Names To Run Away From: Adjectives
Names to Run Away From Really Fast
which inspire fear because they are fearsome adjectives: Vicious, Grim, Sinister, Nefarious, Horrible
Or they inspire mistrust because they sound "false", like "honest"
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Anime and Manga
- Yu-Gi-Oh! has several instances:
- Yami (= Dark) Yugi, whose early punishments for people who attacked or threatened his friends included tricking people into yoyoing themselves through a roof to fall several stories, getting people stung by their own scorpions and subjecting people to illusory torture by Eldritch Abomination.
- Yami Bakura, who loves trapping people in game-based objects (such as, in the manga, storing souls in a pair of dice so they always rolled high).
- Yami Marik, who unlike the other two has no ancient Egyptian backstory, he just kills people.
- D.N.Angel's phantom thief, Dark Mousy. Also his evil counterpart, Krad.
- A common misconception surrounding Star Wars is that Darth is Dutch or German for dark, when neither of these statements are accurate. Dark would be donker and dunkel, respectively. Vader, on the other hand is Dutch for father, though it is pronounced differently in Dutch.
Special thanks to The Grim Reaper
Anime and Manga
- Wolfgang Grimmer from Monster. He may look harmless but threaten his life and you'll wind up another victim of The Magnificent Steiner.
- Grimjack of Grimjack.
- Mr Benjamin Grimm, otherwise known as The Thing of the Fantastic Four.
- The Grim Hunter, who shares this with his father Kraven (see below).
- The hero of the Doom movie, John Grimm.
- In the Harry Potter series, a black dog known as "the Grim" is an omen of death.
- Grim Tuesday from the Keys of the Kingdom series.
- Grimhild, the Evil Matriarch of the Gjukung clan in the Old Norse Völsunga saga.
- Harald Hardrada the famous Viking. While Hardrada for some reason is not regularly transliterated into history books, it means something like "hard" "ruthless" or "grim".
- Ottoman Sultan Selim the Grim.
- The Brothers Grimm. They might have been perfectly swell chaps themselves, but many of the fairy tales they collected were a bit... well, take a wile guess
Just silly enough that it's (as far as is recorded here) never used seriously.
- Horribin the Clown from Tim Powers's The Anubis Gates. An adept of Ancient Egyptian sorcery, who runs a crew of beggars that he crippled himself.
- Madame Morrible in Wicked.
- Darth Sidious of Star Wars. Double points for rhyming with "hideous". There is a certain in-story justification, as Sith 'names' are not technically names, but titles given after they've purposely started down the road of evil.
- Vandal Savage, DC Comics supervillain. Though he's a terrible person overall, he's not particularly savage.
- While he may act sophisticated much of the time, he is a cave man, and has engaged in thousands if not millions of acts of murder, torture and cannibalism in his incredibly long life.
- Adam Savage from MythBusters: His job involves smashing, blowing up, or otherwise destroying various items in big and spectacular ways (and he is very enthusiastic about his work). Also, in episodes where the crew play out character roles, Adam often plays villainous characters with "Savage" somewhere in their name (i.e. Baron von Savage, Captain Redbeard the Savage).
- Shady Shrew from Slylock Fox. This trope is usually extrapolated to other bit criminals like Reeky Rat or Slick Smitty — it's surprising that name profiling hasn't been implemented yet.
- Sid Shady from the riddle game Mind Trap.
- Sinestro from Green Lantern. It should be noted that he's left(sinister)-handed. It's not clear how his home planet's naming works.
- Mr. Sinister from X-Men.
- Subverted with Professor Sinistra, Astronomy teacher at Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series, who is actually a good soul, if an inveterate alarmist.
- Sinistrad from The Death Gate Cycle.
- Zig-zagged in the H.I.V.E. series, where the Political Manipulation instructor, the Contessa Maria Sinistre, is a Heel-Face Revolving Door. The trend stops later in with her granddaughter Lucy Dexter. "Dexter" being an alias to protect her identity, as she would not be able to study at the H.I.V.E. normally if the other students knew she also had Mind Control like her grandmother. However, she is a good character, even one of the series love interests, until her Death of the Hypotenuse fate in book six.
- Synyster Gates from Avenged Sevenfold.
Anime and Manga
- Vicious, the main antagonist from Cowboy Bebop.
