What Did Your AIM Screen Name Say About You?

Designed by Abbie Winters.
Before the days of Snapchat, Facebook, iMessage, and even MySpace, AOL Instant Messenger was the chat network that sucked up all of our time and had the power to redefine the middle school lunch table hierarchy. Our AIM personas were carefully crafted, and based upon that now-mortifying reminder of our younger selves: the screen name.

This was the identifier that showed up on the "Buddy List," that accompanied our away statuses, and that our crush would see when we sent a flirty pre-teen message. It often included random numbers, extra letters for no reason, and capital letters in odd places. Some screen names were an indicator of how we wanted to be seen (at the time). Others were immature jokes among friends.

We asked 12 people to share their hilarious screen names and the inspiration (or lack thereof) behind them. Click through for a reminder of your own time spent with the little yellow running man.
1 of 13
Designed by Abbie Winters.
"Oh my god, deep teenage pretension content warning: mine was [RebelFromTheWaistDown] in reference to a line from 1984 and including the brackets. But I never really got that people might interpret that as a sexual thing. What a dreadful fucking 13-year-old."

— Nicholas, 27
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2 of 13
Designed by Abbie Winters.
"I knew I wanted 'monster' in the name — but I didn't like the mall and had no special connection to 300!"

— Kelsey, 26
3 of 13
Designed by Abbie Winters.
"It was an idea for a band name my friends and I came up with one night. The band never materialized. But bootysmak was my handle for years on AOL, eBay, etc.. I phased it out after grad school because I didn't want people to get the wrong idea. I finally let go of the domain name last year."

— Jake, 40
4 of 13
Designed by Abbie Winters.
"I caught so much flak for it. I was like, 11 and was eating a peppermint patty and thought hey, patty rhymes with Mattie! It was a phase where everyone was creating a new screenname every week, and I figured I'd give it a go. No one got it."

- Mattie, 26
5 of 13
Designed by Abbie Winters.
"I was really into Lord Of The Rings and had a huge teenage crush on Viggo Mortensen's Aragorn, which all of my friends thought was really weird since everyone was in love with Orlando Bloom's Legolas."

— Maddy, 26
6 of 13
Designed by Abbie Winters.
"Kosherhotdog14 was basically a jewish penis joke that my friends helped me come up with when I was 12, maybe? It's ridiculous."

— Scott, 26
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7 of 13
Designed by Abbie Winters.
"I wanted to do something that was 'fun and flirty' but not slutty — middle school me was very concerned about that — so it was 'charming chicka.' But I had to be cool so I did the weird caps thing. And my favorite number was 6."

— Juliana, 25
8 of 13
Designed by Abbie Winters.
"I was a shopping-obsessed tween with too much time on her hands to spend at the mall — and in Roslyn Middle School chat rooms."

— Rachel, 32
9 of 13
Designed by Abbie Winters.
"'Lovely' was taken."

— Emily, 28
10 of 13
Designed by Abbie Winters.
"My name is Sung and I was the hero no one recognized."

— Sung, 36
11 of 13
Designed by Abbie Winters.
"I grew up in California and used to surf when I was younger. This was also around the same time that Blue Crush came out so obviously I wanted to be like them. I put a huge Roxy sticker on the front of my surfboard like the surfer girls who are sponsored by Roxy do."

— Jordan, 26
12 of 13
Designed by Abbie Winters.
"I was in third grade, I liked Star Wars, and Jedi Master seemed too obvious. So I thought Star King was a better, more subtle approach."

— Cole, 25
13 of 13
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