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Meaningful Name: Web Media
The goblin on the left is called 'Complains-About-Names'.
For some of these works, the true story behind a character's name is little more than a click away.
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    Webcomics 
  • 8-Bit Theater:
  • Explorers of Souls: "Mel" (the main character) is "Honey" in Latin. The author, whose first name is Honey, has confirmed that this is no coincidence.
  • Avas Demon Ava Ire, Odin Arrow, Crow and Raven Arrow, exc...
  • Unsounded: William Argenti is from the Silver caste.
  • Tower of God: Akryung means evil spirit. The character of the same name slaughtered over a hundred people and acts like he isn't even present.
  • Every character in Bitmap World has a meaningful name.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court occasionally goes crazy with this:
    • Antimony is named for the element antimony, whose name comes from the Greek for "never alone". (Her nickname, Annie, may be a reference to another famous red-haired orphan.)
      • Antimony is also a chemical relative of bismuth (same group, one period up), which plays an important part in the history of Gunnerkrigg Court.
    • Her father, Anthony Carver, is a surgeon.
    • Her mother's maiden name was Surma Stibnite. Stibnite is the name of an ore containing antimony. Surma (more commonly known as kohl), is a compound of antimony used in the Middle East as an eye-shadow, for cosmetic purposes or for protection from the Evil Eye. Surma is also one of the finnish words meaning death and she's dead.
    • Mort is a ghost; his name is French for "dead" or "death".
    • Parley is a talkative girl. She attempts to serve as a mediator during a parley. Her name is from the French parler: "to talk".
  • The main character's name in My Heart Is Beating is Bae Sugu, "Sugu" is Korean for Water Polo which is what the comic is centred on. It gets lampshaded repeatedly and subverted as he can't even swim.
  • In Erfworld all the names are meaningful and/or puns:
    • Lord Stanley's Foolamancer (Erfworld's version of an Illusionist) is named Jack Snipe, which is also the name of a bird primarily known for being well camouflaged, and therefore, difficult to see.
    • Wanda Firebaugh (say it quickly.)
    • Jillian Zamussels the barbarian.
    • King Saline the Fourth (i.e. "Saline IV").
    • Prince Ansom.
    • Lord Stanley the Tool.
  • The Chapel Chronicles: Rupert, the hedgehog, is named after Rupert Giles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
  • El Goonish Shive's Grace Scuridae is a shape-shifter who transforms into, among other things, a squirrel. This is lampshaded here.
  • Shortpacked! has Leslie Bean. It is unknown if she wears lipstick.
  • Melleck Xaos (pronounced like "chaos") in The Wotch: Inverted; he's the avatar of order. Also, lampshaded with respect to Samantha Wolf. Finally there is Lord Sykos, who is, well, absolutely insane.
  • Brad Wolfe and his daughter Rebecca from Sorcery 101. They're both werewolves. Interestingly, Brad's wife Ally, who's fully human, kept her maiden name.
  • All the Goblins, who are, in fact, named by their "fortuneteller".
    • Including one who thinks this is a really dumb way of naming people, and is thus called "Complains-About-Names".
    • And which has led to a life of paranoia for poor "Dies-Horribly".
  • Nearlly all the named characters in Cry Havoc are significantly named.
    • Fenrir is the name of the great wolf who would kill Odin during the norse Apocalypse, ragarok.
    • Skoll is name of the wolf who will eat the sun.
    • Hati is the name of the wolf who will eat the moon.
    • Karcharoth is a play on Carcharoth, the greatest wolf who ever lived from Tolkiens The Silmarillion.
    • Faustus is named for the dr. faustus who sold his soul to the devil.
    • Andrea Brynhildr is named after the Valkyrie Brynhildr.
  • Three of the players in Darths and Droids have names that reflect their characters: Jim (Qui-Gon Jinn), Ben (Obi-Wan "Ben" Kenobi) and Annie (Anakin Skywalker). Annie's name is possibly a coincidence, since Anakin started as a NPC.
