Created By: NateSpidgewood on November 23, 2011 Last Edited By: BlueIceTea on September 30, 2013
Troped

A Lizard Named Liz

A character's name is related to his/her species.

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Trope
An animal (or sometimes a monster/alien) character whose name is related to his/her species. It could sound similar (a leopard named Leonard), or be related to some characteristic of the animal (a duck named Quack, a bee named Honey).

Since this can overlap with Alliterative Name, please only add examples that go beyond simple alliteration. Conversely, if someone has a name that is his/her species (whether in English or in another language), that's Species Surname or A Dog Named "Dog".

Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • In Haiyore! Nyarko-san, the eldritch abominations all have names that sound similar to their species. For instance, some of the Nyarlathotepians in the series are named Nyarko, Nyar-o, and Nyarue.
  • The characters in Wolf's Rain, who are wolves, have names which translate to "claw", "fang", etc.
  • In the Japanese version of Mega Man X, the name of the Maverick bosses are corruptions of their species name; examples include Wheel Alligates, Explose Horneck and Cyber Kujacker (from "kujaku" meaning "peacock" and "hacker"). Overseas version (with some exceptions) resort to Species Surname instead.
    • Also done in Mega Man Zero series, the difference is that some of the names refer to mythological creatures instead - e.g Burble Hekelot (Heket from Egyptian Mythology), Tretista Kelverian (Cerberus), and Heat Genblem (Genbu).

Comic Books
  • Sam Simeon, the simian (i.e. ape) detective from Angel and the Ape.
  • Bacon&Egg, A Swedish comic about a Pig and a duck named Bacon and Egg.
  • Another Swedish example is Hälge, a Eurasian elk (Älg) named Hälge.
  • Herman Hedning, the titular character Herman Hedning, 'Herman the Heathen'. The heathens(and monkeys) are Waddling Heads/Cephalothorax, unlike Adam and Eve, who are 'human'. Picture showing the difference.

Film Animated
  • Dug the dog from Up.
  • Cera (pronounced "Sarah") the triceratops in The Land Before Time. The movie also gives us Petrie the Pterosaur, Spike the Stegosaurus (for its back spikes) and Ducky the Saurolophus (for its duckbill)
  • Joanna the goanna from The Rescuers Down Under.
  • Examples from Hungarian animated films:
    • Cathy the kitten, from the Hungarian animated film Cat City.
    • Bubo the owl and Ursula the bear, from the animated series Kerem A Kovetkezot.
  • Sir Hiss and Lady Cluck from Robin Hood; a snake and a chicken, respectively.

Film Live Action

Literature

Live-Action TV
  • The show Grimm is kind of clever with this. Like a bee/wasp creature that was a woman named Melissa (Mellis meaning "honey"), a bear creature named Barry (whose last name, Rabe, is an anagram of Bear), and a goat creature named Billy. Grimm has also done the lion/Leo thing. It's even lampshaded.
  • In My Favorite Martian the eponymous, unnamed Martian uses the name Martin while stuck on earth.

Video Games
  • Tom Nook, a tanuki, from Animal Crossing.
  • Mouser the giant mouse from Super Mario Bros. 2.
  • Most Star Fox names that aren't A Dog Named "Dog" fall into this. For example a frog named Slippy (for the slime,) a rabbit named Peppy (intuitively because rabbits are fast/ full of pep) monkeys named Andrew and Andross (the closest thing the series comes to Man) and the straightest example given the trope name, a Chameleon named Leon.
  • In the Japanese version of Mega Man X, the name of the Maverick bosses are corruptions of their species name; examples include Wheel Alligates, Explose Horneck and Cyber Kujacker (from "kujaku" meaning "peacock" and "hacker"). Overseas version (with some exceptions) resort to Species Surname instead.
    • Also done in Mega Man Zero series, the difference is that some of the names refer to mythological creatures instead - e.g Burble Hekelot (Heket from Egyptian Mythology), Tretista Kelverian (Cerberus), and Heat Genblem (Genbu).

