Name Generators
December 22, 2003 9:26 AM   Subscribe

Where can I find the script that spammers use to generate their random names? I write a lot of fiction, and the colorful, creative, unique name combinations that I see in my spam box are often perfect for characters. I'm guessing it's just a variation on Kleimo's census-based name generator, but I've always been curious to see the actual script.

(Just today I've heard from Odessa Delgado, Leopoldo Norris, Otis Lemons, and Lakisha Cervantes....)
posted by oissubke to Writing & Language (10 answers total)
this seems an odd oissy
do you need a program (forget mere machine) to create character names? I think this is a good question and no doubt the examples you have shown are interesting.
but you do not ask that. you want to see code, more like seeing the glue in the binding of the book i say.
not helpful...


abominable terror fist
innocent sage palm
evil immortal crush
unfathomable eagle chop
fang of the virgin spirit
naughty river vengeance
mad acupuncture maneuver
masculine goldfish penetration
screaming monkey shield
posted by clavdivs at 9:51 AM on December 22, 2003

Inspecting the glue on a book's binding is important if you want to learn about binding books. That said, I suspect the feature isn't some stand-alone script you could inspect -- most of these spammers are using some sort of "bulk emailer" tool, often under Windows, and the random name generation is probably a feature of the tools.
posted by majick at 9:58 AM on December 22, 2003

Sometimes programs can give more creative results than people can, because they're not bound by the same prejudices and assumptions. I think I like a lot of the names I see on spam e-mails because they're completely abstract, with little conception of culture or traditional sounds. They jump out. They're memorable. They may not work for Grisham or Shakespeare, but they're ideal for my own writing style.
posted by oissubke at 10:08 AM on December 22, 2003

Why not just use those names in your writing, then? It's not like a spammer's gonna complain about it...and if they do, you can get them for violating the CAN-SPAM Act.
posted by Vidiot at 11:32 AM on December 22, 2003

I have been using some of those names, but I'd like to see if I can get the actual script used to generate those names, since it would be more convenient than my current method of archiving spam e-mails.
posted by oissubke at 12:24 PM on December 22, 2003

Hott Harmey is my favorite spam name to date, and I'm not above using it in a piece of fiction if the need arises. I also got a string of names like "Expiated T. Liaised" for a few weeks, and enjoyed those mightily.
posted by blueshammer at 12:26 PM on December 22, 2003

I just got an e-mail from Brobdingnagian D. Convoking.
posted by blueshammer at 1:11 PM on December 22, 2003

Heh, this is pretty neat. Some weird names from my own spam folder: Cyst V. Bagatelles, Dismissing T. Series and Duplicated R. Mazda. It looks like the script simply picks a random first and last name from some dictionary and throws in a random middle initial sometimes.

I've done some experimenting with random name generating myself (using a very basic Javascript consonant/vowel algorithm); they're far from realistic names but have been useful as inspiration for naming software projects.
posted by milov at 2:57 PM on December 22, 2003

Not that this helps you at all but, I've found that the best way for getting good last names is to work somewhere where people can place orders.
posted by drezdn at 10:28 PM on December 22, 2003

Cyst V. Bagatelles, Dismissing T. Series and Duplicated R. Mazda

Don't forget Tyrone Slothrop!

oissubke, why don't you just grab one of the legion of examples for randomly concatenating words or phrases (or write your own), and feed it babyname lists and lists of surnames and nouns and stuff, and see what it spews out? It's all about the data you feed the script, after all, and you're not going to get the data, I wouldn't think, even if you do find the exact bit of code you're looking for (which isn't a complicated one - I've written similar things in VB before, for fun).
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:25 AM on December 23, 2003

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