The Origin of "Bex"

A lot of people ask me, "where did you get the nickname 'BEX'?" Well, it all started about three million years in the future.

Let me explain...

I always was a big fan of British comedy... about fifteen years ago I came across an odd sci-fi British comedy called Red Dwarf that I particularly enjoyed. It mostly took place in the distant future, and it has quite the cult following, even today. In one episode, the main character Dave Lister mentioned that his sports hero was a chap named Jim Bexley Speed. He liked him so much he named one of his sons "Jim," and the other "Bexley."

I thought... Bexley, that's a pretty interesting name...

So, I started using it as a pseudonym. I shortened it to "Bex" and started using it as one of my internet nicknames... along with more unusual ones like Grin, Slosh, and Thudwallow. Naturally, back then nobody called me Mr. Bex any more than they called me Mr. Thudwallow...

Anyway, one year I was in college, there were too many Brians in my dorm. There were like 5 in a group of about 50. My dormmates decided I needed a nickname. One of the geekier ones asked me for my IRC handle, and I said "Bex." They liked it, so it stuck. It didn't hurt that my favorite beer at the time was Beck's Dark, although it did lead to some debate over the proper spelling of my new nickname...

After I left the dorm the following year, nobody called me "Bex." Apparently outside of my dorm, the ratio of Brians to non-Brians was at an acceptable level.

A few years later, I started working at Stellent... this was about 8 years before it was acquired by Oracle. Once again, there were too many Brians. I believe there were 4 in the company of about 100... include two in my 6-person dev team! Just like before, they asked for my handle... and I replied "Bex."

They liked it... so it stuck. I eventually used it as my email address (, I put it on my name plate for my cube, even on my business cards.

It probably would have remained a Stellent-only nickname, however I spent so much time building the Stellent community -- including moderating user groups, writing 2 books, and numerous conference presentations -- that the name recognition started to grow. More people knew me as "Bex" than knew me as "Brian."

So... now I use it or a variation whenever I can:

And now I never have to concern myself with the ratio of Brians to non-Brians ever again...

oh, so THAT's how it happened

I've always wondered and never got around to asking, but I figured the story would somehow include beer.


Bex is also the name of a village in Switzerland where I advice you to visite the mines of salt if you come around :)


@Dan: how ever did you suspect that it involved beer, eh?

@Laurent: interesting... I've been to Switzerland twice, but never made it out to the salt mines. I'll have to check it out some time ;-)

You'll always be Buff Hex to me!


Michelle needs a nickname

So, I also know too many Michelle's I think she needs a nickname as well.


Bexley is a town here in Kent, England. Trust me, it's not that exciting...

I've finally adjusted to Brian or Bex

You were always Bex to me, and then I became good friends with Michelle, so now I remember to call you Brian when I am with her. So Brian . . . Bex . . . whatever -- you're the ECM guru with the fantastic wife!

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