users table – user_name vs. nicename

Can someone explain the differences or different uses of the user_name and user_nicename fields in the users table? They seem to be, and behave the same.

I found a bunch of posts in web searches, but they are relevant only to older version of wp.


The nicename is (usually) just a sanitized version of the username. It’s suppose to be ‘nice’ in the sense that it is the ‘nicename’ that is used as a slug, for example:

will take you to the archive of the author with nicename ‘my-nice-name’.

The documentation simply describes it as

A string that contains a nicer looking name for the user.

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