What's in a name?

I know I've been talking a lot about Cataclysm as of late, so let's have a post focusing on the here and now for a change. The question that I'd like to talk about is: What the hell are some people thinking when they name their characters? It's something that I ask myself quite often, but the latest opportunity for me to wonder arose yesterday when I looked over my boyfriend's shoulder and saw him pugging Gundrak with "Lalapala" and "Pallytard". What's worse is that I looked them up on the armoury later and there were no less than twenty-one results for Lalapala and five different Pallytards. I then started to randomly search for what I thought were really stupid names and was alternately amused and horrified to find that yes, there are characters out there called "Imdumb" and "Phukoff".

Now, I guess that as someone who mainly plays on a roleplaying server I'm predisposed to be a bit of a name snob, but I'd like to think that I'm really not that bad. I understand that not everyone likes to get into the roleplaying mindset and work on coming up with something that someone in the World of Warcraft might actually have as a name. I can relate to the feeling of wanting to roll up a troll warrior right now but being unable to come up with a good name, so you just take a brief look at him and decide to call him Tuskinator. I may wince a little, but I won't make fun of you for being named Shammyheals or Moohoof. Tusky, Shammy and Moo at least make for decent nicknames.

But some names just make me want to strangle someone because of how stupid they are, like the aforementioned Lalapala and Pallytard. I mean, really? That's the best you could come up with? You want people to address you as "hey tard"?

Which kind of brings us to what I can only guess is the root of the problem: I think people who give their characters really stupid names, the kind that will be cause you actual annoyance and embarrassment to use, is that they don't think about the fact that what they are naming is their avatar. They look at the character as something completely isolated from themselves and go "yeah, I'll just name this little picture Lalapala". The thing is, no matter whether you're into roleplaying or not, that avatar and its name will be all that people see of you in the game, so for all intents and purposes it is you. So before you name your next character something silly on the fly, think about whether you would want to be addressed by that name day in, day out yourself, or whether you would really like having to call out things like "Phukoff, taunt now!" in a raid every week. Names are for life - or until you reroll or pay for a name change - so the least you could do is spare more than a few seconds of thought on them. Otherwise I fear for any children you might have one day...

If only NameScore was as popular as GearScore!


  1. Couldn't help but jump on the bandwagon here. I really roll my eyes a lot at the sheer number of people who give their characters really stupid names. Ok, so you don't wanna roleplay, but surely there are better things you can come up with than "gnomepriest" or "stupidshit" or something like that. I've also run a lot into disney names and real person names.

    I think long and hard about the names I wanna give my characters and unfortunately some people do come up with the same names as me, oh well. In fact, I think I've even helped some people in game with a new name when they were talking about a name change in guild chat. I do the same with my D&D group. I have an entire book that i've made myself full of names you can use.

  2. We had a guy in Aetherial Circle who went by the name 'tard'. Didn't seem to bother him...

  3. I try to make names that are names, rather than descriptions. My only exception is Gospinnywoo, which I regret a bit, but fortunately it's not my main.

  4. it always baffles me to see people with really ridiculous names and to be honest, names like dwarfpriest, taurenhunter etc baffle me more. are you really THAT uncreative?

    Personally, if I'm really lazy to figure out a meaningful name for some random "its only there to chat with a friend once in a while" alt, randomize option is usually a good choice.

  5. I failed completely when naming my main, in the sense of adding dots above the ë. Which means nobody can find me in the /who list *sadpanda*. So now (3 years later) I'm contemplating whether to pay for a name change, in order to make it spellable.

    Usually I'm really into role playing names, though there are a few select cases where I just adore the opposite. A priest called "Praystation", a warlock called "Capslock", and, of course, my banker called "Robthebanker". /lame

  6. I actually don't mind with names with special characters. I mean, they can be annoying in practice because you might not have all the right characters on your keyboard, but that alone doesn't mean they are bad names. Now, if your name is Wíbßléwößblè, that's a different matter...