The Sunday Salon: A Trick for Online Handles and Usernames

As a disturbingly intense and pretentious preteen during the absolute thick of the Wombat Years, I took my online usernames very seriously. My Neopets username had to communicate how mature and serious I was to everyone who clapped eyes on it. All who enjoyed Flash games and feeding virtual pets would know of my deep, poetic soul! But it communicated only my failed Goth status. (So close and yet so far, young Clare, so close and yet…)

It’s hard to come up with a good username, especially if it’s going to be your online handle across multiple platforms. I spent a lot of time in my first year biology class brainstorming the Literary Omnivore. There are username generators out there, but I think the best names come out of yourself. Examining your own interests, for example, or even just pulling things that are personal but assigned, like your astrological symbol or your birthstone. Or your own name!

Anagram Diagram

One trick that I’ve been recommending to people is to make anagrams of their names to give them a pool of interesting words to get the juices flowing. For instance, “Cram Credible” sounds like a good name for a food blog spin-off… if I hadn’t already picked out The Omnivorous Literate. (In my head, obviously, since I am, once again, kitchenless.) My favorite anagram generator comes from, but there are plenty others. Sticking favorite book titles in the anagram generator is also an idea—”Ed Noels Forthright” sounds like a charming BBC interview program. (Nils points for what the original was.)

I graduated from the University of Denver Publishing Institute on Friday. It’s been an exhausting, intense, and wonderful month, compounded by the fact that I am staying in Denver for work. I’m going to be shady about that until the job actually starts, because the older I get, the more superstitious I get, but I’m happy. I’m really happy. I’ll be happier when I have a place to live, though…

This week’s links:

This week’s acquisitions:

Purchased: None
Added: Among the Janeites by Deborah Yaffe (via the Awl)

How did you come up with your online handle or your blog title? Alternatively, what’s the best anagram for your name?

12 thoughts on “The Sunday Salon: A Trick for Online Handles and Usernames

  1. For a spate of time I posted as “Taran” mostly everywhere (after the main character in the Prydain books). Before that my forum handle was plain old “Mike”, which stood out on the Tolkien Forums in its unimaginative simplicity. And now, seeing how internet anonymity is really just inspires a false sense of comfort, I just post under my own name.

  2. I am so upset that your Neopets account is no longer in use!! I thought I’d finally found a kindred spirit…

    Thanks for this post. I’ve been trying to think of a new name for my blog, but haven’t had a eureka moment yet. Might try out that anagram solver 🙂

  3. Huh. There were many anagrams on that site. I scarcely know what to make of all those anagrams. Suffice it to say that if I ever decide to become an evil genius, I will not come out with nearly as cool a name as Lord Voldemort.

    I fear that Steven Moffat and I are done. At this point he just irritates me too much. I think he can be a good writer, but he needs somebody to rein him in, and he appears to be unwilling to LET anybody rein him in, and you just end up with a mess. That’s not exactly relevant to what you’ve said above, but I think this sort of attitude about “I’ll do what I want, never mind what anybody else says” attitude he has also relates to who he gives the role to.

    • Ever feel like Tom fudged on the middle name to have a cool pseud?

      I think you’re dead right. When Moffat is reined in, his work can be quite lovely, but once given power, it gets to his head and shorts his collaborative circuits. …is Moffat George Lucas? He’s George Lucas, isn’t he.

    • Yay, it worked now! (Of course.) The only really good one is Satanic Aha Fins, though. Oh well!

      Congrats on graduating, btw! And wow! Yay on moving to a new place! Now I know two bloggers who live in Colorado (the other is heidenkind lives in Colorado). 😀

      • Have you heard Satanic Aha Fins, my death metal Beach Boys cover band?

        Thanks so much! It happened really fast, but I am all settled. Plus, there’s a tiny library right outside my place. The Powers that Be have smiled on me. And I didn’t know that! I might get in touch with her…

  4. My blog handle was actually my second choice – my first idea, The Ranting Reader, was already taken. I was trying to think of a different name for my blog and that line from Breakfast at Tiffany’s popped into my head: Holly Golightly asks Paul Varjak if he ever stole from a five-and-dime store when he was a kid, and he responds, “Certainly not. I was the sensitive, bookish type.” I decided that although I was a bookish type as well, “sensitive” wasn’t really the mood I was going for, so I substituted “loud.”

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