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Names To Run Away From: K Names
A form of Names to Run Away From Really Fast.

Names with the letter K in them (especially as the first or last letter), for some reason, look tougher than names without it. Perhaps it's because this letter is rarely used by itself the English language, and thus it sounds sinisterly foreign. Or maybe it's because those few English words are mostly of a rather morbid variety (e.g., "kill", "keelhaul", "kick", "kidney", "kitten"), and the name sounds scary by association.

K Names don't necessarily denote evil characters (or entities). Sometimes they're given to tough and brutal warriors - though you'd better run away from those really fast, too.

Note: This trope is brought to you by the letter "K". Names with "c", "cc", "ck", "cch", "q", "cq" etc. are not this trope. "Kh" is okay, though.

See also Names To Run Away From: R Names and Xtreme Kool Letterz.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 

    Comicbooks 
  • Spider-Man:
    • Carnage: Alien symbiotic mass-murderer/serial-killer, real name? Cletus Kasady.
    • Kaine: Spidey's ill-fated *first* clone (*eyes rolling*) and indirect participant/instigator of the Kraven legacy resurgences.
    • The Kingpin: more famous as a Daredevil acoutrement, he was Spidey's first and has the last name "Fisk".
    • Kraven The Hunter: One of the purest examples of this trope, his own real family name is even "Kravinoff" (and his sons and daughters are more than happy to carry on the line...or resurrect it, as the case may be).
    • The Kangaroo: just kidding...but he's real.
  • Karl Ruprecht Kroenen
  • Kang the Conqueror, a major Avengers villain. Note that 'Kang' is an alias; his birth name is the disappointingly normal Nathaniel Richards.
  • Both the Kree AND the Skrull alien races are traditionally belligerent towards Earth's heroes in the Marvel Comics universe.
  • Let's be frank; would you really want to have anything to do with Walter "Rorschach" Kovacs?
  • Ramanious Kath Also, his minion Klachilles.
  • Many Italian 1960s comic book Anti Heroes, starting with Diabolik. Notable examples include Kriminal and Satanik.
    • This trend, sometimes called "criminalizing K", was parodied by the famous Italian Donald Duck comic, Paperinik.
  • A Pif Et Hercule comic had a villain called Krapulax.

    Film 
  • Star Wars:
    • The Droideka battle droids.
    • Count Dooku, aka: Darth Tyrannus.
    • Grand Moff Tarkin, who blew up a whole *planet* in the first showing of the Death Star's capabilities.
    • Anakin Skywalker: Who even killed younglings on his path to the Dark Side.
  • Admitted by the creators of the Highlander franchise, and so common they even have a name - 'Kimmies': The Kurgan, General Katana (doubles up with a weapon name, for even greater badassery), Kane, Kronos, etc.
  • REVOK! DARRYL REVOK!
  • King Kong The original and best. Especially if he has his foot raised above your head.
  • Kalgan take me away!
  • KHAAAAANNNNN!!! KHAAAAANNNNN!!! From hell's heart, he stabs at thee...
    • Bonus points for being the vaguely ethnophobic Khan Noonien Singh in full.
  • Krank from The City of Lost Children.
  • Dr. Mirakle from the 1932 Murders in the Rue Morgue.
  • Freddy Krueger of A Nightmare on Elm Street.
  • Charles Foster Kane: With the manipulation of the public via newspaper yellow journalism, the politically ambitious marriage to his first wife, the forcing of his second wife into an undesired and ill-suited operatic career, or even the abandoning of his first wife for said second wife, he's really the antagonistic villain of his own movie.
    • Extra villainous toppings for both the naturally Xtreme Kool Letterz of his palatial-but-nearly-deserted estate "Xanadu" (effectively transforming it into a villainous stronghold) AND for one of the film's real-life inspirations, William Randolph Hearst, (whose name, sadly, has no K in it) forbidding any mention of it in any of his publications (a villainous, ego-centric move if there ever was one).

