The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Your Roller Derby Name

So, you’ve decided you want to be a roller derby girl. You’ve gathered your gear, paid your dues, and you’ve been taking your hits on the fresh meat rink. You’re getting ready to graduate from bootcamp and join the big girls. You’re in it to win it—so the time has come to get yourself the perfect moniker. Choosing the right roller derby name is an art, so whether you’re brainstorming or narrowing down your choices, be sure to consider the following bits of advice.

1. Make it memorable. The most classic derby names are short, sweet, and have a pun that the general audience can follow. Often, names are plays off of female names. Personally, I think it’s hard to beat our own Pia Mess. All the better if your number plays into the joke too—Pia’s is 24/7.

2. Watch the spelling and pronunciation. In the day of search engines and decreasing spelling aptitude, consider how your name is pronounced and spelled. It should be as grammatically sensible as possible. If you pick something obtuse and difficult to pronounce, don’t blame the announcers when they mangle it at every bout or bitch at that one teammate who always seems to get it wrong no matter how many times you correct her—you did it to yourself.

3. Consider the length. You don’t want your name to be a mouthful. It will be a pain in the ass to fit it on your jersey, your helmet, and signs from your fans. If you’re the crafty type, you’re going to find yourself spending a small fortune paying for the extra letters. If you are insistent on a long name…

4. …be prepared for the nickname. SVRG’s MisTits picked her name because of her love of the band The Misfits and her fine rack. When we address her, though, it’s “Tits” or “Titties.” Fortunately, she has the swagger to pull it off—but if this is a fate you’re not prepared for, be sure to consider all the ways your name can be shortened. If there’s no logical way to shorten it to something cute and convenient, be prepared for people to give up and use your real name (which may or may not be what you prefer.)

5. Think twice about in-jokes. Really, this is a personal preference. If you and your friends think your name is clever and you like it, go for it—but expect to explain the whole story every time someone asks you where your name came from, and then be prepared for the blank look and disappointed “oh” when you’re done, because in-jokes aren’t nearly as funny with the out-crowd.

6. Don’t date yourself. Avoid slang and trends that are likely to fall out of fashion. Hell, you could be on skates for the next decade—so you don’t want to be stuck with the same kind of awkwardness as you feel now when your parents talk about bling. On the same note, if you’re looking to cop a celebrity name, be sure to stick to A-listers with durable careers. Gotham’s Beyonslay or Santa Cruz’s Angelina Rollie can rest assured their superstar names will stand the test of time, but if you play off of Heidi Montag, Kate Gosselin, or some American Idol, no one is going to get it once those famewhores’ 15 minutes are up.

7. Think about your rating. Would you rate your name PG, PG-13, or R? Consider your team’s norms and market—some are more conservative and family-oriented, whereas others limit their team and bouts to the 21+ crowd. Our team readily hosts Se7en Year Bitch and Bitch Puddin’, but if someone adopted the name Shitty McFuckface, eyebrows would be raised. Consider what people around you would think. If you blush at the thought of your grandparents, boss, kids, students, etc., finding out your derby name, then you better keep your fingers crossed they never come watch you play or see your jersey in the laundry pile.

8. Avoid similarity to other registered names, especially your teammates’. If your name is too similar to a registered one, there’s a good chance it will get rejected. Our own Secret Servix changed her name to Postal Servix because her name was too similar to a Colorado team. Be particularly careful not to choose something too close to a teammate’s name—not only do you not want to step on her toes or cramp her style, but more importantly, you don’t want to cause any confusion on the track when someone is hollering at you.

9. Try it out. Um, you wouldn’t buy a car without test driving it, right? So, run it by your teammates. See if you can stand being called by it—this is also a good way to determine what the working (shortened) version is going to be.

