: The God of Undeath has a name of twenty-seven syllables spoken simultaneously by six ever-screaming mouths. Cleric
: Yeah. Or Jessie to his friends.
An Overly Long Name
is a bane
of Puny Earthlings
, many of whom broke their tongues in the attempt to pronounce it
, even if they somehow manage to memorize it.
Some beings with overly long names realize that it would quickly become frustrating if every second person they told their full name to struggled in vain to pronounce it correctly, and thus offer a shortened version. For comedy value, this shorter version may be a mundane human name, such as Bob or Max. Can overlap at times with They Call Me Mister Tibbs
The trope namer
is Monty Python and the Holy Grail
, although it's not a confirmed example. While it was revealed by the Pythons that Tim the Enchanter was scripted with another name that John Cleese
could never remember, there is no evidence of it being long or unpronounceable. Also see Translation: Yes
. Not to be confused with Tom the Dark Lord
, where the Dark Lord's name actually is
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Anime and Manga
- Ren and Miu in DearS are called Ren and Miu because those are fragments of their absurdly long full names. Interestingly, "Ren" means "nothing" in the DearS language, which confuses and angers Miu. Takeya gave Ren her name because it's the first number of her ID number; this ends up being a plot point. Whereas Ren uses the first part of her ID number as her name, Miu uses the last part.
- In Psychic Academy, psychics are called by the names of their psychic eminences. The average eminence name is four words long. Thus they're generally referred to by the first word in the name. The main character's brother has a six-word name - which gets shortened to Zero ("Zerodyme" is the first word).
- Z's introduction in Tenchi Muyo!. It's something along the lines of "Me? I'm Z-0001332536893. But that's too long, so just call me 'Z.'"
- In the anime version of Trigun, Vash The Stampede's full name may or may not be "Valentinez Alkalinella Xifax Sicidabohertz Gumigobilla Blue Stradivari Talentrent Pierre Andre Charton-Haymoss Ivanovicci Baldeus George Doitzel Kaiser III".
- Cowboy Bebop has Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky IV, or "Ed" for short. Real name: Francois. Probably.
- In Empath: The Luckiest Smurf, Tapper's real name is Naomhán. He prefers using Tapper because Naomhán is difficult for his fellow Smurfs to say.
Films — Animated
- From Over the Hedge:
Stella the Skunk: So, you got a name?
Tiger the Persian Cat: Yes. It is a Persian name, for I am Persian. I was born Prince Tigeriess Mahmood Shabaz.
Stella: Ooh, that's a mouthful. Can I just call you Tiger?
- In the Winnie-the-Pooh franchise, Lumpy's full name is Heffridge Trumpeter Bumpet Heffalump the Fourth, but he (usually) can't remember it, so everyone calls him Lumpy.
Live Action TV
- Played with in a The Far Side strip, where the owners of dogs gave them the typical names (Muffy, Rex, etc.), but "The names dogs give themselves" are quite elaborate, including "Princess Sheewana, barker of great annoyance, and daughter of Queen La, Stainer of Persian rugs"
- Averted then comically upheld in Bleak Expectations by Mr. Wickham Post Forberton Fenugreek Chasby Twistleton Montmorency Aurelius Pargordon Jezthisby Cumquatly Pobbleton Tendling... [text omitted] ... Beasty Fenelham Jones, the family's lawyer, a man so distinguished that his name took fully twenty minutes to say. Being a lawyer the length of his name is his greatest asset as he charges his clients for the full 20 minutes to say it, sometimes 40 if he must repeat it. Once he interrupts the protagonist Pip Bin informing him they do not have time to say his full name, but he will charge him for the full time.
- Gnomes in Eberron are said to collect names like friends, and usually choose the kookiest or coolest-sounding ones to be addressed by (sometimes both).
- This tendency to collect names is from the Tinker gnomes of Dragonlance. Its usually a hodgepodge of their deeds, nicknames and family history.
- Forgotten Realms has some dark elven Houses with official and shorter common names. Try to say three times, for example, "Drizzt Daermon N'a'shezbaernon", and you'll see why "Do'Urden" was used more often. For that matter, archaic High Drow as a whole is reserved mainly for ritual or official use and so different from the everyday dialect that few drow but priestesses can understand it.
- Habitual among Tau in Warhammer 40,000, whose names tend to grow longer with age and achievements, but usually go by their abbreviated rank and one of their name parts. Shas'O Vior'la Shovah Kais Mont'yr, for example, is better known as simply Commander Farsight.
- This is, however, nothing in comparison to the accumulated names of senior Adeptus Custodes (the Emperor's personal guard), whose names are inscribed onto the insides of their armour starting at the collar and wind around the inside. Some are so long that they fill all the available space on the inside of the armour and wind round onto the outside - Constantin Valdor, Captain of the Custodes and personal acquaintance of the Emperor and several Primarchs, had a name over 1900 elements long.
