Over the weekend, Grant was Googling something random and came across this PDF of Old English trade names and descriptions. I’m a linguistics BA who loves geeky creative portmanteaux and playfully pretentious references, so I immediately proclaimed that these would be a fantastic source of online dating username inspiration for a certain geeky set. I think they’d work best on OkCupid, but don’t let that stop you from intimidating Match members too!
Some terms listed, like “vitner,” are practically still in use today (“vintner”). Other terms are CRAZY TOWN BANANA PANTS.
Let’s sample a few that stuck out to me!
Aulnager – official responsible for inspecting and measuring woolen cloth
Braxator – brewer; beer maker
Carnifex – butcher [note that I am naming a dog this someday] Costermonger – peddler of fruits and vegetables
Endholdern – inn keeper
Feuar – holder of lands granted for services
Garcifer/Garcio – groom; attendant
Gynour – engineer
Hansard – weapon maker or seller
Kempster – wool comber
Lorimer/lormer – bridlemaker
Pelliparius/Peltarius – skinner
Rotarius – wheelwright
Snobscat/Snob – shoe repairer; cobbler
Thirdbororough – tithing man or deputy constable
Victualer – tavern keeper, or one who provides an army, navy, or ship with food supplies, officer in charge of the royal forests
Whitcher – maker of chests
Now listen, I’m not saying you should slap the name Carnifex or Peltarius on your profile so you seem like a serial killer if a potential date decides to Google your username. Bad call.
But if you’re into horseback riding or dressage, maybe you’re “Lorimerry” or something. If you brew your home beer, “Braxator” or a playful variant like “Braxinator,” perhaps? (Note there were many “-ator” and -“ster” suffixes; I can see where at least a few companies and products got their name inspiration!)
The goal here is to use the parts of these words that sound cool to you, and/or give a subtle nod to something about you. It’s like an Easter egg for people who actually get it, and it’s an improvement over Jake704Ski and other common but lame username tropes. (Yes, usernames have tropes, SeattleBikerGirl. They totally do.)
Anyway, have fun, kids, whatever ye usernaemes be. And if you like, message me on OkCupid so I can see your final results! [icon-heart]
@askvirginia Also: The people who make up the new Pokemans.
@askvirginia @okcupid @gkr word of the day: wharfage 😀
@askvirginia fun list! One that’s missing from the pdf is timoneer (a helmsman) – impossibly perfect for a Tim who likes sailing
@paul_cerra So good! SO good. You should be my username consultant. 🙂
I think @NPRAskMeAnother should create a puzzle around these. http://t.co/TydOKE6coO “@OkCupid username or Old English profession?” perhaps.