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How did you decide your forum name?

Sorry, but this doesn't fit into any category. After reading and posting on the forum for over two years, I'm curious how y'all decided on your forum names. Nickname? Real Name? Hobby? Describes yourself? If you decide to post, answer so that your identity is protected and nothing is too personal. After all that's why we use forum names and seldom our "real" names. No ulterior reason for the question; just curious and thought it would be a fun thread.

I chose "horsewoofie" based on a email address I set up years ago when I wanted to sell one of my horses on a horse sale website. "horse" seemed logical. "woofie" is the nickname my husband gave me.

Posted by
1442 posts

I guess my friends kind of picked mine...they all eventually start calling me CW. Oh, and it's a social network forum.

Posted by
6412 posts

I travel a lot and I love jazz. Europe has the best jazz festivals many around for many years mostly featuring the best musicians from America and a great audience that knows the music including Umbria, Jazz at Juan Les Pins, Jazzaldia in San Sebastian, Montreux, Nice, Marseille, JazzA head in Bremen, North Sea, London, Bern, Copenhagen, Stockholm......

Posted by
6045 posts

Mine too Emily. I guess I just don't have a good imagination or maybe I just don't see the point in not using a real name. Of course, if you're the only one in the world with that name, then I guess it would be too revealing.

I'm sometimes a little stymied by someone using their first AND last name as their forum name, that's a bit too revealing for me.

Posted by
851 posts

I originally just used Liz, but then saw somebody else posting as Liz so decided to change a bit.

Posted by
653 posts

An insignificant detail from a film by Michelangelo Antonioni.

Posted by
291 posts

When I lived in Cairo, Egypt, I lived at the corner of 18th and 85th streets (in the area I was in, even numbered streets ran roughly north/south, odd numbers roughly east/west). My friend group would refer to the intersections when we'd meet up with each other to hang out (since this was pre-cell phone days, we'd have to coordinate all this over landlines before leaving our apartments). "Let's meet at eighteen eighty-five" to meet near my house, "Let's get together at fourteen eighty-three" if we were meeting at another friend's house. When you'd take a taxi somewhere, you'd also just give the intersection of where you were going like that. If you wanted to tell someone where a particular restaurant or shop was, or where someone lived, you'd reference the closest intersection.

So "18 85" is a number that's just stuck with me since. To avoid having a website tell me "That username is already taken" I'll occasionally throw it in when registering.

It's also my ATM card PIN number (ok just kidding about that one).

Posted by
2427 posts

Well, I blame my parents (although it is my favorite part of my name). My name was taken from Wray's Lumberyard. Apparently, my name had to begin with a 'W' and that's the only one they liked. TMI I imagine.

Posted by
7680 posts

When I first came to the forum most everyone posted using their actual names so I used mine too.

Posted by
9419 posts

Actual name, no need to be obscure here, IMO. Plus there aren’t many ‘Laurels.’

Posted by
2499 posts

Mine is a childhood nickname. 1885(BD) that is an interesting story about the streets in Cairo. I wouldn’t have imagined they’d be so organized! Is the BD a mystery?

Posted by
6798 posts

Well horsewoofie, there are the oldsters who began when this was the “helpline” and monikers weren’t allowed, and the members who have started since the inception if the “Forum.” Most of us just kept the old one, but now that you bring it up, maybe I’ll find a moniker.

Posted by
2499 posts

One thing I forgot to say was that when I respond to an OP or another poster I feel a bit off (or old school) addressing someone by a moniker that makes no sense. Every once in awhile a person will sign their real name/nickname at the end of their post and I feel better knowing their name/nickname. I think this dates me...

Posted by
291 posts

wouldn’t have imagined they’d be so organized! Is the BD a mystery?

haha I was in a suburb (or what was once a suburb many ages ago, but had long since been enveloped by Cairo's urban sprawl). Most other parts of the city didn't have that kind of street naming structure and you'd actually have names, or national references and themes.

The BD is just boring old initials! (I'm Brian, btw. Nice to meet y'all! ;)

Posted by
1953 posts

I chose my real name. I hadn't seen another "Janis" on the Forum. Woofie, if I ever go on The Witness Protection Program, I'll have to change the spelling to "Janice!" ;J

Posted by
3136 posts

Continental was the very first airline in which I had my own frequent flyer account that I started myself. I preferred the nickname of Continental over OnePass. 😂

Posted by
7143 posts

What Bets said... i started on the Helpline 15 or so years ago when no one used monikers. When monikers started most everyone was very against it, myself included. Names felt more friendly, more personal, like talking to a real person... monikers do not.

