Two First Names

"Two first names, two first names, if you only got one name, it's like having no names, baby get two names."

Many superheroes and their associates have surnames that are also common given names. This is almost as common as the Alliterative Name, and, in fact, many heroes qualify in both categories. This is a side effect of the American habit of using common last names as first names, possibly in an attempt to make them sound as non-ethnic as possible, so British readers might not recognize some of these surnames as first names.

This can make a Last Name Basis to be difficult to realize at first.

Examples

Superheroes
  • Clark Kent.
  • Bruce Wayne.
  • Barry Allen and Bart Allen.
    • Jay Garrick as well. With Barry and Bart, at least, it really only makes sense when you realize that their full first name is actually a Patronymic (it's still very rare as a first name, though, apparently because people can't be bothered with saying anything quadrisyllabic).
  • Peter Parker, though "Parker" has only recently become common as a given name.
  • Charles Xavier (although this is pronounced differently to the first name, which is generally pronounced "zavv-ee-ay" rather than "ex-ay-vee-er"; the last name is also generally pronounced this way, but Middle America wouldn't have noticed it started with an X). The pronunciation is actually more slippery than this, as it has changed since the time of St. Francis Xavier (Which is pronounced Zay-Vee-Er, by the by). Javier is a phonetic respelling of the name in modern Spanish. However, the Portuguese pronounce the name with a sh sound.
  • It's a requirement for a Green Lantern from Earth:
    • Alan Scott.
    • Hal Jordan.
    • Guy Gardner. (Named after famed Silver Age DC scribe Gardner Fox.)
    • John Stewart. (No, not that one.)
    • Kyle Rayner (though as a first name it would typically be spelled Rainer).
    • Jade AKA Jennifer-Lynn Hayden.
  • Bobby "Iceman" Drake.
  • Steve Rogers. He even used the alias "Roger Stevens" once.
    • His partner, The Falcon, is Sam Wilson. Like Steve, he once came up with an alias by essentially changing the order of his names.
  • Donald Blake.
  • Cain Marko is an egregious example, where a given name that doesn't make a particularly good surname is pressed into service to make a Meaningful Name. Could be completely avoided by calling him "Marco Kane" or something along these lines.
  • Kent "Doctor Fate" Nelson.
  • Ronald Raymond, the first Firestorm.
  • Rex "Hourman" Tyler.
    • And his son, Rick Tyler. And the Hourman from the 853rd Century, an android who went by the name Matthew Tyler.
  • Crispus Allen, one host of the Spectre.
  • Ted "Wildcat" Grant.
  • James Jesse, the first Trickster. To be fair, he chose this name after Jesse James. His birth name is Giovanni Giuseppe (which is itself an example of this trope).
  • Both versions of Captain Atom: the Charlton version is Allen Adam, while DC's is Nathaniel Adam (actually a case of Three First Names, as his full name is Nathaniel Christopher Adam).
  • Garfield Mark Logan.
  • Power Rangers has a few:
    • Zack Taylor. (Black Mighty Morphin' Power Ranger)
    • Jason Scott. (Red Mighty Morphin' Power Ranger/Gold Zeo Ranger)
    • Tommy Oliver. (Green/White Mighty Morphin' Power Ranger/Red Zeo Ranger/Red Turbo Ranger/Black Dino Thunder Ranger)
      • Double points for being played by Jason David Frank.
    • Justin Stewart. (Blue Turbo Ranger)
    • Kendrix Morgan. (Pink Lost Galaxy Ranger)
    • Dana Mitchell. (Pink Lightspeed Rescue Ranger)
    • Chad Lee. (Blue Lightspeed Rescue Ranger)
    • Ryan Mitchell. (Titanium Lightspeed Rescue Ranger)
    • Jen Scotts comes close. (Pink Time Force Ranger)
    • Wes Collins comes close. (Red Time Force Ranger)
    • Cole Evans comes close. (Red Wild Force Ranger)
    • Shane Clarke comes close. (Red Wind Ranger)
    • Ethan James. (Blue Dino Thunder Ranger)
    • Bridge Carson. (Green/Blue/Red S.P.D. Ranger)
    • Nick Russell. (Red Mystic Force Ranger)
    • Theo Martin. (Jungle Fury Blue Ranger)
    • Scott Truman. (RPM's Ranger Series Operator Red)
    • Chase Randall. (Dino Charge Black)
    • Kendall Morgan. (Dino Charge Purple II)
  • All Fall Down has Sophie Mitchell.
  • Eddie Brock, the original Venom.
  • Michael Bruce - Also his father Matthew Bruce, who later renames himself Ulysses David.

Non-costumed Heroes and Associates

Female Examples

Fictional examples outside comic books

Real Life note 

  • Jon Stewart from The Daily Show. Inevitable, since Stewart is a showbiz adaptation of his middle name. He was born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz.
    • He even makes jokes about it:
    "Tonight's guest, Congressman Ron Paul, a proud member, with me, of the Two First Names Club. We, uh, we meet every Thursday for cocktails with Ron Jeremy and Barney Frank."
  • Trevor Noah carried on the tradition when he succeeded Jon Stewart as the host of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.
  • Tim Allen (Home Improvement) was born Timothy Alan Dick.
  • Rose Marie was a supporting player on The Dick Van Dyke Show and a panelist on The Hollywood Squares. She seldom used her surname, Curley.
    • Similarly, actress Ann-Margaret rarely uses her surname, Olsson.
      • Likewise hyphenated is Terry-Thomas, a.k.a Thomas Terry Hoar-Stevens.
  • Stan Lee (born Stanley Lieber).
  • Jack Kirby (born Jacob Kurtzberg)
  • John Wayne (born Marion Michael Morrison).
  • Cary Grant (born Archibald Leach).
  • Kevin James from The King of Queens (born Kevin George Knipfing).
  • Dame Vera Lynn (born Vera Margaret Welch)
  • Radio broadcaster Paul Harvey, born Paul Harvey Aurandt.
  • Radio star Jack Benny (born Benjamin Kubelsky).
  • Radio star Fred Allen (born John Florence Sullivan).
  • Danny Thomas (born Amos Yakoob).
  • Moe Howard of The Three Stooges (Moses Hurwitz)
  • Actor and voiceover artist William Conrad (born John William Cann, Jr.)
  • The Webb sisters, Loretta, Peggy, and Brenda, changed their names before becoming famous country singers, renaming themselves, respectively, Loretta Lynn, Peggy Sue and Crystal Gayle.
  • Jason Alexander (born Jay Scott Greenspan).
  • Huey Lewis (born Hugh Anthony Cregg, III)
  • Jerry Lewis (born Jerome Levitch)
  • Ray Charles (... Robinson).
  • Dennis Franz (... Schlachta).
  • Toby Keith (... Covel).
  • Lea Michele (... Sarfati).
  • Shannon Elizabeth (... Fadal).
  • Sheldon Leonard (... Bershad) (the racetrack tout from The Jack Benny Program and the old bar owner from Cheers).
  • Alison Brie (... Schermerhorn).
  • Psychic John Edward (... McGee, Jr.).
  • Porn star Ron Jeremy (... Hyatt).
  • Kendrick Lamar (...Duckworth).
  • Rick James was born James Ambrose Johnson, bitch!
  • Sid James (born Joel Solomon Cohen).
  • Tony Curtis (born Bernard Schwartz).
  • Kirk Douglas (born Issur Danielovitch).
  • Bob Dylan (born Robert Zimmerman).
  • Lenny Bruce (born Leonard Alfred Schneider).
  • Buck Henry (born Henry Zuckerman).
  • Gilligan's Islandís Tina Louise (born Tatiana Josivovna Chernova Blacker).
  • Joey Lawrence (Joey Russo from Blossom) (born Joseph Lawrence Mignogna, Jr.).
  • Woody Allen, born Allen Stewart Konigsberg.
  • Eddie Albert (Green Acres) (born Edward Albert Heimburger)
  • George Michael, born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou (Greek: Γεώργιος Κυριάκος Παναγιώτου)
  • Dirk Benedict (Faceman from The A-Team) was born Dirk Niewoehner.
  • Serial arsonist Peter Dinsdale changed his name to Bruce George Peter Lee.
  • Talent agent William Morris, born Zelman Moses.
  • Valentino's contemporary John Gilbert — born John Cecil Pringle.
  • Dean Martin — Dino Paul Crocetti.
  • Tony Martin — Alvin Morris.
  • Butch Patrick (Eddie Munster) — Patrick Alan Caples.
  • Les Paul — Lester William Polfuss.
  • Sir Cliff Richard — Harry Rodger Webb.
  • Infamous weeaboo Akemi Mokoto, who, because of his dislike of his family, renamed himself after two anime characters. His original surname was possibly Boyd, but his original given name is unknown.
  • Brenda Joyce, born Brenda Dworman.
  • Lewis Carroll, whose real name was Rev. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson.
  • George Eliot, whose real name was Marian Evans.
  • Cassandra Clare, born Judith Rumelt
  • Jennifer Lopez's husband Mark Anthony, born Marco Antonio Muñiz
  • Rachel Zoe, born Rachel Zoe Rosenzweig
  • Wynona Judd, born Christina Ciminella
  • Meg Ryan, born Margaret Hyra.
  • Katy Perry, born Katheryn Hudson
  • Designer Ralph Lauren, born Ralph Rueben Lifshitz
  • Jane Seymour, born Joyce Frankenberg
  • 70s game show fixture Elaine Joyce, born Elaine Joyce Pinchot
  • Yakuza boss Shinobu Tsukasa, born Kenichi Shinoda. Doubles as a meaningful name, since Tsukasa (司) can mean "chief", among other things.
  • Nicholas Brendon (... Schultz).
    • As well as his twin brother, Kelly Donovan (... Schultz).
  • Peter Joseph, creator of the Zeitgeist films, whose full name he doesn't reveal for privacy reasons. (Allegedly his surname is Merola).
  • After she came out as transgender, the lead singer of "Against Me!" changed her name to Laura Jane Grace.


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