Location Theme Naming
Location Theme Naming is just what it sounds like - a group of characters all named after places. Like Edible Theme Naming, this tends to be done in less serious works, because a large group of people all named after locations is faintly ridiculous. Characters whose names follow this theme tend to be named after locations in one area, such as streets in New York or restaurants in Tokyo. In some cases, different groups will be named after locations in different parts of the world, so one might end up with, say, a group of people named after Italian rivers fighting a group named after German towns. A variant is to name characters after directions, such as up/down/left/right or north/south/east/west. This tends to be more common in Japanese works.
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Anime and Manga
- In Excel Saga, the members of ACROSS are named for hotel chains, and most everyone else is named for neighborhoods in the city of Fukuoka ("F City, F Prefecture" in which the anime takes place, even if the manga keeps it as "Fukuoka, Fukuoka"). "ACROSS" itself is named after a convention center (one translator said it was like a New York based cult being named "Javits").
- The main band of characters in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann are named for directions Kamina (above/up), Simon/Shimon (below/under), Yoko (beside), Nia (a play on near), and Rosshiu (an anagram of ushiro, behind). Darry and Gimmy use Theme Twin Naming to fit nicely into this. (Dari = hidari, or left, Gimi = migi, or right.) All of these relate to some parts of the main band's personality: Simon looks up to Kamina, Kamina sees Simon as something to help improve himself, Yoko is loyal, Nia is close, Rosshiu is somewhat untrustworthy, and Darry/Gimmy are siblings.
- The four main girls of Ichigo 100% are named after the four cardinal directions: Toujou Aya (tou=East), Kitaouji Satsuki (kita=North), Nishino Tsukasa (nishi=West), and Minamoto Yui (minami=South). And, of course, the main character, Manaka Junpei (naka=middle).
- Similar to the Ichigo 100% example, the characters of Kanamemo make use of the cardinal direction theme name motif. There's Hinata Azuma (east), Haruka Nishida (west), Yume Kitaoka (north), Yuuki Minami (south) and Kana Nakamachi (center). Their boss, Saki Amano has the character for "sky" in her name, since she is above them all.
- The family of Sanosuke Sagara from Rurouni Kenshin has names that contain kanji relating to directions: Sanosuke has in his name the kanji for "left" (read as "sa" in this compound or "hidari" when alone), his sister Uki the one for "right" (u/ migi), his little brother Outa the one for "center" (ou), his father Kamishimoemon has both "up" (kami/ ue) and "down" (shimo/ shita) and the name of his mother Naname means "diagonal".
- Pretty much every character of note in Tenchi Muyo!. To begin with, almost all the names initially came from locations and landmarks in the Okayama area. But there are additional meanings within them depending on what variety of Japanese is used to translate them.
- The girls of Tokyo Mew Mew are all named after plants or desserts, and their last names follow the pattern of Colour Place (Momomiya = Peach Shrine, Midorikawa = Green River, etc.)
- The four denizens of Labyrinth from Fresh Pretty Cure! are each named for directions: Eas, Wester, Souler, and Northa. Their human alter egos use the Japanese word for the directions as their last names (Setsuna Higashi, Hayato Nishi, Shun Minami, and Nayuta Kita).
- Similarly, Hibiki and Kanade's last names have the characters for, respectively, "North" (Houjou) and "South" (Minamino), reflecting their conflicting personalities. Meanwhile, two supporting characters named Waon and Seika have "West" and "East" respectively (Nishijima and Higashiyama).
- Most of the characters in Kamichama Karin have surnames corresponding to a train line or station (Hanazono,
KujyouKujo, Karasuma, etc.)
- Kotoura-san, per Word of God:
- Each Martian Kataphrakts in Aldnoah.Zero is an Ace Custom and named after a specific geological landmark on Mars.
- All the regular characters in Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! have Onsens for family names. The two Hakone brothers, Yumoto and Gora, are even named after the connected onsens of Hakone-Yumoto and Hakone-Gora.
- In a Justice League Europe story written by Greg Weisman, the team meet a group of familiar-looking Gargoyles at Notre Dame Cathedral. They are, of course, all named after locations in Paris, except for the leader, Behemoth.
- In Transformers: More than Meets the Eye, the Decepticon Justice Division are five extremely powerful, extremely sadistic Cold Blooded Torture Technicians, all given codenames based on the first five cities to fall to the Decepticons in the war. According to author James Roberts, their lineup has changed, but their names do not, turning each one into a sort of Legacy Character. The current lineup includes Tarn, Vos, Kaon, Helex, and Tesaurus.
