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Is there a list of common usernames to reserve in a new system?

I'm working on a site where users will have a custom URL e.g.:

I want to avoid the situation where a user registers and creates a username that I later need, e.g. if I want a page at and someone's already named themselves 'about'.

Does anyone have a list of generic words that could be added to a blacklist for this?

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marked as duplicate by Mark Trapp Oct 20 '11 at 20:02

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

"creates a username that I later need"? How can we know what you'll need later? A list of "generic words" would be called a "dictionary", wouldn't it? How can we guess what possible words you might possibly need in some possible future? – S.Lott Oct 20 '11 at 15:06
There are a lot of standard words used in websites e.g.: blog, features, about, contact, login, privacy etc. I've started compiling a list which is growing, just wondering as someone must have done this before. – evilcelery Oct 20 '11 at 15:07
Reading the title of this question, I had to think of little bobby tables ;) – DaveFar Oct 20 '11 at 15:32
up vote 2 down vote accepted

There's some great answers on this StackOverflow question:

Here's the best list I've found:

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I would have your users page as a sub section. Ie

There is no way we or even you could guess what pages you might want to create in future

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+1 a lot better than predicting future words you'll be using for your site... for that you need a shiny crystal ball – Spoike Oct 20 '11 at 15:10
I would usually do this but in my situation the simplicity of will be an advantage. – evilcelery Oct 20 '11 at 15:14
@evilcelery - So change users to u adding 3 extra characters will not take away an advantage. – Ramhound Oct 20 '11 at 15:15
@evilcelery: The magical "blacklist" of 100's of forbidden names, however, might remove this "advantage". – S.Lott Oct 20 '11 at 15:19
This is a bit like how Flickr have done it: but at some point they made it so will redirect. However, some people have usernames that cannot redirect, such as photos and about. – Hugo Oct 20 '11 at 16:07

What about using a prefix for site pages, like And just make sure usernames can't include the '/' character.

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You can always encode any http reserved characters in the username.
You should do this anyway in case someone decides to register the user name /../../etc/passwd

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I am going to use that name for my next username on a forum :-) – Ramhound Oct 20 '11 at 15:20
@Ramhound, unless your really name is Bobby Tables – Martin Beckett Oct 20 '11 at 15:22
-1 as I'm not sure how this would apply to this problem. this still doesn't stop a user from registering 'about', and him wanting to create an 'about' page later. – Craige Oct 20 '11 at 15:44
@Craige - if you aren't having a /users/ there is nothing you can do about that without a crystal ball. But it is the correct solution to having a list of symbols/words that aren't acceptable form a URL point of view – Martin Beckett Oct 20 '11 at 16:32
@MartinBeckett - Then should this not be a comment on Tom Squires post? – Craige Oct 20 '11 at 18:25

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