Posted by
4011 posts

When I first started posting, we didn't have a choice. They used our first name and where we were from. I haven't seen any reason to change it, even though there are several Janes on the Forum.

Posted by
30957 posts

When I started on the "Helpline" many years ago, most (if not all) members used their real names. I decided to use my real name as it seemed "friendlier" and more personal. I like to address people by name, even though I'm "talking" to them on an internet forum.

Posted by
507 posts

Same here; no choice at the time. (There are at least two others in the world.)

Posted by
1949 posts

I joined the forum about 5 years ago... went with my real name because I liked that most forum participants at the time went by a regular human name. I vaguely recall a thread complaining about people using non-name userid's at that time.

Posted by
5308 posts

When I joined, the Laura from Rick Steves was already well known so I added my last initial (and I was already referred to at work as "Laura B")

Posted by
3279 posts

Never really thought about it. It is my name. Saw absolutely no reason not to use it. Although I think I have seen a few other "Mark" on here, maybe I will need to add to it.

Posted by
4213 posts

I think 1885BD takes the prize so far. Followed closely by horsewoofie (I won't tell you what I had thought that referred to).

I just used my real nickname, what most friends call me and what I use when ordering pizza. Don't tell anyone, but my real name is Richard. Didn't occur to me to use anything else (especially because it was a helpline then). I don't really like the artificial handles, though like those above they can be intriguing. Don't know what to call someone who identifies him/herself with a number or odd phrase.

Posted by
7634 posts

I've been here since the 'Helpline' days and my name was chosen by...my parents. I frankly don't like it when I can't tell if someone is male or female, but ask for help when that information could matter. Also people who live who knows where, but want advice when that information also matters. Why be mysterious? Besides probably about a dozen or so people who post here who personally know me in real life, I'm sure no one else would be able to figure out who I am.

Posted by
5435 posts

I love the story from 1885, that is so cool!! And I am also happy to know you are Brian.

Continental, I like that choice too!!

And Horsewoofie, I always thought you were a horse-and-dog lover!

Posted by
307 posts

I don't care for my given name. But I am a mother to a Duck (University of Oregon). My other nickname is Wags Mom. Take your pick.

I also like the 1885 story - wish I had one that interesting.

Posted by
2436 posts

many folk think that Gus is a shortened version of Angus but is is a whole lot more complicated than that.
when I was young I was called Ski,named after the Ski Yougurt as it's advertising tag line was " full of fitness" and I was extremly fit as a youngster (still am and I am in my 60's now), when I became an uncle over 40 years ago I became known as Uncle SKI and then 21 years ago I became a great uncle ,so I was Great Uncle Ski shortened to GUS. so the family all call me Gus but one of my younger nephews got confused about it all and started calling me Unclegus and the name has just stuck. My real name in Alan but few people ever call me that.

Posted by
13958 posts

Horsewoofie, love this thread!!

Chani is my first name - a common girl's name in Israel. It's a derivative of Chana (my official name) from the bible, and spelled Hannah in English translations. The "ch" is guttural, like loch in Scotland.

I usually use Pitzi for online stuff, that was my cat's name and means tiny in Hebrew. She was a normal-sized cat but I adopted her as a kitten, shortly before I signed up for gmail and my real name was taken (surprisingly to me because I joined gmail back when you had to have an invitation from someone already on it). I don't have a clue why I didn't use Pitzi here, though maybe it has to do with some guideline back in the Helpline days.

Posted by
5435 posts

Who knew that Unclegus was really Alan!!

I agree, horsewoofie, that this is a very fun thread!

Posted by
23550 posts

Thanks for the thread.

I've been around for long enough that people used their own names - my name is my name, and my location is true too. I find that after a while people here develop personalities on the Forum - I still prefer the name Helpline - but then I'm a trouble maker.

I can relate to names. I can sometimes relate to specific non-names. I find alphabet soup difficult to relate to and often don't comment where I might if it was a name.

Very good thread - thanks woofie.

Great story about Cairo. Learn something every day. And Unclegus as Alan? Nah. Hi Alan ;-)

Posted by
92 posts

I was a camp counselor summers in High School. In those days, you took a “camp name”. I loved Panda Bears as a kid and in HS so that was a natural choice.

