which also expresses gender). I also like that it makes people think I’m into PC Engine games!


#3

I’ve basically always been BlazeHedgehog. I guess technically at one point in my life it was Blaze the Hedgehog, but I dropped that.

I picked it when I was a freshman in high school because the very first chat room I ever went to on the internet was one dedicated to Sonic the Hedgehog, specifically pitched as a way to discuss the just-announced Sonic Adventure for the Dreamcast.

It was a “Beseen” web chat, which could have been considered a precursor to what eventually became Twitter. Basically, instead of IRC or ICQ or any other chat room that required you to download chat room software, this was a web page with three frames – on the bottom was a frame with a text input filed, on the top was a frame that displayed the current chat text (and it would automatically refresh occasionally to show recent messages from other people in the room), and on the left was the third frame showing a user list, often with picture avatars (like forums would have).

Type a message, hit “submit” and the display frame would refresh to show your message, and then a few seconds later, refresh to show if anyone had responded. Whereas Twitter was public, this was cordoned off to specific communities (again, it was a “chat room”)

And this specific chat was “Missy’s Sonic Chat” where a bunch of what passed for internet celebrities in the Sonic community hung out, specifically the guys who did the really legitimately awesome fan art (a handful of which actually parlayed this talent in to working for Archie comics over a decade later on the official Sonic comic)

Most of them had internet handles, and since they were artists, they were all Sonic OCs. So, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. I came up with my own Sonic OC. The first name that jumped to mind was “Blaze the Hedgehog” and after minutes of rumination I couldn’t think of anything better (it was simple, catchy and easy to remember) so that’s what it became.

And there was never any impetus to change it. I hung around Sonic fans, many of which also had Sonic OCs as their user names. Gradually, one by one, they chose new internet handles. And I stayed BlazeHedgehog. By the time I felt like anything was weird, it was too deeply ingrained in basically my entire online identity so I left it alone.

It personally doesn’t bother me, but I do feel like on occasion I’ve been treated differently by certain people online when they hear it, and it’s one of the reasons when I registered for the Waypoint forums I merely registered as “Blaze.”


#4

I went by “pheonix” for many years as a youth. Spelled just like that. I was a deadly serious little internet kid with a big honkin’ typo in the middle of my pretentious-ass name.


#5

Used to be Tempestora, which got contracted to Tempy (usually with a UK suffix as it’s weirdly popular),and then a re-naming to FullOfFeathers on twitter because I love Radiohead, and then on Steam I used to change it all the time, but stuck with DynamicCalories because I love Stephen Malkmus.


#6

I’ve been SuperBiasedMan for over 10 years, I don’t remember a life before this.


#7

I used to go by an anagram as well; Leshrac, which was of my name. Eventually I ended up with Zalrus or Zalrus9, and the name stuck. I like Both Frank Zappa, Zappa from Guilty Gear, and The Beatles.


#8

Back in my early days of online gaming (which was…jesus, almost 20 years ago now…) I’d started using the handle Pigintrifix, which didn’t have any meaning beyond it being a nonsense word I’d concocted one day. It eventually got shortened to Pigin, and appended with LoD_Pigin — the Legion of Ducks: the “clan” I formed when 14-year-old me liked the idea of being in charge of a clan without having the organizational skills or social network to grow it beyond all of…three (?) members.


#9

I think my first (at least that I remember) was x9x9x, because yes I was a teenager, and yes I absolutely thought that X was the coolest letter and 9 was the coolest number.

After that, I mainly went by AlmostNakedAbe, in reference to the video for Gay Bar by Electric Six (again, yes, very cool teen), or Spider, in my GMod DarkRP community. The best name I had for a while was RandyOrtonRKOingAPanda in relation to my avatar, which was a picture of Randy Orton RKOing a Panda.

Eventually, I got my current name by needing a name for PSN, and spending a while just staring at it and thinking about it and then getting caught on the phrase ‘Fish in a barrel’ and figuring ‘Well, I’m not a fish, but I am a boy’. Which is one of the stupider anecdotes someone could have for a name, but it gave me a very good name, that eventually I kinda just streamlined to be my name on everything esp when I started streaming and Youtubing and social media-ing, and stuff.


#10

I’ve only had one handle before my current one. That handle was Qwake, which I first used on Neopets, where I was known as Qwake13. After Neopets there was Gaia, where I was able to drop the number.

Some of you are wondering why I spelled it this way, and basically when I was trying to come up with a handle I thought of the move “earthquake” from Pokemon, and then just made spelling mistake. After realizing it, I decided to just stick with it because I liked the way it looked.

Then in High School, I took Latin for my foreign language requirement and being the huge dork I am, choose a Latin word to be my new handle for everything else. Thus Victus Unus or just Victus was born. Which I thought meant “Living One”, but my teacher pointed out it meant something else entirely. But again, I still like the name so I kept it.


#11

I’ve been Jeverage (or QualityJeverage, interchangeably) since I was about 11 years old- around 2001. I don’t have (or I don’t remember) any kind of story behind it, other than my name being Jeff and I guess thinking that Jeff+Beverage sounded cool. Now I’ve been using it so long I can’t ever use anything else.

