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Ask HN: What are the worst names given to employees of specific companies?
25 points by jmartens 11 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 66 comments
At PagerDuty, employees are Dutonians. At New Relic, they are Relics. At Amazon they are Amazonians.

What are the worst names given to employees of specific companies?

When I was at Aph around 1978, we all trooped off to some electronics convention. Since my job there was assembling prototype boards, when I was getting the badge at the ticket booth, and I was asked my job title, I said "Gnome".

The guy creating the badge was horrified. He asked me several times if I really wanted this, and I confirmed. The Aph people behind me then gave their job titles as "Wizard", "Nerd", and some other fantasy terms.

Attendees would read our badges and exclaim they should have done the same thing.

Thereafter, this became commonplace.

I don't know if I started this trend, but it seems like I was the first. I wish I'd kept the badge, but who knew?

There has to be some weighing for if/how they are actually used in the wild. For example, metamates is objectively horrible, but I'm not sure anyone actually uses it. Xoogler, noogler objectively are neutral, but end up sounding super douchy because of how often they get thrown around by actual google people

Also, domosapien https://www.domo.com/company


LOL. The only one of these I’ve actually liked

In a theoretical world where "domosapien" was related to a company named after "Mr. Roboto" -- say, a company called Kilroy -- I cold really dig being called that.

Great point and examples!

Army - Soldiers (nailed it)

Navy - Sailors (nailed it)

Marines - Marines (nailed it)

Air Force - Airmen (eh, okay?)

Coast Guard - Coasties (I mean, sure. Welcome, our DoT brethren)

Space Force - Guardians, complete with Star Trek outfits and staring upward into the distance. /sigh

While we’re talking about government versions. The NASA astronaut recruits have arguably one of the worst. Their official title is “Astronaut Candidate” but as nothing so long can go un-abbreviated at NASA, they are simply referred to as (even in many official documents) as ASCANs, pronounced “Ass Can”.

> Coast Guard - Coasties (I mean, sure. Welcome, our DoT brethren)

During peacetime, the US Coast Guard is now part of the Department of Homeland Security. (It was part of the Department of Transportation fro 1967 - 2003.)

Space Cadets would've been the polite goto in Australia .. given collectively the US forces are often referred to as seppos.

Funny story about New Relic: The name is an anagram of the CEO's, "Lew Cirne". Not sure if that's widely known, but he just used it as a placeholder while working as an entrepreneur in residence at a VC fund for his next project, and it stuck.

FWIW I think New Relic is an awesome name. It has rhythm and slight hint of controversy to it.

I'll be honest, I have no idea what a "hint of controversy" is supposed to mean in this context.

Probably the juxtaposition of terms New and "Relic" when relics are supposed to be ancient objects.

“New Relic” describes most code committed in the last week!

Sorry, cannot edit original comment. As an ESL I fell into a classic “false friends” trap. I meant “paradox”, not a “controversy” (that in English usually means something akin to “bad rep”).

Hint of paradox?

Facebook = "Metamates" = Peak cringe

Please tell me they used to be called "bookies" before that.

It was "facebookers" in spoken talk, "fbers" written. Former employees are generally referred to as "ex-fb". Many private discussion groups with that in the name.

Or faces

Should've just called them Mates

Missed opportunity to call themselves "metahumans" and get the DC Comics lawyers after 'em.

If you're in a building at Amazon, sure, Amazonians. If you're out on the street in Seattle with regular people, it's often Amholes.

Adobe employee. I keep trying to get "Adobos" or at least "Adobians" to catch on, but it hasn't yet.

Try “Acrobats”

please stop trying

Ok I really like this question which got me digging and someone made a pretty comprehensive and somewhat verified list: https://mikepope.com/blog/AddComment.aspx?blogid=2354

Personally I would say Microsofties is the worst.

I've heard Redmondians a lot.

Research in Motion : rimmers

SAP: saps

Snowflake: Snowflakes

Workday: Workers

Microsoft: Softies

Intel: Intelligentsia

Adobe: Dobes

Broadcom: Broads

IBM : Bummers

PayPal: Charge Friends

Uber: Uberalles

Atlassian: Shruggers

Marvell Technology: Kree

Dell: Dellions

Rimmer might be our winner

Hey, are you some kind of a holophobe??! ;)


I’ve tried “Dellberts” internally once and it wasn’t well received.

Dell: Delldos

Uber: Ubermensch

Did you just make these up? Good job quick thinking!

> Atlassian: Shruggers

Ayn Rand?

> Marvell Technology: Kree


> Marvell Technology: Kree

More likely a reference to the recent Captain Marvel movie.

I prefer my sci-fi aged and esoteric, like a fine wine. (Haven't watched most of the Marvel movies after it became sequel after sequel six months apart.)

"Jaffa! Kree!" is timeless (though with no connections to MRVL).

My current company, Anark, we would be "Anark-ists", but we don't actually refer to ourselves that way.

Personally I can't stand that type of name, and think the whole idea is silly and cringy.

Just call them dorks.

- also called something dorky at my job lmao

I like it tho even if it’s a bit cringe. At least we all on the same mission while we working together.

Not necessarily bad name, but the company where I'm currently in is itself called "CAW", short for "Chimps At Work".

The founder is ex-Microsoft and apparently, Chimp was a title given to Microsoft employees working on new projects.

They're all terrible. You're a human being with dignity and a name, not a farm animal. Any employer who tries to name you as the latter should be politely asked to stop.

I think they're a lot more natural than you make it sound. I mean we have denonyms from placenames. Some of them are fairly rote (newyorker, londoner, dubliner), some take some imagination (okie, mackem, geordie).

I really don't see why this is any different?

Reddit is snoos. I don't think it's that bad though.

Pinployees at Pinterest Twilions at Twilio Coinbaes at Coinbase

The pivoting pivots of Pivotal Software. gong noise

Stripe: strippers?

No, the formal name used is "Stripes".

Rolls out of the tongue very well.

I don't know what YC employees are called, but I really hope they're "Combinations".

Surely they should be functions?

Credit Karma’s Karmanauts. Oof.

i hope their compliance department goes by "karma police" internally

Bending Spoons -> Spooners

At Metal Toad they are Toads.

That's bad, but I am sure there are worse!


Innies, in Severance? :)

Scoot Pte Ltd: Scooties.

Microsoft - microbes

Atlas, Atlassians?

Atos. Astros. Heh.

Citrix: Citrites

It’s so cringey

Xero - Xeroes



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