- "Shakedown Shenanigans": The USS Bajor is part of a production run of 28 Galaxy-class starships, all of which are named after Federation homeworlds. Andoria, Cait, Earth, Vulcan, Trill, Coridan, Benzar, and Zakdorn are also mentioned.
Film — Live-Action
- In Cube, all the characters are named after prisons, complete with character traits modeled after the prisons'. Kazan (the autistic man) is a disorganized prison. Rennes (the "mentor") pioneered many of today's prison policies. Quentin (the policeman) is known for brutality. Holloway is a women's prison. Alderson is a prison where isolation is a common punishment. Leavenworth runs on a rigid set of rules (Leaven's mathematics), and the new prison is corporately owned and built (Worth, hired as an architect).
- Lampshaded in Forrest Gump. Forrest's Army buddies in Vietnam were Dallas, Phoenix and Brooklyn. None of them came from the city they were named after.
- The four main characters in Zombieland identify themselves by the names of their destinations (Columbus, Tallahassee, Wichita, Little Rock) so as not to form "personal attachments".
- All the characters at the motel in Identity have names like this, based on US States (Ed Dakota, Officer Rhodes, Paris Nevada, etc.) Though it isn't revealed at first until one character is flipping through everyone's IDs with a map on the wall nearby. Seems like just a coincidence until he also notices they also ALL have the same birthday. Turns out they are all separate personalities of a serial killer with a traumatic past tied to a motel
- The mystery of The Westing Game is unraveled when the Theme Naming is worked out: Windy Windkloppel, Samuel Westing, Barney Northrup, Sandy McSouthers and Julian Eastman are all the same person.
- Tom Holt's Barking. The werewolf law firm is named Ferris and Loop (after Fenris and Lupine) while the vampire firm is named Crosswoods (cross: trans. Woods: sylvania).
- In The Savannah Reid Mysteries, Savannah and her siblings are all named after Georgia towns: Savannah, Alma, Waycross, Jesup, Atlanta, Cordele, Vidalia, Macon, and Marietta.
- In Corner Gas, a comedy set and filmed in small-town Saskatchewan, Canada, the last names of all the recurring characters are towns in Saskatchewan.
- Statler and Waldorf from The Muppet Show are named after hotels in New York City. One episode introduces Waldorf's wife Astoria.
- All of the Wombles in The Wombles are named after locations in Great Uncle Bulgaria's atlas: thus we have Orinoco, Tomsk, and Wellington, to name but three. For the revival Bulgaria's maps must have shrunk in the wash from an atlas to an A-Z as the new wombles are named almost exclusively after London Boroughs.
- Kamen Rider Double is made up of two individuals merging together: Shotaro Hidari controls the left, physical side, while the right, elemental side is controlled by his partner...Phillip. (Whose real name is Raito Sonozaki.)
- The trolls in Roger and the Rottentrolls are all named for places in Yorkshire. Even Blacksyke the evil witch - the name comes from a coal mine.
- In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine all the runabouts assigned to DS9 were named for rivers on Earth, and the ship type itself is the Danube-class. After their third runabout gets blown up, Kira Nerys lampshades this with a snide remark that "it's a good thing Earth has so many rivers."
- Ultraman Taro has four members of ZAT (Kitajima (N), Nanbara (S), Higashi (E), Nishida (W)) named after the cardinal points.
- All of the tracks of E.S. Posthumus' Unearthed are named after ancient cities/locations of varying significance.
- Menouthis, a sacred city in Ancient Egypt, was submerged in the 8th century AD due to earthquakes or flooding.
- The Compass EPs by Ego Likeness are named after the four cardinal directions.
- In Zits, we have Zuma, La Jolla, and Redondo, all named after beaches in California.
- LOTS of examples. These are merely a sampling.
- "Beautiful" Bobby Eaton named his top-rope legdrop the "Alabama Jam." When he was teaming with Lord Steven Regal in the Bluebloods as Earl Robert Eaton, he renamed it the "Tower of London."
- When Brian Christopher (Jerry Lawler's son) did the move, he called it the Tennessee Jam.
- WWE Superstar Rey Mysterio Jr's trademark moves are called "West Coast Pop", obviously named from West Coast of the United States, and "619", which is the area code of San Diego, California (Also, part of the west coast by the way), his hometown.
- Ring of Honor's "The Panama City Playboy" Adam Cole calls his German Suplex "Florida Keys."
- Playboy Buddy Rose called his DDT the "Las Vegas Jackpot."
- Magnum Tokyo called his Diving Crossbody "Air Tokyo."
