What’s in a (Roller Derby) Name?
In the wonderful world of Roller Derby there is something that is absolutely essential to each player’s identity. Once you’ve strapped those skates on, tightened up your pads and thrown in your gum shield you’re nearly set… The last piece of the puzzle is your Derby name: who you are the moment you hit the track.
How do you pick a Roller Derby name?
But how do you pick one? What even is a Derby name? Some of the best Derby names are excellent puns, nicknames, or even ‘you had to be there’ in-jokes that have stuck with you forever. But no matter what you pick, be prepared for it to get shortened anyway, like a nickname… for your nickname.
A common theme among most Derby names are puns that play on aggression, it is a heavy-hitting contact sport after all. You could be quite subtle, like VRDL’s Anna Pave U’Ova or pretty clear in your intentions, like Texas Roller Girls’ Freight Train. Other excellent combinations are nerdy puns: a good Star Wars reference is always a sure-fire winner, Scar 2 Beat-U from Montreal Roller Derby joined an excellent roster in the WFTDA Champs late last year.
How ‘Trev’ was born…
For me, picking a Derby name seemed like a daunting task. There were already so many slick and clever names out there. I tried working on a pun with my own name, but “Verity” doesn’t really lend itself to anything clever. I used to be called V for short, so I toyed with V bomb. Until I remembered that was the one that the Nazis used (there’s bad taste and then there is just the worst taste!) The only other thing I could think of was the nickname I earned at university.
Back as a poorly paid student I did a stint as a door supervisor all around the city in Portsmouth. A fresh faced, short lesbian with even shorter hair, I quickly got used to a lot of the foul language and lazy insults that drunks would throw my way when I said no. I stopped being surprised by them pretty early on in life, but one night I had turned away an exceptionally drunk, small group of lads who spent at least fifteen long minutes calling me every slur they could think of.
During this tirade I was called a Monster. A Beast. And Trevor. I couldn’t help myself, I laughed so very hard at that. The best this person could come up with to try and insult me was ‘Trevor’. I thought it was hilarious. It clearly wasn’t the result they were hoping for, but I owned it. I could never stand a bully anyway. So I leaned into it, I was known by friends as Trevor for the rest of my university life. At the time Weeble and Bob were still a thing, and so was their irritating flash videos of daft songs to get stuck in your head. I downloaded ‘Magical Trevor’ for my ring tone and that was that.
I graduated over ten years ago and haven’t been called Trevor since… Until I started skating with the Dollies. I had been there about a month before someone asked if I had a name yet. I told them the story, and the rest is history. I am Magical Trevor, number 404 (cow not found). Naturally on track this very quickly became Trev…so no matter how clever a pun you come up with, someone will find a way to shorten it.
Still can’t decide on your name?
Still don’t know what to pick for your Derby name? Perhaps consider your hobbies or other interests. Are you a bit of a Potter head? Could you be the next Herminone Danger or Luna Shovegood? Maybe you’re also into your sci-fi or comic books. Every team needs a good ChewBlocker or Slayonetta.
Whatever you decide, your Derby name is a chance to show your persona on track, who are you? More importantly, what do we shout to cheer you on?!
And as a final word of warning, be prepared for your teammates to never use your real name ever again.
Roller Derby Name: Trev
Real Name: Verity Gregory
Member of LDRR Space Cadets