Western Animation
  • Looney Tunes: Porky Pig and Marvin the Martian.
  • Woody Woodpecker.
  • Dino (pronounced DEE-no) the Dinosaur from The Flintstones.
  • Felix the Cat's name sounds like "feline", although it actually means "lucky".
  • Twilight Sparkle's pet owl, Owlowiscious.
  • Bucky O'Hare
  • Vicky's dog from The Fairly Oddparents is named Doidle.
  • The duck Professor Ludwig von Drake from Disney animation. Drake is the word for a male duck.
  • Darkwing Duck has a handful of examples: Taurus Bulba the bull, Grizzlikoff the grizzly bear, and the title character's civil alias, Drake Mallard. Gosalyn's name seems to be a play on "gosling", even though she's a duck rather than a goose.
  • Most Thunder Cats have names like this. Lion-O, Panthro, Cheetara, Tygra, Pumyra... you get the pattern.
  • On Futurama during a war with the Decapodians, a Decapodian spy in a Paper-Thin Disguise calls himself Hugh Mann.
  • Don the Pteranodon in Dinosaur Train is this as the word "pteranodon" has the word "don" in it.

Other
  • A toy example: Lionel Lion from Lego's Fabuland toyline.

Community Feedback Replies: 113
  • November 23, 2011
    CaveCat
  • November 23, 2011
    LobsterMagnus
    Definitely a sub-trope of Species Surname!
  • November 24, 2011
    NateSpidgewood
  • November 24, 2011
    Pyroninja42
    I'm afraid that the definition of alliteration is three words bearing the same beginning sound within the same sentence or title.
  • November 24, 2011
    fulltimeD
    Not sure if this is what you mean but...

    All Kromaggs in Sliders have names beginning with "K."

    Klingons in Star Trek started this way (with "K" names, at least for the males), but later Klingons were conceded more variety.
  • November 29, 2011
    NateSpidgewood
  • December 1, 2011
    NateSpidgewood
  • December 1, 2011
    EdnaWalker
    • Slappy Squirrel, Skippy Squirrel, Minerva Mink from Animaniacs.
  • December 4, 2011
    Surenity
    Screwy Squirrel, Barney Bear, Woody Woodpecker, Tony the Tiger (of Frosted Flakes).

    This trope was everywhere in The Golden Age Of Animation.
  • December 6, 2011
    Andygal
    most of these names are not actually puns.

  • December 6, 2011
    Darthcaliber
    this is alliteration not puns
  • December 6, 2011
    JonnyB
    Agreed. There are no puns here, they are alliterations.
  • December 6, 2011
    acrobox
    would this include rhymes as well, such as Toucan Sam
  • December 7, 2011
    Generality
    ^ No part of Toucan Sam rhymes.
  • December 7, 2011
    MorganWick
    How did the title and description go from alliteration to puns, and how come the examples haven't changed to match?
  • December 7, 2011
    JonnyB
    Perhaps he meant palindromes. :p
  • December 8, 2011
    peccantis
    Punny Species Name sounds like it refers to the name of a species. Also joining the alliterations aren't puns choir.
  • December 8, 2011
    NateSpidgewood
    All right, renaming back.
  • March 7, 2012
    TheNinth
    If you want "an animal whose name is similar to his/her species" then you're really looking for things like a lion named Leo, or a bear name Ursula. A Gazelle named Dorcas...

    The show Grimm is kind of clever with this. Like a bee/wasp creature that was a woman named Melissa (Mellis meaning "honey"), a bear creature named Barry (whose last name, Rabe, is an anagram of Bear), and a goat creature named Billy. Grimm has also done the lion/Leo thing. It's even lampshaded.

    (edit, because I forgot to include that this is largely covered under Meaningful Name)
  • March 7, 2012
    pawsplay
    Toucan Sam is a rhyme, just not a pure rhyme.
  • May 18, 2012
    NateSpidgewood
    Okay, enough with the arguments and suggest new examples please.
  • May 18, 2012
    Ryusui
    • Played to the hilt in the English dub of Maple Town, where 95% of the cast has been renamed to match this naming pattern ("Rachel Rabbit," "Fannie Fox," "Danny Dog," etc.). By contrast, the Japanese version used a cross between Species Surname and Punny Name ("Ann Hope-Rabbit," "Diana Konderik[[hottip:*:"kon" = the sound a fox makes]]," "Johnny Karafuto[[hottip:*:"Karafuto" is an island whose name is written with the kanji for "dog"]]," etc.).
  • May 18, 2012
    NateSpidgewood
    Bump
  • May 18, 2012
    TonyG
  • May 18, 2012
    NateSpidgewood
    ^ No, it's not. Alliterative Name is when both a character's first and last names begin with the same letter, but this one is when an animal's name is similar to his/her species' name.
  • May 18, 2012
    BlueIceTea
    • Hiss the snake from Disney's Robin Hood?