- Stan Hansen called his Boston Crab the "Brazos Valley Backbreaker."
- Rick Martel called his the "Quebec Crab."
- Meng called his neck claw the "Tongan Death Grip."
- The first installment of the Disgaea series named quite a few of its primary characters after volcanos, including Etna, Vulcanus (From Vulcano, Italy), Maderas (La Madera), Krichevskoy (Kliuchevskoi), and Lamington. Laharl is named after a type of pyroclastic mudslide that occurs after eruptions.
- According to her spellcards, Alice Margatroid of Touhou names all of her dolls after mountains, cities and countries. Her most well-known type of doll are the Eerily Luminous Shanghai Dolls, to the point that fandom likes to portray her has having a single, unique doll named Shanghai.
- Kingdom Hearts has main heroes Sora (sky), Riku (shore), and Kairi (ocean village); their Generation Xerox predecessors Ventus (wind), Terra (earth), and Aqua (water); and Kairi's two offshoots, Naminé (wave) and Xion (tide).
- Final Fantasy VIII has Laguna, who is either named from either a province from the Philippines or a place in California, both known for their beautiful beaches.
- In the X-Universe, Terran capital ships are named for Japanese cities. We have the Yokohama frigate, the Tokyo carrier, the Osaka destroyer, and — in X3: Albion Prelude — the Kyoto battleship.
- In Mass Effect, Systems Alliance dreadnoughts are named for mountains on Earth (Everest). Cruisers are named for Earth cities (New Delhi, Tokyo). Frigates are named after battles (Iwo Jima, Hastings, Agincourt, and of course, Normandy).
- Red vs. Blue has a bevy of Freelancer agents named after U.S. States.
- In a mixture of Theme Naming and Meaningful Name, Gargoyles had the titular characters choose their names from landmarks and districts in New York City where they woke up in modern times, to suit their new lives there: Hudson, Brooklyn, Lexington, Broadway and Bronx. Traditionally, Gargoyles do not have names, though many of them have taken names in modern times and often employ a clan theme when doing so. Originally, Goliath was the only member of his clan with a name, which was given to him by humans who are so hung up on naming things.
- And the Clone Clan are named after similar places in Los Angeles. Broadway's clone, for instance, is Hollywood.
- Three of the named members of the Ishimura Clan (Kai, Yama and Sora) are named after places found in nature. (Sea, Mountain and Sky, respectively.) It can be assumed the rest of the clan follows a similar convention.
- José Carioca: His last name is a demonym for people from the state of Rio de Janeiro, which he is (so he's literally "Joe from Rio"). Brazilian writer Renato Canini decided to go with this when naming José cousins whose first names are all José, and their last names (mostly) describe where they are from.
- In Fillmore!, a middle-school parody of '70s cop shows, the main characters are all named after streets in San Francisco — and The Streets of San Francisco was a classic '70s cop show.
- The naming system of the US Navy used to name cruisers after cities, and battleships after states. Now the same seems to apply, respectively, to attack and ballistic missile submarines. Of course, the new Virginia class attack boats go back to being named after states, so who really knows.
- This was done because the SSBN's were designated "Capital" class ships, like the old battleships were and Carriers (which get named after Presidents or similar persona) are. Now it seems someone decided the Virginia class would function as capital ships in the absence of new SSBN construction.
- Some aircraft carriers have also been named for (the geographic location of) battles of the War of Independence (Saratoga, Bunker Hill, Lexington, Princeton, and Yorktown, for instance), although others used names of old US warships (e. g. Enterprise, Wasp, Ranger, Hornet). Many smaller carriers used for amphibious operations are named for battles that included amphibious landings, such as Tarawa, Tripoli, and Incheon.
- Towards the end of World War II, the United States began construction of a new class of "Large Cruisers"note , which would have acted as dedicated cruiser killers. These were planned to be named for six US territories (two of which later became states): Alaska, Guam, Hawaii, The Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Samoa, though only the first two were completed before the program was cancelled. Had all six ships been completed, it could have resulted in an American cruiser bearing the name of a sovereign nation (the Philippine Islands were recognized as an independent nation in 1946).
- Similar to the above, in the Imperial Japanese Navy, battleships were named after provinces, battlecruisers and heavy cruisers were named after mountains, and light cruisers were named after rivers. Among battleships, Fuso was an Odd Name Out, being named after an old name for Japan. The Kongo class battlecruisers kept their names when they were reclassified as fast battleships. Likewise, Akagi, Kaga, and Shinano (laid down as a battlecruiser and two battleships, respectively) kept their names after being converted to carriers.
