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What are the stories behind your username and avatar?

Some users' usernames and/or their avatars have a significance behind them. What about yours?

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24 Answers 24

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"caird coinheringaahing" comes from this Jelly answer. Given that the answer is written in Jelly (my primary language on the site), and the challenge is very much about the site, I thought that it'd be a fun, unique username that references the site.

And it should be pronounced "cared co-in-hear-ing-aah-ing"

Fun fact, moving the space around in that answer leads to the following possible usernames:

ChartZ Belatedly
oppS,aback
reerects bespangling aachen
Erasmians cleptaahing
caird coinheringaahing
Dude coinheringaahing

So I may be changing to "Dude coinheringaahing" in the near future :)

As for my avatar, it is a picture of my adorable puppy, Patch. Over December, I put a Santa hat on him.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @WheatWizard I believe I based it off the pronunciations from when I looked up the meanings of each word, but I could be wrong \$\endgroup\$ – caird coinheringaahing Feb 8 at 19:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ Ok I am dumb. "cared" is supposed to be an English word, not a phonemic representation. \$\endgroup\$ – Wheat Wizard Feb 9 at 13:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ You got a new username! What is the story behind this one? \$\endgroup\$ – Wasif Mar 8 at 8:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Wasif It was one of the other "possible usernames" that he or she could have changed to \$\endgroup\$ – ophact Mar 11 at 16:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @expressjs123 thanks for making me notice that \$\endgroup\$ – Wasif Mar 11 at 16:54
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There's no story here. I'm just not creative.

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Mine has several meanings:

  • Many of the answers here on CGCC are quite traumatic to read, and everything here is digital.
  • Digital Trauma is the medical term for nose-picking. I think a lot of us are figuratively picking our noses here, i.e. spending time asking/answering challenges for fun, when we should probably be focussing our talents elsewhere, e.g. paid employment or study.
  • I decided on this handle shortly after recovering from a particularly nasty medical episode of uncontrolled nasal bleeding - caused by a botched deviated septum surgery, and not literal nose-picking! 4 ED visits, 1 ICU admission and several pints of transfused blood later, this is a tale I am happy to be able to tell. Suffice to say, the term Digital Trauma was quite vivid in my mind at the time.
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Wow, y'all with your usernames that actually have meaning.

I literally just spent 5 minutes typing random keys until I ended up with something I deemed "cool" and "ironic". Having said that, I did want to make sure the letters L and X were present (for maximum coolness) and that there was a name length of 5 (shorter names are more memorable, leading to hopefully more up votes).

Admittedly, Google once attempted to give it meaning... I placed it into google translate (using detect language) , and it spat out Lyhal, claiming it was in Azerbaijani. I repeated the process with lyhal and detect language... The result was to solve and the detected language was Arabic.

For the record, it is NOT pronounced licks-all. That's just gross, weird and downright disgusting (screw you text-to-speech). It is supposed to be pronounced likesal (tts it and you'll hear what I mean). Okay say it with me now...

Likesal

My avatar, on the other hand, is a story with a whole lot more thoughtful decisions:

The story of why my pfp is a stickperson saying a very funny1 word

We begin back in early 2018 (yes, way back before the pandemic and everything), when I first joined stackoverflow (the site with the orange logo). Not having a decent sense of irony/originality, and being unaware that having a picture of code is actually cringe, I set my profile picture to be a generic random stock image of JavaScript (original, I know).

Then (apparently) around the same time, I joined code golf. I'm pretty sure I linked my account here just so that I could have another site in my networks list. However, I didn't actually interact with the site, so I just left it be (I did post a single answer in November '18, made a golfing language but never really returned).

Skip ahead 6 months and I actually increase in activity. Looking around the site, I saw people with these cool patterns (those identicons that are autogenerated), and thought "hey, I wonder what mine looks like". So I used that as my profile for a month or so (after which, I think I returned to using the old one).

Then I changed my username. I thought that this was a perfect moment to "rebrand" my account by introducing something more personalised as my pfp: Lenny faces. I thought that by having a kind of personality I could become more established in the code golf community (I was still kinda new in confidence when posting here, and I didn't socialise much in chat2). I originally just had the stock standard Lenny, but then decided to make a custom Lenny on a generator. You can still see this picture on my github account.