  • Except for Thief, the surnames of the main characters of 8-Bit Theater (since their names are their classes as well): Fighter McWarrior, Black Mage Evilwizardington and (though it was only said by the author in the forum, not shown in the strip) Red Mage Statscowski.
    • "welcome to Hurt, Australia!"
  • Sluggy Freelance loves these.
    • Got a Hospital Hottie/Hot Scientist? Hello, Dr. Hot Chick (she insists it's spelled Haught-Sheik).
    • Got an army officer looking to militarize zombies? Meet General Mayhem.
    • Got a ruthless mercenary hired by an evil organization? Presenting Killum.
    • Got the princess of a space kingdom? It's our honor to introduce Princess-Princess.
    • And that's not even getting into the elves and Dimension of Pain demons, almost all of whom have descriptive names.
    • Inverted with a pair of shock jocks, one short and one fat, called Broadman and Midget. The short one is actually Broadman (real name Brouderman) and the fat one is Midget (Mike Midgetski).
  • Virtually everyone on Earthsong has a Meaningful Name, thanks to Nanashi, who named them this way on purpose. Consider for a moment that Nanashi means 'No-Name' and you'll see why.
  • In Strawberry Death Cake, the director of Sector 7, Sir Winston S. Moosington suffers from a werewolf-like curse. Except he's not a wolf...
  • In Girl Genius:
    • The house of Sturmvoraus, whose introduction is the beginning of the really meaty plot and who are all scheming to murder and usurp each other, take their name from the German for "Storm Ahead". There is also Albia, the briefly mentioned Queen of Great Britain.
    • Otherwise averted with Baron Wulfenbach, who has nothing lycanthropic in a world where werewolves may or may not exist, and who in fact doesn't even use Lupine symbolism for his forces: it would seem that Wulfenbach (non-standard German for "wolves stream") is simply the name of his ancestral estate.
    • The Heterodyne clan, as the "concentration music" Agatha makes vocally is (according to Carson) both a family trait and actual heterodyning. The name of the titular herione, "Agatha", also is a name derived from the greek word "Ἀγαθή" (pronounced "Agathon"), meaning "Good", "noble", etc. Fitting, seeing that she has a raging case of Chronic Hero Syndrome.
  • Almost all character names in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! are either symbolic as per this trope, or they're random puns, or both: Jean Poule, Rocko Sasquatch, Mr. O. Blivius Bystander, Princess Voluptua, Hibachi the Dragon, Robbie the Robber, Roofus the roof-repair robot, Heywood J. Lookathat, etc. And "Bob Smithson", whose name is one step removed from being the completely generic name "Bob Smith".
  • Finders Keepers: Cardinal, Lord and Aspect of the Primary Directions, second son of the Lord Navigator, great-grandson of The Seeker. He can find anything.
  • Parodied in Starslip: After the Quel storyline, a female Quel joins the crew of Paradigm. Problem is, individual members of the Quel have no names, which Vanderbeam remembered only when trying to introduce her into the roster. Mr. Jinx suggests calling her "Quel", but Vanderbeam instead suggests spending weeks trying to come up with a meaningful name derived from Classical Mythology and related to her role in the previous storyline's events. Cutter then suggests changing "Quel" to "Raquel" and she accepts, much to Vanderbeam's chagrin.
  • The Order of the Stick has the names of the three fiends of the IFCC: Lee, Nero and Cedric.
    • This comic also has Roy Greenhilt with his signature ancestral sword, Redcloak with his signature mantle, and — on the more obscure side — the chimera Trigak from Dorukan's dungeon. Guess which onomatopoeia is gasped by all three heads when Belkar administers the coup de grace.
    • Belkar Bitterleaf himself, in addition to being fairly bitter on occasion, has turned over a rather bitter leaf.
  • Van Von Hunter abandoned his original surname in favor of a more descriptive one.
