Fake names for documentation

April 30, 2007

Last week a discussion on one of my tech writing lists focused on using fictitious names in documentation, such as in Name fields in software and websites that are used in training, demonstrations, and screen shots in the manuals. One thing you don’t want to do is use a set of real names from a real client. In fact, I heard of an instance—it may be an apocryphal tale—where a real person’s name was projected on a large screen, and some in the training session got very upset as that person had died very recently.

So this discussion offered some ideas for ‘dummy’ names that you could use. Now, whether you would actually use any of these is not my call—you’d have to make your own decision based on who you work for and who your audience is!

Here’s a sample of some that were offered:

Punny Names

  • Patty O’Furniture
  • Paddy O’Furniture
  • Olive Yew
  • Aida Bugg
  • Maureen Biologist
  • Teri Dactyl
  • Peg Legge
  • Allie Grater
  • Liz Erd
  • A. Mused
  • Constance Noring
  • Lois Di Nominator
  • Minnie Van Ryder
  • Lynn O’Leeum
  • P. Ann O’Recital
  • Ray O’Sun
  • Lee A. Sun
  • Ray Sin
  • Isabelle Ringing
  • Eileen Sideways
  • Rita Book
  • Paige Turner
  • Rhoda Report
  • Augusta Wind
  • Chris Anthemum
  • Anne Teak
  • U.R. Nice
  • Anita Bath
  • Harriet Upp
  • I.M. Tired
  • I. Missy Ewe
  • Ivana B. Withew
  • Anita Letterback
  • Hope Furaletter
  • B. Homesoon
  • Bea Mine
  • Bess Twishes
  • C. Yasoon
  • Audie Yose
  • Dee End
  • Amanda Hug
  • Ben Dover
  • Eileen Dover
  • Willie Makit
  • Willie Findit
  • Skye Blue
  • Staum Clowd
  • Addie Minstra
  • Anne Ortha
  • Dave Allippa
  • Dee Zynah
  • Hugh Mannerizorsa
  • Loco Lyzayta
  • Manny Jah
  • Mark Ateer
  • Reeve Ewer
  • Tex Ryta
  • Theresa Green
  • Barry Kade
  • Stan Dupp
  • Neil Down
  • Con Trariweis
  • Don Messwidme
  • Al Annon
  • Anna Domino
  • Clyde Stale
  • Anna Logwatch
  • Anna Littlical
  • Norma Leigh Absent
  • Sly Meebuggah
  • Saul Goodmate
  • Faye Clether
  • Sarah Moanees
  • Ty Ayelloribbin
  • Hugo First
  • Percy Vere
  • Jack Aranda
  • Olive Tree
  • Fran G. Pani
  • John Quil
  • Ev R. Lasting
  • Anne Thurium
  • Cherry Blossom
  • Glad I. Oli
  • Ginger Plant
  • Del Phineum
  • Rose Bush
  • Perry Scope
  • Frank N. Stein
  • Roy L. Commishun
  • Pat Thettick
  • Percy Kewshun
  • Rod Knee
  • Hank R. Cheef
  • Bridget Theriveaquai
  • Pat N. Toffis
  • Karen Onnabit
  • Col Fays
  • Fay Daway
  • Joe V. Awl
  • Wes Yabinlatelee
  • Colin Sik
  • Greg Arias
  • Toi Story
  • Gene Eva Convenshun
  • Jen Tile
  • Simon Sais
  • Peter Owt
  • Hugh N. Cry
  • Lee Nonmi
  • Lynne Gwafranca
  • Art Decco
  • Lynne Gwistic
  • Polly Ester Undawair
  • Oscar Nommanee
  • Laura Biding
  • Laura Norda
  • Des Ignayshun
  • Mike Rowe-Soft
  • Anne T. Kwayted
  • Wayde N. Thabalanz
  • Dee Mandingboss
  • Sly Meedentalfloss
  • Stanley Knife
  • Wynn Dozeaplikayshun
  • Mal Ajusted
  • Penny Black
  • Mal Nurrisht
  • Polly Pipe
  • Polly Wannakrakouer
  • Con Staninterupshuns
  • Fran Tick
  • Santi Argo
  • Carmen Goh
  • Carmen Sayid
  • Norma Stitts
  • Ester La Vista
  • Manuel Labor
  • Ivan Itchinos
  • Ivan Notheridiya
  • Mustafa Leek
  • Emma Grate
  • Annie Versaree
  • Tim Midsaylesman
  • Mary Krismass
  • Tim “Buck” Too
  • Lana Lynne Creem
  • Wiley Waites
  • Ty R. Leeva
  • Ed U. Cayshun
  • Anne T. Dote
  • Claude Strophobia
  • Anne Gloindian
  • Dulcie Veeta
  • Abby Normal

