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I need an awesome title for my business cards.
August 8, 2011 10:45 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to get myself some general-use business cards (just name, title, email.) I'm reasonably clear on my name, and quite certain of my email, but... what's my title?

I'd like something both amusing and awesome - something along the lines of " Othar Tryggvassen, Gentleman Adventurer." I'd rather it not have anything specific to do with my work - while "Roving Banhammerer" is cute, I want it to be a little more transparent to random people I meet on the street. This is a great list, although sadly a little too masculine (and frankly a little too criminal-focused) to work for me.

Some relevant facts:

- I am female (were I a gentleman, I'd steal Othar's tagline and be done with it)
- I am a raging video game/fantasy-and-scifi novel nerd (although not comic books or D&D)
- These are most likely going to be used at tech-type events - things like SXSW Interactive, although as above I'd rather they not be too specific
- I'm generally athletic and I do, in fact, know karate.

I am open to a further description if it can stay short and punchy. These are really just a way to get my email address into the hands of people I meet in person, and maybe cause a chuckle or two - I'm not worried about professionalism or anything.
posted by restless_nomad to Work & Money (81 answers total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
 
Why not use "Restless Nomad" for your title?
posted by evoque at 10:49 AM on August 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


My favorite is one I stole for my MeFi profile occupation: "Professional Expert."

You could also just use "Human Being" or "Person."
posted by bondcliff at 10:52 AM on August 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


My instinct would be to use something that you do professionally with something that you can do, but is odd or funny. So Librarian/Polymath or Systems Administrator/Dolphin Trainer or Taxidermist/Cheesemonger.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:52 AM on August 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Why not use "Restless Nomad" for your title?

That's something I specifically don't want to do - this is the only place I use that handle, and while it's obviously not a big secret who I am (any more, anyway) I don't necessarily want to encourage randoms to wander here and read my entire extensive AskMe answer history.
posted by restless_nomad at 10:53 AM on August 8, 2011


"Master of None"
posted by smackfu at 10:55 AM on August 8, 2011


Do you have a career/profession that you could describe yourself as? That's what I and some other people who used to have/have non-work-specific business cards did. So not your precise title at work but something that describes what you do.
posted by deanc at 10:55 AM on August 8, 2011


You know you don't have to put a title on there, right? Name, mailing address, phone, email would be sufficient.
posted by Mr. Justice at 10:56 AM on August 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Expert Second Class
Professional Without Portfolio
Rapscallion in Training
Contributor of Insight (after 2PM only, results may vary)
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 10:58 AM on August 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Plenipotentiary

(Understand you don't want to explicitly refer to your MeFi status, though sad you then can't use "Mod Squad" - and thus I'm not allowed to picture anyone with Clarence Williams' 70s afro.)
posted by likeso at 11:01 AM on August 8, 2011


Brigadier Colonel, Army of One
posted by AugustWest at 11:02 AM on August 8, 2011


As a corollary to Mr. Justice's suggestion, if you have enough of a Web presence built up around your nom de plume of choice, why not just have that and nothing else on the card? It could be the modern-day equivalent of a calling/visiting card.
posted by evoque at 11:04 AM on August 8, 2011


"Business Card Sharer"

"E-Mail Reader"

"Network Tender"

"Contact"

"Acquaintance"

"Once a Stranger" ("Former Stranger", "Ex-Stranger")

"Someone You Met"
posted by notyou at 11:05 AM on August 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


or, you know, just "Not You".
posted by notyou at 11:06 AM on August 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Why not "Lady Adventurer"?
posted by peachfuzz at 11:07 AM on August 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


Along the same lines as notyou's, how about "That Woman You Met At That Thing"?

Or "Lady Adventurer".

And something along the lines of "mornings only, Thursdays by arrangement" might be a nice touch.
posted by mskyle at 11:08 AM on August 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


I kinda like "Human", too. It's short, accurate and celebrates our humanity. It's part of my short twitter bio.
posted by inturnaround at 11:09 AM on August 8, 2011


Internet Authority
posted by carsonb at 11:10 AM on August 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


or 'Internets Authority' for the lulz.
posted by carsonb at 11:10 AM on August 8, 2011


M.O.D.
posted by dabug at 11:11 AM on August 8, 2011


A two-side card.

