How to Create the Perfect Username

Sun, Aug 10, 2008, by Saffy Stardust

Web Talk

Tips, tricks, and information to help you create a username you are truly satisfied with.

Most, or perhaps even all, of popular websites nowadays, require the user to create a specific name to identify themselves on the site. This is commonly called a username. Usernames are also sometimes called screen names, IGNs (In Game Names), handles, User IDs or nicknames.

More often than not, we can have trouble creating these. We can’t think of a good word, or a personal nickname that would work, and occasionally, someone else has already taken our chosen username.

This guide will help the user choose a username to his or her liking. As there are many different “flavours” of username, I have dedicated a small section to two of the main ones. The steps to creating the nicknames (bullet pointed) can actually be used in any of the sections, and the “Generic Technique” section can also be helpful in both the Forum and Gaming sections.

Forum Usernames

There are possibly millions and millions of forums/BBS (Bulletin Board Services) out there on the web. To post and join their online communities, a username is required. Unlike some websites, many different characters can be accepted on these: such as “.”, capital letters and spaces.

  1. You can simply use your name. Some smaller forums have less members, so there is a high chance your given first name isn’t taken. E.g Lisa, Robert, Mike.
  2. If your name is taken, some like to add numbers to the end. It is often advised on many websites, some even providing a list of possible number suffixes to a particular word you can use. E.g Rose45, Jonny111
  3. Nicknames are also an effective way of avoiding adding numbers. Nicknames specifically unique to you are a good choice, because it is more likely that people will not have chosen it. E.g DBomb, Schmitt, Jonjonn
  4. Merge your first name and your last name. For instance, your first name may be Erica and your last name Askey. Askyra or Eriskey?

Gaming Usernames

Gaming usernames are different to a forum usernames, in the respect that it is not just the name that accompanies your post, but the name is attached to you in the game. People will derive nicknames from it, make assumptions about you as a person from it, and it will be stuck on your profile, or with your character, for life. Some people are careless with these nicknames, usually picking a name, or combination thereof that they fancy, and adding numbers to it.

This really doesn’t say much about you, and if you want to create a truly effective nickname you can follow these steps. For characters in an MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game), a few people adopt a short and easy to remember name, others prefer to have a longer name, with a fantasy type essence within it – all in all, they can differ entirely. On other gaming websites, people simply like their names to be memorable and original.

  1. Look through the dictionary, there are many interesting words in the dictionary that you can use, either as they are, modify some letters, use an abbreviation of the word, or add prefixes or suffixes to it. E.g Insipid, Rhychus, Amnesiatic
  2. If you want your name to reflect the way you or your characters personality, use the thesaurus to find synonyms for different words. E.g For a brown character, you may name it SepiaT
  3. For a truly unusual and completely made up name, pick some blends (fl, sh, cr) and some vowels (a, e, i). Merge these together, chop off some letters, and you may get: Fleshic, Shaer, Creflia
  4. Or if you prefer slightly longer nicknames, combine two words that you like together. This is usually a very effective method for more popular websites which usernames are mostly taken by other users. I like the word Tentacle, and I also like the word Poison. I’d have PoisonTentacle, or vice versa.
  5. Abstract phrases. Think of two or more words that fit together. This could be in a simple sentence, an exclamation etc. You can string them together, and result in: AnyCookiesHere, DeathOnLegs, YouAgain

Generic Techniques and Tips

  1. Make lists of nouns, adjectives, miscellaneous figures of speech and just random words that you like. In my short one, I have: phobia, squirrel, sky/pretty, enigmatic, scary/totally, this, her. Out of this I can combine to make: ThisPhobia, EnigmaticSky, TotallySquirrel
  2. The dictionary and thesaurus are your friends! Use them for inspiration to derive usernames from
  3. Having trouble getting the username you want? If possible, try adding underscores “_”, dashes “-”, dots “.” and if you have to, numbers “1234″. Some sites don’t accept all these characters, so be careful.
  4. Replace some letters with others. And “i” can be replaced with a “y” if needed. And letters such as “h” can be added into the middle of a word. Spiral, is Spyrahl.
  5. Prefixes and suffixes. I often use “-ia”, “-ria” or “-na” to feminize names.
  6. Use words from other languages. You can get the most fantastic sounding ones from everyday words.

Conclusion

Here I will just leave you with some very helpful websites to aid you in your creation of your usernames.

  • Serendipity – excellent site, with many, many generators helpful for pretty much anything. I recommend the Online Handle Generator.
  • Rum and Monkey – another generator site, you may have to dig around to find something truly valuable to you.
  • Unique Names – amazing word blender site, full of delicious random words from the dictionary, made up ones and more!
  • Dictionary.com
  • Thesaurus.com – what was I thinking, of course you don’t have a REAL dictionary or thesaurus! Use these.
  • Google Translate
  • Babelfish – get your daily fix of language by playing with these translator tools.
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3 Comments For This Post
  1. Rose Says:

    Nice!

  2. Milenia Says:

    Woah this is genius!
    Thanks alot ;)

  3. devilsparadise Says:

    good article!!
    liked the links given at end.
    it helped me alot and i was looking for something like this only…
    :keep it up:
    *look at my nickname. quite learnt*

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