Weirdly when I try to log onto freenode using ERC, a ` is added to my nickname, which results in the name not being found on the server. I get the following output in the Messages buffer - I have replaced my real nick with nickname.

Connecting to irc.freenode.net:6667... ...done
Logging in as 'nickname'...
Logging in as 'nickname`'... done

Using ERC 5.3 on Emacs on OS X

1 Answer 1


I get this behavior when I, or somebody else, is already logged into the server with my original username. If I open ERC twice, logging in as tikhon both times, the second login is automatically changed to tikhon`.

This can happen if you first connect and then time out. The IRC server gives you a grace period before kicking you off; if you try to log in while the old you is still on the server, your name will get a ` appended.

With a mathematical bent, you can read it as "tikhon prime" :).

You can change this character by customizing erc-nick-uniquifier, e.g.

(setq erc-nick-uniquifier "_")

to use nickname_ instead of nickname`

  • 1
    Thanks, this gave me an opportunity to use /MSG NickServ RELEASE to claim my nick back :-)
    – mac
    Commented Sep 24, 2014 at 20:10
  • 1
    @mac: Oh, I never realized you could do that on IRC. Neat. Commented Sep 24, 2014 at 20:26
  • 2
    Also, If you need to use another nick instead of adding a uniquifier character at the end, you can add your preferred nick to the list erc-nick with a simple (add-to-list 'erc-nick "ircnick")
    – Vibhav
    Commented Sep 25, 2014 at 12:20

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