The Lenny was excellent. It was poggers. So why did I once again make a pfp change? Because now I had moved on to something way more niche: Flowey. Even though undertale was released in 2015, and despite the fact that I had gone through the UT experience in 2019, I only truly learned to appreciate everyone's favourite determined flower in 2020. Consequently, many different variations of flowey3 managed to make their way into the avatar box on my profile page. However, I eventually realised it probably may not have been such a good idea, given the actual context of flowey4.

So instead, I decided it would be an excellent idea to have a hand-drawn avatar - a great idea, except for the fact I exceptionally suck at drawing5. I also wanted something ironic and humorous6. With this in mind, I did the most logical thing possible: download a pixel art app on my phone7 and draw whatever I thought was suitable. To add the irony aspect, I decided to write the word frick. Why? Because only people deliberately trying to be cringe use it, which is kinda what I was aiming for.

Happy with my work, I saved it, uploaded it, and now you see it today. Wow. What a story. Much more interesting than my username backstory don't you think?

1: Completely subjective, I know, but don't question it. Never question my reasons, understood?

2: For the record, code golf is much friendlier and welcoming than SO. It's much easier being new here. I never once didn't feel welcome, I personally felt I needed something for myself to engage more

3: If you've ever played or seen a walkthrough of undertale, you'll know that flowey is capable of making many facial expressions while remaining the same shape and size. Google it if you don't know what I mean.

4: Don't google this unless you either already know what I mean or you don't mind spoilers

5: If you were to look up my username on a search engine like duckduckgo (#jointheduckside), you'd see someone's deviantart account with the same name. That ain't me. I have absolutely no capability to draw art more complex than lines on a page

6: see note 1

7: I do a lot of things on mobile. This post is written on mobile. I've golfed in Scratch on mobile. Don't look so surprised.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ whoops, I've been pronouncing it "licks-all" to myself all this time. oopsies \$\endgroup\$ – hyper-neutrino Apr 3 at 20:24
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regexp backwards.

Many of my previous online aliases have been obscure programming terms, backwards. This one is not quite as obscure, but it has two extra features that make it suitable:

It's pronounced /pʰə̆ɡsɛˈgə/ or /pʰə̆ɡsɛˈgər/.

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I was looking for a new name for this site and couldn't come up with anything particularly clever. The last answer I had submitted was in x86 machine code under IBM PC DOS, and the frequently mis-attributed quote to Bill Gates about "640KB ought to be enough" just popped into my head. So I just thought "haha, okay that'll work".

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When I was 5, I gave myself and all my siblings nicknames. Beefy was the one I gave to myself and it evolved into Beefster by the time I was 12 and had an online presence. I see no reason to change it now with such a long-running history.

And no, it has nothing to do with muscles and no relation to Beefcake. It has more to do with the meat that comes from bovines.

My avatar is Verrick (from Legend of Korra) mashed up with Uncle Sam: "I want YOU to do the thing!" I made it in GIMP on a whim after being struck with the inspiration on a walk home from campus.

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    \$\begingroup\$ If it has nothing to do with muscles, does it mean you're made of beef, or that you like beef, or that you look like a cow? \$\endgroup\$ – user Feb 8 at 20:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ I like beef. It is a tasty meat. \$\endgroup\$ – Beefster Feb 8 at 20:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ Ah, ok. That was the most likely of the three options I'd thought, but I was kinda hoping you were a cow :) Edit: Actually, are you a cow? If so, I deeply apologize; I did not mean to insult you in any way for your choice of food. \$\endgroup\$ – user Feb 8 at 20:56
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Pi's my favorite number, it is a totally original play on "easy as pie" (hence why I have like 15 variations of my username around the web), and my avatar is literally the default Google one rotated 180°.

I'm not that creative. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    \$\begingroup\$ Don't you mean your avatar is rotated by π radians? :-) \$\endgroup\$ – wastl Feb 16 at 11:56
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My username basically comes from my childhood when I loved to play Puzzle Bobble series. It's been my username of choice since I started activity on international online games and communities.

I also used to be a Kirby fan, so my avatar has always been a Kirby. I found out that "Bubble Kirby" is a thing a few years ago, so I changed my avatar to a picture of Bubble Kirby.

Not to be confused with the GitHub organization called Bubbler, which made me append a random number to my GitHub account.

