Created By: AFP on July 20, 2011 Last Edited By: AFP on July 22, 2011

Compound Given Name

A character, often one from the American South, has a first name made up of two names.

Name Space:
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Page Type:
Trope
I thought this was Two First Names, but that turns out to be something else entirely (that is to say, when a character's last name is a common given name).

Essentially, this is when a character has a given name that is made up of two names stuck together or hyphenated. Relatively common for characters from the Deep South. Not to be confused with someone who has a middle name; Mary Sue is never addressed as just Mary. This is, of course, Truth in Television to a degree, particularly the Deep South and much of the Flyover Country. Expect this to be particularly common with characters who live Down on the Farm.

Comics

Literature
  • Kathy Sue Loudermilk, from Lewis Grizzard's stories about the U.S. state of Georgia.

Live-Action Television

Music
  • The characters in "Take The Money And Run" by Steve Miller are "Billy Joe" and "Bobby Sue".
  • The girl in Lynyrd Skynyrd's Gimme Three Steps is named Linda Lu.

Western Animation
  • Plankton's relatives from Spongebob Squarepants are all hillbillies and some of their names are some variation of Billy Bob.

Real Life
  • The actor Billy Bob Thornton, born in Arkansas.

Community Feedback Replies: 25
  • July 20, 2011
    PaulA
    Many of the examples in Gunman With Three Names.
  • July 20, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Petticoat Junction: Billie Jo, Bobbie Jo and Betty Jo.
  • July 20, 2011
    Unknown Troper
    Music
    • The characters in "Take The Money And Run" by Steve Miller are "Billy Joe" and "Bobby Sue".

    Music

    Western Animation
    • Plankton's relatives from Spongebob Squarepants are all hillbillies and some of their names are some variation of Billy Bob.

    Comics
  • July 20, 2011
    Acebrock
    Don't ask me how I know this but...

    A Toby Keith Song (I'm not as good as I once was?) has two women stating their names as Bobby Jo and Betty Lou
  • July 21, 2011
    Arivne
    Literature
    • Kathy Sue Loudermilk, from Lewis Grizzard's stories about the U.S. state of Georgia.

    Real Life
    • The actor Billy Bob Thornton, born in Arkansas.
  • July 21, 2011
    Kharonthe
    Truth in Television, this is very very very common in Latin America and Spain.
  • July 21, 2011
    Frank75
    Discussed in John Grisham's first novel.
  • July 21, 2011
    pinkdalek
    The original Mary Sue.
  • July 21, 2011
    captainbrass2
    Compare Wacky Americans Have Wacky Names where this is a sub-category and the name is used to indicate a comedy character from the US. There are several examples on that page (to declare an interest, I was its sponsor in YKTTW).

    A non- comedy example would be Billy Joe Macallister, who falls off the Tallahatchee Bridge (which was in Money, Mississippi) in Bobbie Gentry's classic 1967 song, Ode to Billy Joe. It was later adapted into a film.

  • July 21, 2011
    TonyG
    On Pinky And The Brain, one of Brain's plans involved him becoming a country singer, and one of the requirements was to have a name with three or more names. So he calls himself Bubba Bo Bob Brain.
  • July 21, 2011
    EmbracingShadows
  • July 21, 2011
    AgProv
    Radio

    • In the BBC radio comedy show At home With the Hardies, a very pukka Englishman (Jeremy Hardy) is married to a Ruby Wax-like brash all-American girl (Kit Hollerbach). They argue about what to call their daughter; the very English husband contentedly says that as she was born in England, there's no doubt about it - she ought to have two unambiguously English forenames like, ohh let me think, Roberta Josephine.

    His very American wife laughs wickedly, having won the argument, and says she agrees whole-heartedly with Bobbie-Jo.
  • July 21, 2011
    KhazemiElmirAmarna
    The Casey family, from what we've seen of them, in TimeSplitters.
  • July 21, 2011
    Acebrock
    Okay the Toby Keith song I mentioned is "As Good As I Once Was"
  • July 21, 2011
    randomsurfer
  • July 21, 2011
    peccantis
    Where is the trope? Currently it's a list of characters with compound names, who might or might not be from southern USA.

    Are these all from the southern USA? Does the compound come with a wide drawl? Does the compound name perhaps indicate a country hick type of character?
  • July 22, 2011
    AFP
    At first I just figured it as a naming convention trope, where a character's first name was two names combined, which seems unusual enough by itself to be Tropeworthy. We might narrow it primarily to characters who have such name because they are from the American South though, since that carries with it certain connotations in most media.
  • July 22, 2011
    peccantis
    ... well, unless they're strippers, who have compound names with [something] + Lee. Do we have that one? It'd be one of the few Porn Tropes that don't closely revolve around NSFW issues :D
  • July 22, 2011
    Arivne
    Real Life
    • The gymnast Mary Lou Retton, born in West Virginia.
  • July 22, 2011
    SonofRojBlake

    "My cousin Billy Bob's got a boat, hooooeee." From which James Bond movie featured the chase through the Deep South swamp. In Billy Bob's boat.
  • July 22, 2011
    peccantis
    I'm pretty sure this cannot have IRL examples apart from "this type of name has traditionally been rather common in the USA South, making the foundation of this trope".
  • July 22, 2011
    Chabal2
    In French works it indicates a person with very pretentious parents (whether they have the old money to back it up varies).
  • July 22, 2011
    peccantis
    Finnish compound names are written together or divided by a dash. They come in two flavours: A with traditional names such as Juho-Pekka or Anna-Maija: nerdy and/or shy and laid-back, possibly from a hick family; B with trendy or modern names such as Niko-Petteri or Jenna-Jade: dumb kid, possibly a pretentious bully, with young, tasteless parents. B type gets often exaggerated by using as badly matched and badly rhythmed names as possible, preferably with "dumb" names, such as Hannes-Veeti or Manna-Kaarina. Mixed gender B type, such as Jennipetteri (usually spelled together), is pretty frequently used in colloquial language to mean "any dumb kid these days".
  • July 22, 2011
    randomsurfer
    In one episode of Barney Miller the Victim Of The Week is a proper Southern gentleman who got robbed. He speaks sneeringly of New Yorker's habit of assuming all southerners are alike. It then turns out that his full name is Robert Joseph [whatever, can't find it online now]. Harris: "Bobby Jo?"
  • July 22, 2011
    Psychobabble6
    Many of these courtesy of my mother:

    Live Action TV

    Western Animation

    Newspaper Comics
    • Daisy Mae from Li'l Abner.

    Real Life
    • Mary-Kate Olsen.
    • Jean-Claude Van Damme. His real name is Jean-Claude Camille Francois Van Varenberg.
    • Jean-Claude Killy.
    • Marie Antoinette.
    • Marie Antoinette's mother, Maria Theresa.

    Literature
    • Edgar Allan Poe's Annabel Lee.
    • Two of Sybil Isabel Dorset's personalities were named Peggy Ann and Peggy Lou.

    Music

    Other
    • The Mona Lisa is a subversion. It's named for Lisa del Giocondo. "Mona" comes from the Italian for "my lady", which is "ma donna". Ma donna became madonna and then its contraction mona.

    Unsure about Billie Joe Armstrong. Is Joe his middle name? Also unsure about John Paul Jones. It's a stage name, so I assume that he means John Paul to be his first name, not his first and middle names. Also, it's a stage name...What's the word on stage names? Then again, if Real Life examples aren't included anyway...
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