- Nolaloth (short for Nolalothcaragasint) in Neverwinter Nights 2.
- Tka-Rik in Evil Islands.
- ♥♪!? in Super Mario RPG went by Geno. His name wasn't long, but consisted of unpronounceable symbols.
- Used twice in Mass Effect 1, by the hanar Delan (Full name: Delanynder) and the turian Lilihierax, who prefers to be called Li since nobody bothers to get his name right.
- In the case of Delanynder, that isn't even his true name; hanar only use their "soul name" with people they are close to, adopting a "face name" for regular interaction. That is, EVERY hanar uses this trope.
- Then there's The Illusive Man. One guess what his Fan Nickname is.
- Salarians seem like this at first, with each one's full name including their home city, planet, cluster etc. But they are actually a subversion, since the last two names on that list are their family name, and personal name. Think of it as an extended introduction, telling someone what province/state and city you live in.
- Everquest features an efreeti lord by the name of Lord Doljonijiarnimorinar, who is usually just called "Lord Bob." Or, on at least one server, "Lord Poofy-Pants."
- Mega Man Star Force does this with Omega-Xis (quote is shown below)
Geo Stelar: "Wh-who are you?"
Omega-Xis: "The name's Omega-Xis, but humans get it all wrong, so just call me "Mega""
- In Darkened Skye, the female Tikniki befriended by Skye and Draak has a overly long and nigh-unpronounceable name (at least Draak didn't have trouble pronouncing it) ending with the syllables "nee-noo", such that Draak remarks: "What's say we call her 'Neenu' ".
- Andre Laurent Jean Geraux, the foreign exchange student in Persona 3, adds immediately after his introduction, "Zey call me Bebe!" The game uses this exclusively afterwards (though in the epilogue, a teacher notes his confusion when giving you Bebe's letter, since his real name was on it).
- The Druidic Knight of Castle Crashers has a lot of confusion regarding his name. According to the leaderboard his name is Snakey.
- Less a matter of length than confusion, but since nobody can figure out how "Ghetsis" is supposed to be spelled let alone pronounced, he's prone to being nicknamed by fans. In particular, "Dennis", based on comically mishearing the ominous chanting in his battle theme, fits the "comically mundane" subtype.
- In Star Control 3, the Daktaklakpak are very proud of their racial name, claiming that it is actually a complex mathematical equation completely descriptive of their race. If the player asks for a "short form", they reply that Daktaklakpak is the short form. Just don't call them Daks.
- In Assassins Creed III, Achilles isn't even going to try and pronounce "Ratohnhaké;ton", so he just calls him "Connor".
- Nrvnqsr Chaos in Tsukihime. It is supposed to be read as "Nero Kaos".
- Played with in Carnival Phantasm EX Season where Nero is asked by a shop assistant what his name is for a receipt and then asked how to spell it. After thinking about it for a while he gives up and writes Nero, saying "This will do."
- In Starslip, Mr. Jinx's name is unpronounceable in our language. As well as in his language.
- In The Order of the Stick, Vaarsuvius is addressed by his/her full name roughly as often as simply "V".
- In the prequel book Start of Darkness, Redcloak and his brother tell Xykon their names are Redcloack and Right-Eye after seeing him kill a potential ally for having too long of a name.
- In the webcomic Good Ship Chronicles, alien crewmember Mike's real name supposedly requires two tongues to pronounce. Then again, he's from Glidden, Wisconsin, so maybe not.
- Word of God (via author commentary) is that he was purely pulling the interviewer's (the comic is presented as a documentary) leg. He does that kind of thing all the time. Also, Mike's species possesses only one tongue.
- The Metroid sprite webcomic Planet Zebeth has the hilarious Trabnagian tribe, the members of which all have ridiculously long names. The first one to appear introduces himself shortly as Syracuse, and his real name is Syracuse von Alfredo Jacobson Smith de Sanguine Jones the eighth of the Trabnagian tribe. And that's shorter than average.
- 8-Bit Theater, as quoted above.
- The Heroes of Middlecenter:
Old crone: Some call him a demon. Others call him a monster. I? I call him... Steve.
- Sluggy Freelance:
- In "That Which Redeems", Torg's talking sword finds the idea of being given a name rather stupid, but of the possible names it lists, Torg later uses "Chaz" instead of "Weeping God" or "Unholy Evil Death Bringer."
- In "Oceans Unmoving", The Grays stranded in Timeless Space go by human-sounding names like "Face" and "Murdock". It's later revealed Face's unpronounceable real name is "Steeeeeeve". In contrast, when Murdock pronounces his actual name, it's so alien as to cause the record being made of him to break down for a moment.