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My username

"sporeball" was essentially generated by brute force. I wanted something simple yet decently interesting, but I'm terrible at coming up with good ideas, so a couple of years ago I wrote a little bit of JavaScript to make up names for me.

The code first populates an array with 114 words I picked out by hand (star, rice, cloak, ocean, pants, knuckle, coffee, etc.) Then, at the push of a button, it picks two random words from the array and concatenates them! Simple as that.

After a few minutes of clicking, the string sporeball came out, and the rest is history.

My avatar

In January of this year, a friend of mine drew a picture of me in my signature purple cat costume (yes, I have a cat costume) as a present for my 17th birthday. I loved it so much that I immediately asked her if I could use it as my new avatar,* and she agreed.

My friend replaced the drawing's original white background with that nice lavender one, a hex code chosen for its similarity to my website's background color, and I cropped the drawing, which was originally from the waist up, to a 400x400 headshot. Closer to March, I asked if I could have it updated to reflect my change from rectangular glasses to circular ones; this new version, which also depicts slightly longer hair, is the one currently in use on this site.

* My previous avatar was created with the Snout Folk image maker on Picrew.

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When I was like 11 or something I was just dabbling a bit in JavaScript and had gotten far enough to know what the data type containing text was called. I figured it would be clever to make the observation that usernames, being entirely arbitrary, don't necessarily reflect anything about the people who have them (never mind how little truth there is to that). And thus was born Unrelated String.

My avatar is ultimately the portrait of Ryze from League of Legends, mangled beyond recognition by myself and a friend.

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My username is a shortening of my old display name on Google+ (RIP), which I made about 6 years ago.

R    - Raghu
a    - all
ze   - the
time

My profile pic comes from the "Color Ghost" Webcam Toy effect. It still looks pretty cool, so I've kept it for a while now.

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When I was seven or something my friends and I all had code names. Mine was redwolf. A few years later, I got a gaming console, and redwolf was obviously taken. I just stuck random numbers on the end, until I got redwolf10105.

I actually used this for a while; I did have a stack overflow account with that name, but I forgot my password.

When I was twelve or so, I got an idea: I thought I was amazing at web development (read: I could make a box turn different colors), so my friends and I decided to make a company. We called it Redwolf Programs.

Later, I registered a domain with that name, and used it for my various projects. Originally I did web stuff, but then game development and chat rooms seemed like more interesting projects. The "company" is gone, but my name has stuck :p

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In my country/language, the term "polfosol" is a mockery for people who pretend to be knowledgeable, but actually don't have the slightest idea about the subject. e.g.

-You shouldn't eat sausages. There are a lot of papers and scientific evidence that eating sausages will cause cancer.
-Sure, polfosol.

And the profile picture just came after I decided to choose this username. Because you know, he was the best professor I have ever known in my life.

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A couple of years ago, I got into reading a Russian knock-off of Harry Potter which one of my friends recommended to me (the book was actually really well-written, still one of my all-time favourites). During one of the chapters, a noticed a character with the name Varsus, suspiciously similar to that friend's online nickname Varsis. When I told him about it, he confirmed that he just slightly changed that character's name to create his nickname. I responded to that with doing the same - taking one of the character's name Dionius and simplifying it to Dion. I've been using it ever since, often wrapping it in 8s to make 8Dion8 when just Dion wasn't available. As for my pfp, it's a random year-old photo of me that a friend took on a trip to the countryside. I've often also been using a frame from this meme when I didn't want my actual photo on display, or a Bill Wurtz thumbnail on my Discord.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Вы знаете русский? \$\endgroup\$ – Danis Feb 12 at 5:36
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Oktupol is the german spelling for octupole, a magnetic field created by eight electric charges; four dipoles or two quadrupoles.

I started using that name while experimenting with computer networks as a teenage child. I was interested in physics back then; when I needed to come up with host names for some virtual machines, I named them Monopol, Dipol and Quadrupol because I just read about those in a book.

Eventually I hosted my first own website, and taking up on the scheme I established previously, I bought the domain "oktupol.de" and started using the name "oktupol" for myself everywhere on the internet.

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I just used my first name when I joined Stack Exchange and never changed it.

It's a less common form of Arnaud (without an "L") but is however pronounced the same way, i.e. \aʁ.no\ (and not \aʁ.nɔld\ like "Arnold").

