The Fine Art of Naming a Group Chat

Ashley Kozich, 30, who works for a community foundation and lives in Fort Lauderdale, has a group chat with her eight best friends she met as a student at the University of Mississippi. In the last year a lot of them have had babies, so they now highlight the most recently born as the group photo.

But the group name it here to stay: “The Sorry People.” “In college we were a really rowdy group of girls, and we would cause chaos and trouble wherever we went,” Ms. Kozich said. “In the mornings we would have to go on these apology tours and say sorry for whatever we did.”

The name, she said, has developed a life of its own. “It’s been our name for over 10 years, and people ask us, ‘How are the Sorry People?’” she said. “I don’t think we could be called anything else.”

Indeed, many names that started in group chats are now being used in other settings.

Tim Monaghan, 39, a publicist, started a group chat with his best friends during the pandemic named “Meet Me at Fanelli’s,” referring to a well-known bar in SoHo. “We named it during the pandemic,” said Mr. Monaghan who lives in Brooklyn. “Fanelli’s is where we would always go, and we were dreaming of when we could all reconvene there.”

When his friends Monica Khemsurov and Jill Singer (both on the thread) published a book called “How to Live With Objects” in November 2022, the authors included the group name in the dedication. “Thanks to our Fanelli’s chat, which provided a steady stream of memes, gossip and other distractions, plus what feels like an eternity of encouragement,” they wrote.

Choosing a meaningful group chat name can be an easy way to make participants happy. “I smile every time I see our name, which is a lot because this group chat goes off all day,” Ms. Kozich said.

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