- DM of the Rings quotes it almost exactly in this strip
- Parallel Dementia has a fire demon...called Tim (although he used to be called Marchosias).
- One of the villains from T. Campbell's Fans! was a succubus like creature named Casseopia, a being who fed off of music. When interrogated by two members of Rikk's team, one of whom calls her Cassie, she answers, "My name is not yours to shorten!"
Meighen: God, did we sound this bad when we were into new age?
Kath: All two weeks? Probably.
- In The KA Mics Sten's name is the only part that most people can hear.
- In Life And Death Sally's full name is Salyana Elathna'fury.
- Girl Genius has Zola, known as Zola La Sirène Dorée, whose given name is Zola Anya Talinka Venia Zeblinkya Malfeazium.
- El Goonish Shive has an Immortal who chose as the "full name" for herself Pandora Chaos Raven. The "Chaos" part was given by her last minion when she didn't give him any other and her appearance to him fit the name accordingly. According to one of the other Immortals (who goes by Jerry), they usually take random mythological names anyway (Hilarity Ensues when two "Zeus"es meet).
- In Nicky510, Nicky calls his alien friend ELF. His real name is Zeelistarpquietzlystermugonnealtröphyremenlelltrepidoorzynqilbroomnelpéleôzmeñofopadotacrañiolysanodriameliaströphelglûterongsaurosynemerclingtipkliölf. After he heard that, he called him Ölf. Or Olf.
- In Schlock Mercenary, Leelagaleenileeleenoleela goes by "Legs", primarily for the convenience of her fellow Toughs. It's not because she's female.
- Animaniacs: Dot's full name is "Princess Angelina Contessa Louisa Francesca Banana Fanna Bo Besca the Third".
- Princess Kidagakash from Atlantis The Lost Empire. Unable to pronounce her name, Milo asks if she has a nickname. It's Kida. (The man is a linguist, and can't handle four syllables?)
- Hey—give him some credit, after all, they do fit a specific couple of tropes... Why are we surprised that he's getting flustered talking to a pretty girl?
- Futurama: "In the time it would take to pronounce one letter of my true name, a trillion cosmoses would burst into existence, and wane into eternal night." ...and that's why they call him Nibbler.
- In the old MTV cartoon The Head, a young man wakes up one day to find that his head is grossly enlarged. Turns out a mostly-benevolent alien purple goblin is hiding inside and can pop out at will. The goblin introduces himself like this: "My name is [string of odd noises], but you can call me Roy.".
- Ivor The Engine: Ivor's official title is The locomotive of The Merioneth and Llantisilly Rail Traction Company Limited.
- Jimmy Neutron, where an alien girl tells Jimmy her comically convoluted real name (including a high-pitched wail in the middle), then offers to let him call her "April." He goes through her real name himself to make sure he has it right, at which point she insists on the nickname.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Princess Celestia's niece has the full name of Princess Mi Amore Cadenza. This rather fancy name is adapted as Cadance for the general public. She also seems to personally prefer Cadence over her full name, and "cadenza" is simply the Italian root word for "cadence" anyway.
- Teen Titans has Larry from "Fractured"'. His real name is nosyarG kciD. But Beast Boy had trouble pronouncing it, so he suggested the alternate name, which Larry liked.
- In Young Justice, like her uncle the Martian Manhunter, M'gann M'orze takes on the human name Megan Morse which just happens to be her favourite TV character.
- In "Come Back, Little Monster" on PB&J Otter, when Jelly finally meets the manatee properly, he tells her that his name is (makes screechy manatee noises) but says she can call him "Kevin."
- Adolph Blaine Charles David Earl Frederick Gerald Hubert Irvin John Kenneth Lloyd Martin Nero Oliver Paul Quincy Randolph Sherman Thomas Uncas Victor William Xerxes Yancy Zeus Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorffvoralternwarengewissenhaftschaferswessenschafewarenwohlgepflegeundsorgfaltigkeitbeschutzenvonangreifendurchihrraubgierigfeindewelchevoralternzwolftausendjahresvorandieerscheinenwanderersteerdemenschderraumschiffgebrauchlichtalsseinursprungvonkraftgestartseinlangefahrthinzwischensternartigraumaufdersuchenachdiesternwelchegehabtbewohnbarplanetenkreisedrehensichundwohinderneurassevonverstandigmenschlichkeitkonntefortplanzenundsicherfreuenanlebenslanglichfreudeundruhemitnichteinfurchtvorangreifenvonandererintelligentgeschopfsvonhinzwischensternartigraum, Senior, who typically styled himself "Hubert Wolfe+585 Sr."
- Jackie Chan got what would eventually be his stage name while working as a construction worker in Australia, as the foreman had trouble pronouncing his birth name (Chan Kong-Sang).