  • Nature of Nature's Art justifies its use of the trope. In this version of the animal kingdom, most people are only known by nicknames, codes or where they're from. Having your own name is the biggest honour possible in this setting, to the point where you have to earn the right to pick the name you want. Animals with names choose their own names here, so this trope can turn up quite a bit. Polarizing, who is very unstable, is an excellent example.
  • Azrael from The Adventures of Wiglaf and Mordred is also called "the Angel of Death" by other characters, and he considers it his mission to bestow "Grace" — the name of his sword — on the world.
  • The name of the whole world in The Burned is Nameless World "for lack of a better name". Shibou, the God of Death, has a name that can translate to "death, mortality" in Japanese. Manami, the Goddess of Love, has a name that means "love, affection", and the name of the God of Nature is Shizen, which means "nature".
  • Homestuck
    • The "Aimless" part of "Aimless Renegade" initially referred to his status as a desert wanderer character (compare to the other two wanderer characters: Wayward Vagabond and Peregrine Mendicant). However, it also references his graduate degree from the Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy.
    • All of the Trolls, both first and last name, relate to their personality, interests, or associated astrological sign.
      • Aradia Megido: Aradia is a Pagan goddess, and Megido is the place where, in numerous religion, the apocalypse will happen. Aradia is a Magical Girl who is obsessed with the end of the universe.
      • Also doubles as forshadowing: The Pagan Goddess Aradia taught the lower classes to use majyks to stir up class warfare. Aradia's ancestress, the Handmaid, is mostly reponsible for Alternia being what it is today.
      • Tavros Nitram: Tavros is the Taurus troll, and his name is Greek for "bull" (if you swap the v for a u). Nitram is Martin backwards, and Mary Martin played Peter Pan in the 1954 musical. Tavros is a huge fan of Pupa Pan, the Alternian equivalent of Peter. (Martin was also a popular fan suggestion for his name before he was officially named).
      • Sollux Captor: Sollux is the Gemini troll, and the Gemini were a pair of twins called Pollux and Castor. Switch one letter in each, and...
      • Karkat Vantas: Karkat is a corruption of the Hindu word for "Cancer", which fits the Cancer troll. Vantas is a cancer treatment drug. Karkat's handle, carcinoGeneticist, might have been chosen to fit his personality, but he thinks that during his ectobiology of the frog of the next/human universe, he gave it cancer.
      • Nepeta Leijon: Nepeta is a corruption of scientific name for catnip, and Leijon is the Finnish word for "lion", and as Nepeta is the cat-obsessed Leo troll...
      • Kanaya Maryam: Kanaya is the Virgo troll. Kanya is Indian for Virgo, and can also mean mother, and her last name is the Arabic name for Mary, as in the Virgin Mary. Befitting of the matronly and fussy Kanaya.
      • Terezi Pyrope: Terezi is the Libra troll, and her first name is Azerbaijani for just that. Her last name is a gemstone that is always red in coloration, and Terezi has a borderline obsession with the color red. The stone's name also literally means "fire-eyes".
      • Vriska Serket: Vriska is the Scorpio troll, and her first name is a corruption of the Hindu word for Scorpio. Her last name is an Egyptian goddess personified as a scorpion, one of the arachnids that Vriska associates herself with.
      • Equius Zahhak: Equius is latin for "horse", and Equius' sign Sagittarius is symbolized by a centaur. Zahhak was an Iranian folklore hero meaning "he who has 1,000 horses."
      • Gamzee Makara: Gamzee is Turkish for "coquettish", or playfully sexual; a trait that shines through in Gamzee's Ho Yay with Tavros, Karkat, and Equius. This is unintentional, though, as he was named by a fan. Makara is Sanskrit for "Capricorn", Gamzee's sign.
      • Eridan Ampora: Eridanus was a river created by Aquarius, and Amphora is a jug of water Aquarius often carries. Guess what Eridan's sign is?
