Geek Feminism Wiki

Real name is a term used to describe a name which is considered to represent a person's true identity.

The term is problematic because it can be used to mean many different things:

  • The name that appears on your Government-issued ID (aka Wallet name)
  • A name that is similar to the one on your Government-issued ID, but may include slight variations ("Jen" for "Jennifer", etc.) Note that the use of nicknames may not be perceived as appropriate if the names/nicknames are not WASP names.
  • The name that most people know you by, regardless of its resemblance to your Wallet name. This is also, sometimes, called Common name.
  • The name that you call yourself, whether other people call you it or not.

It's often a bad idea to use the term "Real name" because people will conflate these different meanings.