10. Get it registered—and have a backup plan. Recently SVRG’s Smashleigh found out her name was never registered, and by the time it was submitted, it was too similar to another skater’s to be accepted. It may take your team’s designated name register-er a while to collect the list, and there is often a backlog on the site, so be prepared for the possibility of rejection based on duplication even if your name seemed unique at the time. Come up with a backup name that you also like, and don’t get too attached to your first choice until it’s final.

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36 Comments

Filed under Roller Derby

36 responses to “The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Your Roller Derby Name

  1. Arcady

    Also, numbers can, and often are, fairly loosely defined. C is a valid number for example, as is 3e8, or this one: http://bostonderbydames.com/index.cfm?cdid=10659. If I ever got involved in roller derby, I’d use the full power of unicode and be number ☭.

  2. Blanca Basura

    Oh man! I really wanted to be Shitty McFuckface.
    Only in spirit I guess…

    P.S. I F*CKING LOVE THIS BLOG!

  3. Jen

    Oh man I just about lost my soup through my nose when i read “Shitty McFuckface” .. lol – great list btw 🙂

  4. retoxfox

    If you are fresh meat and wanting more information on the name-choosing process, follow the trials of Daisy and Rachel from Santa Cruz:
    http://fmwannabe.blogspot.com/

  5. Just letting you know your site wont let me comment on any of your older posts

    • retoxfox

      All posts are mediated, and some posts don’t have commenting enabled just to keep the spam at bay. PM me if there’s a specific post you want to comment on and I’ll see what I can do.

  6. KT

    Anyone, please help!! I need a roller derby name that is creative and just fits!!
    I am 24
    I am 5’5
    I am a stocky girl and not very girly.
    I am really into the 70’s and classic rock and Peace, Love, Hippie type stuff so something with those incorporated would be awesome. I am just stuck and cannot think of anything!!

  7. rawrprincess

    hey! I would LOVE a roller derby name but im stuck!
    I am short 5’2” and very petite. I love Lady Gaga, and music in general. I love punk rock, and ANYTHING that sparkles. My name is Chylan (pronounced Shy-lynn) so if that culd be incorporated in any way… please help!

  8. roller derby forever

    well i had a name and i checked and its taken i was wondering if anybody could help find a name!?! im 5’6″ i love anything derby i also love music and my name is alexis

    • Fox

      Hmmm, that’s not much info to go on, but when I hear the name “Alexis” I think it almost sounds like “Electric,” which you could play off of. Other things that come to mind are exes, Texas, Lexus, axis. Or start with words that begin with ex- and add L, like “Lex-periment” or “Lex-plosion.” I don’t know what your taste in music is like, but you might find a band or song you like that you can work with. (e.g., “Lextraordinary Machine” if you like Fiona Apple).

  9. Jessica Ferracane

    Aloha! This blog is tits. Way too good.

  10. sheri barrie

    Had a name, but its taken
    5 feet
    39
    mother of 2
    totally out of my zone, but having a blast
    love country & rock
    need a name….HELP

    • Shawn

      You could play off of a country musician like gertha blocks (garth brooks) or glintie block (clint black ) guys names tweaked seem to be easier foe me for some reason. play off reba mcintyre Ruffie Flattyre take some or you favs and tweak them again there is not much going on in your description but there you go. 2 kids means double if you are looking for blocking you could say wide and country screams trailer. just a thought but im country and that is almost offensive like i care.

  11. Poetic Spit Fire

    Hey my name is Hilda, i’ve been playing derby for a while now and i just made it into the seattle derby brats ! woohoo! And im am having an etremely hard time finding a name. Im a poet, im latina, im short im bout 5’2 and im curvy ! I am girly i love bright colors but im tough and most wouldnt assume it when they see me. so please help, im open to any sugestions.

  12. peaches 'n' scream

    hey, my name is Hanna, im 19, 5ft 7 ish, and desperately need a wicked Derby name, had a few ideas but all sounded kinda childish without much depth…… distillers and the spinnerettes are my fave bands so any names thats could incorporate that in some way would be awsome……any suggestions please help!

