This trope is about characters whose names are a flagrant mismatch of ethnicities and cultures, like Sakura Mikolajczak or Chandraharam O'Malley. Often, this is seen alongside In the Future, Humans Will Be One Race
. Both tropes are indications that the setting is very much a cultural melting pot. In other cases, such names are used to indicate that a character doesn't completely fit in with the culture in which they are living (being a child of the native culture and something else
). And sometimes, the author just wanted to mix and match things
This is much more common
in Real Life
than it is in fiction. In real life, this often happens for fairly simple reasons. It's fairly common amongst some families who have arrived in a new country. They may give a newly born child a (let's say) English first name, while they retain their (for example) Asian or African last name (e.g. Margaret Cho
). Also, in "mixed-culture
" couples, their children are often named in a way that represents the cultural mixture; you can expect a character who falls under the But Not Too Foreign
trope to have this kind of name. And then there are people who name their children after personal friends, famous people
or give them a name that lost some its cultural ties thanks to the aforementioned famous people.
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Anime and Manga
- Negi Springfield and his father from Mahou Sensei Negima! as well as Gateau Kagura Vanderburg!
- Asuka Langley Soryu from Neon Genesis Evangelion. And her mother, who was half-Japanese and half-German, was Kyoko Zeppelin Soryu. Zeppelin isn't even a proper name.
- Light Yagami of Death Note. Oddly, 'Light' is written with the kanji for 'Moon', because one of the rare nanorinote for 「月」 is "Raito". Which is the closest way the Japanese can render the word "Light".
- Cowboy Bebop: Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky IV. She made up herself because she thought it sounded cool. Her parents named her Francoise Appledelhi, which is French and (mangled) Turkishnote .
- This is fairly common in Gundam works. Some notable examples are the original Mobile Suit Gundam's Ryu Jose (Japanese and Spanish, black Argentinian) and Anavel Gato (Hebrew & Spanish, born in a space colony) of Mobile Suit Gundam 0083 fame.
- Used liberally throughout The Five Star Stories due to Mamoru Nagano's love of Culture Chop Suey.
- Pani Poni Dash!: Rebecca Miyamoto, an 11-year-old with a doctorate from MIT.
- Mai-Otome, all over the place. Most characters who were previously in Mai-HiME have Japanese first names and European last names (for example, Natsuki Kuga becomes Natsuki Kruger). Then there's people like Erstin Ho and Sergei Wang. Then again, it's a far-future Lost Colony where the various cultures have presumably intermixed to great extent.
- In the Mai-HiME manga, Alyssa Kuga has a Western first name and a Japanese surname.
- In Detective Conan, Shin'ichi Kudo's alias Conan Edogawa is a Line-of-Sight Name after mystery writers Arthur Conan Doyle (English) and Ranpo Edogawa (Japanese). His excuse when asked about his peculiar name is "My parents are really big Sherlock Holmes fans." (Note that it's possible to write 'Konan' in kanji, though he uses katakana.)
- Endemic in Michiko to Hatchin, with the two titular characters Hana Morenos and Michiko Malandro being the most obvious examples.
- Love Momozono/Cure Peach from Fresh Pretty Cure!. Her grandfather gave her the name because he wanted her to be full of love... but since people would recognize the name 'Love' more than 'Ai', he insisted that her name be in English.
- In GJ-bu, there's the Canadian Kirara Bernstein.
- In Kin-iro Mosaic, there is the half-Japanese, half English Karen Kujou. The series also discussed another form of this trope—that of the name was deliberately chosen so that it taken as completely different names in different languages. Karen is an example of this trope; the English use of this name has Armenian roots, while the Japanese use of the same name is a Chinese loanword, meaning "adorable." (Yes, the "Karen" in Zettai Karen Children)
- Several parts of Lucy (abbrv.) Yamagami's Overly Long Name in Servant × Service are clearly western names— of course there is the visible "Lucy", but also includes "Emilia" and "Juria." She's entirely Japanese as far as we can tell, but her parents couldn't make up their minds between the names their friends suggested and just went with "all of the above."
- The main characters of Galilei Donna, Hazuki, Kazuki, and Hozuki Ferrari. And their father, Geshio Ferrari, though he wasn't born a Ferrari.