    Folklore and Mythology 
  • Koschei the Deathless, from Russian folklore. "Deathless" because he's removed his soul from his body to attain immortality. It's hidden in the eye of a needle, inside a duck egg, inside a duck, inside a fox, inside an iron treasure chest wrapped in the roots of a tree on an island which simply isn't there most of the time. Possibly the original lich.
  • The goddess Kali from Indian mythology; representing Time, Change and Death, she is an unfortunate and unavoidable, but an ultimately necessary, "evil".
  • Loki from Norse mythology. His name SOUNDS trickster-y. And if he's feeling helpful, that's great. If he's feeling disgruntled - or if he's crossed his moral even horizon - bad things will ensue. Ragnarok, for instance.
    • For that matter, how about Ragnarok? You know, the Viking version of the apocalypse?
  • Sekhmet from Egyptian mythology. She was a goddess depicted with the head of a lion and was so literally bloodthirsty she drank a whole lake of wine just because she mistook the red liquid for blood. And didn't start feeling the effects until after she finished the entire lake. Even Ra was afraid to try to stop her rampaging.

    Literature 
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Uruk-Hai (and the Orcs from which they were bred, to an intentionally lesser extent).
  • Robert E. Howard was fond of K Names, as evidenced by King Kull and Solomon Kane.
  • The Jungle Book:
    • Shere Khan: bonus points for translating directly as "Tiger Lord" (or "Tiger King", if you want to double-up on the K-sounds).
    • Kaa: although he is more an accompanying protagonist to Mowgli than in the familiar Disney film (where he's an outright villain), he still has great powers, including a hypnotic dance, and commands respect and prestige from the other characters... not only do Baloo and Bagheera sing a song together with him for Mowgli, but it is actually they who ask him for help in rescuing Mowgli from the Monkeys, and also become hypnotized themselves by him during the task, all of which show how powerful and respected he actually is.
  • Kirschov Latanya of the Second Sons trilogy, though he is more dumb than evil (He was the last person in the entire universe to work out that Marquel was evil, to start...).
  • The biggest Urgals from the Inheritance Cycle are called Kull.
  • Crayak is pretty damn scary and the K doesn't help.
  • Karkas, in Galaxy of Fear. Added distinction of being a Serial Killer who carves the letter "K" into his victims' foreheads.
  • While not particularly evil, you don't want to be putting the hopes of your baseball team on a guy named Casey, especially if he's the last guy at bat.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Daleks, from Doctor Who. Unless you're the Doctor, with a pass possibly going to a few of his companions, your only hope when confronted by a Dalek is to run away very, very fast.
    • Or hide behind a sofa.
    • Or go up or downstairs. (That is, until the Daleks figured out that they had to start levitating.)
    • Also done with the names of many Villains Of The Week. Why, even the name of the villain in the first story ever, An Unearthly Child, was Kal!
  • It became clear after a few episodes of Highlander that anyone with a K name was evil. Fans started calling them "K'immies".
  • A milder variety: Power Rangers RPM has Dr. K, who becomes furious whenever someone says that her Ranger suits are made of spandex. No one is safe, not even a schoolboy. Or, alternatively, if your name is Tenaya 7 and you find yourself on the wrong side of her violin.
  • Klingons from Star Trek: The Original Series. Especially Kang, Koloth, Kor, Korax and Kras.
    • Note also the non-Klingon Kodos the Executioner, a double whammy (although he gets some sympathy in the end of his episode).
    • Khan, also listed in the film folder.
    • From the perspective of the bad guys, 'Kirk' is probably a name to run really, really fast from...
      • As well as Spock; Vulcans are a super-strong-telepathic-able-to-knock-you-out-with-a-pinch race that are not to be trifled with.

    Music 
  • "King Kong! King Kong! The White Man done you wrong! And so we sing this song to you! Mighty Kong! King...Kong! Oonga-boonga, hoonga Kong! Get a load of mighty Kong! A million natives can't be wrong! Oonga-boonga, hoonga Kong...": This not-famous-enough vinyl tribute to the film original is also a direct descendant of ooey-gooey gorey #1 classic by Bobby "Boris" Pickett, the "Monster Mash".
  • Helter Skelter: Infamous due to events beyond its control, this song was originally conceived when "the cute one" read that The Who had produced one of the "loudest, rawest, dirtiest" rock songs... and thought that they could do better. It starts to veer slightly away from its badass origins, however, once you realize that a "helter skelter" is actually a playground slide and that this song could just as easily have been about "going 'round and 'round on a MERRY-GO-ROOOOUUUNNNDDD!!!!" or "riding up and down on a FERRIS WHEEEEEL!!!!" (although the phrase "helter skelter" itself does have a double-meaning of "going crazy", "chaotic" or "without order").