    I think Species Surname and A Dog Named Dog are straight sub-tropes of this.
  • May 18, 2012
    Ghilz
    • Thundercats and its remake: Lion-O, Cheetara, Panthro, Jaga, Tygra, Panthro, Lynx-O, Pumyra, Wilykit, Wilykat, Panthera, Leo, Tygus for the cats alone.
      • We also have Ratilla the rat and Dobo the Doberman.
  • May 19, 2012
    Blork
    ^^^ Most of the examples so far are Alliterative Name mixed with Species Surname though. "Mickey" and "Donald" don't really sound anything like "Mouse" and "Duck" beyond having the same first letter.
  • May 19, 2012
    NateSpidgewood
    ^ Honestly, I never intended this trope to cover just FULL names, I just said it covers names (usually modern) of an animal character that are puns on their species, for example, "Leonard" for a leopard. So you didn't even read the description carefully, did you?
  • May 19, 2012
    BlueIceTea
    Yeah, but the point is that "Mickey" and "Donald" don't even sound like the species, except for the fact that they have the same first letter. I think the examples that are purely alliterative should be cut. However, some names, like "Porky Pig" and "Woody Woodpecker" can stay, since "pork" and "wood" are related to the kind of animal.
  • June 1, 2012
    BlueIceTea
    Bump.

    I think this is a trope, it just needs to be tightened up, and the alliterative examples removed.

  • June 1, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Dino (pronounced DEE-no) the Dinosaur from The Flintstones.
  • June 2, 2012
    NateSpidgewood
    ^^ That'll do.
  • June 2, 2012
    NateSpidgewood
    Bump
  • June 11, 2012
    BlueIceTea
    Not exactly a species name (more of a nationality), but Marvin the Martian?
  • June 12, 2012
    NateSpidgewood
    ^ That can count, because the trope should always include modern names like it.
  • June 12, 2012
    randomsurfer
    ^Along similar lines, in My Favorite Martian the eponymous, unnamed Martian uses the name Martin while stuck on earth.
  • June 24, 2012
    Riptiderex
    Does it not count if they have non matching last names? I will toss Falco up there in the heap and raise you a hat.
  • August 23, 2012
    BlueIceTea
    Bump.
  • August 23, 2012
    RJSavoy
    Marvin is another case of alliteration, not this trope.
  • August 23, 2012
    arromdee
    It is technically not an example since robots are not animals, but the last version of Robot Names--"Slightly mutated terms related to math, machinery or electronics."
  • August 23, 2012
    BlueIceTea
    ^^ It's a little more than alliteration, isn't it? "Marvin" and "Martian" only differ by one phoneme.
  • August 23, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Buck Rogers In The25th Century Season 2 includes a "birdman" character named Hawk.
  • August 24, 2012
    SneakySquirrel
    I'm not sure if these examples count or not, but...

    Bucky O Hare

    and

    Twilight Sparkle's pet owl, Owlowiscious.
  • September 11, 2012
    BlueIceTea
    Just to clarify, does this only apply to names that sound like the name of the animal, or to names that sound like other things associated with the animal, like the sound it makes or the kind of meat it produces?
  • November 2, 2012
    BlueIceTea
  • November 2, 2012
    StarSword
    Literature:
  • November 2, 2012
    BlueIceTea
    There's already a trope for that: A Dog Named Dog.
  • November 2, 2012
    StarSword
    My bad. Seems a related trope for the description, though.
  • November 4, 2012
    Met
    Felix the Cat?
  • August 4, 2013
    takemeunder4
    Bump
  • August 4, 2013
    DAN004
    Define "matching" plz.
  • September 8, 2013
    BlueIceTea
    Since this trope seems to be abandoned, I guess I'll adopt it. I rewrote the description a bit. If it's still ambiguous, let me know and I'll add clarification.

