We name what’s around us: cats, children, golf putters, and, sometimes, our home WiFi networks.
Allowing one to connect to the Internet sans wires, a WiFi setup actively broadcast its name beyond the boundaries of one’s home or business. They’re like digital bumper stickers: Viewable to anyone looking on a device for a network, they send a message.
Stephanie Kelley-Romano, who studies narrative and pop culture as an associate professor in the Department of Rhetoric, Film, and Screen Studies, says you don’t need to overthink what’s going on.
“It’s another way for people to express themselves and try to set themselves apart, right? So when you go to someone’s house and you have to log into their WiFi and it’s ‘SKR Is the Bomb,’ it’s just kind of funny. It’s one more way for people to prove that they’re hip.”
Here are a few of the WiFi names seen around Lewiston neighborhoods in recent days, and our best guess as to what they’re referring to. (By the way, the Bates wifi network is named “Bates Secure.”)
Karma Is A Bitch
A version of the saying “payback is a bitch.” It was also the name of a circa-2018 internet video meme/challenge popularized by Chinese teenagers and based on a scene from the CW Network’s teen soap Riverside.
A fictional reptilian species from the post-apocalyptic Fallout video game franchise.
The WiFi owner might be a sheet-metal worker.
Get Your Own Damn Wifi
Like another name, “Don’t Even Think About It,” it’s a warning to attempted WiFi squatters.
Once Upon a Tardis
This name, and its neighboring Wi-Fi setup, Once Upon a Bad Wolf, might reference the TV show Doctor Who: “Bad Wolf” is an entity and “TARDIS” a time machine and spacecraft.
Someone who, to the annoyance of others, makes obvious statements. Obviously. (The phrase was made popular by Hotels.com through an eponymous character.)
May or may not be a reference to a group of friends who race stock cars at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, Maine. ”Braaap” also refers to dirt bikes.
Lewiston’s famous sandwich shop dates to 1939.
Star Wars 79
Might be a reference to 79’s, the name of a cantina that catered to clone troopers in the TV series Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Or the name could refer to issue No. 79 of the Star Wars comic book published by Marvel.
The Wheel of Time
Perhaps a reference to the fantasy book series.
Pretty Fly for a WiFi
Once thought to be a cool WiFi name, now not so much.
In Season 04, Episode 07, of The Simpsons, the family home is sinking into the ground, so Bart sells the “Slanty Shanty” as a natural wonder of the world. Barking to dazzled spectators, he invokes the “twisted creatures that live within,” including the “Cueball, the man with no hair” — Homer, of course.
In an episode of the animated sitcom Archer, Dr. Kreiger builds a cardboard-box fort and proclaims, “Your authority is not recognized in Fort Kickass.”
In the Marvel comics, it’s the fictional multinational industrial company owned by Tony Stark, aka Iron Man.
The name of the pumper at Lewiston Fire Department’s Central Fire Station at 2 College St.
Local citizen who posts videos of trains on his YouTube channel.
It Hurts When IP
A bit cheeky, yes — perhaps a play on the initials for “Internet Protocol.”