- One of the main characters in the Atari Force mini-comics series (produced by DC Comics) was the Chinese-Irish security chief, Li San O'Rourke.
- Miguel O'Hara aka Spider-Man 2099. As his name suggests he's half-Hispanic and half-Irish.
- Kiyoshi Morales, the future Captain America. He's not only of mixed Japanese and Latino descent, but Native American and African-American (he's a descendant of Luke Cage) as well.
- Appears in several places in Transmetropolitan - most prominently in Spider's assistant, Yelena Rossini.
- Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior
- Clerks gives us a subtler example in Dante Hicks. Word of God states that he is half-Irish, half-Italian.
- Bernardo O'Reilly in The Magnificent Seven, "Irish on one side, Mexican on the other, and me in the middle."
- Luis Wu, one of the heroes of Larry Niven's Known Space series, has a Spanish first name and a Chinese last name. By appearance, however, you'd assume he was a native of Central America. Niven did this to indicate that the world's population in the 31st century had been melding together for a while. Niven did this with Sigmund Ausfaller, who despite his Scandinavian first name and German last name, is a black man.
- From Prince Roger: Prince Roger Ramius Sergei Alexander Chiang MacClintock. Being several centuries in the audience's future, there has been a lot of blending of cultures, making the titular prince's full name nothing particularly special in and of itself.
- The eponymous hero of the Takeshi Kovacs series. The series takes place 500 years into the future and he originates on a planet colonized by Japanese and Slavs.
- In Robert A. Heinlein's The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, the author invokes this trope with the name of the protagonist, Manuel Garcia O'Kelly-Davis. He wanted to show a society totally blind to racial prejudice. Note that the "Davis" on the end represents the family name he married into.
- William S. Burroughs did this on occasion, just for yet another surreal touch. There's a passing reference in Naked Lunch to someone called Ali Wong Chapultepec (Arab/Chinese/Aztec), and one of the book's villains is named Salvador Hassan O'Leary (Spanish/Arabic/Irish).
- In the Wild Cards series, there's the Indio-Irish Elephant Girl, whose real name is Rhada O'Reilly.
- Just about everyone in the Honor Harrington series once you learn their full name. The title character's mother's full name, for example, is "Allison Benton-Ramirez y Chou Harrington".
- Some places more than others though. On the one hand you have Beowulf, Old Earth or (to somewhat less extent) Manticore, where no one as much as bats an eyelash at the names like Omosupe Quartermain, Chiang Benton-Ramirez or Aivars Terekhov, through some sort of middle-ground, where people combine two or three ethnicities at most (Anglo-French like in Haven or Chinese-German with Andermanis, see Lester Tourville and Chien-Lu Anderman, Herzog von Rabenstrage as the respective examples) to the proudly single-culture worlds, usually settled as the Cult Colonies or just by the fans of that culture (Grayson and Montana are examples of the first and second types respectively, both taking heavily from the Middle America).
- Common in the works of H. Beam Piper. Uller Uprising had major characters with names like Hideyoshi O'Leary and Themistocles M'zangwe.
- In Bumped, there are a lot of these. Two such characters are Zen Chen-Chavez and Shoko Weiss.
- One of the supporting characters in the Mass Effect tie-in novel, Ascension, is an African man with a German last name as a first name and a Hindu last name as a last name: Hendel Mitra.
- The Star Trek: New Frontier series had a minor character, Romeo Takahashi, who was a natural blond and of Japanese descent.
- The Harry Potter books feature Antonin Dolohov; "Antonín" (accent on the 'i') is Czech, but -ov surnames are only really found in Bulgaria and Russia. In fact there is a Russian officer named Dolohov in War and Peace. Also Gellert Grindelwald, whose first name is Hungarian, while the surname is German.
- Many Hungarians had historically Germanized their surnames in Real Life, what with Hungary being the one and the same country with Austria for a long time.
- Not to mention Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore (Albus being Latin; Percival being one the heroes of Chretien de Troyes's Grail romances, based on the Welsh hero Peredur; Wulfric being an old Anglo-Saxon name; and Brian being an Irish name; reflecting the many cultural groups that have played a role in British history.)