    Can anyone think of a better name?
  • September 8, 2013
    Stratadrake
    I'm not sure what makes it notably distinct from Meaningful Name in general....
  • September 8, 2013
    Pichu-kun
    Maybe it's an animal sub-trope of Meaningful Name?

    Either way, examples:

  • September 8, 2013
    Cider
    Falco is a pheasant.
  • September 8, 2013
    Stratadrake
    which Falco?
  • September 8, 2013
    Cider
    The one under video games

  • September 8, 2013
    RandomSurfer
    Would the duck Professor Ludwig von Drake from Disney animation count? (Drake being the word for a male duck).
  • September 9, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ Yes it would.
  • September 10, 2013
    BlueIceTea
    Yeah, Meaningful Name is awfully broad. And an animal could have a Meaningful Name without falling under this trope. A cat named Socrates wouldn't count; it only works if the animal's name has something to do with that animal.

    I'll take out Falco for now.
  • September 10, 2013
    paycheckgurl
    Perhaps this would be more indicative if it were called Sounds Like Species Name, Species Sound A Like Name, Punny Species Like Name or some variant. Would it work if the title was an example itself? I mean I know trope namer syndrome and all that, but say, Liz Lizard Naming Scheme is pretty indicative.
  • September 10, 2013
    Snicka
    The Land Before Time also gives us Petrie the Pterosaur.
  • September 12, 2013
    BlueIceTea
    ^^ Those are pretty long and awkward. I actually like the Liz Lizard one the best; it is the clearest of the bunch.

    What about "A Dog Named..." something, to go with A Dog Named Dog. Like, A Dog Named Woof, or A Dog Named Doug?

    It wouldn't have occurred to me to connect "Petrie" with "pterosaur", but I'll add it.
  • September 12, 2013
    Snicka
    ^Well, "Petrie" and "pterosaur" are pronounced differently, but if you just look at the spelling, they are similar. No more different than "Arthur" and "aardvark", anyway.

    I like A Dog Named Doug. While it is a Snow Clone of A Dog Named Dog, it shows very well what this trope is about.
  • September 13, 2013
    Snicka
    • Darkwing Duck has a handful of examples: Taurus Bulba the bull, Grizzlikoff the grizzly bear, and the title character's civil alias, Drake Mallard. Gosalyn's name seems to be a play on "gosling", even though she's a duck rather than a goose.
  • September 13, 2013
    ShadowHog
    I worry that "A Dog Named Doug" would be very easy to mix up with "A Dog Named Dog" proper; it's only one letter off.

    If we really had to do a Snow Clone title, "A Lizard Named Liz" would probably be more distinct.
  • September 13, 2013
    DAN004
    Meh, Matching Species Name works good enough already.
  • September 13, 2013
    Snicka
    Joanna the goanna from The Rescuers Down Under.
  • September 14, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    ....what about Species Name Pun? matching species name sounds something like a "cat named Kat" and the current "dog named doug". not broad enough.
  • September 14, 2013
    BlueIceTea
    Species Name Pun is an improvement over Matching Species Name, which I don't like at all. I think A Lizard Named Liz is my favourite so far, though.
  • September 14, 2013
    Snicka
    While I still like A Dog Named Doug the most, A Lizard Named Liz is good too.

    Another video game example:
  • September 14, 2013
    Snicka
    And one for the live-action films:

    • Tookie Tookie bird is a toucan in the live action George Of The Jungle film. In the original cartoon he's a generic blue bird, so this trope does not apply.
  • September 16, 2013
    BlueIceTea
    Okay, A Dog Named Doug and A Lizard Named Liz seem to be the two most popular names. I'm leaning towards the latter myself, but does anyone else want to vote?
  • September 16, 2013
    m8e
    I like the second one. (liz)
  • September 17, 2013
    EdnaWalker
    I like the second one too.
  • September 17, 2013
    DAN004
    I'd still up Matching Species Name, but I guess I'd back up on democracy to decide.

