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A pseudonym () (originally: ψευδώνυμος in Greek) or alias () is a fictitious name that a person or group assumes for a particular purpose, which differs from their original or true name (
orthonym Onomastics or onomatology is the study of the etymology, history, and use of proper names. An ''wikt:orthonym, orthonym'' is the proper name of the object in question, the object of onomastic study. Onomastics can be helpful in data mining, with ap ...
). This also differs from a new name that entirely or legally replaces an individual's own. Most pseudonym holders use pseudonyms because they wish to remain
anonymous Anonymous may refer to: * Anonymity, the state of an individual's identity, or personally identifiable information, being publicly unknown ** Anonymous work, a work of art or literature that has an unnamed or unknown creator or author Organiza ...
, but anonymity is difficult to achieve and often fraught with legal issues.


Scope

Pseudonyms include
stage name A stage name is a pseudonym A pseudonym () (originally: ψευδώνυμος in Greek) or alias () is a fictitious name that a person or group assumes for a particular purpose, which differs from their original or true name (orthonym). This a ...
s, user names,
ring name A ring name is a type of stage name used by an athlete such as a Professional wrestling, professional wrestler, Mixed martial arts, mixed martial artist, or Boxing, boxer whose real name is considered unattractive, dull, difficult to pronounce or ...
s,
pen name A pen name, also called a ''nom de plume'' () or a literary double, is a pseudonym A pseudonym () (originally: ψευδώνυμος in Greek) or alias () is a fictitious name that a person or group assumes for a particular purpose, which differ ...
s,
nickname A nickname (also moniker) is a substitute for the proper name of a familiar person, place or thing. Commonly used to express affection, a form of endearment, and sometimes amusement, it can also be used to express defamation of character De ...
s, aliases,
superhero A superhero or superheroine is a stock character that possesses Superpower (ability), ''superpowers'', abilities beyond those of ordinary people, and fits the role of the hero, typically using his or her powers to help the World peace, world b ...

superhero
or villain identities and code names, gamer identifications, and
regnal name A regnal name, or regnant name or reign name, is the name used by monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New College DictionarMonarch Houghton Mifflin. Boston. 2001. p. 707. Life tenure, for life or until abdication, and therefore the ...
s of emperors, popes, and other monarchs. Historically, they have sometimes taken the form of
anagram An anagram is a word or phrase formed by rearranging the letters of a different word or phrase, typically using all the original letters exactly once. For example, the word ''anagram'' itself can be rearranged into ''nag a ram'', also the word ...

anagram
s, Graecisms, and Latinisations, although there may be many other methods of choosing a pseudonym. Pseudonyms should not be confused with new names that replace old ones and become the individual's full-time name. Pseudonyms are "part-time" names, used only in certain contexts – to provide a more clear-cut separation between one's private and professional lives, to showcase or enhance a particular persona, or to hide an individual's real identity, as with writers' pen names, graffiti artists' tags, resistance fighters' or terrorists' ''noms de guerre'', and computer
hackers A computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generic sets of operations known as Computer program, programs. These progr ...
' handles.
Actor An actor is a person who portrays a character Character(s) may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''Character'' (novel), a 1936 Dutch novel by Ferdinand Bordewijk * ''Characters'' (Theophrastus), a classical Greek set ...

Actor
s, voice-over artists, musicians, and other performers sometimes use
stage name A stage name is a pseudonym A pseudonym () (originally: ψευδώνυμος in Greek) or alias () is a fictitious name that a person or group assumes for a particular purpose, which differs from their original or true name (orthonym). This a ...
s, for example, to better channel a relevant energy, gain a greater sense of security and comfort via privacy, more easily avoid troublesome fans/"stalkers", or to mask their ethnic backgrounds. In some cases, pseudonyms are adopted because they are part of a cultural or organisational tradition: for example devotional names used by members of some
religious institute A religious institute is a type of institute of consecrated life in the Catholic Church whose members take religious vows, religious vows and lead a life in community with fellow members. Religious institutes are one of the two types of institut ...
s, and "cadre names" used by
Communist party A communist party is a political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elections. It is common for the members of a party to hold similar ideas about politics, and part ...
leaders such as
Trotsky Lev Davidovich Bronstein ( – 21 August 1940), better known as Leon Trotsky; uk, link= no, Лев Давидович Троцький; also transliterated ''Lyev'', ''Trotski'', ''Trotskij'', ''Trockij'' and ''Trotzky''. (), was a Russian Ma ...

Trotsky
and
Lenin Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov. ( 1870 – 21 January 1924), better known by his alias Lenin,. was a Russian revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. He served as the first and founding Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of th ...

Lenin
. A pseudonym may also be used for personal reasons: for example, an individual may prefer to be called or known by a name that differs from their given or
legal name A legal name is the name that identifies a person for legal, administrative and other official purposes. A person's first legal name generally is the name of the person that was given for the purpose of Civil registry, registration of the birth and ...
, but is not ready to take the numerous steps to get their name legally changed; or an individual may simply feel that the context and content of an exchange offer no reason, legal or otherwise, to provide their given or legal name. A ''collective name'' or ''collective pseudonym'' is one shared by two or more persons, for example the co-authors of a work, such as
Carolyn Keene Carolyn Keene is the pseudonym of the authors of the Nancy Drew mystery stories and The Dana Girls mystery stories, both produced by the Stratemeyer Syndicate. In addition, the Keene pen name is credited with the Nancy Drew Spin-off (media), spin ...
,
Erin Hunter Erin Hunter is a collective pseudonym used by the authors Victoria Holmes, Kate Cary, Cherith Baldry, Inbali Iserles, Tui T. Sutherland, and Rosie Best in the writing of several juvenile fantasy novel series, which focus on animals and their adven ...
,
Ellery Queen Ellery Queen is a pseudonym created in 1929 by American crime fiction Crime fiction, detective story, murder mystery, mystery novel, and police novel are terms used to describe narratives that centre on criminal acts and especially on the invest ...
,
Nicolas Bourbaki Nicolas Bourbaki () is the collective pseudonym of a group of mathematicians, predominantly French alumni of the École normale supérieure (Paris), École normale supérieure (ENS). Founded in 1934–1935, the Bourbaki group originally intended ...
, or
James S. A. Corey James S. A. Corey is the pen name A pen name, also called a ''nom de plume'' () or a literary double, is a pseudonym (or, in some cases, a variant form of a real name) adopted by an author and printed on the title page or by-line of their works in ...
.


