Tuesday 11 October 2011

How 'NOT' To Name Your Characters . . .

A friend of mine posted a link to an article on Facebook yesterday which did make me laugh. It was all about names and how some unfortunate people were given embarrassing forenames to match their embarrassing surnames.

We all (or rather the people I know anyway) make jokes about names such as Ben Dover or Wayne King (sorry) or even the famous Pussy Galore from James Bond, but did you know these are real names?

It seems many of our ancestors often imposed these humorous names on their offspring. Two hundred years ago there was nothing funny about them, but as society evolved so did language and slang. As the years went by people began to see the horror of what their name sounded like and many changed it. Women often refused to marry to avoid gaining a ridiculous name (Seymour Bust) or vice-versa to rid themselves of one (Kitty Litter), and slowly but surely many names have gone into decline or disappeared altogether.

Even though in real life, having a name like Mike Rotch can make your existence a miserable one, in writing it can be a completely different story. One genre that can use humorous names to its advantage is Comedy. Just by naming one character something like Sue Age can give the story an added sparkle (or not as the character is aptly named) and be a theme for a running joke. However, by using such a name in a Tragedy just won't work.

Anyway, I've decided, for those who see the humour in humorous names, to list a few that was listed in this article. I hope they bring a smile to your face like it did with mine. But before you start laughing, crying, reaching for your tissues or falling off your chair and rolling around the floor, give a thought to the poor people who actually had to live with these names (Tssss hssss hsss hssss....)

Sue Age

Ben Dover

John Anonymous

Love A. Duck

Golden Balls

Elle Fant

Lettuce Bedlam

Sue Flay

Alfred Ming Belcher

Ebenezer Flirt

Benjamin Blister

Adolph Fuhrer

One Too Many Gouldstone

Rogers Boys

Anice Bottom

Dicky Hart

Seymour Bust

Adeline Louisa Maria Horsey De Horsey

Ann Inch

Violet Corpse

Levi Jeans

Sidney Kidney

Al Dente

Annette Kirton

Basil Leaf

Jim Slip

Kitty Litter

Mary Slutty

John Mental

Constance Smell

Posthumous Mince

Min Speiss

Horase Jealous Pratt

Amorous Swain

Fartamalus Purdger

Pleasant Titty

Sensitive Redhead

Doris Topless

Mike Rotch

Batty Treasure

Lotta Rump

Gusty Sandbag

Fanny Warmer

Samuel Squelch Shakespear

Isla White

Mary Winkle Shufflebotham

Elizabeth Experience Withall

R. Sitch

Mary Xmas


  1. Ha! I love that stuff. Reminds me of the golden age of The Simpsons. :-)

  2. lol...I just can't seem to help myself. I always snigger at funny names...

  3. Hah! Wow. That's quite a lot of names.

  4. I get enough trouble with my surname, Willoughby. My ex wanted to name one of our boys Richard, but the thought of him going through life with a name that could be shortened to Dick Willy did not appeal.

  5. I usually take my names from athletes. Hockey is especially useful with Eastern European names and baseball with Latin/South American names.

  6. I work somewhere where I see A LOT of names. Some of them are horrible! You have to wonder what their parents were thinking. Especially the guys who have the same first and last name...