Hot aside: The one other name I do remember using is from my days playing Jedi Outcast on PC; when a friend taught me how to change the font/color of my name with certain tags.

At that moment, edgy 13-year old me decided he would go by: /2eady_2_/2umble (in bold red text)

It looked cooler in the game font, I swear. Please believe me.


#12

Most of mine were lame iterations on random nicknames that friends assigned to me. CowboyTimmay, for example, is still my PSN name and I really wish I could change it because I’m not the same person I was when I made it as a freshman in highschool. I also tried to make NinTIMdo a thing (without the caps). Now I just pop culture references or puns I stole from The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt if I can. My insta is timstagram and I’m the title of the fictional Kevin Grisham novel “The Rural Juror” from 30 Rock most other places.


#14

I’ve never had a consistent handle up until about five years ago. I’ve had some… interesting ones though.

Back in the days of AOL I was Shock1902. All I remember about picking that one was that I picked 1902 because of the semi-pattern it made on a keyboard made it easy to remember.

Eventually I got a Neopets account where I was SuperGamerMan. I try not to think about that one too much.

The next one I can remember is when I signed up for Xbox Live (I got it on the original Xbox despite having no games I wanted to play online), where I chose SilentSword91. I staunchly refused to use voice chat hence the silent, and I thought swords were cool. That’s still by Xbox Live gamertag because I never felt like changing it, but if I ever get an Xbox One it’s probably toast.

Once I started using the Internet a lot my username for just about everything was cmeade91, which is just my first initial, last name, and the year I was born. Super easy to remember, if very boring. I still use this on some sites, particularly ones where I have no intention of interacting with others.

Once I found out that Oprah has a production company with her name spelled backwards (Harpo), I came up with Edaem (my last name backwards). I eventually attached some sort of meaning to this name (my family has always considered my “backwards” so it felt appropriate), and I also use it fairly regularly.

Finally, I have my Waypoint handle, which is one I’ve been slowly trying to transition to for awhile. I started playing Magic: the Gathering in 2011, and it has become a central part of my life (95% of my irl friends I met playing Magic). One of my favorite cards is Ghave, Guru of Spores, so I’ve been using Ghave more and more. Unfortunately I was kinda late to the party on picking it as a handle, and it’s been taken on a few platforms. Because of that I’m BallerOfAthreos on Twitch, which is a reference to another of my favorite cards, Scholar of Athreos. I’ve been trying to come up with a replacement for a bit now.

I think that about covers them all.


#15

I was / am trashbot, trashbot_3000, and trashbotisdead on various platforms. I thought there was a trashbot here, but I can’t seem to find them anymore…


#16

I’ve basically always been Mossy Toes (or MossyToes, or Mossy_Toes) on the internet but I feel myself… sort of outgrowing that handle as time goes on. “Mossy” wasn’t taken when creating an account here, unlike most other sites and games for which I have to pick a username, so I figured I’d branch out a bit!


#17

Femme from old social circles. Surge, same thing but I started using it after I came out for obvious reasons. Augmental/Auggie is for video games. Memo in FFXIV because my character’s name is Memori Mentomori, though a few people in our FC call me Meme (pronounced meem, obviously).


#18

I’m speaking as just a regular person here but these types of thread make me SO nervous because this is a public forum and this is the kind of stuff that could be dug up to trail back to old stuff of people’s online that they might not want dug up.

Please if you share this kind of info, have it be stuff you’re okay with someone Googling!


#19

my internet handle in middle school was about setting things on fire because I was an edgy little shit


#20

I’ve gone by Anubis20K for most of my gaming life because I’m half Egyptian and the 20K made it look cool (at least to me). It’s been my handle on XBox live since I first joined, it’s my current Steam handle, and when I was deep in the Freelancer game community.

Then there Was Getsuga when I started playing WoW. I got it from the Bleach manga (Ichigo’s main attack with his sword) and it subsequently led to the nickname “Gets” in chat and Ventrilo.

When I made the switch to PS4 I picked the name Thelg_92. It’s the word for “ice” or “frost” in Arabic and 92 was available (not as interesting of a name and I would change it if I could to be honest).

These days I usually use some variation of the initials AVH and the number 9 or the name “Viktor.” 9’s my favorite number and Viktor’s a name I like that I picked up in college for really dumb reasons.


#21

I am lucky/unlucky that most of my early Internet Life was spent on *chans, meaning I had basically no trackable online identity. I am also proud to say I am no longer on those ever, lmao.

Mostly my identity online is based on videodante, but if you look in a couple places I still use my older handle, EmberSil (or a variant on it- Emb3rSil, emberglass, a few other things). I am not ashamed to say EmberSil is a conjunction of ember (the first nickname I gave my charmander in pokemon red) and sotha sil (from morrowind, my favorite game of maybe ever). EmberSil was my steam handle until like last year, and Emb3rSil is still my name on reddit. So it’s still floating around.

Other than that I mostly had short throwaway handles (pizza_blood, morrowindy, etc) or just my irl name, which is pretty unique so it’s often untaken on forums or whatever. A lot of people who I met through twitter probably knew me as morrowindy because it was my username around when i was first using twitter a lot.