Etymology

The term ''pseudonym'' is derived from the Greek (''pseudṓnymon''), literally 'false name', from (''pseûdos'') 'lie, falsehood' and (''ónoma'') 'name'. The term ''alias'' is a Latin
adverb An adverb is a word or an expression that modifies a verb A verb () is a word (part of speech) that in syntax conveys an action (''bring'', ''read'', ''walk'', ''run'', ''learn''), an occurrence (''happen'', ''become''), or a state of being ...

adverb
meaning 'at another time, elsewhere'.


Usage


Name change

Sometimes people change their names in such a manner that the new name becomes permanent and is used by all who know the person. This is not an alias or pseudonym, but in fact a new name. In many countries, including
common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law Case law is the collection of past legal decisions written by courts and similar tribunal A tribunal, generally, is any person or institution with authority ...
countries, a name change can be ratified by a court and become a person's new legal name. For example, in the 1960s, civil rights campaigner
Malcolm X Malcolm X (born Malcolm Little; May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965) was an African-American Muslim Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God O ...
, originally known as Malcolm Little, changed his surname to "X" to represent his unknown African ancestral name that had been lost when his ancestors were brought to North America as slaves. He then changed his name again to Malik El-Shabazz when he converted to Islam. Likewise some Jews adopted Hebrew family names upon immigrating to Israel, dropping surnames that had been in their families for generations. The politician
David Ben-Gurion David Ben-Gurion ( ; he, דָּוִד בֶּן-גּוּרִיּוֹן ; born David Grün; 16 October 1886 – 1 December 1973) was the primary national founder of the State of Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yī ...
, for example, was born David Grün in Poland. He adopted his Hebrew name in 1910 when he published his first article in a Zionist journal in Jerusalem.


Concealing identity


Business

Businesspersons of ethnic minorities in some parts of the world are sometimes advised by an employer to use a pseudonym that is common or acceptable in that area when conducting business, to overcome racial or religious bias.


Criminal activity

Criminals may use aliases,
fictitious business names A trade name, trading name, or business name is a pseudonym A pseudonym () or alias () (originally: ψευδώνυμος in Greek) is a fictitious name that a person or group assumes for a particular purpose, which differs from their original or ...
, and
dummy corporationsA dummy corporation, dummy company, or false company is an entity created to serve as a front or cover for one or more companies. It can have the appearance of being real ( logo, website A website (also written as web site) is a collection of w ...
(
corporate shells A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personality, legal entity representing an association of people, whether Natural person, natural, Legal personality, legal ...
) to hide their identity, or to impersonate other persons or entities in order to commit fraud. Aliases and fictitious business names used for dummy corporations may become so complex that, in the words of ''
The Washington Post ''The Washington Post'' (also known as the ''Post'' and, informally, ''WaPo'') is an American daily newspaper A newspaper is a Periodical literature, periodical publication containing written News, information about current events and is ...

The Washington Post
'', "getting to the truth requires a walk down a bizarre labyrinth" and multiple government agencies may become involved to uncover the truth.The Ruse That Roared, ''The Washington Post'', 5 November 1995, Richard Leiby, James Lileks Giving a false name to a law enforcement officer is a crime in many jurisdictions; see
identity fraud Identity fraud is the use by one person of another person's personal information Personal data, also known as personal information or personally identifiable information (PII) is any information relating to an identifiable person. The abbrevia ...
.


Literature

A
pen name A pen name, also called a ''nom de plume'' () or a literary double, is a pseudonym A pseudonym () (originally: ψευδώνυμος in Greek) or alias () is a fictitious name that a person or group assumes for a particular purpose, which differ ...
, or ''"nom de plume"'' (French for "pen name"), is a pseudonym (sometimes a particular form of the real name) adopted by an
author An author is the creator or originator of any written work such as a book A book is a medium for recording information Information is processed, organised and structured data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, or item ...

author
(or on the author's behalf by their publishers). Although the term is most frequently used today with regard to identity and the Internet, the concept of pseudonymity has a long history. In ancient literature it was common to write in the name of a famous person, not for concealment or with any intention of deceit; in the New Testament, the second letter of Peter is probably such. A more modern example is all of ''
The Federalist Papers ''The Federalist Papers'' is a collection of 85 articles and essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay under the Pseudonym, collective pseudonym "Publius" to promote the History of the United States Constitution, ratifica ...
'', which were signed by Publius, a pseudonym representing the trio of
James Madison James Madison Jr. (March 16, 1751June 28, 1836) was an American statesman, diplomat, expansionist, philosopher, and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited wi ...

James Madison
,
Alexander Hamilton Alexander Hamilton (January 11, 1755 or 1757July 12, 1804) was an American statesman, politician, legal scholar, military commander, lawyer, banker, and economist. He was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States The Founding Fa ...

Alexander Hamilton
, and
John Jay John Jay (December 12, 1745 – May 17, 1829) was an American statesman, patriot, diplomat A diplomat (from grc, δίπλωμα; romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of ...

John Jay
. The papers were written partially in response to several
Anti-Federalist Papers Anti-Federalist Papers is the collective name given to the works written by the Founding Fathers The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited with establishing their nation. National f ...
, also written under pseudonyms. As a result of this pseudonymity, historians know that the papers were written by Madison, Hamilton, and Jay, but have not been able to discern with complete accuracy which of the three authored a few of the papers. There are also examples of modern politicians and high-ranking bureaucrats writing under pseudonyms. Some female authors used male pen names, in particular in the 19th century, when writing was a male-dominated profession. The Brontë sisters used pen names for their early work, so as not to reveal their gender (see below) and so that local residents would not know that the books related to people of the neighbourhood. The Brontës used their neighbours as inspiration for characters in many of their books.
Anne Brontë Anne Brontë (, commonly ; 17 January 1820 – 28 May 1849) was an English novelist and poet, and the youngest member of the Brontë literary family. Anne Brontë was the daughter of Patrick Brontë, a poor Irish clergyman in the Church of En ...
's ''
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall ''The Tenant of Wildfell Hall'' is the second and final novel by the English author Anne Brontë. It was first published in 1848 under the pseudonym A pseudonym () or alias () (originally: ψευδώνυμος in Greek) is a fictitious name ...

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
'' (1848) was published under the name Acton Bell, while
Charlotte Brontë Charlotte Brontë (, commonly ; 21 April 1816 – 31 March 1855) was an English novelist and poet, the eldest of the three Brontë sisters who survived into adulthood and whose novels became classics of English literature Literature wr ...

Charlotte Brontë
used the name Currer Bell for ''
Jane Eyre ''Jane Eyre'' (originally published as ''Jane Eyre: An Autobiography'') is a novel A novel is a relatively long work of narrative A narrative, story or tale is any account of a series of related events or experiences, whether nonficti ...