      • Feferi Peixes: Feferi is a corruption of the scientific name for cuttlefish, which Feferi loves and keeps as pets. Peixes is Portuguese for Pisces, which is, by process of elimination, Feferi's sign.
    • Things are pushed even further by the inclusion of the Pre-Scratch Trolls, who's names not only relate to their respective astrological signs, but are mostly collected from the suggested names for the other trolls of their respective signs.
      • Damara Megido: Damara is a breed of sheep, and Aries is the symbol of the ram.
      • Rufioh Nitram: Rufioh's name comes from the character Rufio from the movie Hook, which plays off of Tavros's love of Pupa Pan.
      • Incidentally, Rufio was the name of Tavros's inner-manifestation of his self-esteem.
      • Mituna Captor: Mituna is a shortening of Mithuna, the Sanskrit word for Gemini.
      • Kankri Vantas: 'Kankri' is the plural form of 'kankro', which is Esperanto for 'crayfish'- which, like crabs, are decapod crustaceans. It may be also derived from Alpha Cancri, the star system that is home to the Cancer constellation, or the word "cancrine" which means "appearing crab-like" or "appearing cancerous".
      • Meulin Leijon: Meulin's name is a French surname, but sounds close to the word "mewling" which plays into her cat theme. It also sounds like 'Merlin', and her class was Mage.
      • Porrim Maryam: Porrim's name possibly comes from the name of the Jewish holiday Purim, which is celebrated by wearing costumes. Porrim is appropriately fashion-savvy. Porrima is one of the brightest stars in the constellation Virgo, and it was named after Porrima/Antevorta, an ancient Roman mythological figure who was a companion of the goddess of childbirth.
      • Latula Pyrope: Latula's name more than likely is a corruption of Tula, the Hindu word for Libra.
      • Aranea Serket: Aranea is the Latin word for spider or spider web, and it's also the name of a genus of spiders. Serket was also a goddess of healing, and Aranea has healing powers from being the Sylph of Light.
      • Horuss Zahhak: Horuss's name is a play on the horse theme he shares with Equius, as well as a corruption of the name Horace. Horace was a famous Roman poet, and according to Aranea, Horuss picked up poetry as a hobby. It also resembles Horus, an Egyptian god who, like most of his pantheon, had an animal head. Horuss ended up building Rufioh a new body… that was basically his head on a robot horse's body.
      • Kurloz Makara: Kurloz seems to be the only troll without a meaningful name.
      • Cronus Ampora: Cronus is named after the ruler of the Greek titans who overthrew Uranus. His Roman name, Saturn, is also the name of the planet that rules the Aquarius sign.
      • Meenah Pexies: Meenah is a Hindu/Sanskrit name that means "a fish or cherished stone". The name is a homonym of the name of a class in India's caste system who claim to be descended from a fish avatar of Vishnu, and Meenah's magenta blood is the highest in their caste system.
      • Her name could also be a play on her attitude. Compared to Feferi, she's "a little meaner".
    • There are fewer obvious examples of meaningful names with the Kids as compared to the Trolls, but there are two examples among the Alphas: Jane Crocker has healing powers as the Maid of Life and has risen from the dead on several occasions, and Dirk Strider loves swords.
  • There are a few in InkTank: Webmonkey is a monkey, the IT Ninjas are actual ninjas, Marc is innocent and naïve ("mark" being carny slang for such a one), Yaz is the office lecher (Yaz is the brand name for a contraceptive), and Dante (the head programmer) drinks the coffee from hell.
  • In The Dreamer, Ben Cato's last name is also the title of a famous play, which was a favorite among many patriots, including Nathan Hale.
  • The title character of Keiki is named after the Hawaiian word for "child," since the comic features Hawaiian children as main characters.
  • Dominic Deegan has Karnak, though none of the readers find out why it's meaningful for quite a while, since the meaning is in old orcish. Namely, it means Morningstar.
  • ''Suicide for Hire' had the Shout-Out names Ty and Rosaline Montlet. Also, rather more subtly, Altair Annunaki is a lizard involved in shady dealings.
