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What's in a Name?

How do people choose their usernames?
Fun & Humour May 15, 2003      
Written by shorlin

St. John’s, CANADA -

<P>How do people choose their usernames? Well, like me, you could just use your last name to make it easy for the government to find out about your illegal beer trading. You could honour a comic book character, a Beatle, a Mike Myers movie series, a chicken, or your job. But many, many Ratebeerians have honoured their favourite thing, BEER. To explore the mental make-up of our members, I have compiled some numbers on what people include in their usernames. Please note: inclusion under one listing does not imply exclusion from others. Some subjective choices have been made to determine whether inclusion is justified, and sometimes I am not proficient at counting.

<P>12 people have used "bud" in their names, 9 used "miller" and 2 used "coors". If I add my wife (silverbullet), that makes 3. Finding 7 users with "stone" in their name made me optimistic, but 3 appear to be referring to Keystone Light, at least 1 the Rolling Stones, and none Stone Brewing. In Canada, we have no "molson" and only one "labatt", which is a good thing, but "keithsbeer" appears to be infatuated with that product from Labatts East so maybe we'll count that as 2.
Across the Atlantic, there are 10 "bass"es, 1 "newcastle" and 3 "guinness"es. On a sidenote, searching for "guinness" helped me find out there are 2 "penguin"s. Across the Pacific, Australians will be glad to hear there is no "foster". And, although "duff" himself has objections to be related to the Simpsons, 7 other people have honoured that fictional beer, "duff".

<P>In styles, we have 12 "stout"s, 10 "bock"s, 9 "pils"s, and 5 "IPA"s. The 4 "belgian"s probably refer more to the country than the beer, but who knows. Less popular are "bitter" (2) "wheat" (2), "lambic" (2), "brownale" (2) and "porter" (2). Single incidents of "weisse" and "abbey" have been recorded, with no diehard fans of "kolsch", "cream", or "imperial". "Lager" has received only 7 nods, but "ale" showed up 35 times (including Trappist Ales Rule, one of 5 names with “trappist”), which perhaps underrepresents the popularity of ale over lager here.
What about the ingredients? Three RB'ians are fans of "barley", with 9 "malt" names (including maltydog). Most popular is "hop" with its 40 names including major raters hopsrus and hopscotch, plus the lesser-known hop_sing. "Brew" itself has inspired 105 names, including VAhomebrewer, and the rookie punkybrewster. No one is inspired by "yeast".

<P>In dirty words I could think of, "bastard" appears 7 times, "bitch" 4, "damn" once, and no "darn". Three users are the "shit", although perhaps Mr. "toshito" shouldn't be on that list. Diagnosing the use of "ass" is diffcult given its appearance in "bass", "glass" and "grass". Let's just say there are at least a few "ass"es out there, plus more than a couple of "dick"s. There is also a "Pooter", a "pooper" and a "poontang". In an unrelated note, the favourite beer of "Octopussy" is Cooper's Sparkling Ale.

<P>Finally, the grand-daddy of them all is "beer". "Beer" shows up in exactly (by my count) 300 usernames. Well-respected users like Yogi_Beera and BeerLimey exemplify the use of the word for good, while unknown quantities such as "beer&boobs" and "danceswithbeers" are harder to pin down. Turns out beeradvocate.com has two related entries, and two of the "beer" related names refer to themselves as "aryan". Hmmm....

<P>If you add in the 29 "bier" (including "biere"), 3 "pivo", 2 "birra", 2 each of "cerveza" and "cerveja", and the "ol" in Ol_Juntan_64, that makes 339 users who understand why we are here. Which reminds me, there are 40 "drink", but only 30 "drunk" and a sparse 3 "alcoholic", which I think is a statistical anomaly.
What have we learned? Ratebeerians like beer, bad puns, and a very small percentage are mildly original. Also, I am never going to finish my PhD thesis at this rate.



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