Jane Eyre
'' (1847) and '' Shirley'' (1849), and
Emily Brontë Emily Jane Brontë (, commonly ; 30 July 1818 – 19 December 1848) was an English novelist and poet who is best known for her only novel, ''Wuthering Heights ''Wuthering Heights'' is an 1847 novel by Emily Brontë Emily Jane Brontë ( ...

Emily Brontë
adopted Ellis Bell as cover for ''
Wuthering Heights ''Wuthering Heights'' is an 1847 novel by Emily Brontë Emily Jane Brontë (, commonly ; 30 July 1818 – 19 December 1848) was an English novelist and poet who is best known for her only novel, '' Wuthering Heights'', now considered a class ...

Wuthering Heights
'' (1847). Other examples from the nineteenth-century are the novelist Mary Ann Evans (
George Eliot Mary Ann Evans (22 November 1819 – 22 December 1880; alternatively Mary Anne or Marian), known by her pen name A pen name, also called a ''nom de plume'' () or a literary double, is a pseudonym (or, in some cases, a variant form of a real n ...

George Eliot
) and the French writer Amandine Aurore Lucile Dupin (
George Sand Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin (; 1 July 1804 – 8 June 1876), best known by her pen name George Sand (), was a French novelist, memoirist, and journalist. One of the most popular writers in Europe in her lifetime, being more renow ...

George Sand
). Pseudonyms may also be used due to cultural or organization or political prejudices. On the other hand, some 20th- and 21st-century male romance novelists have used female pen names. A few examples are Brindle Chase,
Peter O'Donnell Peter O'Donnell (11 April 1920 – 3 May 2010) was an English writer A writer is a person who uses written words in different styles and techniques to communicate ideas. Writers produce different forms of literary art and creative ...
(as Madeline Brent), Christopher Wood (as Penny Sutton and Rosie Dixon), and Hugh C. Rae (as Jessica Sterling). A pen name may be used if a writer's real name is likely to be confused with the name of another writer or notable individual, or if the real name is deemed unsuitable. Authors who write both fiction and non-fiction, or in different genres, may use different pen names to avoid confusing their readers. For example, the romance writer
Nora Roberts Nora Roberts (born Eleanor Marie Robertson on October 10, 1950) is an American author of more than 225 romance novels. She writes as J. D. Robb for the ''in Death'' series and has also written under the pseudonyms Jill March and for publications ...
writes mystery novels under the name J. D. Robb. In some cases, an author may become better known by his pen name than his real name. Some famous examples of that include Samuel Clemens, writing as
Mark Twain Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), known by his pen name A pen name, also called a ''nom de plume'' () or a literary double, is a pseudonym A pseudonym () (originally: ψευδώνυμος in Greek) or ...

Mark Twain
, and Theodor Geisel, better known as
Dr. Seuss Theodor Seuss Geisel (;"Seuss"
''
Lewis Carroll Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (; 27 January 1832 – 14 January 1898), better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll, was an English writer of children's fiction, notably ''Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'' and its sequel ''Through the Looking-Glass'' ...

Lewis Carroll
and mathematical treatises under his own name. Some authors, such as
Harold Robbins Harold Robbins (May 21, 1916 – October 14, 1997) was an American author of popular novels. One of the best-selling writers of all time, he wrote over 25 best-sellers, selling over 750 million copies in 32 languages. Early life Robbins was b ...
, use several literary pseudonyms. Some pen names have been used for long periods, even decades, without the author's true identity being discovered, as with
Elena Ferrante Elena Ferrante () is a pseudonym A pseudonym () or alias () (originally: ψευδώνυμος in Greek) is a fictitious name that a person or group assumes for a particular purpose, which differs from their original or true name (orthonym). This ...
and
Torsten Krol Torsten Krol is an Australian writer resident in Queensland Queensland ( ,) is a state situated in northeastern Australia, and is the States and territories of Australia, second-largest and third-most populous Australian state. It is bordered ...
.
Joanne Rowling Joanne Rowling ( ;Rowling, J.K. (16 February 2007). Accio Quote (accio-quote.org). Retrieved 28 April 2008. born 31 July 1965), better known by her pen name A pen name, also called a ''nom de plume'' () or a literary double, is a pseudonym (o ...
published the ''
Harry Potter ''Harry Potter'' is a series of seven fantasy literature, fantasy novels written by British author J. K. Rowling. The novels chronicle the lives of a young Magician (fantasy), wizard, Harry Potter (character), Harry Potter, and his friends H ...

Harry Potter
'' series as J. K. Rowling. Rowling also published the
Cormoran Strike ''Cormoran Strike'' is a series of crime fiction novels written by British author J. K. Rowling, published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. The story chronicles the cases of private investigator, private detective Cormoran Strike and his p ...
series, a series of detective novels including '' The Cuckoo's Calling'' under the pseudonym "Robert Galbraith".
Winston Churchill Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, (30 November 187424 January 1965) was a British statesman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government The hea ...

Winston Churchill
wrote as Winston S. Churchill (from his full surname "Spencer-Churchill" which he did not otherwise use) in an attempt to avoid confusion with an American novelist of the same name. The attempt was not wholly successful – the two are still sometimes confused by booksellers. A pen name may be used specifically to hide the identity of the author, as with
exposé EXPOSE is a multi-user facility mounted outside the International Space Station dedicated to astrobiology. EXPOSE was developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) for Spaceflight, long-term spaceflights and was designed to allow exposure of chemica ...
books about espionage or crime, or explicit erotic fiction. Some prolific authors adopt a pseudonym to disguise the extent of their published output, e. g.
Stephen King Stephen Edwin King (born September 21, 1947) is an American author of , , , , , and novels. Described as the "King of Horror", a play on his surname and a reference to his high standing in pop culture, his books have sold more than 350  ...
writing as
Richard Bachman Richard Bachman's author photo, credited to Claudia Inez Bachman. The actual subject of the photo is Richard Manuel, the insurance agent of Kirby McCauley, who was Stephen King's literary agent">Kirby_McCauley.html" ;"title="insurance agent of Ki ...

