Story Behind Your Username and/or Profile Pic?

I was thinking about usernames today. Choosing a username is a surprisingly difficult task; first, you have to think of something you like enough to have associated with your online identity, and then you have to hope that what you came up with is not taken. I thought it might be fun to explore how we each came up with our usernames.

While I am not particularly fond of my own username, it does show a few things about my personality. I can’t recall the first place I used the name RubyMineshaft, but it was ultimately the result of every better version I tried being already taken. I knew I wanted something containing the word “Ruby” (my favorite programming language :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:) and relating to natural rubies. Thus, I was eventually stuck with Mineshaft :sweat_smile:

I think the fact that I settled for something I wasn’t completely happy with is pretty telling, as I tend to do that in many areas of my life.


Lack of originality, I guess?


Is S. Alexander your real name?


My first name is Ye and one time someone in high school called me Ye-bells. I decided I liked it and then changed the S to Z, since I thought I was like some sort of 1337 h4x0r.


I honestly thought your name was a joke/reference to Velvet Goldmine

As re my own username: My name is Tony Borodovsky. When I signed up for a gmail address way back in the day, I wanted my username to be tonyb - but gmail had a 6-character minimum.

Since many of my friends call me “Tony B” anyways (not because I’m some sort of rapper, but to differentiate me from all the other Tonys in the world) I just went with “tonybe” since it sounds like what people call me.


I believe I had used my real name, mattetress (Matt Etress), as my username for my original OGS account as I do many places online. Many people called me mattress in university (and still do) because the words look very similar. I liked that and have considered using it as a username but just find it strange.

However, that account subsequently changed to my Chinese name maxiang (马翔 Mǎ Xiáng) and has changed again to Xu旭. I rarely use that account any more though, unless I’ve been drinking or want to experiment with some silly board size (like 9x9 or 13x13 haha). :sweat_smile:


Mine started as a joke. It was “The [MyRealName] Model 5000,” a new high performance and affordable version of myself. I shortened it to mark5000 because keystrokes are so expensive nowadays.


Now I don’t know if you’re real name is Mark or not :neutral_face:


@RubyMineshaft: As a rock hunter myself, I thought your name indicated that you were a rock hunter. Gotta admit, I am a bit disappointed. I once hunted the common brown corundum (the mineral that is ruby and sapphire) at a remote location in Ontario. There was a large adit in the hillside, with a high adjoining mine dump. The corundum was abundant, but embedded in boulders of pink (feldspar-rich) granite. Such matrix has no pockets, and the crystals would just break to piece if you tried to extract them. Frustrating, but I loved the bleak beauty of the site. I finally had to leave because it started raining, and I didn’t want to be caught on the wrong side of a creek. Not far away, however, I collected some splendid crystals of opaque (non-gemmy) beryl. It was a good day.

As for me, I realized some years ago that the names of two of my favorite authors could be combined into a plausible-sounding name.


I assume Herman Melville of Moby Dick fame, yes? So… Conrad who? :slight_smile:

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Comes from a D&D character I made, the 4th I’ve ever played with…

I decided to take the word “France” and play around with it (and had decided by then I wanted to start every name of my characters with an ‘M’ to replicate something another player was doing with ‘W’ – it was the last character I decided to do that with)

By then I had been thinking of replacing my old username my dad came up for me when I was in kindergarten (nullhead), and this was one I was sure nobody else had taken cuz it was essentially gibberish to anyone outside my D&D group and those we told stories to, and felt like it was bound to me personally.

(ofc all of this is about “mekriff”, “telpelote” was a later invention having to do with the character’s backstory)


Joseph Conrad, who is my favorite author.


Hydden is a play on words… an amalgamation of my surname (Hyde) with the adjective “hidden”

The B at the start came a bit later, and is a reference to a gaming group I am a part of. It also adds to the uniqueness to ensure it is available wherever I want it :slight_smile:

Also, I find it mildly amusing that when read properly, it sounds like advice… “be hidden”


It’s very interesting to see the different interpretations of my username and how that relates to one’s personal experience.

Also, I do actually quite enjoy rocks, gemstones, and crystals:



Ask Benny. He knows.


Following my own obsessions with play on words… I always thought your name was a derivative away from Minecraft hahaha


I do not speak to this beast. His name has no place being uttered in public.


When I first joined OGS, I thought it was your actual name. Since I realized it wasn’t, I’ve been reading is at “be hiding”. At least I was somewhat close.


The most common mispronunciation I get is “be high den”