Playa Name, –noun
Burning Man is a place to experiment with identity. Who are you when you are on the playa? Some would say that Burners are closest to their true selves at these events. For some that means casting off the name they were born with, or at least the one they use in reality camp, and adopting a new one.
Some Playa Names are selected by the individual. Others are given as a gift. Some participants argue that only gifted names are valid, but this idea is far from universally accepted (and may be the vestige of the burnier-than-thou). Regardless of how they are obtained, it would be considered rude to ask a new acquaintance for their ‘real name.’ No matter how strange it sounds, a Playa Name is their name, at least until after the effigy burns and everyone goes home.
Rangers also adopt special monikers while on-duty. This Ranger Name may or may not be the same as their Playa Name. For some, being a Ranger is so integral to their Burn experience that the word ‘Ranger’ becomes a permanent part of their title.
From Kit O’Connell’s amazing Burner Lexicon! http://kitoconnell.com/writing/lexicon