Richard Bachman
. Co-authors may choose to publish under a collective pseudonym, e. g., P. J. Tracy and
Perri O'Shaughnessy Perri O'Shaughnessy is the pen name of the authors Mary and Pamela O'Shaughnessy, sisters who live in Northern California. Pamela, a Harvard Law School graduate, was a trial lawyer for sixteen years. Mary is a former editor and writer for multimedia ...
. Frederic Dannay and Manfred Lee used the name
Ellery Queen Ellery Queen is a pseudonym created in 1929 by American crime fiction Crime fiction, detective story, murder mystery, mystery novel, and police novel are terms used to describe narratives that centre on criminal acts and especially on the invest ...
as a pen name for their collaborative works and as the name of their main character.
Asa Earl Carter Asa Earl Carter (September 4, 1925 – June 7, 1979) was a 1950s Ku Klux Klan The Ku Klux Klan (), commonly shortened to the KKK or the Klan, is an American white supremacist Right-wing terrorism, terrorist hate group whose primary targets a ...
, a Southern white segregationist affiliated with the KKK, wrote Western books under a fictional Cherokee persona to imply legitimacy and conceal his history. "Why do authors choose pseudonyms? It is rarely because they actually hope to stay anonymous forever," mused writer and columnist Russell Smith in his review of the Canadian novel ''Into That Fire'' by the pseudonymous M. J. Cates. A famous case in French literature was
Romain Gary Romain Gary (; 2 December 1980), born Roman Kacew (also known by the pen name Émile Ajar), was a French novelist, diplomat, film director, and World War II aviator. He is the only author to have won the Prix Goncourt under two names. He is cons ...
. Already a well-known writer, he started publishing books as Émile Ajar to test whether his new books would be well received on their own merits, without the aid of his established reputation. They were: Émile Ajar, like Romain Gary before him, was awarded the prestigious
Prix Goncourt The Prix Goncourt (french: Le prix Goncourt, , ''The Goncourt Prize'') is a prize in French literature, given by the académie Goncourt to the author of "the best and most imaginative prose work of the year". Four other prizes are also awarded: ...
by a jury unaware that they were the same person. Similarly, TV actor
Ronnie Barker Ronald William George Barker (25 September 1929 – 3 October 2005) was an English actor, comedian and writer. He was known for roles in British comedy television series such as ''Porridge (TV series), Porridge'', ''The Two Ronnies'', and ...
submitted comedy material under the name Gerald Wiley. A collective pseudonym may represent an entire publishing house, or any contributor to a long-running series, especially with juvenile literature. Examples include
Watty Piper ''The Little Engine That Could'' is an American folktale (existing in the form of several illustrated children's books and films) that became widely known in the United States after publication in 1930 by Platt & Munk. The story is used to teach ...
,
Victor Appleton upright=1.05, Cover of ''The Moving Picture Boys on the War Front'' Victor Appleton was a house pseudonym used by the Stratemeyer Syndicate and its successors, most famous for being associated with the Tom Swift series of books. The following ser ...
,
Erin Hunter Erin Hunter is a collective pseudonym used by the authors Victoria Holmes, Kate Cary, Cherith Baldry, Inbali Iserles, Tui T. Sutherland, and Rosie Best in the writing of several juvenile fantasy novel series, which focus on animals and their adven ...
, and Kamiru M. Xhan. Another use of a pseudonym in literature is to present a story as being written by the fictional characters in the story. The series of novels known as ''
A Series of Unfortunate Events A Series of Unfortunate Events is a series of thirteen Children's literature, children's novels written by American author Daniel Handler under the pen name Lemony Snicket. The books follow the turbulent lives of List of A Series of Unfortunate E ...
'' are written by
Daniel Handler Daniel Handler (born February 28, 1970) is an American writer and musician. He is best known for his children's series '' A Series of Unfortunate Events'' and '' All the Wrong Questions'', published under the pseudonym Lemony Snicket Lemony Sn ...
under the pen name of
Lemony Snicket Lemony Snicket is the pen name of American novelist Daniel Handler (born February 28, 1970). Handler has published several children's books under the name, most notably ''A Series of Unfortunate Events'', which has sold over 60 million copies and ...
, a character in the series. This applies also to some of the several 18th-century English and American writers who used the name Fidelia. An anonymity pseudonym or
multiple-use name A multiple-use name or anonymity pseudonym is a name used by many different people to protect anonymity. It is a strategy that has been adopted by many unconnected radical and cultural groups, where the construct of personal identity has been critic ...
is a name used by many different people to protect anonymity. It is a strategy that has been adopted by many unconnected radical groups and by cultural groups, where the construct of personal identity has been criticised. This has led to the idea of the "open pop star".


Medicine

Pseudonyms and
acronym An acronym is a word In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign langu ...
s are often employed in medical research to protect subjects' identities through a process known as
de-identification De-identification is the process used to prevent someone's personal identity from being revealed. For example, data Data are units of information Information can be thought of as the resolution of uncertainty; it answers the question ...
.


Science

Nicolaus Copernicus Nicolaus Copernicus (; pl, Mikołaj Kopernik; gml, link=no, Niclas Koppernigk, modern: ''Nikolaus Kopernikus''; 19 February 1473 – 24 May 1543) was a Renaissance polymath, active as a mathematician, astronomer, and Catholic Church, C ...

Nicolaus Copernicus
put forward his theory of heliocentrism in the manuscript '' Commentariolus'' anonymously, in part because of his employment as a law clerk for a
church Church may refer to: Religion * Church (building) A church building, church house, or simply church, is a building used for Christian worship services and other Christian religious activities. The term is usually used to refer to the p ...

church
-government organization.
Sophie Germain Marie-Sophie Germain (; 1 April 1776 – 27 June 1831) was a French mathematician A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as qu ...

Sophie Germain
and
William Sealy Gosset William Sealy Gosset (13 June 1876 – 16 October 1937) was an English statistician, chemist and brewer who served as Head Brewer of Guinness and Head Experimental Brewer of Guinness and was a pioneer of modern statistics. He pioneered small samp ...

William Sealy Gosset
used pseudonyms to publish their work in the field of mathematics – Germain, to avoid rampant 19th century academic
misogyny Misogyny () is hatred or contempt for Woman, women. It is a form of sexism used to keep women at a lower social status than men, thus maintaining the societal roles of patriarchy. Misogyny has been widely practiced for thousands of years. I ...
, and Gosset, to avoid revealing brewing practices of his employer, the
Guinness Brewery St. James's Gate Brewery is a brewery founded in 1759 in Dublin Dublin (; , or ) is the capital and largest city of Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title ...

Guinness Brewery
.
Satoshi Nakamoto is the name used by the presumed pseudonym A pseudonym () (originally: ψευδώνυμος in Greek) or alias () is a fictitious name that a person or group assumes for a particular purpose, which differs from their original or true name ...

