Tell me about your username

Posted by pratikyadav on 25 September 2016 in English (English).

My user name is same as my real name: Pratik Yadav. But I find the stories of usernames (that are not their real name) very fascinating.

I met a few people in SOTM where they shared how their username relates to their hobby, interest and sometimes a hidden meaning.

If you have a username that has a story, post in comment.


Comment from escada on 26 September 2016 at 05:46

I often use the name of our youngest dog when I create an account, at the time I created an OSM account, it was Escada, a bitch. She’s the second one on the left on the picture at the top of my Smugmug photo website. This site was named after another dog of us.

Comment from ff5722 on 26 September 2016 at 08:31

I used to have my real name as a user name, but when I started mapping in China, I became more careful. I’d rather not risk getting a visa denied for I mapped a military area on OSM.

Comment from Polyglot on 27 September 2016 at 07:35

I chose Polyglot when I started editing on Wiktionary, which I did for a few years, until I discovered that improving OpenStreetMap is a lot more fun than fighting vandalism on WikiMedia sites. The username stuck somehow. I’m still very interested in Wikidata and Wikivoyage and combining those Opendata projects with one another.

Comment from LivingWithDragons on 27 September 2016 at 07:53

This is a good question and I should add it to my suggested “conversation starters” when I am next on stage welcoming people.

In 2007 I moved to the beautiful city of Durham when OpenStreetMap just showed the river and the the passing motorway. A medieval map would just say “here be dragons” so that’s where I lived, not looking at any map besides the one I was helping to create. Just me and the dragons, while I walked or cycled down every road and path with my GPS.

Comment from Minh Nguyen on 28 September 2016 at 17:37

I use my real name here, nothing fancy. But when I first joined the project in 2008, my first inclination was to use “Minh Nguyễn”, diacritics and all. A week later, the old Tiles@Home Osmarender style updated with my first edits. This style used to display a tiny copyright notice next to every road at z17 that credited the last editor, but each of the roads I touched instead said “© Minh Nguyá»…n”. Frustrated with the mojibake, I stripped the diacritics off. Thankfully it’s so easy to rename yourself at OSM.

Comment from PlaneMad on 28 September 2016 at 17:45

This is probably connected to my interest in maps, for as long as I can remember flying and planes fascinated me. There was something liberating about being in the air, looking at the world from above, and the engineering marvel of an airliner.

In high school, I became a major flight simulator buff and would create custom 3D models of aircraft and airport layouts for MS Flight Simulator for India and used to publish them online. These were the first online communities I was part of, and a forumer called me ‘plane mad’ for all the detailed work that I made.

This became my username when I started my contributions to Wikipedia around 11 years ago, since it abstracted my nationality and gender. It became so connected with my contributions online that it was hard to get away from it however hard I tried.

Learnt that there is quite a bit in a name, especially if its not your real one :)

Comment from Dakon on 29 September 2016 at 21:27

Dakon was my characters name in a Star Trek role playing game ~20 years ago.

Comment from Caronna on 30 September 2016 at 09:20

mein englisch reit nicht so weit das ich hier was schreiben kann in englisch, also deutsch:

Ich bin Caronna, unter dem gleichen Namen schreibe ich bei Wikipedia. Caronna war von Urzeiten mal ein Passwort von mir. Caronna setzt sich aus 2 Namen unserer beiden Hunde zusammen: Caron und Donna. Ich vermeide es im Netz möglichst meinen echtnamen zu benutzen um möglichst wenig Spuren zu hinterlassen, auch bei Google und co.

Comment from scruss on 30 September 2016 at 12:44

scruss has been my nickname for 35+ years. If there’s a scruss on the internet, it’s me, except for some kid in Indiana who is sadly deluded and kept telling me to give him my gmail account and domain …

Comment from FraMauro on 3 October 2016 at 18:21

I think that a link is enough: Fra Mauro map


Comment from seav on 24 October 2018 at 21:03

My username is simply a pleasant-looking not-a-real-word anagram of the initials of my full legal name. I’ve been using this as my online handle and username since around 1997 when I first started using the Internet.

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