Great Usernames are Usually Puns or Plays on Words

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As someone who has been an online dating coach since 2003, I’d venture to guess that I’ve not only seen more usernames than just about anyone on the planet, but I’ve written more of them as well.

Why do I think that usernames make a difference, when everyone knows that it’s all about the profile and photo?

Because when you’re dating online, which is an extremely competitive medium, you need every advantage you can get.

A great username is a differentiator – a unique brand name – something that completely sets you apart from every other person on a dating site. And when your ideal partner is scrolling through hundreds of names – Sally102, JenNYC1, LawyerGal – a great username can be the very reason that someone contacts you.

Most people take one of two wrong tacks when coming up with an online dating username:

1) Putting ZERO thought into it: Bill10247, ClaireT, AllyCat

2) Putting minimal thought into it, using a literal description: TallDoctor, GorgeousGoddess, Fun2BeAround

The problem with these efforts, of course, is not that they’re “bad”, but rather that they’re BORING. There’s nothing unique, memorable or distinguishing. There’s nothing that evokes a smile. And so the names fall flat. And you become convinced that usernames don’t matter.

They do if you are clever about it.

In my opinion, a username should be a pun or a play on words. Something familiar-sounding, with a twist.

WineNot – for the wine aficionado
LadyGoGo – for the world traveler
BachToBach – for the classical music enthusiast
TenderLegal – for the soft-hearted lawyer

See the common thread? All of them are plays off of real names, idioms or catchphrases, which is why they evoke smiles from readers.

One of my favorite usernames was TheGooseWhisperer, written for a client named Bobbi in 2005. Bobbi had a farm with geese in the yard and instead of using TheHorseWhisperer, which was way too overdone, we changed one word to great effect. Dozens of people commented on it.

One of them turned out to be her future husband.

So if you’re wondering how to come up with a clever name that gets attention, and attracts a like-minded person with a great sense of humor, I have an exercise that can help you come up with usernames just like the ones I mention above.

It’s in Volume 2 of my Finding the One Online audio series, and is the cherry on top of your new online dating experience. In Finding the One Online, I give you 7 hours of audio, a 180 page transcript, a 35 page workbook – and tips on everything from choosing the right site, to writing a compelling online dating profile, to taking the right photos, to flirting effectively via email so that every single person will want to meet you in person.

Click here to learn more.

What’s the most memorable username you’ve ever seen on a dating site?  I’m quite sure our readers are not going to copy them for their own personal usage. Right, readers?

Join our conversation (83 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.

Comments:

  1. 21
    Gary

    YouveGotMale
    USmale

  2. 22
    Slavica

    What a great article Evan, and cheers from Down Under.   Your audience is spread far and wide, and I have been a fan from afar for some time now.  
    I believe usernames can be quite telling, if used in the right manner. And always sound more intriguing if accompanied by a great profile and appropriate pictures. The username which stands out the most for me, and which had an enormous instant impact, but sadly for all the wrong reasons, was BAKDAFUKUP.   I always wondered what his response rate might have been?   
    I have used online dating, on and off over several years, and my regular username was always ozrockchick.   If you break it down, I thought the message was pretty clear, but still it somehow managed to confuse some people.  
    Following that I used troutseeker at plenty of fish, because I was desperately trying to avoid all the carp!
    During a particularly creative period in my life, I used FiftyShadesExcited, and elicited some rather interesting responses.   Thank you E L James!
    I finally settled for KittyKissedKarma and that seemed to work okay.
    In this fickle world, you only get once chance to make a good first impression, and being a new member on a dating site, with an interesting username, certainly garners lots of attention, positive and otherwise.
    Cheers 🙂

  3. 23
    Di

    Hi, Evan! First of all, I want to say that I saw your Ted talk today, and it cracked me up because it’s so true. I just got back into the online dating thing and currently have profiles on OkCupid and Plenty of Fish. Apparently, I did a great job writing the profiles because I’m getting a lot of great feedback. Anyway, I came up with a great username based on a Google search I did for the most liked keywords in women’s profiles. So, I think my username is good to go. However, Plenty of Fish wanted a headline. That’s when I froze. I had no idea what to write. No idea. Not even after extensive Google searching. After giving up, I finally wrote, “Wookin Pa Nub.”   That’s right. Eddie Murphy doing Buckwheat singing the greatest hits.   I’m still getting some messages saying, “How are you?” but quite a few guys have taken this headline and run with it. I have to say, every time I get a message about it, I crack up, and my response is genuinely humorous. I even have to respond to the guys who I’m not interested in dating, and those dialogues have been positive.   I’m thinking about working that  headline into my OkCupid profile. Guys need something to talk about and this is just too funny to resist. I have the same complaint that every other woman has about those boring initial emails that I don’t want to answer, but I may have stumbled onto a solution. 🙂

  4. 24
    Traveller

    The best women’s usernames that I’ve seen were ones that actually told me something about her, rather than simply being generic or dull. One I recall fondly was SexyBrains – it evoked all the best traits I could imagine wanting.

