Some people in IRC channels I frequent have elected to use extremely common words for their nicks, including "a" and "me". I use erc-hl-nicks, and was able to block those particular nicks from getting colored, but I would like to block them from being bolded as well. It seems it's ERC's default behavior to bold nicks when they are mentioned. See the attached screenshots, where "a" and "D" are highlighted in bold.

How can I indicate to ERC that those nicks should not be bolded or highlighted? I've played around with the erc-fools list, but I can't get that to do anything, and every time I turn it on, it breaks nick coloring for most people.

enter image description here

  • Here is a link to the library at issue: github.com/leathekd/erc-hl-nicks/blob/master/erc-hl-nicks.el
    – lawlist
    Commented Nov 22, 2014 at 17:35
  • @lawlist I'm not sure that's the library at issue. I've told it to block those nicks, and they no longer get colored as they used to. I think ERC's default behavior is to bold nicks, is it not?
    – Ryan
    Commented Nov 22, 2014 at 17:58
  • If you get this behaviour with erc without any plugins, then it would be better to have a screenshot without the plugin.
    – Malabarba
    Commented Nov 22, 2014 at 18:17
  • If you disable the library erc-hl-nicks, do you still get a highlighting of a and D and if you place your cursor at either of those points and type C-u C-x =, do you get a description of using erc-nick-default-face? If not, what face do you see?
    – lawlist
    Commented Nov 22, 2014 at 19:00
  • 1
    I disabled erc-hl-nicks and a and D were still highlighted. And the description did indeed say erc-nick-default-face.
    – Ryan
    Commented Nov 22, 2014 at 19:53

1 Answer 1


You can turn off bolding of all nicknames quite easily. Use M-x customize then look for the face that you've discovered already, erc-nick-default-face, then unclick the "bold".

This is a bit drastic unless you're using an addon like the package you've found. It feels a bit heavyweight to me to have a package just for highlighting usernames.

However, I'd like to be able to tell ERC to just not highlight nicks shorter than 3 characters, or ideally have a banlist... but I can't figure out how to do that.

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