Who’s your googleganger?


Isn’t that an awesome word? Okay, I admit it; I’m a word nerd, but you’ve just got to love the sound of that one!

As part of getting back on track, I’ve walked 8.5 miles (almost 14 km) on the treadmill over the past nine days. In addition to enjoying scenic pathways in Hawaii, Egypt and along Italy’s Amalfi coast via virtual walk DVDs, I’ve also gone back to watching my video course, The Secret Life of Words: English Words and Their Origins. That’s where I came across the word, googleganger.

Voted the 2007 Most Creative Word of the Year by the American Dialect Society, (yes, there are organizations for word nerds like me!) a googleganger is a person with your name who shows up when you Google yourself. It’s an adaptation of the word, doppelganger, meaning a ghostly double of a living person or someone who looks eerily like you but isn’t a twin.

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Believe it or not, I don’t have a googleganger. There are no other Elaine DeBocks to be found on the internet! The closest is Lisa Elaine Debock, a lawyer in New York state.

Most of the DeBocks in North America are descendants of Joseph Leopold DeBock who left his homeland, Belgium, as a young man of 25 and settled in the United States in 1870. Some branches of the family have since dropped the capital B so it’s possible that Lisa Elaine is a distant relative.

If I really want a googleganger, however, I can find plenty of them by searching my maiden name which is much more common. The best known among those is a 1950s film star!

So, who is your googleganger? You have Googled your name haven’t you?


6 thoughts on “Who’s your googleganger?

  1. Hi Elaine my googleganger not only has the same name but we worked in the same school district. When I retired and went on call with Richmond she moved over as one of the assistant superintendents!

  2. Haha, I almost missed this post assuming it to be a description of another one of Google’s products πŸ˜‰ A very interesting word indeed! Wouldn’t have imagined people would care to give a name for this but ya I am not a word nerd πŸ˜‰ Just like you, I sadly will never have a Googleganger, so far I have found only 2 people on the Internet who share my first name ( the spelling is certainly unique even for Indian standards). Combining it with my last name, it becomes an impossibility!

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