On one side "Jeremy ETC." and "Internet Mod"
On the other, "restless_nomad" and "Internet Rocker"
posted by carsonb at 11:14 AM on August 8, 2011


"[Restless Nomad], Short and Punchy"

"Questioner of Answers"

"(I know karate!)"
posted by jillithd at 11:14 AM on August 8, 2011


I occasionally tell acquaintances that I was recently promoted from warrior-poet to philosopher-king, a phrase generally met with chuckles and light tittering.
Perhaps one of those (philosopher-queen?) will serve you well.
posted by poq at 11:14 AM on August 8, 2011


SuperUser
posted by KokuRyu at 11:18 AM on August 8, 2011


Mine says "A Reputable Person of Good Moral Character." This is because we were described that way in the court papers when our daughter's adoption was finalized, and I found it very amusing.
posted by not that girl at 11:19 AM on August 8, 2011 [28 favorites]


Years ago I was driving through Riobamba, Ecuador, and there was an auto mechanic with a large sign announcing "Especialista en Todo"- ever since I have wanted to find a place to use "Specialist in Everything."

Feel free to take it.
posted by ambrosia at 11:20 AM on August 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Grand Poobah
posted by Confess, Fletch at 11:20 AM on August 8, 2011


In case that seems non-responsive, I actually mentioned it in case it gave you ideas.
posted by not that girl at 11:22 AM on August 8, 2011


I'm going to second Mr. Justice. Mine don't have a title, and last time I offered them around, someone happily took two, and said "I love that it doesn't say what you do. It's like you can do ANYTHING." Bingo, young man. Bingo.

I understand that's a half answer at best, but it's earnest in intent. I like the creative title idea and suggestions too, and respect that if that's what you want to do. There just isn't a need to stress over not having a title.
posted by rainbaby at 11:24 AM on August 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jill of all trades

Wonderwoman

polymath dilettante
posted by mareli at 11:24 AM on August 8, 2011


"Serious Businesswoman"
posted by seventyfour at 11:25 AM on August 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Raconteur"
"Bon Vivant"
"teller of Tales, big and small"
"Fartknocker"
posted by notsnot at 11:29 AM on August 8, 2011


She Whose Card You Are Reading
posted by dywypi at 11:29 AM on August 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Texan"
"Bon Vivant"
"Leader of Men"
posted by seventyfour at 11:30 AM on August 8, 2011


Mine say "Consultant & Collaborator" and "Poet & Strategist."

(For what it's worth, I actually am a writer and feel that poets should rep better, even though there are so many bad ones in the world to steer clear of.)
posted by soviet sleepover at 11:30 AM on August 8, 2011


Yeah I've had cards made for people with no title. I believe those are more properly calling cards or visiting cards.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:32 AM on August 8, 2011


Gentlewoman Adventurer?
Jill Of All Trades?
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:34 AM on August 8, 2011


As my own profile says, I prefer Lady About Town.

My mother lists herself as an alchemist, but my favorite is still the guy down the street who is listed in the local directory as a political hack.
posted by Madamina at 11:38 AM on August 8, 2011


Owner Operated

Feline Serf

Levitations and Extractions
posted by likeso at 11:46 AM on August 8, 2011


A young woman who had a lot of non-specific activity in her up-and-coming field once gave me a business card that listed her title as:

"Agent Provocateur"
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 11:47 AM on August 8, 2011


A profile I had on a networking site once listed "Doer of stuff" as a description.
posted by Calloused_Foot at 11:54 AM on August 8, 2011


"this is my card"
"side 1"
posted by chasles at 11:56 AM on August 8, 2011


Femina Ludens

Modifying Principle/Principal

Journeywoman
posted by likeso at 11:57 AM on August 8, 2011


Internet Wrangler, Martial Artist, Imagineer
posted by theora55 at 11:58 AM on August 8, 2011


I know a guy whose card says Nice Guy.

There's a pretty severe backlash against overly elaborate/cute business cards going on now. You'll get more respect and fewer groans without a title at all. I'd recommend a blank white card, left justified, Helvetica, with your name in bold.
posted by miyabo at 12:03 PM on August 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Or, using Discordian tradition, "Pope".
posted by thudthwacker at 12:09 PM on August 8, 2011


"Homunculus"

apologies to my wife...
posted by notsnot at 12:12 PM on August 8, 2011


Just want to add/support the idea of no title. I have cards with my name, phone number, email, mailing address, and that's it. They look professional enough for business use but also are casual enough to be a calling card. People FREAK OUT over them when I hand them out.
posted by pupstocks at 12:27 PM on August 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Child of God

On the Side of the Angels
posted by Billiken at 12:36 PM on August 8, 2011


I love the idea of combining a couple of these to read:

[Restless Nomad]
A Reputable Person of Good Moral Character
No Crime Too Petty
posted by Snarl Furillo at 12:38 PM on August 8, 2011


The Lady You Met at the Thing
posted by Apropos of Something at 12:54 PM on August 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Before I mention my humble contributions, I would nth the classiness of just name, email, phone.