Satoshi Nakamoto
is a pseudonym of a still unknown author or authors' group behind a
white paper A white paper is a report or guide that informs readers concisely about a complex issue and presents the issuing body's philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Exis ...

white paper
about
bitcoin Bitcoin (₿) is a cryptocurrency A cryptocurrency, crypto-currency, or crypto is a collection of binary data which is designed to work as a medium of exchange. Individual coin ownership records are stored in a ledger, which is a comp ...

bitcoin
. In the field of physics, one case of use of multiple pseudonyms is denounced as fraud:
Ignazio Ciufolini Ignazio Ciufolini (born 1951) is an Italia Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Italian Peninsula, a peninsula delimited by the Alps and List of islands of ...
was accused of publishing two papers on the scientific preprint archive arXiv.org under two pseudonyms, each criticizing one of the rivals to
LAGEOS LAGEOS, Laser Geodynamics Satellite or Laser Geometric Environmental Observation Survey, are a series of two scientific research satellite In the context of spaceflight Spaceflight (or space flight) is an application of astronautics to ...
, what is argued to be a form of “sock puppetry”. Such conduct is a violation of arXiv terms of use.


Military and paramilitary organizations

In
Ancien Régime The Ancien Régime (; ; literally "old rule"), also known as the Old Regime was the political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms o ...
France, a ''nom de guerre'' ("war name") would be adopted by each new recruit (or assigned to them by the captain of their company) as they enlisted in the French army. These pseudonyms had an official character and were the predecessor of : soldiers were identified by their first names, their family names, and their ''noms de guerre'' (e. g. ''Jean Amarault dit Lafidélité''). These pseudonyms were usually related to the soldier's place of origin (e. g. ''Jean Deslandes dit Champigny'', for a soldier coming from a town named Champigny), or to a particular physical or personal trait (e. g. ''Antoine Bonnet dit Prettaboire'', for a soldier ''prêt à boire'', ready to drink). In 1716, a ''nom de guerre'' was mandatory for every soldier; officers did not adopt ''noms de guerre'' as they considered them derogatory. In daily life, these aliases could replace the real family name. ''Noms de guerre'' were adopted for security reasons by members of World War II
French resistance The French Resistance (french: La Résistance) was a collection of organisations who fought the Nazi occupation of France The Military Administration in France (german: Militärverwaltung in Frankreich; french: Occupation de la France par l ...
and Polish resistance. Such pseudonyms are often adopted by military special-forces soldiers, such as members of the SAS and similar units of resistance fighters, terrorists, and
guerrillas#REDIRECT Guerrilla warfare Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare Irregular warfare (IW) is defined in United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a countr ...
. This practice hides their identities and may protect their families from reprisals; it may also be a form of dissociation from domestic life. Some well-known men who adopted ''noms de guerre'' include Carlos, for Ilich Ramírez Sánchez;
Willy Brandt Willy Brandt (; born Herbert Ernst Karl Frahm; 18 December 1913 – 8 October 1992) was a German politician and statesman who was leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany The Social Democratic Party of Germany (german: Sozialdemokrati ...

Willy Brandt
,
Chancellor Chancellor ( la, links=no, cancellarius) is a title of various official positions in the governments of many nations. The original chancellors were the ''cancellarii Cancelli are lattice-work, placed before a window, a door-way, the tribunal o ...
of
West Germany West Germany is the common English name for the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG; german: Bundesrepublik Deutschland , BRD) between its formation on 23 May 1949 and the German reunification German reunification (german: Deutsche Wieder ...
; and
Subcomandante Marcos Rafael Sebastián Guillén Vicente (born 19 June 1957) is a Mexican insurgent, the former military leader and spokesman for the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) in the ongoing Chiapas conflict,Pasztor, S. B. (2004). Marcos, Subcomanda ...

Subcomandante Marcos
, spokesman of the
Zapatista Army of National Liberation The Zapatista Army of National Liberation (''Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional'', EZLN), often referred to as the Zapatistas (), is a libertarian socialist political and militant group that controls a substantial amount of territory in ...
(EZLN). During
Lehi Lehi (; he, לח"י – לוחמי חרות ישראל ''Lohamei Herut Israel – Lehi'', "Fighters for the Freedom of Israel – Lehi"), often known pejoratively as the Stern Gang,"This group was known to its friends as LEHI and to its enemies ...
's underground fight against the British in
Mandatory Palestine Mandatory Palestine ( ar, فلسطين '; he, פָּלֶשְׂתִּינָה (א"י) ', where "E.Y." indicates ''Ērētz Yīśrā'ēl'', the Land of Israel The Land of Israel () is the traditional Jewish name for an area of indefini ...
, the organization's commander Yitzchak Shamir (later Prime Minister of Israel) adopted the ''nom de guerre'' "Michael", in honour of Ireland's Michael Collins. Revolutionaries and resistance leaders, such as
Lenin Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov. ( 1870 – 21 January 1924), better known by his alias Lenin,. was a Russian revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. He served as the first and founding Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of th ...

Lenin
,
Trotsky Lev Davidovich Bronstein ( – 21 August 1940), better known as Leon Trotsky; uk, link= no, Лев Давидович Троцький; also transliterated ''Lyev'', ''Trotski'', ''Trotskij'', ''Trockij'' and ''Trotzky''. (), was a Russian Ma ...

Trotsky
,
Golda Meir Golda Meir, ; ar, جولدا مائير, Jūldā Māʾīr., group=nb (born Golda Mabovitch; May 3, 1898 – December 8, 1978; married name Meyerson/Myerson between 1917-1956) was an Israeli politician, teacher, and ''kibbutz A kibbutz ( h ...

Golda Meir
,
Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque Philippe François Marie Leclerc de Hauteclocque (22 November 1902 – 28 November 1947) was a Free-French general during the Second World War. He became Marshal of France posthumously in 1952, and is known in France simply as le maréchal L ...
, and
Josip Broz Tito Josip Broz ( sh-Cyrl, Јосип Броз, ; 7 May 1892 – 4 May 1980), commonly known as Tito (; sh-Cyrl, Тито, links=no, ), was a Yugoslav communist Communism (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belon ...

