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This riddle was inspired somewhat by the "No Bake" Riddle, and the subsequent discussion regarding the creation of an American-English tag. That should serve as a first hint, others will be added as necessary.

Anyway, who am I, described in the lines below?

I am sorry to say that my surname will not lead you to my origin, for those I share a name with are far different from me and come from far away.

They come from the depths, while I come from great heights, or so my name implies.

They are quite sheltered and I am not, though being so may have been useful for me, at least in the past.

You see, I used to be attached to powerful things, things bigger than myself, but now I am cast off, for the greater good, I suppose.

Those that really know me, know what I’m made of, well- some like me and some think I am revolting.

I may not hang around like I used to, but living out west folks do tend to roam.

Hint:

I come from a different family, as the title says, and in my current condition, I cannot start a family of my own; no life will come from me.

Hint 2:

Mount, mount, mount. The mount could be where I am from, an act with which I'm forever done, or my better half could have become one.

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    $\begingroup$ Just so we are clear, I don't intend for the American-English tag to make this question more exclusive to a certain demographic; I view it more as a clue, much like the geography tag, which just gives you a frame of reference. For my part, I know I'd have no luck with computer science or combinatorics riddles, but I think this is a bit more accessible. $\endgroup$ – raisinghellyer Aug 26 '15 at 17:07
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Are you a:

Rocky Mountain Oyster?

The original question was about

Cow Pies, which are also a "gross" byproduct of a farm animal

I am sorry to say that my surname will not lead you to my origin, for those I share a name with are far different from me and come from far away. They come from the depths, while I come from great heights, or so my name implies.

Surname of "oyster": real oysters come from the ocean, and these come from bulls, pigs, or sheep

They are quite sheltered and I am not, though being so may have been useful for me, at least in the past.

Oysters have a shell for shelter. This would have helped the rocky mountain oyster, since testicles are known to be susceptible to pain.

You see, I used to be attached to powerful things, things bigger than myself, but now I am cast off, for the greater good, I suppose.

Bulls are large and powerful animals, much larger than their "oysters." They are commonly castrated when farmers are done breeding them, for the "greater good".

Those that really know me, know what I’m made of, well- some like me and some think I am revolting.

Some find rocky mountain oysters to be a delicacy, but most think they are rather gross sounding.

I may not hang around like I used to, but living out west folks do tend to roam.

The West(ern part of the USA) is well known to have many farms, on which farm animals roam, especially bulls/cows.

My first time answering a question!

Edit:

Saw the hints, I'll answer those too.

I come from a different family, as the title says, and in my current condition, I cannot start a family of my own; no life will come from me.

Rocky mountain oysters have been removed and prepared as food, no longer part of the animal's reproductive system.

Mount, mount, mount. The mount could be where I am from, an act with which I'm forever done, or my better half could have become one.

Mount refers to:
1. where I am from: an animal which a person mounts or rides
2. act with which I'm forever done: an animal mounting another for reproduction
3. my better half could have become one: the animal could be mounted on a wall as hunters sometimes do

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  • $\begingroup$ eeeeeewwwww. +1 $\endgroup$ – Bailey M Sep 2 '15 at 17:06
  • $\begingroup$ @Kyle You got it. Nice job picking up on the grossness I was going for, and great explanations across the board. Congrats on your first green check. $\endgroup$ – raisinghellyer Sep 2 '15 at 18:00
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My guess would be

Confederate Flag

Because

I am sorry to say that my surname will not lead you to my origin, for those I share a name with are far different from me and come from far away.

The word confederate originates in the east, late latin

You see, I used to be attached to powerful things, things bigger than myself, but now I am cast off, for the greater good, I suppose.

Recent debate and removal of confederate flag from political structures

Those that really know me, know what I’m made of, well- some like me and some think I am revolting.

Those that are for the flag argue it does not stand for pro-slavery, rather in remembrance of the soldiers who fought and died. Others despise the flag for their interpreted meaning

I may not hang around like I used to, but living out west folks do tend to roam.