    Speaking of democracy... Crowner plz.
  • September 18, 2013
    BlueIceTea
    Crowner it is!
  • September 18, 2013
    Snicka
    I thought of yet another example, from a comic book this time:

  • September 18, 2013
    Frank75
    Strange, I could have sworn that Species Surname also allowed examples where the name isn't exactly a species, but derived from it.
  • September 19, 2013
    BlueIceTea
    The description doesn't say. I'll allow it here for now.
  • September 19, 2013
    m8e
    Got some swedish comic book examples.
    • Bacon&Egg, A swedish comic about a Pig and a duck named Bacon and Egg.
    • Arne Anka, have the titular character Arne Anka[[Note]]Anka is swedish for duck[[Note]] a satirical parody of Donald Duck, and his best friend Krille Krokodil (a crocodile).
    • Herman Hedning, the titular character Herman Hedning, 'Herman the Heathen'.
    • Hälge, an Eurasian elk (Älg) named Hälge.
  • September 19, 2013
    Snicka
    ^ Herman Hedning is not really an example, as "heathen" is not really his species...

    And Arne Anka is more a Species Surname than this trope (unless your point is that "Arne" and "Anka" are similar words).
  • September 19, 2013
    BlueIceTea
    Okay, I'll leave those two out and add the other two.
  • September 19, 2013
    m8e
    Well, Martian isn't an animal either. (I don't see why this trope should be limited to animals.)

    Heathen might actually be a specie in the setting. The heathens(and monkeys) are Waddling Heads/Cephalothorax, while people like Adam and Eve are 'human'. Picture showing the difference.

    Arne and Anka both start with an 'A', contain a 'N' and have a 'VCCV' pattern.
  • September 19, 2013
    arromdee
    The characters in Wolfs Rain, who are wolves, have names which translate to "claw", "fang", etc.
  • September 19, 2013
    Snicka
    ^^ Oh, I did not know that "heathen" is a distinct species from humans in that comic book. If they are, then it counts. And I never said that this trope should be limited to animals; but it has to be non-humans.

    If we include humans, then everyone with the surname "Mann" may count.

    EDIT: Or, technically, a if Herman is a human, that counts too, considering how Herman and human sound the similar.
  • September 20, 2013
    Snicka
    Examples from Hungarian animated films:

    • Cathy the kitten, from the Hungarian animated film Cat City.
    • Bubo the owl and Ursula the bear, from the animated series Kerem A Kovetkezot.
  • September 20, 2013
    DAN004
    Uh, could you just make the laconic describing the trope? It's not wise to put "vote in the crowner plz" there. :P
  • September 20, 2013
    BlueIceTea
    Just reminding people to vote. It's a dead heat right now between A Lizard Named Liz and Species Name Pun. I won't launch at least until Monday, though. Hopefully we'll have a consensus by then.

    ^^^^^ m8e, are you saying that "Arne" and "Anka" sound similar? They don't to me, but maybe in Swedish? I'll add the "Heathen" example.
  • September 20, 2013
    Snicka
    • Most Thunder Cats have names like this. Lion-O, Panthro, Cheetara, Tygra, Pumyra... you get the pattern.

    EDIT: I just noticed that they are already mentioned in an earlier comment.
  • September 20, 2013
    joshbl56
    You could have this happen in every mainstream Pokemon game because you can name every single one you catch. This could lead to Charly the Charmander, Squirt the Squirtle, etc.
  • September 20, 2013
    Snicka
    ^ Then you can have this happen in every video game where you can name any creature and character. Following this logic, you can have a tauren named Tauron and an elf named Elvis in World Of Warcraft. So I don't think that is really an example; only when the canonical name of the character is like that.

    Maybe Pokemons that are directly based on Real Life animals should count, though? Charmander - salamander, Squirtle - turtle, etc.? Not really sure though, as their aren't meant to be those Real Life animals, only similar to them.
  • September 20, 2013
    DAN004
    "Maybe Pokemons that are directly based on Real Life animals should count, though?"

    Yes, yes they should. But beware: That's only for the NA version (different region has different names)
  • September 21, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    Species As Name Basis? pretty long though. removing "as" makes it seem as if they are called by what species they are, e.g. a human "Bob" getting called human by a fellow human

    EDIT: oops, didn't see the crowner. adding it now

    EDIT: i just noticed i already suggested a name....
  • September 22, 2013
    Snicka
    Just a suggestion: maybe the examples should be split to two types:

    Type 1: Pun on the species' name: Liz the lizard, Dug the dog, Joanna the goanna, etc.

