The Daily Grind: What’s the story behind your MMO character’s name?


When I see a character cross my path with the name “XxDoodyHeadxX,” I’m not usually that curious about how such a name came about. Presumably it was just a random firing brain cell and an ill-timed fart. But I certainly do grow intrigued when I encounter players with beautiful or seemingly significant character names. I want to know why they picked them and what those names mean to them.

So I guess I’ll just ask all of you that today. What’s the story behind your MMO character’s name? How did it come about? Is it a name you use in a lot of games or just one specific title?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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I was hanging out with my friend and let him sit at my PC while I rolled a joint for us. He was trying to find a way around the filter by finding a name that rhymed with whore, because he’s a troll. I pushed him out of the way and named the character Khorenna… and she’s been my WoW main since launch. :/

Certainly an embarrassing story, but hey, I was a teenager. I’m sure we all have MMO moments we look back on and cringe.

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I’m pretty sure I’ve answered this one some time in the past, but it’s a fun question. Here’s just a few.

SWTOR Imperial Agent
Cielne (seal-nay)
Literally work up in the middle of the night with this word in my brain, groggily thought, “that would be a good Star Wars name,” and punched it into my phone before falling back asleep.

SWTOR Bounty Hunter
I wanted to name her “Shayne,” a rejected name I made up for the Dawngate character Tess (I like how it looked feminine but sounded masculine). But that name was taken! So I cast about for alternates at the last minute, and settled on a respelling of “clade” along similar conceptual lines.

SWTOR Sith Warrior
A feminine Arabic name meaning (according to the sources I found) “Small Fire.” Because I chose a waify body type, a DPS build, and… well, Sith. So idiomatically, her name was “Smol Angry.”

Reyzel Faris
I’ve used this name in multiple games, going back to Asheron’s Call 1. I overheard “Reyzel” in a TV movie my mother watched when I was a teenager. I loved how it sounded and kept it in my back pocket for many years. “Faris” is an Arabic masculine name equivalent to the European “knight.”

LotRO Human Lore-master
Mayda Enbourne
I don’t recall where exactly I found Mayda – I was following the LotRO’s rules for naming characters, and she was from Dale. Enbourne is an English river, mentioned in Richard Adams’ Watership Down.

LotRO Hobbit Guardian
Jenaisse Marnais
The name of a minor background character I made up for Dawngate, who was from a pseudo-Frankish medieval matriarchy. I like how the name looked and sounded, so I reused it (insert Bilbo “After all… why not?” meme).

City of Heroes (OG) Storm Defender
Tara Kelty
I wanted a weather witch, so I made one. “Tara” was from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Willow’s girlfriend). Kelty was the surname of the titular character in Jodie Foster’s “Nell” (which didn’t come up much in the movie). I liked how it sounded.


My main FFXIV character is Mihri Ninaka, who I named according to the official naming conventions for Keepers of the Moon. Her first name is derived from Miriam but Keeper-ified, and her family name from nin-an-ak, the possible source of the name of the Mesopotamian goddess Inanna. I was on a serious Near Eastern religions kick at the time, and Keepers are a matriarchal culture who worship a goddess of love, so referencing Inanna seemed appropriate. All my other FFXIV characters also have lore-friendly names, though none so elaborately derived, and my SWTOR characters were named by way of “what sounds nice and Star Wars-y and isn’t already taken.” Mihri doesn’t have any counterparts in other MMOs, she’s too specific to FFXIV.

Robert Mann

Depending upon the character and thus name:
-Based on a modification to one of the rarer names I or family has.
-Created entirely custom.
-Occasionally a silly mockery of something relevant to the character.
-Occasionally a silly mockery of one of the first two.

K8 D

I’ve literally had a character named Doodiehead in wow lol! But, never got her past level 10ish. I wouldn’t call it a brainfart moment, though. Names just aren’t something that matter too much to me. As long as it’s not an RP-sounding name and is generally silly in nature, I’ll probably like it. I never read RP names. Sorry, Sydenxienandhnjkhas I’m sure it’s beautiful but I’m not gonna try I’m much too dyslexic to spend the time.
Anyway, one of my alts in wow is named Slurgy because when I was a kid my sister used to play pretend with me, and one of the characters in the game was named Slurgy the Slug. She crawled on the floor with a blanket on her back and he was supposed to be old or something. Idk man.
Edit: Actually, on RP servers and LotRO I do have normal-ish names, out of respect.

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Dean Greenhoe

My mood at the time of character creation is the main story of my characters name. Every game has new classes, races, lore and a brand new world and as such I make completely new names to fit how I feel about the new game world.

I feel I can not reuse a name in a different game as that name already has a history and its own memories.


Depends on the game. For LOTRO they kinda had ‘stipulations’ for your names having some uniqueness, so a few of those got created ‘on the fly’, but others were ones I’d used for a long time. Often mine are taken. On WoW, I started using names that were so difficult to type using the Alt # pad, that nobody could add me. On SWTOR, they wanted you to have a first and last name (For legacy), so I investigated some options and ended up with a name I commonly end up going by + the surname with Irish background…

(Because I’m partially blooded Irish but actually an American and really like them..and studied the culture for a project back in school, and have always just kinda known I’d fit in just fine there if I were to ever visit. Because that kinda ‘attitude’ is ‘me’. Sadly, I’m a ‘mutt’ so I also have some German heritage/blood, along with some other odds and ends like Dutch and some of those other countries around there. I’m actually named after the first ‘settler’ that came over the ocean from there in real life. My name is ‘phallic’ though, so most childish people titter behind their hands when my name is spoken so I tend to not care for it and use a name online that doesn’t evoke that crap.)

I’ve kinda used a few ‘staple’ names for awhile now, but sometimes they are taken so I use astronomical terms at times too. As for my gamer tag, it was more related to the types of games I used to play…the military Command & Conquer type strategy games…


When I play a Bard in a MMO I try to grab the name Gurneyhalleck. People think I named it after the character in Dune(didn’t even know he existed) but I first saw the name in The Bards Tale for C64 a friend had gotten second hand and one of the names created on the save disk was Gurneyhalleck a Bard.

Turing fail
Turing fail

My toons are named after the witness protection program aliases assigned to my former gang members who ratted me out.

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Alan Turing ratted you out? How old are you lol

Turing fail
Turing fail

Though I suppose one could see these comments sections as an MMO of sorts and our user names/avatars as characters, I was taking Justin’s question more literally.None of the Warframe or EVE characters I play shares the name I use here.


Ad&d 2nd Ed. Waterdeep book. Creating a noble char came Wavesilver family in the book… name was Kanhi.

10y later came my Enchanter in EQ1.. so close to 30y already dragging Kanhi Wavesilver as a young blonde girl :)