Overalls were very popular back in tbe day and I would wear them at camp with a small stuffed panda bear in the pocket that was on the bib.
Happy memories!!!

Posted by
3262 posts

I love seeing Unclegus because it reminds me of my dad. His first name was Leslie. He hated that name, but fortunately he got the nickname of Buster early on. He had 18 nieces and nephews. The oldest ones called him Uncle Buster at first, but it didn't take long for that to be shortened to Uncle Bus.

As for me, Lo is the first 2 letters of my first name and what most people call me, if they don't call me by my family nickname which shall not be revealed here.

Posted by
924 posts

Interesting thread, Woofie.

I use one of the names here that I prefer to be called irl. The other is Nan.

My real name is Nancy and though I love that name I have never really identified with it for myself. I disliked my name so much that in the third grade I signed all of my papers Denise! lol After that I took to spelling my name in a variety of ways in an attempt find something I could live with - Nanci, Nancey, Nancie, Nancye.

The shortened version Nance without the hard e suits the casual me best.

Posted by
5817 posts

For the first year of contributing to the site I read Unclegus as one word, some kind of obscure term that I had never heard of! Then randomly I realised it was 2 words and felt a bit stupid.

Obv my forum name is just my name but it is a name that caused much stress when it was being decided. My mum desperately wanted to name me after her mother but didn’t want to burden me with a welsh name that no one could pronounce properly “Ceridwen” or the shortened form “Ceri” which was ridiculous when combined with my surname.
She also insisted on a name that couldn’t be shortened. Weeks of deliberation and they came up with Emma, possibly the easiest name in the world to shorten ever! My boss even shortens it to one letter “M” in emails. She then chose the “unusual” middle name of Louise. SO unusual that virtually every girl born in the U.K. in the early 70s has it as a middle name.
A naming disaster all round but at least I am not named after my aunt who carries the burden of the name “Marie Antoinette”. We blame the priest for that!

Posted by
8889 posts

This is really me, no alias.
Some names you can guess the gender, some not. I have sometimes solved that problem by referring to people as (s)he.
Horsewoofie I wouldn't have known, except "is the nickname my husband gave me" probably identifies the gender.
Good thread for a Friday.

Posted by
817 posts

Mine is my name. When I first joined the helpline I used my middle name instead. Then I started posting meeting times for our travel group, and whenever anyone new came I had to explain who I was on here, but that wasn’t my name. So I simplified by updating to my name.

Posted by
541 posts

When I joined the forum almost 5 years ago, I guess I thought we were supposed to have monikers. "va from va", or Virginia from Virginia is not too far from the truth, so I went with it. On our last tour there was another Virginia from Virginia, and we're even from the same location. She uses va from va for various purposes, also, but not here.

Posted by
45 posts

So mine is kind of obvious- my name is Deb and I only put the K of my last name because my husband's last name is really unusual. It was created in Ellis Island and his first name is super unusual too so the poor guy tries to keep his name off the internet as much as possible. Too easy to track us down!
Unclegus-what an interesting story! Emma, I must admit that I read that all as one word, too ;).
Loved the Cairo address story, too.

I will say that I am Disney Deb on some other sites-went from being a huge Disney travel planner to now a big Europe travel planner lol. I used to spend a lot of time in Epcot talking to folks from other countries who were manning the stores in each country there. Traveling to Europe has always been a passion of mine.

Thanks for sharing, everyone!

Posted by
2768 posts

I have no imagination for alternate names. I used a hobby based name on another forum thinking it was going to be a short visit. Nope...and now I regret that name. So when I signed up here, I decided to just use my real name.
I choked on my tea when reading pandabear's comment about it being their camp name. My camp counseller name was 'Cuddles'. I had the 5-6 year olds so there was a lot of mothering and hugs going on from this 15 year old counseller - of course the older boys thought it might refer to something else. I never resurrected that camp name and it sure wouldn't be an online moniker.

Posted by
936 posts

Thanks for sharing, everyone. This has been a fun thread. I love everyone's stories and your life experiences. Jazz+Travel, I'll have to remember those jazz festivals. My friend from the Lippizaner non-tour likes jazz and we're considering doing the Lippizaners on our own. Brian, thanks for sharing your Cairo experience. Chris F, yep I'm female and have been married to the same "there's nothing I want to see" man for 49 years. Kim, my hubby is allergic to dogs so no dogs. He's allergic to the horse too but the horse doesn't cuddle with him and stays outside, LOL.
Real nickname is Kathy. And only my dad called me Kathleen and that was when he was upset. I miss him.