Beginning to disappear over recent arguments, but can still find it in areas, typically more south or west

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  • $\begingroup$ The flag is actually vastly more controversial on the East Coast than on the West. $\endgroup$ – Bailey M Aug 26 '15 at 15:05
  • $\begingroup$ The surname would be 'flag' though. also, you missed the second verse. $\endgroup$ – dramzy Aug 26 '15 at 15:08
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, oversight on my part. Just a guess, though. $\endgroup$ – wizloc Aug 26 '15 at 15:12
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    $\begingroup$ Incidentally, there were thousands of Confederate flags, the "one" that is most recognizable was chosen as a symbol of white supremacy after the war was over. It's a rather touchy subject, and there are innumerable ways to interpret the meaning of a flag, because by its very nature, a flag is symbolic. $\endgroup$ – Kingrames Aug 26 '15 at 15:46
  • $\begingroup$ You are correct in thinking that this is an object and not a person, but still a ways off. $\endgroup$ – raisinghellyer Aug 26 '15 at 17:39
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Second Attempt:

Are you a

Vacuum Tube ?

I am sorry to say that my surname will not lead you to my origin, for those I share a name with are far different from me and come from far away.

Generally, we don't exclaim vacuum tubes! when we think about tubes, hence the different family. Sewage, water, oil, etc. pipelines are essentially tubes, which run a long length. Also, the vacuum part of vacuum tube is, naturally speaking, only found outside Earth's atmosphere.

They are quite sheltered and I am not, though being so may have been useful for me, at least in the past.

The water, sewage, & similar pipelines run underground, within a shelter of Earth. And vacuum tubes, known to produce copious amounts of heat, could have used some shelter.

You see, I used to be attached to powerful things, things bigger than myself, but now I am cast off, for the greater good, I suppose.

Vacuum tubes, during their times, were used to build then-powerful computers. However, transistors and LSI technology has kicked them out.

Those that really know me, know what I’m made of, well- some like me and some think I am revolting.

Nothing. Vacuum tubes are, essentially, made of vacuum. Old techies like them, others, not so much. Also, note the re-volting reference again.

I may not hang around like I used to, but living out west folks do tend to roam.

The advent of transistors & LSI has phased out the use of vacuum tubes, but they still find applications in niche areas.

I come from a different family, as the title says, and in my current condition, I cannot start a family of my own.

Again, the current reference, and the vacuum tubes are now very inefficient so as to be brought to widespread commercial usage (niche applications).


First Attempt:

Are you a

Copper cable ?

I am sorry to say that my surname will not lead you to my origin, for those I share a name with are far different from me and come from far away.

I think you are alluding to the Transatlantic Telegraph Cable here (far away & sheltered). As for different goes, there a whole lot of varied cables to be found in the world. Also, a cable originates in the factory, whereas Copper originates in the Earth.

They are quite sheltered and I am not, though being so may have been useful for me, at least in the past.

As above, mostly, though I am not throws me off a bit, but not much. Being sheltered now would be of little use now, since cables are the precipice of their life.

You see, I used to be attached to powerful things, things bigger than myself, but now I am cast off, for the greater good, I suppose.

A copper wire used for conducting electricity is almost always attached to equipment bigger than it. Also, wireless technology is more efficient than Copper cables since the cables caused too much of heat loss.

Those that really know me, know what I’m made of, well- some like me and some think I am revolting.

The re-volting reference is obvious. Some people, most probably the previous generations, prefer wired tech to wireless.

I may not hang around like I used to, but living out west folks do tend to roam.

The advent of wireless technology has almost fully cast aside the copper wire, but it is still being used in most parts, but not like before when there used to be webs of it.

I come from a different family, as the title says, and in my current condition, I cannot start a family of my own.

Again, different types of cables, and the current reference.

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  • $\begingroup$ @raisinghellyer, I have added another answer. $\endgroup$ – Meet K. Sep 2 '15 at 9:30
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    $\begingroup$ I am sorry to say that neither of these are the intended answer, though I do like your creativity, explanations, and ability to find more than one answer to my prompts. I've added anther hint and another line to the riddle. It may also prove prudent to take a look at the riddle I reference at the top. If this goes on much longer, I have a final hint that should be the nail to coffin. $\endgroup$ – raisinghellyer Sep 2 '15 at 14:12
  • $\begingroup$ Okay. Now that I have had a look at the two new additions, my answers obviously don't fit. Never mind, trying is almost as good as winning. To infinity & beyond! $\endgroup$ – Meet K. Sep 3 '15 at 6:54

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