A Study in Nomenclature

Pen names are interestingly unusual things; their origin stories are often just as interesting. Share yours here!

Historically, origins of various pen names are often just as interesting as the pen name itself.  Sam Clemens, after going through several names ranging from "Josh" to "Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass," finally settled on a Mississippi steamboat term meaning two leagues: Mark Twain.  William Sydney Porter, one story goes, created his pen name while in an Ohio penitentiary, using the first two letters of the first two words, then the second, third, and last two of the second word: O. Henry.  Edward Gorey apparently has several pen names, many of them anagrams of his name.

Around Protagonize, and other writing sites like it, folks often opt to use a pen name as opposed to their real name.  And, like most other pen names, there's usually a story behind it.  I know of a few of those stories, but I figured that: 1) they're much too good to not be told, 2) other people are surely curious about them, and 3) it'd be nice to have a bunch of those stories in one spot.

So... whether its an origin story, an explanation of its significance, or others' reactions to it, tell us about your pen name!

The End

69 comments about this story Feed