Coming up with your Nom de Plume

There are various reasons why a writer might decide to go by a pen-name or nom de plume. Numerous female writers wrote under male-pseudonyms because their narratives did not fit the gender norms of their time, such as George Eliot/Mary Ann Evans. George Orwell created his for Down & Out in Paris & London because it described him living in poverty and he didn’t want to embarrass his family. And Neruda’s father disapproved of his poetry.

But another main reason is simply that a writer wants a name that stands out more than their given name does – like a stage name. They may even want to take it up a notch and create a second persona, comparable to when my Dad drinks, puts on a mullet wig and insists we all call him Uncle Neil. So anyway, if you’re currently struggling to come up with a nom de plume that will get everybody’s attention I’ve devised a method (unless you’re writing a book on hardware, in which case you have an obligation to make your pen-name ‘Hammertime’).

1. The first letter of your name

A = Pope
B = Josiah
C = Horace
D = Elijah
E = Saint
F = Valter
G = Vector
H = Erasmus
I = Phineas
J = Falk
K = Hercules
L = Anton
M = Cassius
N = Calvin
O = Thaddeus
P = Sven
Q = Chad
R = Ludvig
S = Sage
T = Virgil
U = Axel
V = Chester
W = Augustus
X = Luna
Y = Roger
Z = Dorian

2. Your month of birth (optional: this is to add a bit of a cool reputation to your second persona)

January = ‘wants no scrub’
February = ‘dolphin tramp stamp’
March = ‘squirrel army’
April = ‘hooks for hands’
May = ‘hips don’t lie’
June = ‘boycotting pants’
July = ‘the mud wrestler’
August = ‘power-ranger’
September = ‘duck-face’
October = ‘ghostbuster’
November = ‘Bond Villain’
December = ‘the booty shaker’

3. Your Middle Name

A = Cursive
B = Hawk
C= Latin
D = Potter
E = Beret
F = Absinthe
G = Existential
H = Grammar
I = Dante
J = Beowulf
K = Leather-bound
L = Finch
M = Codex
N = Font
O = Big-Words
P = Vermouth
Q = Index
R = Page
S = Seuss
T = Wilde
U = Sartre
V = Copperplate
W = Rat-king
X = Turtle-neck
Y = Speedo
Z = Sans Script

(So for instance mine is Saint ‘power-ranger’ Beowulf)

Or alternatively you can use some of these Simpson themed ones
• Dr. Colossus
• Joey Jo Junior Shabadoo
• Guy Incognito
• Zombie Shakespeare
• Any of the Moe prank call names

 

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