  • Unsurprisingly, a lot of the characters from Sonichu have meaningful names in context only. Amongst those:
    • Sonichu: portmanteau of Sonic and Pikachu
    • Rosechu: portmanteau of Amy Rose and Raichu
    • Punchy: He... likes to punch things.
    • Wild: Was raised in the jungles and uses grass-type attacks.
    • Magi-Chan: Apparently referring to his psychic powers.
    • Angelica: Has angel wings and was raised by a church.
    • Bubbles: Water-type user
    • Blake/Blachu/Black Sonichu: A Sonichu that's... black.
    • DJ Jamsta: He's... a DJ.
  • One of the main characters of Shadowgirls is a Deep One hybrid named Charon. In Graeco-Roman mythology, Charon was the ferryman who carried newly deceased souls across the rivers Styx and Acheron in Hades. He also appears in Dante's Inferno. Whether or not this name has any relevance in Shadowgirls remains to be seen.
  • Wapsi Square has Nudge, a trickster figure who does her best to give you a gentle push in the right direction, as well as an Ambulance Chaser named Marcus P. Smooze.
  • Freefall: The main protagonists boyfriend, Winston Scudder, is named after Samuel Hubbard Scudder, an entomologist.
  • In Rusty and Co. there are Prestige Perkins (practiced practitioner of practical prestidigitation) and the boss of the Illithid mafia Don Polpo (polpo being the Italian for Octopus).
  • The Fancy Adventures of Jack Cannon: Max Facepuncher (The Max stands for Maximum). Jack Cannon. The whole Cannon family, actually.
  • In Thornsaddle, the Care of Magical Creatures professor is named Butch McMann because of his masculinity.
  • In Bob and George, the assistant is named Dr. Wiley.
    I never really understood why Dr. Light would knowingly associate himself with someone named "Dr. Wily". It would be like having a dentist named "Dr. Pain" or a family doctor named "Dr. Death". I mean, it could just be an unfortunate coincidence, but it seems to me that you're just asking for trouble.
  • In Monsieur Charlatan, the assassin arrives under the name of Louis Faux.
  • In O Human Star, Sulla is the name of a character from R.U.R., and it's a boy's name but it was given to a female robot. Al looks like AI in a lot of fonts, such as this one, although the author said on her tumblr that it was a coincidence.
  • Desirée "DiDi" Chastel from Ménage à 3 manages two of these. Her given name is derived from the French for 'desired' (which describes the reaction she inspires in most people attracted to women), while her nickname is... well... self evident.
  • Schlock Mercenary subverts this with Lieutenant John Der Trihs. Though Der Trihs ends up with his head in a jar several times, he survives and eventually retires from mercenary life.
  • White Dark Life has Boar who turns into, well, a boar.
  • James Stud in the Espionage theme of Irregular Webcomic! has multiple meanings to his name; the first thing most people will think of is that James Bond, the character he's parodying, is The Casanova, which is of course a meaning of the word "stud" — but it's ironic because Stud is actually a Casanova Wannabe. The fact the character is a Lego minifig suggests the studs on top of Lego bricks, which form a "bond" with the brick below. And finally it allows a groanworthy Pun when it's revealed that everyone mistakes him for James Shaken: He's "Stud, not Shaken".
  • In Reds Planet, Red's foster mother is named Mrs. Foster.
  • In Once Stung the scientist in charge of the project that created the mutagenic bee that lead to Queen Bee getting her powers is Dr Apoidea. (part of the scientific name for bees) She bitterly lampshades it as the kind of name that sticks you to one very specific career path.

    Web Original 
  • Parodied in an episode of The Liam Smith Show that parodied Star Trek: Voyager: a console explosion results in the deaths of Ensign Deadmeat, Ensign Numbersup, Ensign Futurecorpse and Ensign Imgoingtodieahorribledeathonanawaymissonorwhenastationimatexplodes. (He's Dutch.) However, Ensign Expendible, introduced earlier in the episode, doesn't die.