- Somewhat permissible in that wizards tend to have... unusual names by Muggle standards, and don't necessarily follow Muggle standards of national borders or cultural norms.
- Alastair Reynolds' works often feature this trope, e. g. Ana Khouri, Xavier Liu, Gillian Sluka, Pauline Sukhoi, etc.
- Ciaphas Cain had a fencing instructor in school named Miyamoto de Bergerac.
- In Mikhail Akhmanov's Arrivals from the Dark, we have Olaf Peter Trevelyan-Krasnogortsev, who claims to have French and Russian ancestry. The latter (and the second part of his last name) comes from a Tsarist Russian nobleman who fled his country to France during the October Revolution. Interestingly, he claims that "Trevelyan" comes from the French side of the family, although it's a Cornish (English) surname. Then there's his Scandinavian first name, which goes completely unexplained. Then we have his descendant Ivar Trevelyan (Olaf's children chose to shorten the overly-long surname), who also has a Scandinavian first name.
- Slightly averted with Paul Richard Corcoran. Corcoran is an Irish surname, and Paul is named after his (supposed) father Richard Corcoran. Paul is the English equivalent of his godfather's first name Pavel. Here, the author chose not to give his protagonist a name with this trope.
- One of the main characters in In The Mouth Of The Whale by Paul McAuley is Sri Hong-Owen, daughter of Maria Hong-Owen.
- Rainbows End has Robert Gu (Sr. and Jr.), who reflects the melting pot nature of modern (and near-future) America. The Indian national named Albert Vaz, on the other hand, suggests that the rest of the world is becoming more of a melting pot as well.
- A minor character in the web-novel Domina is named Zusa Pham, which is Yiddish/Vietnamese. Her friend Jelena Aune has a Serbian given name, and her last name is either a Finnish given name or an obsolete French unit of measure.
- The Hoka story "Undiplomatic Immunity" features the Scottish-Arabic community Bagdadburgh, whose residents have such names as "Zuleika MacTavish" and "Colin MacHussein".
- The Halo: Evolutions short story "The Mona Lisa" gives us Chinese/Hispanic Sergeant Zhao Heng Lopez, and Vietnamese/Italian Navy Corpsman Ngoc Benti.
- Used quite a bit in Dragon's Egg. There are a few regular-sounding names such as Jean Kelly Thomas and Carole Swenson, but then we have Pierre Carnot Niven, Cesar Ramirez Wong, Amalita Shakhashiri Drake, Seiko Kauffman Takahashi, and Abdul Nkoma Farouk.
- A non-SF example is Christopher O'Yee, one of the regular cops in William Marshall's Hong Kong-set Yellowthread Street series.
- Lampshaded in Douglas Adams' Mostly Harmless, the fifth Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy novel - a character called Stavro Mueller has a Greek mother and a German father.
Live Action TV
- Peanuts had José Peterson, a friend of Peppermint Patty, briefly in the 1960s. At one point Patty mentions that she likes his mom's Swedish meatball tacos.
- Eugene and Phoebe Wu of FoxTrot.
- Ayako Valentina Hamada Villarreal (Japanese-Mexican), along with her sister Xóchitl Guadalupe Hamada Villarreal.
- An omnipresent trope in BattleTech, due to increasing Culture Chop Suey as humanity settles a local area of our Galaxy and empires rise, wane and fall over the many centuries.
- In Avenue Q, a character with the first name of "Christmas Eve" is Japanese. Her husband is also Jewish, though we don't know his surname or whether she took it.
- The Sims 2 random character generator is notorious for producing townies with names like Juan McCullough or Kiyoshi Centowski (when the names it comes up with aren't just plain bizarre, like the infamous Goopy GilsCarbo) and having no relation whatsoever between looks and the ethnic background of a Sim's name. For example, the aforementioned Kiyoshi is a Dark-Skinned Blond with blue eyes.
- Sports games which used a name generator from in-game players and mixed and matched random fore- and surnames also count. An example from MVP Baseball 2003: "Sun-Woo Knoblauch".
- Soranica Ele gives us Zenobia Adelaide Albert Axelrod and Kaguya Lolotte Omi de la Patelliere.