Humble Contributor
Card Holder
Lamplighter
posted by bluejayway at 1:01 PM on August 8, 2011


Similar to dywypi's suggestion, I thought "Owner of business cards."

But count me as another vote for plain and simple. While cute/amusing may seem fine in all cases you can think of now you may find yourself handing these to someone someday who you want to make a different impression with. After all, you're buying hundreds of these things, right?
posted by phearlez at 1:09 PM on August 8, 2011


Ha, I do like "Levitations and Extractions"

Restless Sword for Hire
Purveyor of Fine Geegaws
Bridge Crew, First Class
Captain, Starship Nomad
Chancellor of the Glade
Madam Nomad

Many titles here.

I understand the concern of those who suggest you keep it plain, but what kind of super serious thing do you imagine this might conflict with in your future? For me, I can't think of any. For others, there may be plenty of things.
(The only issue I can see is if you pick something a bit odd and people continually ask for an explanation)
posted by Glinn at 1:15 PM on August 8, 2011


Appreciate the anti-title feedback, but I'm not going for "classy" - I'm going for "funny." If I find myself needing more professional/serious cards I will get them separately.

"Warrior-poet" is tempting, although without context might be a bit pretentious. Also liking something involving "dilettante" and the possibility of an ironic military title. (And not that girl, I love "A Reputable Person of Good Moral Character." If I had the paperwork to prove it...)

Great stuff all around, though - keep 'em coming!
posted by restless_nomad at 1:18 PM on August 8, 2011


Yeah I've had cards made for people with no title. I believe those are more properly calling cards or visiting cards.

Calling cards traditionally just have your name with no other contact information. We don't have a name for business cards that aren't specifically from your workplace, so we just call them "business cards."

I understand the concern of those who suggest you keep it plain, but what kind of super serious thing do you imagine this might conflict with in your future?

It's not a concern as much as being superfluous. During the time period when I was on the job market, doing some consulting, and traveling, I had business cards printed up with my contact info that listed my title as "Research Consultant." That's what I was and that's how I saw myself.

I think the thing is that over the years, I've seen my share of "cute" titles and descriptions on cards ("Knobs Frobnicated/Spells Cast/Contraptions Hacked") that I'm jaded. If someone hands me a card like this, the person goes into my "dork bucket." Which isn't necessarily a negative or a point against ("some of my best friends..."), but it's a specific category you get placed in, sort of the same as wearing a cape or a utilikilt.
posted by deanc at 1:24 PM on August 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


If someone hands me a card like this, the person goes into my "dork bucket."

I'm ok with the dork bucket. I live in the dork bucket. Hell, I have a thirty-year fixed-rate mortgage on the dork bucket.
posted by restless_nomad at 1:28 PM on August 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


Nabbing Heller, how about something like

Major           de Jeremy, 'Tubes Battalion
posted by carsonb at 1:31 PM on August 8, 2011


Ok, well now you're going to have to put "Dork Bucket."
posted by grapesaresour at 1:41 PM on August 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Could you put a QR code that links to something interesting about you: blog, resume, website, ???
posted by Confess, Fletch at 2:02 PM on August 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't use a title on my cards. (And by the way, calling them visiting cards or calling cards is perfectly O.K., even under quite traditional ettiquite, Emily Post (1922) describes them as having addresses. The only exception I can think of is if naval officers are still exchanging calls, but that may have fallen out of use entirely now.)

But for a jokey title, I suggest "Unemployed Spy" based on this passage from Robert Heinlein's Have Space Suit Will Travel:
Dad didn’t bother with banks—just the money basket and the one next to it marked “UNCLE SAM,” the contents of which he bundled up and mailed to the government once a year. This caused the Internal Revenue Service considerable headache and once they sent a man to remonstrate with him.

First the man demanded, then he pleaded. “But, Dr. Russell, we know your background. You’ve no excuse for not keeping proper records.”

“But I do,” Dad told him. “Up here.” He tapped his forehead.

