etcshadow - /et-see shadd-ow/
Name from the encrypted password file on linux "/etc/shadow". I dropped the punctuation, though.
It's Shadow, for short (not etc). If you want to think of it as a common-name / sur-name under the asian tradition, then go ahead, although that's not what it comes from. It's that it started out as Shadow, and then I later changed it to /etc/shadow... so I still think of myself as Shadow.
Origin of the name: Back in spring of '96 when Quake deathmatch alpha first came out, I played under the name "Shadow" on my dorm net. Once quake became big on the actual internet, my quake addiction became enough of a problem that I had to quit (although, the route that I took to quit was via netrek, which was actually a far worse addiction... but it was so intense that after basically dropping off the planet for two months... I had to unplug myself hard). After starting my first "real" post-graduate job in '99, my co-workers eventually wore me down and got me started on half-life (it's like waving a bottle of Jack under the nose of an alcoholic... it was just cruel). Anyway, by this point in time, the net is littered with people named "Shadow", and, instead of just being belligerent about it ("I've been playing on the net as 'Shadow' since there were only about 100 people playing on the net, you jackass!"), I decided to change the name to "/etc/shadow". It seemed a good way to go, since I'm a linux lover. This led to the lamest on-line taunt of all time: "you don't even know what the /etc/shadow file is!" Wow. All I can say is... wow.
Why Shadow, to begin with? Well, for one, it's a decent sounding moniker for gaming. Specifically, though, it's because I'm somewhat nocturnal, and used to write a lot of poetry with heavy night/shadow imagery. I know it's silly, but in highschool everyone thinks they're a poet.
Anyway, it's a lame history... but what is really in a name? Would not a rose by any other name smell as sweet?