- In Escape from Monkey Island, Guybrush has a run-in with the pirate-hating, heavily-armed Admiral Ricardo Luigi Pierre M'Bengu Chang Nehru O'Hara Casaba III.
- Juan Lebedev in Deus Ex. According to the Deus Ex Bible, at one point in the series' universe the Russian Mafia and the Mexican drug cartels formed a powerful alliance that rivalled each of their countries' respective governments, which may explain his heritage.
- His full name is Juan Ivanovich Lebedev. Given his patronymic, we can surmise that his father's name was Ivan Lebedev. Since Juan is the Spanish equivalent of Ivan, it's possible he was named after his father, but with a nod to his Latin American heritage.
- Grace Nakamura in Gabriel Knight. Her parents were Japanese, but they emigrated to the United States before she was born.
- Ragnar McRyan in Dragon Quest IV. He's Scottish. Ragnar is a Scandinavian name.
- Ambassador Donnel Udina from Mass Effect is a man of African descent with an Irish first name and a Russian surname. This is explicitly due to cultural intermingling.
- Most of the soldiers in UFO: Alien Invasion have first and last names randomly selected from a database, which is, of course, multiethnic. Peon names range from 'Daniel Danielsen' to 'Naoko Ab Del Farak.'
- In .hack//G.U., online web show host "Salvador" Aihara's given name is actually Carlos. This is because, while fully ethnically Japanese, he was born and raised in Brazil.
- In Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, Clispaeth, the resident Crystal Dragon Jesus was once a soldier by the name of Crispus Ryuji Attucks.
- Max Payne 3 has both Good Cop Wilson Da Silva and Rabid/Dirty Cop Armando Becker
- In Umineko: When They Cry, all of Kinzo Ushiromiya's children and grandchildren have Western given names: Krauss, Eva, Jessica, George, and..."Battler". Like the example with Death Note above, though, their names are all written in kanji despite being Western, which adds more meaning to them in Japanese.
- Lilly Satou from Katawa Shoujo, who is half Japanese and half Scottish. Her sister Akira's name seems fully Japanese at first glance, but the name "Akira" is also a legitimate Scottish name.
- Most Japanese characters in Rose Guns Days adopt Western given names, apparently to forget about the war and start their lives anew, since the story takes place in an Alternate Universe 1947 where Japan fell victim to a natural disaster and was virtually repopulated by Westerners who tried to help rebuilding the country.
- Kudryavka Noumi from Little Busters, who is three-quarters Russian and one quarter Japanese.
- The Dragon Doctors has had a few: battle surgeon Goro Delgado (Japanese given name, Spanish surname), who looks like a pale-skinned redhead; Preston Chang; Tomo Wakeman, and so on. Since it takes place over 2,000 years in the future, there's been some melding, too.
- Questionable Content. Sven Bianchi. His last name comes from his Italian-American dad, whereas his Swedish-American mother insisted she could choose his first name on her own since she gave birth to him.
- Ki Oshiro of General Protection Fault, the result of her Chinese mother winning a bet against Ki's Japanese father, and getting to name her.
- Zaboo in The Guild. Real name: Sujan Goldberg. As he explains to anyone who asks, he's a "hinjew".
- Futurama has Father Changstein el-Gamal.
- Bender Bending Rodriguez may also count.
- Family Guy: When Peter finds out he's part black and changes his name, Chris decides to call himself Mobutu O'Malley.
- Isabella Garcia-Shapiro from Phineas and Ferb. Appropriately enough, her mother seems to be an affectionate blend of Yiddish and Hispanic stereotypes.
- The City Wok in South Park is owned by Tuong Lu Kim, whose name is Vietnamese-Chinese-Korean. However, it is later revealed that he is actually one of the personalities of the insane Dr. Janus.
- Nigel Uno aka Numbuh One from Codename: Kids Next Door (who is presumably British) has a British first name but a Spanish last name, though admittedly this is Just for Pun.
- Abraham De Lacey Giuseppe Casey Thomas O'Malley from The Aristocats
- The pilot for the Nick Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles features news anchor Carlos Chiang O'Brien Gambe.