Josip Broz Tito
, often adopted their ''noms de guerre'' as their proper names after the struggle.
George GrivasGeorge may refer to: People * George (given name) * George (surname) Places Australia * Lake George (New South Wales) South Africa * George, Western Cape ** George Airport United States * George, Iowa * George, Missouri * George, Washington * Ge ...
, the Greek-Cypriot
EOKA The Ethniki Organosis Kyprion Agoniston (EOKA; ; el, Εθνική Οργάνωσις Κυπρίων Αγωνιστών, lit=National Organisation of Cypriot Fighters) was a Greek Cypriot nationalist paramilitary organisation that fought a campaig ...
militant, adopted the ''nom de guerre'' Digenis (Διγενής). In the
French Foreign Legion The Foreign Legion (french: Légion étrangère'')'' is a body of the French Army The French Army, officially the Ground Army (french: Armée de Terre , ) to distinguish it from the French Air and Space Force The French Air and Space ...
, recruits can adopt a pseudonym to break with their past lives. Mercenaries have long used "noms de guerre", sometimes even multiple identities, depending on the country, conflict, and circumstance. Some of the most familiar noms de guerre today are the kunya used by Islamic
mujahideen ''Mujahideen'', or ''Mujahidin'' ( ar, مُجَاهِدِين, mujāhidīn), is the plural form of ''mujahid'' ( ar, مجاهد, mujāhid, strugglers or strivers or justice, right conduct, Godly rule, etc. doers of jihād), an Arabic term th ...
. These take the form of a
teknonym Teknonymy (from grc-gre, τέκνον, "child" and grc-gre, ὄνομα, label=none, "name"), hence the noun teknonym or teknonymic, more often known as a paedonymic, is the practice of referring to parents by the names of their children. This p ...
, either literal or figurative.


Online activity

Individuals using a computer
online In computer technology and telecommunications Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over , radio, , or other systems. It has its origin in the desire of humans for communication over a dista ...

online
may adopt or be required to use a form of pseudonym known as a "handle" (a term deriving from
CB slang CB slang is the distinctive anti-language A cant is the jargon or language of a group, often employed to exclude or mislead people outside the group.McArthur, T. (ed.) ''The Oxford Companion to the English Language'' (1992) Oxford University Press ...
), "
user User may refer to: Ancient Egyptian roles * User (ancient Egyptian official)User was an ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization of Ancient history, ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile, Nile Rive ...
name", "
login In computer security Computer security, cybersecurity, or information technology security (IT security) is the protection of computer system A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out Sequence, sequences of arith ...
name", "
avatar An avatar (Sanskrit: अवतार, IAST: ; ), a concept in Hinduism that means "descent", is the material appearance or incarnation of a deity on earth. The relative verb to "alight, to make one's appearance" is sometimes used to refer to a ...
", or, sometimes, " screen name", "
gamertag Xbox network, formerly Xbox Live, is an Internet, online multiplayer video game, multiplayer gaming and digital media delivery service created and operated by Microsoft. It was first made available to the Xbox (console), Xbox system on November ...
" "IGN (In Game (Nick)Name)" or "
nickname A nickname (also moniker) is a substitute for the proper name of a familiar person, place or thing. Commonly used to express affection, a form of endearment, and sometimes amusement, it can also be used to express defamation of character De ...
". On the Internet,
pseudonymous remailerA pseudonymous remailer or nym server, as opposed to an anonymous remailer, is an Internet The Internet (Capitalization of Internet, or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol su ...
s use
cryptography Cryptography, or cryptology (from grc, , translit=kryptós "hidden, secret"; and ''graphein'', "to write", or ''-logia ''-logy'' is a suffix in the English language, used with words originally adapted from Ancient Greek ending in (''- ...

cryptography
that achieves persistent
pseudonymity A pseudonym () or alias () (originally: ψευδώνυμος in Greek) is a fictitious name that a person or group assumes for a particular purpose, which differs from their original or true name ( orthonym). This also differs from a new name that ...
, so that two-way communication can be achieved, and reputations can be established, without linking physical to their respective pseudonyms.
Aliasing In signal processing Signal processing is an electrical engineering subfield that focuses on analysing, modifying, and synthesizing signals such as audio signal processing, sound, image processing, images, and scientific measurements. Sig ...
is the use of multiple names for the same data location. More sophisticated cryptographic systems, such as anonymous
digital credential Digital credentials are the digital equivalent of paper-based credentials. Just as a paper-based credential could be a passport, a driver's license, a membership certificate or some kind of ticket to obtain some service, such as a cinema ticket or a ...
s, enable users to communicate pseudonymously (i. e., by identifying themselves by means of pseudonyms). In well-defined abuse cases, a designated authority may be able to revoke the pseudonyms and reveal the individuals' real identity. Use of pseudonyms is common among professional
eSports Esports (also known as electronic sports, e-sports, or eSports) is a form of competition using video game#REDIRECT Video game A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface or input device such as a joy ...
players, despite the fact that many professional games are played on
LAN A local area network (LAN) is a computer network A computer network is a set of s sharing resources located on or provided by . The computers use common s over to communicate with each other. These interconnections are made up of te ...

LAN
. Pseudonymity has become an important phenomenon on the Internet and other computer networks. In computer networks, pseudonyms possess varying degrees of anonymity, ranging from highly linkable ''public pseudonyms'' (the link between the pseudonym and a human being is publicly known or easy to discover), potentially linkable ''non-public pseudonyms'' (the link is known to system operators but is not publicly disclosed), and ''unlinkable pseudonyms'' (the link is not known to system operators and cannot be determined). For example, true
anonymous remailer An anonymous remailer is a server that receives messages with embedded instructions on where to send them next, and that forwards them without revealing where they originally came from. There are cypherpunk anonymous remailerA cypherpunk anonymou ...
enables Internet users to establish unlinkable pseudonyms; those that employ non-public pseudonyms (such as the now-defunct
Penet remailer The Penet remailer () was a pseudonymous remailer operated by Johan "Julf" Helsingius of Finland from 1993 to 1996. Its initial creation stemmed from an argument in a Finnish Usenet newsgroup, newsgroup over whether people should be required to t ...
) are called
pseudonymous remailerA pseudonymous remailer or nym server, as opposed to an anonymous remailer, is an Internet The Internet (Capitalization of Internet, or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol su ...
s. The continuum of unlinkability can also be seen, in part, on Wikipedia. Some registered users make no attempt to disguise their real identities (for example, by placing their real name on their user page). The pseudonym of unregistered users is their
IP address An Internet Protocol address (IP address) is a numerical label such as that is connected to a computer network A computer network is a set of s sharing resources located on or provided by . The computers use common s over to communi ...
, which can, in many cases, easily be linked to them. Other registered users prefer to remain anonymous, and do not disclose identifying information. However, in certain cases, permits system administrators to consult the server logs to determine the IP address, and perhaps the true name, of a registered user. It is possible, in theory, to create an unlinkable Wikipedia pseudonym by using an
Open proxy An open proxy is a proxy server that is accessible by any Internet The Internet (Capitalization of Internet, or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to commun ...
, a Web server that disguises the user's IP address. But most open proxy addresses are blocked indefinitely due to their frequent use by vandals. Additionally, Wikipedia's public record of a user's interest areas, writing style, and argumentative positions may still establish an identifiable pattern. System operators (
sysops A sysop (; an abbreviation of system operator) is an administrator of a multi-user computer system, such as a bulletin board system A bulletin board system or BBS (also called ''Computer Bulletin Board Service'', ''CBBS'') is a computer server ...
) at sites offering pseudonymity, such as Wikipedia, are not likely to build unlinkability into their systems, as this would render them unable to obtain information about abusive users quickly enough to stop vandalism and other undesirable behaviors. Law enforcement personnel, fearing an avalanche of illegal behavior, are equally unenthusiastic. Still, some users and privacy activists like the
American Civil Liberties Union The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is a nonprofit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for ...
believe that Internet users deserve stronger pseudonymity so that they can protect themselves against identity theft, illegal government surveillance, stalking, and other unwelcome consequences of Internet use (including unintentional disclosures of their personal information and
doxing Doxing or doxxing is the act of publicly revealing previously private personal information Personal data, also known as personal information or personally identifiable information (PII) is any information relating to an identifiable person. ...
, as discussed in the next section). Their views are supported by laws in some nations (such as Canada) that guarantee citizens a right to speak using a pseudonym. This right does not, however, give citizens the right to demand publication of pseudonymous speech on equipment they do not own.


