One thing I think is really funny are the web site owners who want to put up a FAQ because most FAQ’s aren’t “Frequently Asked Questions”, but “Questions We Think Our Visitors Would Ask if They Were Us”. But one frequently asked question I actually get is how I got my handle, y0mbo. So, since the answer won’t fit in a 140-character tweet, I will answer it here.
The start of this story begins in August of 1972. On that particular day, my father held me above his head and proclaimed, “I have a SON!” I’m sure it was in very broken English, since he had only been in the United States for a few years. He is originally from the Slovak Republic (although it was Czechoslovakia back then). My parents decided to honor my grandfathers by naming me after them. My middle name, Edward, is my mother’s father’s name. My first name, John, is the closest approximation to my father’s dad’s name: Jan (pronounced YAN).
As boy growing up, my dad called me “Janko” (YAN-ko) which means “Little John”. Occasionally, my mom called me that, too. Unfortunately, one time in the car – with my friends present – she called me that.
“Janko, what’s that?” laughed one friend.
“Is that like Rambo?” asked the other.
The two jokers riffed on that for a little while and then decided that a cross between” Janko” and “Rambo” would be “Yombo”. The label stuck, especially since they called me that the rest of the trip.
Later in high school, my group of friends started giving each other pseudonyms. My new first name was Bill, and it only made sense to put Yombo in there. So Bill D. Yombo became my monicker.
In college, when the internet started to take off, people often chose handles instead of their real names. I dug into my handy bag of pseudonyms and chose Yombo again. But instead of keeping it all alphabetical characters, I swapped the first “O” for a zero.
And that’s where y0mbo came from.