    Professional Wrestling 
  • For that matter, wrestlers Aja Kong and Amazing/Awesome Kong/Kharma.
  • Nikolai Volkoff & The Iron Sheik: A "Soviet" heel who, at the height of 80's Soviet/American rivalry, had the audacity to sing the Soviet National Anthem before every match, and his authentic Iranian tag-partner who not only had bodyguarded for the Shah, but also competed (for Iran) and coached (for the U.S.) in the Olympics.
  • Kane.
  • King Kong Bundy, strong, huge fighter par excellence.
  • Killer Kowalski: Famous 6'4" Polish-Canadian "heel" wrestler (who was actually extremely nice in person), he ripped off an opponent's ear then showed up at the hospital the next day to laugh at his victim about it (in actuality, the two were friends, the incident was an accident, and the two were laughing about the fact that he looked like Humpty Dumpty in his bandages); he was also the first person to *ever* PIN ANDRE THE GIANT!!!
  • Kamala the Ugandan Giant/Headhunter.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000: "Kharn" sounds scary enough, until you find that his title is "'the Betrayer''". You really, really want to run away from this one.
    • Also, Khorne, Chaos God of War, whose followers are known by their battle cry "Blood for the Blood God!" The 40k universe is not a happy place.
    • Kaelis Ra, the god of death. Oh, and Kaela Mensha Khaine, the Eldar god of war (as well as murder, violence and destruction, not a really pleasant guy to be around).
    • Scryak.
  • In Dungeons & Dragons Orcs and Drow tend to have k and g sounds in there names, so if one runs after hearing a name like Grak or Kagak (which are just random names btw) it's probably best for their health.
  • Magic: The Gathering has Kozilek, The Butcher of Truth and Emrakul, The Aeons Torn; Eldritch Abominations called the Eldrazi that transcend the colors of mana.

    Toys 
  • Most of the Always Chaotic Evil species and various fearsome critters in BIONICLE have Ks in their name: Bohrok, Bohrok-Kal, Rahkshi, Vahki, Visorak, Piraka, Skakdi, Barraki, Makuta, Skrall, Kraawa, Kralhi, Kranua, Kraahu, Kavinika, Kinloka, Kahgarak, Parakrekk, Kraatunote , Krana, Kraata, Kuurahknote , Kohraknote , Keeleraknote , Klakk... And on an individual basis we have names like Krekka, Krahka, Krika, Karzahni, Krakua, Kopaka, Fenrakk, Irnakk, Kardas, Voporak, Sidorak and Kollorak.
    • The Ignika, one of the most powerful Kanohi, and the only one that was intentionally made sentient.
    • Kraahkan, the evil Mask of Shadows worn by Makuta.