=Confidentiality

= Most Web sites that offer pseudonymity retain information about users. These sites are often susceptible to unauthorized intrusions into their non-public database systems. For example, in 2000, a Welsh teenager obtained information about more than 26,000 credit card accounts, including that of Bill Gates. In 2003, VISA and MasterCard announced that intruders obtained information about 5.6 million credit cards. Sites that offer pseudonymity are also vulnerable to confidentiality breaches. In a study of a Web dating service and a
pseudonymous remailerA pseudonymous remailer or nym server, as opposed to an anonymous remailer, is an Internet The Internet (Capitalization of Internet, or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol su ...
,
University of Cambridge , mottoeng = Literal: From here, light and sacred draughts. Non literal: From this place, we gain enlightenment and precious knowledge. , established = , other_name = The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of ...
researchers discovered that the systems used by these Web sites to protect user data could be easily compromised, even if the pseudonymous channel is protected by strong encryption. Typically, the protected pseudonymous channel exists within a broader framework in which multiple vulnerabilities exist. Pseudonym users should bear in mind that, given the current state of Web security engineering, their true names may be revealed at any time.


=Online reputations

= Pseudonymity is an important component of the reputation systems found in online auction services (such as
eBay eBay Inc. ( ) is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational sta ...
), discussion sites (such as
Slashdot ''Slashdot'' (sometimes abbreviated as ''/.'') is a social news A social news website is a website that features User (system), user-posted stories. Such stories are ranked based on popularity, as voted on by other users of the site or by website ...

Slashdot
), and collaborative knowledge development sites (such as Wikipedia). A pseudonymous user who has acquired a favorable reputation gains the trust of other users. When users believe that they will be rewarded by acquiring a favorable reputation, they are more likely to behave in accordance with the site's policies. If users can obtain new pseudonymous identities freely or at a very low cost, reputation-based systems are vulnerable to whitewashing attacks, also called ''serial pseudonymity'', in which abusive users continuously discard their old identities and acquire new ones in order to escape the consequences of their behavior: "On the Internet, nobody knows that yesterday you were a dog, and therefore should be in the doghouse today." Users of Internet communities who have been banned only to return with new identities are called sock puppets. Whitewashing is one specific form of Sybil attack on distributed systems. The social cost of cheaply discarded pseudonyms is that experienced users lose confidence in new users, and may subject new users to abuse until they establish a good reputation. System operators may need to remind experienced users that most newcomers are well-intentioned (see, for example, ). Concerns have also been expressed about sock puppets exhausting the supply of easily remembered usernames. In addition a recent research paper demonstrated that people behave in a potentially more aggressive manner when using pseudonyms/nicknames (due to the online disinhibition effect) as opposed to being completely anonymous. In contrast, research by the blog comment hosting service Disqus found pseudonymous users contributed the "highest quantity and quality of comments", where "quality" is based on an aggregate of likes, replies, flags, spam reports, and comment deletions, and found that users trusted pseudonyms and real names equally. Researchers at the University of Cambridge showed that pseudonymous comments tended to be more substantive and engaged with other users in explanations, justifications, and chains of argument, and less likely to use insults, than either fully anonymous or real name comments. Proposals have been made to raise the costs of obtaining new identities, such as by charging a small fee or requiring e-mail confirmation. Academic research has proposed cryptographic methods to pseudonymize social media identities or government-issued identities, to accrue and use ''anonymous reputation'' in online forums, or to obtain one-per-person and hence less readily-discardable pseudonyms periodically at physical-world ''pseudonym parties''. Others point out that Wikipedia's success is attributable in large measure to its nearly non-existent initial participation costs.


Privacy

People seeking privacy often use pseudonyms to make appointments and reservations. Those writing to advice columns in newspapers and magazines may use pseudonyms. Steve Wozniak used a pseudonym when attending the University of California, Berkeley after co-founding Apple Computer, because "I knew I wouldn't have time enough to be an A+ student."


Stage names

When used by an actor, musician, radio disc jockey, model, or other performer or "show business" personality a pseudonym is called a ''stage name'', or, occasionally, a ''professional name'', or ''screen name''.


Film, theatre, and related activities

Members of a marginalized ethnic or religious group have often adopted stage names, typically changing their surname or entire name to mask their original background. Stage names are also used to create a more marketable name, as in the case of Creighton Tull Chaney, who adopted the pseudonym Lon Chaney, Jr., a reference to his famous father Lon Chaney, Sr. Chris Curtis of Deep Purple fame was christened as Christopher Crummey ("crumby" is UK slang for poor quality). In this and similar cases a stage name is adopted simply to avoid an unfortunate pun. Pseudonyms are also used to comply with the rules of performing-arts guilds (Screen Actors Guild (SAG), Writers Guild of America, East (WGA), AFTRA, etc.), which do not allow performers to use an existing name, in order to avoid confusion. For example, these rules required film and television actor Michael Fox to add a middle initial and become Michael J. Fox, to avoid being confused with another actor named Michael Fox (American actor), Michael Fox. This was also true of author and actress Fannie Flagg, who chose this pseudonym; her real name, Patricia Neal, being the name of Patricia Neal, another well-known actress; and British actor Stewart Granger, whose real name was James Stewart. The film-making team of Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan Coen, for instance, share credit for editing under the alias Roderick Jaynes. Some stage names are used to conceal a person's identity, such as the pseudonym Alan Smithee, which was used by directors in the Directors Guild of America (DGA) to remove their name from a film they feel was edited or modified beyond their artistic satisfaction. In theatre, the pseudonyms George Spelvin (pseudonym), George or Georgina Spelvin, and Walter Plinge are used to hide the identity of a performer, usually when he or she is "doubling" (playing more than one role in the same play). David Agnew was a name used by the BBC to conceal the identity of a scriptwriter, such as for the Doctor Who serial City of Death, which had three writers, including Douglas Adams, who was at the time of writing the show's Script Editor. In another Doctor Who serial, The Brain of Morbius, writer Terrance Dicks demanded the removal of his name from the credits saying it could go out under a "bland pseudonym". This ended up as ''Robin Bland''.


