Sesquipedalian Smith

Sallah: Please, what does it always mean, this... this "Junior"?
Professor Henry Jones: That's his name. [points to himself] Henry Jones [points to Indy] Junior.
Indiana Jones: I like "Indiana".
Professor Henry Jones: We named the dog Indiana.

When a character needs a name that tells the audience right away how awesome they are, this trope is one way to do it. The character will have a first name that's interesting and long—at least three syllables long—contrasted by short and unremarkable last name.

Similarly to Mister Strangenoun, the first name is sometimes a cool-sounding noun that isn't normally used as a name. It could also be a made-up word, or an actual name, but only one that's rare enough to still sound unique.

For the last name, "Smith" and "Jones" are the two most used, but any one-syllable name that sounds common and unremarkable also works.


Keeping up with the Joneses:

Anime and Manga

Comic Books
  • Desolation Jones: While this is not the character's name, the series title fits the bill.

Film

Literature

Live-Action TV

Radio

Theatre

Video Games
  • Eulogy Jones from Fallout 3.
  • TimeSplitters has an entire family of these spread across all three games and several centuries. The three that are introduced are Peekaboo Jones in 1965, his great-great-grandfather, Elijah Jones from the 1800's and Mordecai Jones from the Robot Wars in the 2200's.

Visual Novels

Web Comics

Web Original
  • "Springboard Jones, the Divin' Detective! Vomitorium Jones, the Pukin' P.I.!" - Ludic Log

Western Animation

Real Life

Namesmithing:

Comic Books
  • Sierra Smith, a Western private eye in The DCU.

Film

Literature

Live-Action TV

Professional Wrestling

Video Games

Real Life

Other Surnames:

Comic Books

Film

Literature
  • Encyclopedia Brown - His real name is Leroy, but no one calls him that.
  • Children's Book: Dinosaur Bob
  • Lavender Brown from Harry Potter.
    • And Sirius Black and Severus Snape.
      • Arabella Figg, Nymphadora Tonks (and Andromeda Tonks, nee Black), Broderick Bode, Caractacus Burke, Bartemius Crouch, Elphias Doge, Marvolo Gaunt, Augustus Pye, Pomona Sprout, Emeric Switch, Emmeline Vance, Romilda Vane, and pretty much all the other Blacks. Thank you, Wikipedia.
  • In L. Sprague de Camp's Solomon's Stone, the hero finds himself in a world populated by the figures people daydream of being. Everyone has a Sesquipedalian Smith name, indicating first the daydream and then the mundane reality.
  • Huckleberry Finn
  • Atticus Finch
  • Ichabod Crane
  • '''CIAPHAS CAIN, HERO OF THE - aaaah, screw it.
  • Charles Dickens liked these too: Uriah Heep, Barnaby Rudge, and of course Ebenezer Scrooge.
  • Digory Kirke and Eustace Clarence Scrubb from The Chronicles of Narnia.
  • Dorian Gray.
  • In Terry Pratchett's Night Watch, the gravedigger's name is Legitimate First. ("Can't blame his mother for being proud.")
  • Nobody Owens from The Graveyard Book.
  • Solomon Kane
  • British romance author Betty Neels frequently did this to her heroines, and the more egregious cases (such as Brittania Smith and Eustacia Crump) were usually Lampshaded.
  • Coriolanus Snow, anyone?
  • Andromeda "Andi" Slate from the Viridian Saga.
  • From Knaves Templar (a historical mystery): Peregrinus Monk and Theophilus Phipps.
  • From Agatha Christie's The ABC Murders: Alexander Bonaparte Cust.
  • Merona Grant and the Lost Tomb of Golgotha: Merona Grant. Somewhat Lampshaded when she pokes fun at her own name to shatter the delusions of an admirer.
    Woolworth: Merona… I simply love that name. It’s so strong, adventurous and independent sounding.
    Merona: It means sheep.

Live-Action TV

Professional Wrestling

Toys

Video Games

Web Comics

Web Original
  • Warrick Kaine, Laurel Brant, and Brother Right, to name a few from The Descendants.

Western Animation

Real Life
  • Orangejello Brown and Lemonjello Brown. Well, except not.
  • Capability Brown (not his real name)... and his Discworld counterpart: Bloody Stupid Johnson (his less famous contemporaries being Sagacity Smith and Intuition de vere Slade-Gore.
  • Former US President Rutherford Hayes
    • Preceded by Ulysses S. Grant, though his full name was Hiram Ulysses Seward Grant.
  • Some Naming Guides actually suggest giving longer names to children born in families with a small surname.
  • Harrison Ford. Seems like the Indy connections have come full circle.
  • Keanu Reeves
  • Immanuel Kant, philosopher.
  • Elijah Wood, actor.
  • Cameron Crowe, film director.
  • Julianne Moore, actress.
  • Montgomery Clift, actor.
  • Susannah York, actress.
  • Mackenzie Crook, actor.
  • Oliver Platt, actor.
  • Timothy Spall, actor.
  • Naomi Watts, model and actress.
  • Alejandro Sanz, singer.
  • Vivien Leigh, actress.
  • Josephine Tey, author of mystery novels.
  • Ezekiel Hart, politician and entrepreneur.
  • Gregory Peck, actor.
  • Penélope Cruz, actress.
  • Thelonious Monk, musician.
  • Lucian Freud, painter.
  • Virginia Woolf, writer.
  • Fairuza Balk, actress.
  • Elisha Gray, inventor.
  • Rosamund Pike, actress.
  • Marian Keyes, romance novelist.
  • Deborah Kerr, actress.
  • Adelaide Kane, actress.
  • Angharad James, 17th century Welsh poet.
  • Awadagin Pratt, concert pianist.
  • Mahershalalhashbaz (or "simply" Mahershala) Ali, an actor who appeared in House of Cards and Luke Cage and who won Best Supporting Actor for Moonlight.
  • Sufjan Stevens, musician. Has a brother named Marzuki Stevens and a sister named Djohariah.
  • Nick Clegg has three sons, named Antonio, Alberto, and Miguel. Apparently, his Spanish wife, Miriam, insisted on this trope if all three were to have the surname "Clegg."
  • Vannevar Bush, 20th century American engineer.
  • Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee CBE CStJ managed to do this twice.
  • Supermodel Elle MacPherson has played this straight and inverted. She was born Eleanor Gow. Her parents divorced when she was young and her mother married a man named MacPherson. Eleanor took the last name and shortened her first name for balance.
  • Common in the NFL, with strange names combined with average or short surnames, such as D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Ndamukong Suh and Laveranues Coles.
  • BBC Radio 4 newsreader Zeb Soanes' full first name is Zebedee.
  • Giancarlo Stanton, baseball player. His full name is "Giancarlo Cruz Michael Stanton", but for the early years of his professional career he was simply known as "Mike Stanton". After the 2012 season, he insisted that he be referred to on a First-Name Basis.
  • Humiliation Hynde, a 17th century Puritan. Apparently he had two sons, both of whom were also named Humiliation Hynde.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SesquipedalianSmith