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They Call Him Sword
They call him Blade, too.

"I, I am the blade, I am the promise unmade
I, I am the knife, I bring death to your life
I, I am the axe, to stop you dead in your tracks
I, I am the sword, I bring the fear of the Lord"
— "I Am The Sword" by Motorhead

Sometimes a Red Baron can have very specific nickname or title that compares him to some kind of weapon, often to his Weapon of Choice. Large Ham, Bad Ass or similiar people will like to announce this right after yelling his real name, especially during My Name Is Inigo Montoya moment.

Swords are the most popular weapon to call heroes after, followed by axes, hammers (both are the most popular among dwarves in standard High Fantasy worlds) and daggers. A Super Hero can name himself after a weapon and many bizarre combinations including some kind of it were common during the Dark Age of Supernames.

A subtrope of The Magnificent and Red Baron

The inverse of I Call It Vera, when somebody gives a human name to his weapon.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Swords 
  • Most characters from Claymore belong to an order of warrior women, named after their iconic longsword: the claymore.
  • Sanger Zonvolt, The Sword that Cleaves Evil, and his rival, Wodan Ymir, The Sword Of Magus from the Super Robot Wars game series.
  • Jacobus "Jack" Rakan from Mahou Sensei Negima!, The Man of a Thousand Blades.
  • Ser Arthur Dayne from A Song of Ice and Fire, the Sword of the Morning.
    • Technically speaking, the Sword of the Morning is a title handed down to the wielder of the greatsword Dawn, an ancient hereditary weapon of the Daynes made from a fallen star. However, Ser Arthur was the most recent, was particularly famous for his skill (apparently, deservedly so), and was once closely connected to several of the viewpoint characters, so he's the only one we ever hear about.
  • Tekkaman Blade has the title character, and Tekkaman Sword. Tekkaman Evil in U.S. version - Teknoman - is known as Sabre. Miyuki/Shara is Tekkaman Rapier.
  • Digimon: Alphamon Ouryuken Mode (Ouryuken translates to "God Dragon Sword".)
  • Turin in The Silmarillion becomes known as "Mormegil", Elvish for "black sword."
  • Rai-dei the Blade from Trigun, so-called because he's the only guy who uses a sword in a Space Western. He has tricks to negate this obvious liability; in the anime, a shotgun hidden in the blade, and in the manga, rocket-powered roller skates that give him an advantage... somehow.
  • Star Wars Expanded Universe:
    • Jaina Solo: Sword of the Jedi. She spends a while trying to figure out what exactly this title is supposed to mean. Even when Luke gives her the sobriquet, though, it's clear that he's not saying the rest of her life will be smooth sailing.
    • Venku Skirata: His father gave him the name Kad, which means saber in Mando'a. He later uses the name Kad'ika (little saber) when he leads a political movement on Mandalore advocating a focus on Mandalorian interests and defense and a withdrawal of Mandalorian mercenaries from wars in which they have no stake.
  • In Morrowind and Oblivion the powerful sword Umbra is cursed and tends to possess its owners, resulting in them becoming obsessed with the sword and adopting its name as their own.
  • In the first episode of Shakugan no Shana, Shana claims to not have any specific name, mentioning that she is typically referred to by the name of her sword, the Nietono no Shana. Hence, Yuji decides to call her Shana.
    • Parodied in one Shana Abridged episode (the 2nd episode of the series):
    Shana: I don't need a name. (Plus there's everything else that's wrong with that sentence.)
    Yuji: Then what can I call you?
    Shana: I'm the Flame Haze with the sword Nietono no Shana.
    Yuji: Then I'll call you Nietono-no!
    Alastor: If you're going to name her after the sword, Shana would sound better.
    Yuji: But Nietono-no sounds more Japanish.
    Shana: Don't I have a say in this?
    • Ironically, if Yuji really is Japanese he would not have left the "-no" part in since that is a particle and would make no sense without the "Shana" part. Also, precisely because "Nietono" is more Japanese that he didn't choose it because then all the Japanese would be saying "Who the hell gave her such a bizarre name?" That's besides the point though.
  • Kamen Rider Blade. In this case, named for the tarot suit of Swords.
  • A.A. Attanasio's The Last Legends of Earth has, as a minor character, a folk hero who is actually simply named "Sword".
  • Tobari from Nabari No Ou is named after Roland's famous sword, Durandal.
  • In the D&D parody The Intercontinental Union of Disgusting Characters, the heroine is named Sick Sword. Confusingly, her sentient broadsword is named The Sick Sword.
    • The sequels take this ball and run with it, with characters (and their respective weapons) named Disgusting Sword, Ridiculous Sword, Gross Sword, and Unbelievable Sword.
  • Saber, from Fate/stay night. Which is the name of her class, a sword-user. ...which is an interesting language quirk, as the other classes were Lancer, Caster, Archer, etc.note 
  • The DC superhero Katana, named for her magical...
  • Kargath Bladefist from Warcraft has hands made of, well, blades.
  • In The Order of the Stick, Roy's family name, Greenhilt, comes from his Ancestral Weapon. Durkon as well, with the last name Thundershield.
  • The Arabic name "Saif" means "sword", and it doesn't stop there. In Arabic, putting indefinite noun X before definite noun Y translates to "the X of Y". Thus "Saif Allah" is "The Sword of God"note  and "Saif al-Dīn"note  is "The Sword of the Faith." "Saif" has long been used as a personal name; the later two were historically given as nicknames to indicate a good warrior, but today they are common as given names and surnames.
    • The most famous bearer of this title is Khalid ibn Al-Walīd, a fearsome warrior and general in the early days of Islam known as "Saif Allah al-Maslūl": The Drawn Sword of God. Trust us, he earned that title.
  • Real Life Example: Henry Morgan (as in Captain Morgan, the guy on the rum bottles), perhaps the most famous and successful Privateer in history was known as The Sword of England.
  • Kamika from Shikabane Hime has the title/nickname "Sword Princess".
  • The assassin Broken Sword from Hero.
  • Gallade from Pokémon.
    • Honedge, Doublade, and Aegislash as well; being literal animate swords (though "Aegis" is a shield reference instead). In French, Aegislash becomes Exagide, a dual reference to the French names of both Excalibur and Aegis. The German names take the cake, though, referencing several mythological swords: Gramocles (Gram and the Sword of Damocles), Duokles (Sword of Damocles again), and Durengard (Durandal).
  • Eric Brooks is better known as Blade by the vampires, due to his weapon of choice.
  • In Codex Alera Master Swordsman Aldrick is known as "ex Gladius" for his preferred weapon- the midlength sword common in the Aleran legions. On occasion he's simply referred to as "the Sword".
  • In The Annals of the Chosen everyone goes by a name related to their profession or peculiar trait. As a result, each Chosen Swordsman has a name such as "Blade" or "Sword".
  • The hero of Time Stalkers is literally named Sword.
  • "Flower Sword" Vista and "Six-Sword Style" Hatchan from One Piece.
  • Sword from Devil & Devil. Except that it's his actual name.
  • Inverted in the Soul Series with Yoshimitsu, who named his katana after himself.
  • Doki Doki Pretty Cure has Cure Sword. It's also her actual name, she's not from earth.
  • The main character in Away Shuffle Dungeon is known simply as "Sword."
  • Mobile Suit Gundam AGE in OVA Memory of Eden we have Asemu piloting Gundam AGE-1 Swordia.
  • Rudi Mackenzie of the Emberverse was named the Sword of the Lady as an infant at his Wiccaning. His mission, in the second trilogy, is to find and claim the actual sword of the same name.
    Ingolf: So you're the Sword, and the sword is the Sword?
    Rudi: A bit confusing, I admit.

    Knives 
  • The Threepenny Opera: "Someone's sneaking round the corner, could that someone be ... Mack the Knife?". Funnily enough, it's a jack knife.
  • A silly example from Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn: a mercenary hitman in Nabban carries so many knives about his person and is so fond of threatening people with them that his nickname is "Ave Stetto" (lit. I have a knife). When he pulls this number on Duke Isgrimnur, he finds out the hard way that mere possession of a knife is insufficient to threaten a grizzled veteran.
  • Knives Chau from Scott Pilgrim.
  • Millions Knives from Trigun.
  • "Saint Alia of the Knife" from Dune, attributed to Alia Atreides by her followers. Considering she assassinated someone (with poison, but still) at the age of three...
  • One Piece: "Big Knife" Sarkies.
  • In Justin Cronin's post-apocalyptic vampire novel The Passage, Alicia is referred to as "Alicia Blades" because of her skill at throwing knives and tendency to always have them on her person.
  • In Dragon Age II, if brought along during Mark of the Assassin, Varric ends up bestowing the nickname "Shivs" on Tallis, due to her being something of a Knife Nut.
  • Real Life example: the Sicarii didn't get called dagger-men without doing something to deserve that.

    Axes 

    Hammers 

    Daggers 

    Scourges (Whips) 
  • The codifier and Real Life example is Attila the Hun, who was known as "the Scourge of God," which pretty much turned "scourge" into a synonym for "destructive force."
  • Used several times in the Redwall books, such as the badger lords Sunflash the Mace and Orlando the Ax, as well as the series' first villain, Cluny the Scourge, who used his tail as a whip.
  • The Undead Scourge in Warcraft III and World of Warcraft, though it's more likely it's using the "destructive force" definition rather than referencing the weapon.
  • The Dungeons & Dragons diety Hextor is known as the Scourge of Battle.

    Other 
  • Captain Hook from Peter Pan.
  • Pistol from Goof Troop
  • Simon from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann at some point started calling himself "Simon The Digger" or "Simon The Drill," depending on translation.
  • Spike on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Originally it was said because he used railroad spikes to torture his victims. We later find out was because someone said that he would rather have a rail spike driven through his head than listen to any of William's (Spike's pre-vamp name) poetry that after he turned he went after his former acquaintances with railroad spikes. His other moniker of William the Bloody on the other hand is actually a reference to his "bloody awful poetry", a fact that was apparently lost to vampire biographers.
  • Piers Anthony's early Battle Circle novels: Sos the Rope, Var the Stick, Neq the Sword.
    • Why does one get the impression Piers Anthony wrote those after listening to Mack the Knife?
  • Tekkaman Blade again: Tekkaman Lance. As you can see, this was a theme.
  • There is a god in the Rift War universe called "The Shield of the Weak."
  • Hanzo the Razor, from the film series of the same name.
  • There was a Danish pretender named "Harald Kesja," where "Kesja" is a kind of spear.
  • Trident, a minor villain from the Teen Titans cartoon.
  • One of the orcs in Dominic Deegan goes by Hukthak, which is the name of the sacred spear he wields.
  • Black Sabbath song "Johnny Blade."
  • The Drasnian queen's spymaster in David Eddings' The Belgariad and The Malloreon series is codenamed Javelin.
    • While the single best assassin, real identity known only to the Queen and Javelin, is known as Hunter.
  • Sylvester Stallone's character in Roger Corman's cult classic Death Race 2000 was named "Machine Gun" Joe. Tyrese Gibson played a similarly-named character in the remake, Death Race.
  • Even Shakespeare uses this trope. Although Pistol fails to appear in more recent screen versions of Henry V, in the play he represents the ordinary rank and file of the English army.
  • A pair of (retired) assassins in Vlad's Dragaera books are known as the Sword and Dagger of the Jhereg. We call them Norathar and Cawti.
  • Kamen Rider Blade: Kamen Rider Leangle (a kind of polearm). Like Blade himself, named for a tarot suit; this time the suit of Wands.
  • More on Túrin/Mormegil: he also named himself Gorthol, "the Dread Helm", and fought alongside his friend Beleg Cúthalion - Beleg Strongbow, that is - in the land that was then called Dor Cúarthol, the "Land of Bow and Helm."
  • Crowbar, from the MS Paint Adventures series Homestuck, is a member of The Felt and wields a crowbar that negates any time-travel abilities or effects.
  • There's a song by Mexican band Zoé about a spy known as Razor Blade
  • Sanosuke from Rurouni Kenshin had the nickname Zanza, or Sanosuke of the Zanbato.
  • The word 'German' means 'spear warrior' in Old German.
  • They call him... Machete. It's his real name, no less.
  • Nearly 10,000 people in America alone can count themselves examples by virtue of being named Lance.note 
  • Throughout Africa, Kalash is a boys name, thanks to the ubiquitous Kalashnikov.
    • In more recent news, children in the Middle East have been named Facebook and Twitter thanks to each being instrumental in regime changes. May not count unless non-lethal military and political assets are allowed.
      • The pen is mightier than the sword...
  • Another Real Life example, Genghis Khan once declared himself to be "The Flail of God."
    • This "name" itself is a title meaning "Ruler of the Universe" (compare e.g. "the King of Kings"), taken only when Temujin turned into the elected emperor after unifying various Steppe peoples into the single Horde via civil war. The same way as gur-khan, the title of his rival, meant the leader of a tribal alliance (gur).
  • Revolver Ocelot in Metal Gear Solid.
  • Jei-san in Usagi Yojimbo refers to himself as the "Blade of the Gods".
  • Unforgiven featured the Schofield Kid on account of his Smith and Wesson revolver.
  • Michael Carpenter.
    "I don't call him the Fist of God as a pet name, folks."
  • Forgotten Realms has a handful of such characters. The great paladin Ralgorax, the "Sword of Tyr" (mentioned in REF5 Lords of Darkness). Sir Ganithar "the Hammer Knight" or simply "the Hammer" (Knight Errant from A Matter Of Thorns). Ranger called "Ren o' the Blade" (from The Pools trilogy).
  • A song by Ruben Blades is named "Pedro Navaja", which translates to Razor Peter (or Peter Razor).
  • Scyther from Pokémon.
    • Similarly, Scizor.
  • In the Graceling spin-off Fire, Archer was born "Arklin," but his skill with a bow caused Fire's nickname for him to stick.
  • In Real Life, Hall of Fame basketball player "Pistol" Pete Maravich.
  • In Real Life, numerous mobsters, such as "Machine Gun" McGurn and Louis "Two Gun" Alterie.
  • The admirals fought in Dubloon's final dungeon all take nicknames from their weapons in addition to their normal names: Jeane the Fire Spear, Steel the Ice Blade and Thompson the Thunder Gun.
  • During some periods in Sweden, it was relatively common for military officials to give new surnames to recruits if there were too many with the same patronymic. Plenty weren't weapons, but others were (most of the categories above show up, as well as some that don't, such as Granath [an archaic spelling for grenade]), and it was usually inspired in some way by the person who got the name.


Tekkaman Index.
Sell OutFame and Reputation TropesTorches and Pitchforks
The 'The" Title ConfusionNaming ConventionsThey Call Me Mister Tibbs
Food Chain of EvilImageSource/Live-Action FilmsBlade Runner

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