  13. Linzee

    Freshmeat needs a killer derby name any suggestions with the name Linzee with fire red hair booya

  14. melissa florek

    i just joined a derby team and i am having a hard time finding a good name. I am 5’2 my name is melissa, i like rap music, seattle seahawks, i have a temper, if you piss me off watch out. i also have a sweet and caring side of me. i have been in fights before, i like to say i almost have a split personality cause you never know if i’m gonna be mean or nice. please help me.

  15. jenny nicole

    first name jenny middle name nicole,i want a bad ass derby name tough but sweet?!?! ima 5 foot 7 inch rough n tough mommy who is dying to joing the roller derby leaugue! any suggestions? plz help! thanks

  16. jenny nicole

    first name jenny middle name Nicole,i want a bad ass derby name tough but sweet?!?! ima 5 foot 7 inch rough n tough mommy who is dying to join the roller derby league! any suggestions? plz help! thanks

  17. Melissa

    Hey I am haing a hard time coming up with a name and need some help. My name is Melissa, 5’3, stocky build, like r&b music, jazz music, ex cheerleader, very impatient

  18. angela

    hello my. name is angela i am short 4’9″ i love music almost all i guess mostly metal and hard stuff still Tori and some softer stuff OK i consider myself inherently badass i need help with a name I’m 31. a mom total rock out have fun part kandykid with a dash of betty page making out with marilyn munroe. basically all over the map and a mess lol! i had a few ideas scare berry short cake or scare berry hurt cake( I color my hair pink alot) also bettie rage and my nickname atwork is lil bit so i thought lil bit macabre how about short stack o pain cakes lol i NEED help pretty please

  19. asian0range

    Have a rad name and want to see if it’s registered? Check the international roster.

    Consider Ginger Snap’s advice on the Derby Life blog before choosing a raunchy name.

    Take it from me, your derby name might not make the headlines if it’s not politically correct, so choose carefully.

  20. Sharie

    Okay so my 15 year old is starting roller derby. Our schools gym teacher is starting this out to she if we can make a go of it! My daughter’s name is Lena. She is a curvy 5’2. She mostly like newer music but is starting to like some old school.I need help finding a cool name that is appropriate for teens. Her nick name is bug. So any suggestions would be great. Thanks

  21. cate

    ok so .. im just starting out and need a good roller derby name. my names cate but everyone calls me gibby. im really into oldschool music bright colors. im crazy , loud,hot headeaded . so i want a name that sounds kinda cute but sorta badass as well. it needs to be kinda appropriate beacsue im only 13 any ideasss??

  22. stacie lee

    I to am looking for an awesome derby name. I am 6″ athletic built, not skinny not heavy. I am a little top heavy, 38 D. Age 30 I have long black hair fair skin.I love the pinup look and rock and roll. My fav color is def black! I am the queen of the jager shots everywhere i go!!

  23. Clarissa Pares

    Hey guys . ! I need help on a derby name here is a little list to describe me .

    – I’m 14
    – I’m 5’3
    – I’m kinda girl, my nickname is clairebear , my family calls me a diva . I have dark brown hair. Urmmm I like the color purple, black , & neon colors .
    – The music I listen to is kinda like a variety . But I mostly listen to punk, electronic, & rap.
    – I’m really weird, random, fun , funny & hyper like 24/7 .
    I’m very stuck on coming up with a name & if you guys could just help me I would really appreciate it . (:

  24. skaytanik

    I’ve noticed a lot of girls (me included) tend to try to rush this. Give it time, the most amazing name will usually hit you in the face out of the sky!

  25. James

    I’m on a mens derby team. Time to choose an name. I’m Thinking ToXsick. What do you think? maybe i should play of my name a bit. I was also considering Jamie Anarchy but its a mouthful

  26. Seriously such a helpful list, I believe that’s it’s helped me to come up with my derby name!

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