“The law requires written records.”

“Look again,” Dad advised him. “The law can’t even require a man to read and write. More coffee?”



In a despairing effort to get something out of the trip he asked Dad please not to fill in the space marked “occupation” with “Spy.”

“Why Not?”

“What? Why, because you aren’t—and it upsets people.”

“Have you checked with the F.B.I.?”

“Eh? No.”

“They probably wouldn’t answer. But you’ve been very polite. I’ll mark it ‘Unemployed Spy.’ Okay?”

The tax man almost forgot his brief case.
posted by Jahaza at 2:16 PM on August 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


"(your name)-in-Chief"

Unless that would end up unfortunate in some way, like "John-in-Chief".

"Chief Petty Officer" (I love this one)

Sillier:

"White Poet Warlord"

"Red Herring"

"Enfant Terrible"

"Anti-Hero"
posted by peachfuzz at 2:19 PM on August 8, 2011


and the possibility of an ironic military title.

Instead of Sergeant-at-Arms, [something]-at-Arms?
posted by mlis at 2:54 PM on August 8, 2011


Also want to recommend two excellent books, The Best of Business Card Design 8 (if you could only get one this would be the one to get) and The Big Book of Business Card Design -- I just looked through both, not so many ideas for titles but there are a lot of great examples of cards made of different materials and slight variations on the standard card size.
posted by mlis at 3:06 PM on August 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Restless_Nomad
Dilettante Vice-Admiral of the Dork Bucket
posted by faineant at 3:12 PM on August 8, 2011


Restless_Nomad
Dork Bucket Mortgage Holder
posted by MexicanYenta at 4:44 PM on August 8, 2011


If you have gas where you live: "Abonnée au gaz"
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 5:03 PM on August 8, 2011


Have Gun Will Travel
posted by Sphinx at 5:16 PM on August 8, 2011


If you don't own land...

Landless Freewoman

... and when you do, you can change that to Landed Freewoman.
posted by porpoise at 5:52 PM on August 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


1947 A.L. Rookie of the Year
posted by not_on_display at 6:36 PM on August 8, 2011


Landless Freewoman

Ooh that may be my favorite so far. But I own a condo. Does that count as landless or landed?
posted by restless_nomad at 6:56 PM on August 8, 2011


A friend of mine used to have cards that said
Innocent bystander
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 7:22 PM on August 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


World Class Bad Ass

(I went back and forth and back and forth about putting that on my personal cards, and finally decided against it because I kinda have a doofy real name. Occasionally I still use it for email sigs and whatnot. You're free to use it if it suits you. It will certainly guarantee your cards will end up in the dork bucket. (Unless, of course, you can back it up.))
posted by elmer benson at 8:22 PM on August 8, 2011


You could go with your college major or the major you wanted.

I have a friend who majored in Philosophy (Hegelian) and her cards read (past tense):

[Her Name]
Ethicist
Specializing in Post-Modern Dilemmas


You could use my major: Interpersonal Communicologist.

And borrowing from R.A. Wilson's fictitious double major: Norse Mythologist Specializing in Chemical Weaponry.
posted by Jezebella at 8:30 PM on August 8, 2011


Person of Interest.
posted by zanni at 4:08 AM on August 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


1994 Time Person of the Year (or hwatever year it was they gave it to 'everybody'

yeah, I'm too lazy to google it
posted by Confess, Fletch at 6:08 AM on August 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Usual Suspect
posted by Confess, Fletch at 6:15 AM on August 9, 2011


Mine say "Freelance Human". I may or may not be in the dork bucket.
posted by kamikazegopher at 8:22 AM on August 9, 2011


If anyone actually cares, after an adorable encounter today where I was reminded of how badly I need these, and an entertaining session of googlestalking someone random, I had an epiphany and have made a decision. The cards will read something like this:

[firstname][lastname]
[email]
"You now have everything you need to Google my entire life."

Because really, that's enough, isn't it?
posted by restless_nomad at 7:25 PM on January 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


But how about just "Google Me" for the tagline?
posted by notyou at 7:55 PM on January 12, 2012


I wondered what you'd gone with - thanks for the update! Yep, that's enough.
posted by likeso at 2:01 AM on January 13, 2012


Mine say "Mostly Harmless". Not too original but I'm surprised at how many people don't get the reference, and then happy to chat a bit more with the people that do.
posted by neversummer at 8:12 PM on February 15, 2012


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