  • Vizeadmiral Schneider from v2 of Open Blue, whose Cool Ship had a special cannon that fired shells loaded with circular sawblades for shrapnel. FYI, Schneider is German for "Cutter".
  • Tales of MU has half-demon protagonist Mackenzie Blaise, whose first name can be read to mean "fire-born" and her unknown brother, Aidan, whose name means "fiery". Other characters have significance in their names, to the point where some readers look up the name of every new character who appears. Indeed, there can be frustration and complaint if a juicy new name appears and linguistic analysis doesn't quickly follow in the comments section.
  • The eponymous hero's name in The Saga of Tuck has a meaning to female impersonators and MtF transsexuals.
  • What Is This Black Magic You Call Science?'s heroine, Chryseis. She vomits egyptian plagues via her womb connecting to her throat, and can decimate planets. Ironic in that she is actively trying to save people.
  • Some of the Gaia Online labtechs have meaningful numbers. 247 was a workaholic (to the point where he actually got a cot for his office so he could be there 24/7), 101 was not very intelligent for a professional scientist, and 013 was killed off at the beginning, among others.
  • Common with the Protectors of the Plot Continuum, especially as many agents are Only Known by Their Nickname. Shout-Out names are common, and some agents are from continua where symbolic or prophetic (such as with Tolkienverse elves' mother-names) names are widespread.
  • 5 Second Films has such characters as Johnny Quickdeath and Dealbreaker Jones:
    "Damn you Dealbreaker Jones, that wasn't part of the DEAAAALLLLL!"
  • The Legend of Korah has this to the point of being rediculous. Even the World's name, Terra Altsoba means Earth at War.
  • Darwin's Soldiers: Corporal Thomas Stern is as his surname suggests, stern.
  • Dr. Tease, a character in The Nostalgia Chick's show, is a Hot Scientist. What a shock.
  • Plenty of supers in the Whateley Universe, including notorious supervillain Dr. Diabolik and his children Jadis Diabolik and Mal Diabolik. Jadis even moreso, because she suspects that her mother is actually the White Witch, and Jadis is the name of the White Witch from The Chronicles of Narnia.
  • Lady Gray's little-known real name is Liadan. Liadan is Irish Gaelic for "gray lady."
  • The name of the Big Bad in Greek Ninja is Creon. Creon is also the name of the antagonist in Antigone.
  • As in most superhero fiction, this kind of thing is common in Worm — the best example is probably Accord, whose name means "agreement or harmony of things in general"note , and whose most basic desire in life is the harmonious order of everything.
  • When Datu from We're Alive meets Samantha in the arena she is very stoic about their fate. She eventually tells him that she "lost Hope." When Datu tries to reassure her, she tells him that she meant her daughter, whose name is Hope. She left her behind when their building got overrun by zombies. Later, after Samnatha's death, Datu becomes extremely bleak and fatalistic. He's doesn't really pull out of it until Michael, Pegs and Kelly return from the Colony, having found Hope.
  • Noob
    • In French gaming speak, the word "Kevin" has a meaning that can overlap with that of "Noob". The titular guild has an actual Noob in it and his real-life first name was probably the easiest one to choose for the series creator. Kevin's last name is "Lepape", which would be like being called "ThePope" in English ; his character is a priest.
    • Kary, if only phonetically so. The way her Online Alias is pronounced in French makes is sound just like the word for a tooth cavity. Since, story-wise, she ends up existing for the sole purpose of eventually putting Arthéon in a state of mind that makes him disband the Noob guild and briefly question his friendship with his former guildmates, it sounds awfully appropriate.
  • The Triarians in Void Of The Stars love this trope. All their names seem to have a meaning.
  • Tornadoes and Blood Scouts in Lightning Dust, due to wind powers/swirling misty lower bodies and being minor BloodKnights, respectively.

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