    Videogames 
  • King Koopa was probably the first widely-known use of this trope in gaming.
  • Pokémon:
    • Kyogre: a gigantic, ocean-controlling beast of legend who *wars* with other gigantic, continent-and-air-current-controlling beasts of legends.
    • Magikarp: raging Gyarados, anyone?
    • Ekans/Arbok: poison-spewing snakes accustomed to hanging out with the badasses in Team Rocket.
    • Murkow/Honchkrow: naturally "Dark"-type pokemon who are called "the Summoner(s) of Night".
    • Skorupi: a poison-type scorpion who evolves into a Dark-type bruiser (the "Dark" type is literally called the "Evil" type in the original Japanese).
    • Ninjask: a super-speed-demon insect that's so badass, it has a mirror evolution in which the empty *shell* of its former metamorphosis is animated into a near-indestructible phantom (ie: Shedinja).
    • Darkrai: a legless, hovering Dark-type with the ability to make people have Bad Dreams.
    • Krokorok/Krookodile: Dark-type crocodiles who live in ancient ruins among a searing hot desert.
    • Zoroark: A*nother* Dark-type, this one with the ability to create illusions that can fool or even trap others.
    • Eelektrik/Eelektross: An Electric eel who is immune to his one type's only weakness.
    • Terrakion: A legendary Fighting/Rock bull who actually made war on humanity with his buddies at one point in the past.
    • Zekrom/Kyurem/Black Kyurem: As if a gigantic Dragon with an Electric turbine in its tail who is the literal embodiment of the cosmic Yin wasn't enough, he can also be combined with fellow Tao Dragon, Kyurem, to form the stronger-than-both "Black Kyurem".
  • Kane, the leader of Nod from the Command & Conquer: Tiberian Series.
  • Korax, the really eeeeevil end-of-game boss from Hexen.
  • Kratos, God of War.
  • King K Rool from Donkey Kong Country 1-3 (and Land 1-3, and 64, etc). Speaking of which, pretty much every single Kremling and boss character comes under this: KAOS, Kerozene, King Kut Out, Kleever, Kroctopus, Krow and Kludgel.
  • Sarah Kerrigan.
  • Armok, God of Blood and almighty deity from the full title of Dwarf Fortress.
  • Kraid from the Metroid series.
  • Mantorok from Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem.
  • Kefka.
  • Karnov.
  • In World of Warcraft: Kargath Bladefist, Kil'Jaeden and Kael'thas.
    • Kel'Thuzad, Hakkar the Soulflayer...
  • Mortal Kombat gives us Shao Kahn, Kano, Baraka and Sektor to name a few.
  • The entire race of the krogans who are entirely battle-driven and want to kick the galaxy's ass in Mass Effect
  • In RuneScape, all generals of the Kal'Gerion Army: To'Kash, Har'Lakk, Bal'Lak, Yk'Lagor and Kal'Ger.
  • Kumatora: It even means bear-tiger.
  • Dr. Eggman's original name is Dr. Ivo Robotnik.
  • Dragon Age: Origins gives us the darkspawn...well, most of them: gemlocks, hurlock, and sharlocks (more commonly called Shrieks in the game, but they're still examples of this)
  • The Dovahkiin from Skyrim who can evoke this with their real name if the player so desires, also notable are the twin brothers Vilkas and Farkas of the Companions, Kodlak Whitemane, and Ulfric Stormcloak.
  • Killbane, the big bad from Saints Row: The Third from Act 2 and onwards.
  • Karras, the Mad Scientist/Sinister Minister Big Bad of Thief II.
  • Total Annihilation`s Krogoth is an example of both K Names and R Names.
  • Kilrathi words and names (from Wing Commander) are full to bursting with K's: Kilrathi, Drakhri, Krant, Drakhai, Sorthak, Vaktoth, Hvark'kann, karakh (also Kilrathi for "shit"), Kur Human-Killer, Thrakhath nar Kiranka, Bhurak nar Caxki, etc. Also full of -th endings, R's in awkward places, and loads of guttural spitty sounds (where all those H's come from) for a language that is as Black Speech as you would expect from a race of eight-foot-tall roaring genocidal space lions.

    Webcomics 

    Web Originals 
  • Dr. Diabolik of the Whateley Universe, referred to by one of the viewpoint characters as Dr. Dad.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • The prevalence of the hard K in some Russian names may sometimes be used as an intentional Anglo attempt to bring up spectres of Dirty Communists.
  • Franz Kafka: Author whose works gave his name to an adjective ("kafkaesque") which is "marked by a senseless, disorienting, often menacing complexity" or "marked by surreal distortion and often a sense of impending danger".
  • American liberal writer/editor Russ Kick
  • Genghis Khan.
  • Jacob "Jack" Kevorkian: Do I even really want to go there? All moral ambiguity aside, and whatever view his actions can be seen as, the very word "Kevorkian" can, for some, conjure up images of a bloodthirsty killer who takes pleasure or delight in the calculated terminus of his victims (as opposed to the heroic championing of the right to die with compassionate dignity), and a lot of it has to do with how the media has painted the events...especially in pop culture, where he's always good as the superficial and ill-informed punchline for a quick laugh or two; either way it's probably genuinely safe to say that he might have had an easier ride of it, and a less tough time in the public media eye, if his name didn't have so many damning and damaging hard-sounding 'K's all up and down in it.
  • The Ku Klux Klan.
  • The "Mohawk" tribe: their more-familiar name is actually one from their Algonkian enemies meaning "man-eaters"; in their own language, they call themselves Kanienkehaka ("people of the flint") which, oddly for this trope, has even more K's.
  • Kamikaze
  • Evel Knievel: famous showy daredevil born Robert Craig Knievel, he earned his stage name legitimately from a stint in jail for reckless driving (his cell neighbour was known as "Awful" Knofel, so the guard rhymed him as "Evil" Knievel); although he changed the spelling to specifically escape the "evil" connotations, he's still about as badass as they come.
  • Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini
  • Hurricane Katrina
  • James Jesus Angleton, Director of the CIA during the early part of the Cold War, became obsessed with the possibility of Soviet moles; intelligence (likely to have been a matter of Soviet disinformation) suggested that one existed, and that his name began with K. CIA agents' careers were blocked and shortened if their names began with K, and the chaos that Angleton's mole-hunt caused seriously impaired CIA morale and function.


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