- In the Imperial German Navy of World War I, roughly half the battleships were named after states (Bayern, Baden, Oldenburg, etc.), Prussian provinces (Schleswig-Holstein, Westfalen, Rheinland, Pommern, etc.), geographical regions of Germany (Ostfriesland, Thüringen) and one island (Helgoland). Most light cruisers were named after cities, a tradition that was continued by the Reichsmarine of the Weimar Republic and the Nazi Kriegsmarine using the names of light cruisers that had distinguished themselves and been sunk in action in World War I, i. e. Emden, Köln, Königsberg, Karlsruhe, Leipzig and Nürnberg.
- The Royal Navy of World War II contained "County" class heavy cruisers (which also included the Royal Australian Navy's Australia and Canberra), while two slightly smaller heavy cruisers (Exeter, York) and several light cruisers (including H.M.S. Belfast, now moored off the Tower Bridge in London) were named after cities. Another class of British light cruisers was named after dominions of the British Empire (Jamaica, Kenya, Ceylon, Newfoundland etc.). Then there was the "Town" class of 50 ex-U.S.N. four-stack destroyers and the "Hunt" class of destroyers, also "Bay", "Loch", and "River" class frigates, and "Castle" class corvettes.
- The heavy cruisers of the Royal Italian Navy of World War II were all named after provinces annexed by Italy at the end of World War I: Trento, Trieste, Zara, Pola etc.
- The Royal Air Force named many of the bombers they flew in World War II after cities (Lancaster, Beaufort, Wellington, etc.). Bombers purchased from the United States were accordingly named after American cities (Baltimore, Boston, etc.) One British bomber, the English Electric Canberra, was built under license in the US by Martin and sold to the US Air Force as the B-57 Canberra.
- The daughters of Spanish radio personality El Cucuy are Francia, Italia, and Irlanda, all Spanish names of countries in Europe.
- Joe Montana and his family.
- The 1998 Name of the Year belonged to one L.A. St. Louis. Curiously, finishing in second the same year was Paris London.
- Street naming in America:
- Many streets in US cities are named after states, most commonly the state it's in plus a few others (Pennsylvania Avenue is a common one).
- The biggest one on this front is Washington, DC, which has a street named for each state in the Union plus Puerto Rico. These generally criss-cross DC's grid of lettered and numbered streets diagonally. The commonality of Pennsylvania Avenue nationally is possibly in large degree a reference to Pennsylvania Avenue in D.C., which is a major artery connecting the Capitol with The White House. (It may, however, also be an artifact of the large number of Pennsylvanians who settled in the states to the west of them early in the country's history.)
- Another city to apply state-named streets is Atlantic City, New Jersey, which names most of its streets that run perpendicular to the sea after states. Streets parallel to the sea also have a location-based theme naming, with them being mostly named after bodies of water (with Pacific, Atlantic, Arctic, and Baltic being the most important—peculiarly, Pacific is closer to the actual Atlantic Ocean than Atlantic Ave.; it also has the back doors of all the casinos on the Boardwalk, which AC treats as a proper street for address purposes). These streets are today world-famous on account of the original Monopoly board (whose properties take their names from locations in A.C.).
- Another common phenomenon, especially in state capitals, is naming streets for counties in that state.
- Many streets in US cities are named after states, most commonly the state it's in plus a few others (Pennsylvania Avenue is a common one).
- Three townships in Wayne County, Michigan west of Detroit were named "Pekin," "Nankin," and "Canton" after the old ways of spelling/pronouncing the Chinese cities of Beijing, Nanjing, and Guangzhou. Pekin and Nankin Townships were eventually dissolved into a lot of smaller municipalities, some of which are also named after foreign lands (e.g. Livonia, named after a region in the Baltic), while Canton has kept its name (although the pronunciation is different: it is pronounced "CAN-tun" not "can-TAWN").
- Technology companies often go with a theme for codenaming their products and several companies have used the names of places.
- Microsoft and Intel tend to name their parts after locations in the US and Canada, usually after some vacationing spot. And among other places used for codenames, Microsoft even referenced their own Halo series (Threshold).
- Apple used to name their OSes after big cats before moving to locations in California (Mavericks, Yosemite and El Capitan).
- AMD also used locations for a time, but later switched themes. One that deserves mention is the Opteron line using the racetracks or host cities of Formula One (the company sponsored Ferrari for a while).
- Allen Paulson, late CEO of private jet manufacturer Gulfstream Aerospace, aviation entrepreneur, and Thoroughbred breeder, named many of his racehorses after aviation checkpoints, with the most notable being Azeri and Cigar.