Fish and Food

  • Ann Chovey
  • Barry Cuda
  • Barry Mundy
  • John Dory
  • Murray Cod
  • Coral Trout
  • Red Salmon
  • Tiger Prawn
  • Rock Cod
  • Rock Lobster
  • Ray Manta
  • E.L. Moray
  • Hazel Nutt
  • Chris P. Bacon
  • Chris P. Creem
  • Marsha Mellow
  • Barb Akew
  • Pete Tsar
  • Marge Areen
  • Violet Crumb-Ball
  • Rosemary Lamb
  • Cesar Salad
  • Frank Furter
  • Polly N. Satcherayted
  • Des E. Kaytedcoconut


  • Con Junktivitas
  • Di Ahreya
  • Gus Stroentereyetus
  • Arthur Rightus
  • Al Zeimers
  • Uri Nerybladda
  • Uri Nalisis
  • Perry Tonitus
  • Gene Therapee
  • Di Allysis

Fictional, Movie, and Biblical characters

  • Lois Lane
  • Clark Kent
  • Ralph and Alice Kramden
  • Holly Golightly
  • Liza Doolittle
  • Henry Higgins
  • Joseph Arimathea
  • Mary Magdalene
  • Simon Cyrene
  • Dixie Normous (“Austin Powers”)
  • Felicity Shagwell (“Austin Powers”)
  • Ivana Humpalot (“Austin Powers”)
  • Plenty O’Toole (“Bond” movies)
  • Tiffany Case (“Bond” movies)
  • Shady Tree (“Bond” movies)
  • Kissy Suzuki (“Bond” movies)
  • Pussy Galore (“Bond” movies)
  • Honey Ryder (“Bond” movies)
  • Sylvia Trench (“Bond” movies)
  • Lupe Lamora (“Bond” movies)
  • May Day (“Bond” movies)
  • Jenny Flex (“Bond” movies)
  • Penelope Smallbone (“Bond” movies)
  • Holly Goodhead (“Bond” movies)
  • Mary Goodnight (“Bond” movies)
  • Chew Mee (“Bond” movies)
  • Ruby Bartlett (“Bond” movies)


  • Melody Sunshine
  • Dustin Trailblazer
  • Donald Canard (Donald Duck)
  • Michael J. Reynard (Michael J Fox)
  • Michael Souris (Mickey Mouse)

If you need ‘real’ names, you can always try some of the many random name generators on the internet. You can get some very weird ones (like Klingon names, fantasy names, etc.), but there are ‘real’ names among all that too. Some use names from the various US censuses and mix them up according to popularity, gender, etc. Some example sites:

(Thanks to the contributors on various technical writing discussion lists)


Update (1 March 2008): I found more in some very old emails that I was cleaning out, and have now added them to these lists.

Random name generators (thanks to Karen M for these links [checked February 2012]):

[Links last checked April 2016]


  1. I actually used to work for a company that used a client database in a testing environment (with the authorisation of the client), but who also used that same database for screen shots for a National software manual and newsletter.

    Pretty frightening when you consider that it was Pharmacy Dispense software and the information used in the screen shots were private details of real patients…

    They all looked utterly horrified when I took over the role as Communications Manager and implemented a program of proof reading and multiple sign off. Scary days, and yet, a company that I just don’t miss. Leaving there was like having a piece of bamboo that’s been firmly wedged under your fingernail, removed.

  2. These are some great ideas. To be honest, in some of my screen shots I actually use my own name. It is a way of identifying my own work, which I think is nice for portfolio pieces.

    My company is pretty laid-back about this sort of thing, so generally I use names that are obviously fictitious, or use my own name in some format. Your list of “punny” names will be great! I particularly liked Cris P. Bacon and Isabelle Ringing.

  3. Former colleagues and I used to mix up names from movies. In one iteration of a manual, all first names were from “Star Trek” (movies and TV shows) and last names were from “Star Wars” movies.

    You can tell I worked with a lot of geeks.

  4. […] Fake names for documentation […]

  5. “Max Münsterman”

    Because we are in Germany, and most software out of the US and UK isn’t tested for UTF8 compatibility and garbles up the umlauts.

  6. You missed my all-time favourite!! Bob Loblaw.

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