- The main antagonist of Pokémon 4Ever is named Vicious the Iron-Masked Marauder (Vicious-sama no Kamen). He's also rumored to have been named for Sid Vicious, but evidence is hazy.
- Vishous from J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood novels, mercifully shortened to 'V'. Most of her male characters have bizarrely spelled "badass" names, including Torhment, Phury, Zsadist, Rhage, Rehvenge, and Wrath (well, that last one is spelled correctly). John Matthew doesn't fare any better with his warrior name: Tehrror; as does Butch when he's revealed to be a half-breed and gets saddled with a vampiric name of legend: The Dehstroyer.
- Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols. Sid was actually not that violent, nor was he particularly good in a fight; the pose of being a "moral danger" was certainly deliberate.
Anime and Manga
- Subtly, several names translate to disabilities, though that's not always bad. On the good side, Cecile from Code Geass ("Blind"). On the bad side, Claudia from The Vampire Chronicles ("Lame"). "Cecile" comes from "caecus", which means "blind" in Latin. In olden times it implied powers of prophesy as well, since many famous seers (Tiresias for example) were blind.
- Vendacious from A Fire Upon the Deep is one letter off from "mendacious". Perhaps not the best name for the head of your intelligence agency.
- Ras the Destroyer from Invisible Man.
- Many villains in the Redwall series have such names as Cluny the Scourge, Slagar the Cruel, Ferahgo the Assassin, and Gulo the Savage.
- Lord Foul the Despiser from the The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, who doubles as Titles as well as Narm.
- W. I. C. K. E. D. from The Maze Runner Trilogy. It doesn't stand for anything good, either: "World In Catastrophe: Killzone Experiment Department."
- Roger Chillingworth from The Scarlet Letter.
- Idlebury from Be Careful what you wish for by Stef. Its citizens are constantly idle (i. e. lazy).
- Skulduggery Pleasant: Baron Vengeous, Mevolent, Auron Tenebrae, Gruesome Krav, Christophe Nocturnal...the list goes on. Justified as they chose the names themselves.
- How to Train Your Dragon is full of this: Grabbit The Grim, Gormless The Grim, Stoick The Vast, Grimbeard The Ghastly, Norbert The Nutjob, Madguts The Murderous, Murderous The Magnificent, The Seadragons Furious and Merciless, and, of course, Alvin The Treacherous.
- Spoiler from The Key To Rondo. The kids quickly realize he's bad news, and suspect that he's working for the Blue Queen. Worse, he's actually Leo's Wicked Uncle George, who had given the eponymous Key to the Blue Queen so she could run the world while he lived in luxury.
- In Vorkosigan Saga Emperor Dorca's dragon is Pierre Le Sanguinaire which means "Bloody Pete" in English.
- Horus Heresy: In a series based on a franchise absolutely encrusted with nightmarish titles, the high-ranking Dark Mechanicus official Urtzi Malevolus has one of the least subtle; most of the others at least did something violent to earn a title like "Flesh Tearer" or "the Red Angel", Urtzi seemingly joined up with a surname that is "malevolent" with the last few letters changed, then got promoted to a high rank.
- Robbie Rotten from LazyTown.
- Sgt Gross in the Blake's 7 episode "Moloch" is one of the lesser known villains of the show, but notably nasty.
- Power Rangers has Master Vile, his children Rita Repulsa and Rito Revolto, Maligore (combination of Gore and Malevolent), General Havoc, Dark Specter, Darkonda, Ecliptor, Treacheron, Villamax, Deviot, Furio, Captain Mutiny, Hexuba, Diabolico, Jinxer, Onikage, Toxica/Necronomica, Mesogog (from Magog, as in Gog and Magog).
- Treacheron is perhaps the only one of these characters who is misnamed. He is very loyal to his employer.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation: Does anyone really want a hernia exam from a doctor named Crusher???
- Also, anything at all "of Borg".
- Johnny Rotten (real-life: John Lydon), band leader of the Sex Pistols. Given that 'Johnny' is British slang for 'condom', that verges on squick, too.
- Raoul Vilain (real-life: Raoul Vilain), who killed French president Jean Jaurčs.
- Duncan Ferguson AKA Duncan Disorderly. A Scottish footballer who lives up to his "hardman" image with four convictions for assault (including one on a cop!).
- Atropa Belladonna, better known as Deadly Nightshade. When the name of a poisonous plant actually contains the word "Deadly", its probably sign that you should stay the hell away!