    Type 2: Something related to the species: Bacon and Egg the pig and the duck, wolves named Fang, etc.
  • September 22, 2013
    BlueIceTea
    We could do that. What does everyone else think?
  • September 22, 2013
    DAN004
    ^^ Nah, I don't think I'd like that.
  • September 22, 2013
    randomsurfer
    ^x12: On Futurama during a war with the Decapodians, a Decapodian spy in a Paper Thin Disguise calls himself Hugh Mann.
  • September 23, 2013
    reflaxion
    Added example: Haiyore Nyarko San.
  • September 25, 2013
    BlueIceTea
    The Crowner's still pretty close. I'll leave it up till Friday. If there's still a tie, I'll publish the trope as A Lizard Named Liz, since that's the name I'm personally in favour of.
  • September 25, 2013
    acrobox
    Most Star Fox names that aren't A Dog Named Dog fall into this. For example a frog named Slippy (for the slime,) a rabbit named Peppy (intuitively because rabbits are fast/ full of pep) monkeys named Andrew and Andross (the closest thing the series comes to Man) and the straightest example given the trope rename, a Chameleon named Leon.
  • September 25, 2013
    Snicka
    It should be mentioned in the description that this often overlaps with Alliterative Name, but a name has to go beyond alliteration and actually sound like the species name to qualify.

    Also a toy example: Lionel Lion from Lego's Fabuland toyline.

    And one for animated films: Sir Hiss and Lady Cluck from Robin Hood; a snake and a chicken, respectively.
  • September 27, 2013
    justanotherrandomlurker
    Okay, I'm confused... the laconic for this YKTTW says the character's name is related to its species (a lizard named Liz would make sense)... but looking at some of the examples, it seems like this also covers simply alliterative naming (the Arthur example, for instance).
  • September 27, 2013
    DAN004
    Alliterative naming would be downplayed examples I guess.

    Oh yeah, example time!
    • In the Japanese version of Mega Man X, the name of the Maverick bosses are corruptions of their species name; examples include Wheel Alligates, Explose Horneck and Cyber Kujacker (from "kujaku" meaning "peacock" and "hacker"). Overseas version (with some exceptions) resort to Species Surname instead.
      • Also done in Mega Man Zero series, the difference is that some of the names refer to mythological creatures instead - e.g Burble Hekelot (Heket from Egyptian Mythology), Tretista Kelverian (Cerberus), and Heat Genblem (Genbu).
  • September 27, 2013
    Chabal2
    Basil Stag Hare the hare in Redwall.
  • September 28, 2013
    reflaxion
    Basil Stag Hare would be A Dog Named Dog. This is for names that are similar but not exactly a species name.
  • September 28, 2013
    BlueIceTea
    ^^^^ Yeah, I agree that the Arthur example isn't great. The logic is that because the character and his species share the first two phonemes (Arthur and aardvark), it's more than just alliteration. So I'll allow it. Otherwise I think it could get a bit messy.
  • September 28, 2013
    EdnaWalker
    Don the Pteranodon in Dinosaur Train is this as the word "pteranodon" has the word "don" in it.
  • September 29, 2013
    Synchronicity
    Addendum to the A Song Of Ice And Fire example: Drogon is actually named after Daenerys's dead husband Drogo; the fact that he is a dragon seemed coincidental. (The rest of her dragons are named similarly, with an "-on" tacked onto someone else's name). Additionally, Rickon Stark names his direwolf "Shaggydog" although I don't know if that counts.
  • September 29, 2013
    Snicka
    Another Live Action Film example: Beary Barrington, the protagonist of The Country Bears.
  • September 30, 2013
    BlueIceTea
    ^^ I don't think the reason the character got his name really matters, as long as it sounds similar. Certainly the in-universe explanation of Drogon's name is that he was named after Khal Drogo. But all that does is create a Brick Joke when we realise that Drogo's name has always been two letters away from "dragon".

    I think Shaggydog belongs under A Dog Named Dog.
  • September 30, 2013
    BlueIceTea
    Launching.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=vzj8fsp67inmaetkg5jmsx09