    I came up with TTraveller in the hopes that someone would treat it like a puzzle and unravel it – kind of a test to see who was smart enough to figure out what I was getting at. Sadly, no one ever has; apparently most people are pretty literal, and don’t spend any time thinking about things like that. I’ve even had women write me and criticize me for “spelling the word wrong.” Oh, well, another bright idea that didn’t work.

    1. 24.1
      BadJoke

      I’ve got it, you stutter 😂😂😂. Probably not one of my brighter moments but I felt like I should comment. Though stutters are cute, and kind of dorky.

    2. 24.2
      Solver

      Now this is bugging me… Are you from UK?

      1. 24.2.1
        Michael

        No, but you’re sniffing about the base of the right tree.

    3. 24.3
      Char7

      Time Traveller?

      1. 24.3.1
        Michael

        Close – but Solver is on the right track about the two L’s

        1. Lonna

          Time travel lovers

  5. 25
    Belle

    These were a few I’ve used over the years 🙂

    AbbeyWantsMore
    AnnaLovesBananas
    KatieTooExplore

    A little bit cheeky without being over the line or looking like a brain dead bimbo. 🙂 xx

  6. 26
    Zcerni

    Ive seen a lot of memorable rapper names over the years such as: Snoop Godd, Medic Dre, and Mackle PorFavor

  7. 27
    frank

    AnnalovesAnal

  8. 28
    kev1928

    I liked what the one gentleman had to say about woman and their picture’s Ben57 I believe. Being new to this online dating, I have taken noticed to the women’s profile, picture’s and username now. Not every guy is on a site for a “hook-up” at least I’m not. Not gay, experienced a very traumatic occurrence which you just don’t say, “Oh Well, move on.”   Anyway, since I could careless about that one the 1st date, I’m looking for someone with morals , manners and SELF-RESPECT. Every women has the same profile. Looking for a good guy, family oriented, funny, athletic and NO HOOK-UP. I have to laugh cause they are almost all Identical. Then their picture’s. Geeez….I can tell you just by looking at the picture’s how long it would take, where I need to go first so they are comfy. its pathetic. Then the username, the key to the hidden blessings. I have only seen one that put effort into it. We would have been perfect, however 2 hours away, yeah I don’t think so. So like Ben57 said, when I see a woman laying down with cleavage shots or making it so obvious, if I was only younger. I’m not. So ladies not all guys want to wine and dine you. Is it so hard to say hello back. If I was out and I met you and said, “Hello,” your ass would at least be kind and say it back. Too many stuck up woman, cracks me u cause their divorced with 32 1/2 kids, but can’t even say hi…….

    1. 28.1
      jen

      Maybe it’s not personal…if they have 32 1/2 kids I imagine they’re pretty busy

  9. 29
    Grace

    Just found and read this blog a couple of days ago. Now I’m interested to try again online dating site but really so confuse on what profile name and how I will manage my whole profile. anyways, thanks a lot on you guys for your comments that refreshes my mind and gave me so much ideas (but still open for more suggestions and help  (: ) Hope I can find my right one also just like most of you here. 🙂

    1. 29.1
      Justin

      I’m curious to see if I can find the right one myself. Glad I found this blog. 🙂

  10. 30
    Astro

    I like NerdyNinjaHugs andBamboozledByPaperClips

  11. 31
    Bedhead

    *Therapist.*.. Was quite amusing… If yah got a dark sense of humor.

    And – FatPeopleAreHarderToKidnap is the best.

  12. 32
    Grace

    I agree with you Justin

  13. 33
    kristin

    I’ve seen BenDover… I don’t know if that was his real name.

  14. 34
    Murf

    What about Shark_Vadar? Movie reference to Darth vadar by my twist is shark in a sea n it been plenty of fish the whole thing of there been plenty more fish in the sea n the fact it’s a fish I thought it’s good. I am a male btw.    Or wankenstein? 😂😂😂😂. Im stuck for a username ha I was joking about the second name

  15. 35
    Donna Hennig

    Sorry this is probably a little bit rude but the best profile name I came across on an adult hook-up site was “stunts4cunts” I laughed my head off over that one. It still brings a smile to my face even as we speak.

  16. 36
    Diggy

    So I will be an older online dater – just doing research here to get started.Looking backwards, online dating was not the place to look for women with great morals etc as mentioned here. It had no rules so it attracted less morals, less honesty etc. and sounds like there will always be that element.  Anyway, I contacted my friend who never got married and has about 10 different dating sites going.He said that anytime he put an ad up that stated “I’m a nice guy…” he got zero responses. Zero.When he put an ad up with lines that were about the female – as in how she would benefit from him, he received way more replies than ads that stated what he was looking for.Finally, he says he got the absolute most number of responses when he used handles like “asspounder3000″This made me laugh as well. But he’s serious. It gets noticed, the first and most important thing. Its, funny, women respond – but in a fun way.He also said that every nice girl on the site also gets horny at times and its a way for them to anonymously reach out.  Just sharing my two cents

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