Posted by
1759 posts

In an attempt to be amusing it’s the act of waffling on about travel.

The country is only for those who know.....

Posted by
2092 posts

It's my real name...chosen by my parents from a Playboy magazine :) I prefer to deal with real names whenever possible on forums, adds a personal touch.

Posted by
1529 posts

I stole mine from my english scuba diving friend Andy. He used it first and I liked it, so I have used it as well. Refers to one of my favorite things to do. Scuba diving!
Real name-Tammy. Not nearly as fun.

Posted by
844 posts

My name is a family nickname since I can remember. My younger sister couldn't pronounce my first name (French) so she came up with Mimi. Has made my life a lot easier!

Thanks Horsewoofie. this is interesting.

Mimi

Posted by
276 posts

Highlander is my High School nickname, Home of the Highlanders! The school sits on the highest peak in town. Now the Middle School and High School are combined. Safe to say it’s a small town. CT is my state.... for now. Planning on moving to AZ.

Posted by
1445 posts

hey hey forum
love this question. mine is an old family nickname. mom was always Queen dorothy so of course I’m the princess. was living in honolulu, middle 80’s, dad got sick so I moved back to big island to help caregive. had a fabulous dad, liked to tease everyone, funny, laughs, friends and family always said he came from BS city Missouri!, crazy (pupule in Hawaiian). use to tell me “you’re just like your dad” a compliment to me, naturally the name fit. mom played music for our family parties and dad always wanted mom to play and sing “Princess pupule has plenty papayas enough to give them away” an old Hawaiian song. Dad had his “suitcase” full of his Hawaiian outfits “long black or blonde wig, flower lei, grass skirt, aloha print bra top” did his “crazy” hula while mom played music and sang. Those were the good ole days. lost dad in 1991 and mom in 1998. thanks for the memories.
heard of rick Steve’s when I moved here and went to travel show in Santa Clara. had a poster here tell me he was in the army with some Hawaiians, told him he was “pupule oi oi” must mean insane LOL don’t see him on the forum anymore.
aloha

Posted by
2427 posts

As my earlier post:

My name was taken from Wray's Lumberyard. Apparently, my name had to begin with a 'W' and that's the only one they liked. TMI I imagine.

...perhaps doesn't place my parents in a positive light and as I don't want to be haunted, I'll add the backstory. Everyone had a family name beginning with 'W' when I was due to come along. Family names beginning with 'W' were finished at this point and they disliked all regular names; such as, Wilma, Wanda, etc. They had recently lost a best friend in the Korean War whose first name was 'Ray' making Wray's (Lumbaryard) perfect.

OK, I feel better now. :)

Posted by
256 posts

😂😂....Wray.......W’s must be a Massachusetts thing....when my step-daughter whose last name began with W was expecting her first child....she asked her dad for name suggestions that began with W.....
He suggested ‘Wobert ‘ instead of Robert. Her 2nd child also has a W name...for whatever reason she was into alliteration.

Posted by
291 posts

He suggested ‘Wobert ‘ instead of Robert.

Now I’m thinking of that scene from Monty Python’s Life of Brian (my name!) - “Welease Woger!”

Wray - Do they ever spell your name correctly at Starbucks? I’d imagine you have a lot of “It’s ‘Ray’ with a W”/“So... Way?” exchanges.

It’s funny how actual names are so common on this forum, whereas I can’t recall any other forums I’ve regularly posted on having it be such a common thing. I like it, though! I may have to modify my forum name to not be so... digital.

Posted by
1009 posts

Add me to the list of folks who read Unclegus as one foreign word (I though it was Gaelic or possibly Welsh).

If I were young and an anthropology student -- I'm neither -- I would love to try and create biographic profiles of the people who frequently post on the forum. Over the years, so many little personal details are revealed that I bet one could draw a fairly accurate picture of a person based on the clues in what they've said. As it is, I have an image of many of you, such as Frank or emma or Ken from Canada. (Back in the early cell phone days, he and I would often both post responses to questions about how to communicate from overseas and not get stuck with huge costs. Technology and changes to the market have changed the need for the detailed instructions on that score.) Bottom line: I feel like I know many of you to some small degree.

