I’m already aware that nicknames are usually incorporated into the larger name between the first and last names — John “Jack” Doe, for example — and that this is essentially standard usage.

When you don’t wish to provide a last name, only a first name (e.g., for online privacy), do you put your nickname last (i.e., after your first name, which is the only other thing)? Is this still considered “proper” usage?

Consider, for example, two of my friends, Sage and Mary (full names fabricated for privacy and the sake of example). Online, their typical aliases/usernames are Strida and Synoque. As stated in my first paragraph, convention would say to format their names as:

  • Sage “Strida” Johnston, and
  • Mary “Synoque” Lu.

If they didn’t want to reveal their last names online, would:

  • Sage “Strida”, and
  • Mary “Synoque”

still be considered grammatically sound and/or properly formatted?

Pure curiosity — this doesn’t really affect anything other than my own peace of mind. I have my own display name already formatted elsewhere as [First Name] “[Nickname in Quotes]” and simply wanted to know if this formatting makes sense, since I’ve never seen it used elsewhere like this.

Alternatively, if anyone can provide an example of another first name and nickname formatted like this, please do so.


  • Personal choice, but I’d use brackets round the quotes for the alias without surname. It makes it clearer that this is an alternative rather than an addition. I might even add "aka" in the brackets, too. I might be guilty of overkill.
    – Pam
    Jun 1, 2018 at 7:11
  • Alternatively, I've seen, to use one of your examples, Synoque (Mary) used, where neither is put in quotes and the actual name is the one put in parentheses. But that would only make sense if it's obvious which is the real name and which is the nickname. But also, in fiction for example, real names need never be used. Or, in such cases, it could be more parenthetical: Synoque (her real name was Mary) . . . Jun 1, 2018 at 19:26


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