Music

Musicians and singers can use pseudonyms to allow artists to collaborate with artists on other labels while avoiding the need to gain permission from their own labels, such as the artist Jerry Samuels, who made songs under Napoleon XIV. Rock singer-guitarist George Harrison, for example, played guitar on Cream (band), Cream's song "Badge (song), Badge" using a pseudonym. In classical music, some record companies issued recordings under a ''nom de disque'' in the 1950s and 1960s to avoid paying royalties. A number of popular budget LPs of piano music were released under the pseudonym Paul Procopolis. Another example is that Paul McCartney used his fictional name "Bernerd Webb" for Peter and Gordon's song Woman (Paul McCartney song), Woman. Pseudonyms are used as stage names in Heavy metal music, heavy metal bands, such as Tracii Guns in LA Guns, Axl Rose and Slash (musician), Slash in Guns N' Roses, Mick Mars in Mötley Crüe, Dimebag Darrell in Pantera, or C.C. Deville in Poison (American band), Poison. Some such names have additional meanings, like that of Brian Hugh Warner, more commonly known as Marilyn Manson: Marilyn coming from Marilyn Monroe and Manson from convicted serial killer Charles Manson. Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach went under the name "Coby Dick" during the ''Infest (album), Infest'' era. He changed back to his birth name when ''lovehatetragedy'' was released. David Johansen, front man for the hard rock band New York Dolls, recorded and performed pop and lounge music under the pseudonym Buster Poindexter in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The music video for Poindexter's debut single, Hot Hot Hot (Arrow song)#Buster Poindexter version, Hot Hot Hot, opens with a monologue from Johansen where he notes his time with the New York Dolls and explains his desire to create more sophisticated music. Ross Bagdasarian, Sr., creator of Alvin and the Chipmunks, wrote original songs, arranged, and produced the records under his real name, but performed on them as David Seville. He also wrote songs as Skipper Adams. Danish pop pianist Bent Fabric, whose full name is Bent Fabricius-Bjerre, wrote his biggest instrumental hit "Alley Cat (song), Alley Cat" as Frank Bjorn. For a time, the musician Prince (musician), Prince used an unpronounceable "Prince (musician)#Pseudonyms, Love Symbol" as a pseudonym ("Prince" is his actual first name rather than a stage name). He wrote the song "Sugar Walls" for Sheena Easton as "Alexander Nevermind" and "Manic Monday" for The Bangles as "Christopher Tracy". (He also produced albums early in his career as "Jamie Starr"). Many Italian-American singers have used stage names, as their birth names were difficult to pronounce or considered too ethnic for American tastes. Singers changing their names included Dean Martin (born Dino Paul Crocetti), Connie Francis (born Concetta Franconero), Frankie Valli (born Francesco Castelluccio), Tony Bennett (born Anthony Benedetto), and Lady Gaga (born Stefani Germanotta) In 2009, the British rock band Feeder (band), Feeder briefly changed its name to Renegades (band), Renegades so it could play a whole show featuring a set list in which 95 per cent of the songs played were from their forthcoming new album of the same name, with none of their singles included. Front man Grant Nicholas felt that if they played as Feeder, there would be uproar over him not playing any of the singles, so used the pseudonym as a hint. A series of small shows were played in 2010, at 250- to 1,000-capacity venues with the plan not to say who the band really are and just announce the shows as if they were a new band. In many cases, hip-hop and rap artists prefer to use pseudonyms that represents some variation of their name, personality, or interests. Examples include Iggy Azalea (her stage name is a combination of her dog's name, Iggy, and her home street in Mullumbimby, Azalea Street), Ol' Dirty Bastard (known under at least six aliases), Sean Combs, Diddy (previously known at various times as Puffy, P. Diddy, and Puff Daddy), Ludacris, Flo Rida (whose stage name is a tribute to his home state, Florida), British-Jamaican hip-hop artist Stefflon Don (real name Stephanie Victoria Allen), LL Cool J, and Chingy. Black metal artists also adopt pseudonyms, usually symbolizing dark values, such as Nocturno Culto, Gaahl, Abbath, and Silenoz. In punk and hardcore punk, singers and band members often replace real names with tougher-sounding stage names such as Sid Vicious (real name John Simon Ritchie) of the late 1970s band Sex Pistols and "Rat" of the early 1980s band The Varukers and the 2000s re-formation of Discharge (band), Discharge. The punk rock band The Ramones had every member take the last name of Ramone. Henry John Deutschendorf Jr., an American singer-songwriter, used the stage name John Denver. The Australian country musician born Robert Lane changed his name to Tex Morton. Reginald Kenneth Dwight legally changed his name in 1972 to Elton John.


See also

*Alter ego *Anonymity *Anonymous post *Anonymous remailer *Bugō *Courtesy name *Code name *Confidentiality *Data haven *Digital signature *Friend-to-friend *Heteronym (literature), Heteronym *Hypocorism *John Doe *List of Latinised names *List of placeholder names by language *List of pseudonyms *List of pseudonyms used in the American Constitutional debates *List of stage names *Mononymous person *Nickname *Nym server *Nymwars *Onion routing *Penet.fi *Placeholder name *Placeholder names in cryptography *Pseudepigrapha *Pseudonymization *Pseudonymous Bosch *Pseudonymous remailer *Public key encryption *Secret identity


Notes


Sources

*Peschke, Michael. 2006. ''International Encyclopedia of Pseudonyms.'' Detroit: Gale. . *Room, Adrian. 2010. ''Dictionary of Pseudonyms: 13,000 Assumed Names and Their Origins.'' 5th rev. ed. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co. .


External links


A site with pseudonyms for celebrities and entertainersThe U.S. copyright status of pseudonyms