Anyway, this has been one of the most interesting threads I've read here. Thanks to all. I only wish I'd come up with an interesting screen name, too.

Posted by
2427 posts

Wray - Do they ever spell your name correctly at Starbucks? I’d imagine you have a lot of “It’s ‘Ray’ with a W”/“So... Way?” exchanges.

I can't tell you how many people can't figure it out...as they don't seem to want the W to be silent. I get a lot of mail to W. Ray. And then there is my first name...but that's another story, not my favorite name. I've never had Starbucks need a name, but my assistant principal in high school didn't understand it...

Posted by
7680 posts

Count me in as another one who read it as one word - Un-clegus. I always wondered what a "clegus" was and why you needed to "un" it.

Posted by
1975 posts

I can't tell you how many people can't figure it out...as they don't seem to want the W to be silent. I get a lot of mail to W. Ray.

I always assumed some sort of connection to Fay Wray.

Posted by
936 posts

Call me dense. I always read unclegus as Uncle Gus. My mom had a distance cousin with the last name of Wray, so Wray always made sense to me but was always female.
1885BD, I thought B was for Barbara, sorry about that. I guessed that pupule was a bug like a butterfly; thanks for the language lesson Princess.
Chani, thanks for the Hebrew lesson; I thought CH was like H in hello.

Posted by
3369 posts

Mine is nothing creative- just my first name.

If I was not using it, I would go by “Gina”, my nickname my husband gave me & uses when we’re in Italy.

Always wondered about what the horse story was behind your name! ; )

Posted by
2768 posts

I 'met' unclegus on another forum where people may have responded to 'uncle gus' . But that just reinforced my original reading of the name. My eyes can't seem to se any other option.

Posted by
4011 posts

I'm with Paul about feeling like I already know some of the Forum folks. I joke (sort of) that by hanging out on the Forum I've become one of those people I used to make fun of. Ahem.

But I do feel like I know some of you, and I know many folks feel the same way. And I have met some of you, and that's always fun. Let's see, Kim from Oklahoma, Kim from Paris, Lo, Mona, dbroeker, Debra from north Texas, can't remember the town right now, Jeannette, and probably some more, whose names escape me at the moment. I'll add them to the list as I think of them.

On one of our RS tours some years ago, a fellow tour member came up to me - I think her name was Caroline - and asked "Are you Jane?" Yes, I said. "No," she continued; "I know your name is Jane, but are you Jane, you know, from the Rick Steves Forum?"

It turns out she doesn't post, but often checks out topics. She wanted to tell me that she was enjoying a book I had recommended on the Forum.

My DH thought that was hilarious. "You have a following!" he said.

Posted by
2075 posts

I am so happy to hear I am not the only one who saw unclegus as one word. I pronounced it as un KLEE gus. When I finally found out it was uncle gus, I felt very foolish. Thanks to Emily and the others for confessing!

-Carroll (my grandmother's maiden name and my real name)

Posted by
2436 posts

I am very pleased that my Screen name has caused so much interest ,maybe if I had used a capital G this would have been less confusing, but a very interesting thread and I am finding out the gender of some folk I was a bit dubious about.

Posted by
8889 posts

You can actually change your name, under "My Account" / "Travel Forum" / "Edit Forum Settings". If you want to be UncleGus you can.
I have also noticed names do not need to be unique. I have seen some duplicates.

Posted by
23550 posts

it looks so ... how shall I say ... different...

Posted by
111 posts

It’s the English/American version of my real name. I use it at restaurants while making a reservation or at that coffee place with the green mermaid. Because my real name is Italian and it’s a little different from my user name.

I share my real name with an Italian Singer.

Posted by
7634 posts

Geraldine - I also share my name with an Italian singer. But much to the surprise of people when I check into a hotel in Italy, I am not a man.

Posted by
1442 posts

it looks so ... how shall I say ... different...
positively avuncular!

Posted by
7634 posts

Geraldine - I think you may be right about France, though no one there has ever seemed surprised when they finally meet me that I'm a woman. I've spent 6 weeks over 2 trips in Italy. I've spent more time in France.

Posted by
1845 posts

But UncleGus, are you still the same poster from Scotland we have all come to love and respect?? I, too, was one of those un-CLEE-guses. Not at all sure what that meant! This is a fun and interesting post to read and I have had some smiles and laughs along with the fascinating history of your "names" and why you have chosen them. I'm not creative at all-mine is my nickname from years and years ago.