The First Name Club

The internet is a place where people make connections for a variety of reasons. None more odd & interesting was an unknown-to-me way was group chats for people who had the same first name. Incredibly, many of these groups that formed a decade or more ago continue to endure and live on today. Annie Rauwerda at Input has more of these unique groups.

Around the world, people are maintaining multigenerational, global friendships with their same-named counterparts — Jake Wright, William Hodgson, Jordan DaSilva, and Josh Brown, to name a few. Sometimes, name twins commiserate about shared experiences: a sixteen-member Council of Aaron Johnson chat laments about the viral Key and Peele sketch that introduced the now-inescapable A-A-Ron nickname. Perhaps the best, or at least the most publicized, example of same-name camaraderie is the Josh Fight, when a group chat of Josh Swains organized an April 2021 meeting in Lincoln, Nebraska to fight for the “right” to the name. More than 900 Joshes showed up.


Of course, I think I may have to find a way to find and join an Aaron group, wherever it is. The interesting part to me is how much fun and wholesome it is to find and connect and create genuine friendships with people simply because of your name. We love to think our names are uniquely ours, but with 8 billion people on this giant spinning rock, there's more probability than not that we share a name with someone else out there. Even the unique ones as Rauwerda points out.

Tahnee Gehm, an artist and animator based in L.A., organized a Web 1.0 catalog of Tahnees when she was a teenager. To catalog her new pen pals, she created a “Hall of Tahnees” webpage with a photo, bio, and hometown for every Tahnee she could find. The site’s “Tahnee-only area” was a “weird, unique club.” Once, she says, a singer from the band Hanson used the website to track down a girl named Tahnee he’d met at a concert. And the Tahnee bond has lasted decades.

If there was ever an example of the internet being a place of good and positivity, these groups surely seem like a great one to reference.