- He's not the only Chinese person to do so, many Chinese (and some other Asian nationalities as well) have both Chinese and Western names. This is especially true of those working in jobs where they are in regular contact with foreign co-workers.
- The final presidential election debate in 2008 introduced the entire United States to S. Joseph Wurzelbacher, more easily remembered as Joe the Plumber.
- Siddig El Tahir El Fadil El Siddig El Abderahman El Mohammed Ahmed El Abdel Karim El Mahdi, who first shortened his name to Siddig El Fadil when he became an actor, and later simplified it further to Alexander Siddig. He has appeared in works such as Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Vertical Limit, Syriana and 24.
- Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Clito Ruiz y Picasso.
- Pedro de Alcântara Francisco António João Carlos Xavier de Paula Miguel Rafael Joaquim José Gonzaga Pascoal Cipriano Serafim, A.K.A. Pedro I, first Emperor of Brazil.
- Edison Arantes do Nascimento, also known as Pelé
- Antonio Griffo Focas Flavio Ducas Komnenos Gagliardi de Curtis of Byzantium, His Imperial Highness, Palatine Count, Knight of the Holy Roman Empire, Exarch of Ravenna, Duke of Macedonia and Illyria, Prince of Constantinople, Cilicia, Thessaly, Ponthus, Moldavia, Dardania, Peloponnesus, Count of Cyprus and Epirus, Count and Duke of Drivasto and Durazzo, actor, poet, composer... better known as Totò.
- More a matter of having an unpronounceable first name than an overly long set of names (although the surname is pretty unwieldy by itself), but Alabama State basketballer Grlenntys Chief Kickingstallionsims Jr. uses his middle name. The last name is still there.
- Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette... better known to Americans simply as Lafayette.
- Common when dealing with the ancient Romans. For example, dealing with one particular family:
- First, there is Gaius Julius Caesar, more commonly known by only his last two names.
- Next was his adopted son, Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus, the first Roman emperor. ("Augustus" is not a name, but rather a title bestowed upon him by the Senate.)
- Formerly known as Octavian
- Then there was Tiberius Claudius Nero, later known as Tiberius Julius Caesar Augustus.
- ...Who is not to be confused with Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus (later Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Caesar Augustus Germanicus Brittanicus).
- There is also, of course, Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, whose birth name was Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus.
- And finally, we have Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, who is known not by any of these names, but by his childhood nickname Caligula.
- A common problem with Roman names. Most Roman families chose among just a few names for boys—for example, if a Gaius Julius Caesar had two sons, he'd almost invariably name them "Gaius" and "Sextus". For women, it's even more confusing—all the daughters were just called by the family name (every daughter of Marcus Antonius would be called "Antonia"). Informally, the daughters might be known by nicknames to keep them straight, but if you see a reference to "Agrippina", it might be any of a number of Agrippa's daughters or granddaughters.
- Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg — a little lake in Massachusetts with a very long name. It more or less means "fishing place at the boundary/neutral meeting grounds", which New England humor has translated to "You fish on your side, we fish on our side, nobody fish in the middle".
- The lake is most often called Webster Lake, after the town it's located in.
- There's the town of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch in Wales in the UK, which is rendered on road signs as "Llanfair P.G.".
- Greek was the lingua franca of the eastern Mediterranean in antiquity. Hebrew has some sounds and naming conventions that give Greek speakers fits (in particular, Greek doesn't have a "sh" sound). So many biblical Jewish figures are now known by Greekified versions of their names—"Moshe" became "Moses", "Shlomo" became "Solomon", and most notably, "Yeshua" became "Jesus". If a Jew did any traveling, he'd be pretty likely to also have a Greek name just to make it easier on other folks—so Sha'ul ("Saul") of Tarsus went by the handle "Paulus" ("Paul").
- German Politician Karl Theodor Maria Nikolaus Johann Jacob Philipp Wilhelm Franz Joseph Sylvester Freiherr von und zu Guttenberg. Generally known as Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, or more recently, The Man Who Would Have Been Chancellor (If He Hadn't Cheated On His Exams).
- Many Catholics have many more names than their public persona admits to. German composers Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus ("Wolfgang") Theophilus ("Amadeus") Mozart and Johann Baptist Joseph Maximilian ("Max") Reger, for example.
- Kenny Baker recalls that when his kids were younger and met Harrison Ford they had trouble pronouncing his name. Harrison's response was to say "Call me Peaches."
- Ioseb Besarionis dze Dzhugashvili, known to the world by another name.
- Nikita Khrushchev was often called "K" in the press.
- D.C. Rapper Olubowale Victor Akintimehin, likes to go by a shortened version of his first name.
- Karangahape Road, one of Auckland's main streets, is usually called "K Road" for short.