I went by the nickname "Axl" many years ago as the sysop of a BBS running on an Atari 520 ST during the pre-Internet era. (Yeah... Like the singer of a famous hard rock band from Los Angeles. :-p)

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My username? Well I just happen to see this mathematical expression everywhere in my math textbook im getting tired of this expression this is boring i want to get out of this! I hate 2x-1 2x-1 is bad I want to kill him!!!

And then, all of a sudden, I decided that I can use this as my username to make others feel bored like me as well! evil laughs

As for my avatar, I want to change it someday, but not now. :P

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 for being evil. Not sure why you don't want people to view your profile, though, it's a good way to make other people hate 2x-1 too \$\endgroup\$ – user Feb 9 at 17:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ Let's kill 2x-1! \$\endgroup\$ – Sheik Yerbouti Feb 12 at 0:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ It looks like 2x-1 has...disappeared. @SheikYerbouti, what did you do? \$\endgroup\$ – user Feb 12 at 15:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ He went on vacation. He told me to let everybody know that he is all right and will come back after he has found himself. What? ...no it's just tomato sauce from lunch. Sheit! \$\endgroup\$ – Sheik Yerbouti Feb 12 at 16:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ I saw someone pretending to be him 2x-1 \$\endgroup\$ – Sheik Yerbouti Mar 14 at 10:44
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My username "Davide' is just my actual name. Few months ago I was learning C (my first language) and signed up on SO to ask something. I think I didn't typed any username, just logged using my Google account.

I take this opportunity to change my username and add an avatar.

Apart from golfing in C and learning JavaScript, I only eat, sleep, listen to music (a lot of it) and cuddle two kittens of a flatmate. That's the reason why my username and avatar will be all about music.

My username is going to be Sheik Yerbouti. It comes from "The Sheik Yerbouti tango" by Frank Zappa. I chose this name because (apart from being the title of a nice guitar solo) it's kind of an actual name and it also encourages you to move, an invitation that can be interpreted in many ways.

As for the avatar I'll find a picture of music(?)

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    \$\begingroup\$ "I only eat, sleep, listen to music (a lot of it) and cuddle two kittens" Sounds like a great life :P \$\endgroup\$ – user Feb 11 at 23:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ @user ahaha yes it sounds great, but I am actually a very lonely person struggling to build some real life skill. However there not much time to complain about life when you are busy shaiking yerbouti :D \$\endgroup\$ – Sheik Yerbouti Feb 11 at 23:53
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Weasels

My username (Wezl) is Weasel spelled better and more recognizeable. Some weasel facts that may have influenced this decision.

  • They're adorable (yes, this is a fact). A simple interweb search is enough proof.
  • They're evil. I'm not necessarily evil, but it helps to have an evil avatar so I don't get held responsible for my actions.
  • They bring bad luck. Not necessarily a fact, but in some cultures or superstitions this is true.
  • They're underappreciated. This means I'm assisting the world by creating awareness, and as a bonus not many weasel-related usernames are taken.
  • They're stinky. This did not influence my decision at all, but it doesn't hurt to mention it.

These may seem like reasons not to like weasels, but there's a reason people still have cats as pets (weasels aren't often pets because they're wild and love to kill...fingers). In fact, weasels are kind of like cats in a squirrel-sized body.

Some of these traits can be summed up in this hopefully-not-copyright-infringing clip: weasels!

EDIT: Now I realize that to truly show my devotion, I must also change my pfp. This is it currently, though I change it a lot:

Ermine/Weasel 16x16 picture

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    \$\begingroup\$ They may be adorable, but I think being evil, bringing bad luck, and stinking are pretty good reasons not to appreciate weasels. \$\endgroup\$ – user Feb 15 at 19:23
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It’s just my name + surname with all vowels removed. Boring… The profile pic is some doodle I did many years ago, but I like it so it stuck.

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What can I say - I'm not creative.

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ophact is a randomly generated 6-character long string which came from a short piece of JavaScript code I wrote, a sort of "random competition" for JavaScript. It was the only readable word that came out, and has the sort of tone of "oh, fact?"

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Nothing, just using my nick name.

And profile picture is of Light Yagami from Death Note, I like his evil smirk. And Shinigamis love apples.

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