In 1993, a young first year undergraduate student walked down the corridor of the French department into a small room with a single computer terminal. It was a UNIX terminal linked to the campus network, and a login prompt blinked on the screen. Next to it, a note saying “login with guest as a username to sign up”.
The young man followed the instructions and was greeted with a prompt to enter his library card number and personal details. “Your username is fruex” it said, and then the screen went blank followed by an error message. So he logged back in and repeated the procedure. “Your username is fruey”, followed by the full email address and a request for a password. He typed and confirmed a password; the rest is history.
That man was me (I think you guessed), and that is how fruey came into being. A username, and the first email address that was all mine. I had an AOL screenname and password before that, but it required me to be logged in to AOL to use it – their webmail wasn’t available at the time. FR for French department, U for undergraduate, and then two letters pulled from a programmed sequence.