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People only known by their titles in literature.

  • In The Adventures of Strong Vanya, the real name of the old blind Tsar who tells Vanya about his fate is never given.
  • In The Alchemist, almost every character is referred to by their occupation (the titular alchemist, the crystal salesman, etc.), and only a select few characters actually have names (including the main character, Santiago the shepherd, but even he is victim to this trope; his name is only mentioned in the first line of the book and he is simply referred to as "the boy" afterward). It could be an allusion to Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea, for the main character's name was also Santiago, but he is almost strictly referred to as 'the old man' throughout the novel.
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  • There are three characters in Alice in Wonderland with names; Alice herself and the White Rabbit's servants, Pat and Bill. (There's also the Rabbit's maid, Mary, and Alice's cat Dinah, but they don't actually appear.) The rest are only known by their species (the White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat, the Mock Turtle, etc.), their title (the King, Queen and Knave of Hearts, the Duchess) or their profession (the Hatter, the Cook, the Footmen).
  • In American Gods, Shadow's real name is never mentioned. Late in the story, he gives it to Bast and apparently goes without from then on. In the sequel novella Monarch of the Glen, Shadow's name is revealed to be Baldur Moon.
  • In Janwillem van de Wetering's Amsterdam Cop novels, the most senior of the three protagonists, the Commissaris, is always referred to only by his police rank and his name is never revealed.
  • Animorphs:
    • The Ellimist in the books has three names: his real name, his "chosen" name, and his "game" name. Ironically enough, his game name is the one we're familiar with; his chosen name is rarely-used Toomin, and his real name is the even more rarely used Azure Level, Seven Spar, Extension Two, Down-Messenger Forty-one. Makes sense, huh?
    • And the Drode. According to the... er, being himself, it means "wild card."
    • The three most important Andalites on the Asculan in The Decision have their names mentioned once, but they're always referred to by their titles in the narration.
  • The characters in The Annals of the Chosen are either known by their profession or a meaningful nickname. For example, the titular Chosen are generally known by nicknames based on their role, such as the Leader being Boss and the Swordsman being Blade or Sword.
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  • Annals of the Western Shore: In Voices, the (former) Waylord of Ansul is always called Waylord by Memer and the other people in his household. It's jarring when Rebel Leader Desac shows up and calls him by his first name, Sulter.
  • Isaac Asimov:
    • "The Bicentennial Man": The narration refers to the original members of the Martin household by the honorifics that Andrew called them, instead of by their names, which Andrew knew. Sir is Gerald Martin and Little Miss is Amanda Laura Martin, while Ma'am and Miss are never named.
    • "Galley Slave": The attorneys for Prosecution and Defense are only referred to by their courtroom roles, despite their sidebar conversations with the judge and clients.
    • Pebble in the Sky: The High Minister isn't given a name in this story, because Secretary Balkis is the true villain and the High Minister is just a pawn.
  • In Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, the title character is always referred to as the Little Seamstress.
  • None of The Berenstain Bears has known names. The parents are referred to as "Papa" and "Mama" while the children are "Sister" and "Brother". This could be justified if only family members called them that, but everyone uses those titles. Lampshaded when another girl makes fun of Sister's name. Before Sister was born, Brother was just called "Small Bear."
  • In Terry Fallis' The Best Laid Plans and The High Road, set in the Canadian Parliament, the party leaders are only ever called the NDP, Conservative, or Liberal Leader, unless the reference is to the leader of the governing party (Conservatives until just over halfway through the latter, then Liberals), who is called "the Prime Minister." Indeed, only five elected MPs ever get named in either book: Angus McLintock and the four people who become Minister of Finance, since the Member he accidentally defeats in Best Laid Plans had that portfolio. Truth in Television as explained under Real Life, but very much an Exaggerated Trope.note 
  • In The Black Company novels, wizards are either known only by a title that describes their position and powers or Only Known by Their Nickname, since a wizard's true name holds power over them and can even be used to strip their magic away. The Dominator, the Lady, Soulcatcher, and Shapeshifter are all examples of the "known by a descriptive title" version.
  • The alien subject named "Subject" from Blind Lake. Done deliberately by the scientists who named it to avoid the temptation to anthropomorphize it.
  • In Jose Saramago's novel Blindness, none of the characters have a name. They are referred to by their profession or physical appearance.
  • Chaucer's pilgrims in The Canterbury Tales are never given names. They're merely identified by their position (The Pardoner), Occupation (The Miller), or status (The Wife of Bath, The Knight). There are only two exceptions: the Miller, whose name is Robin, andthe Friar, whose name is Hubert. There's also Lady Eglantyne, but that's actually only a title.
  • The Poet from A Canticle for Leibowitz is only referred to by his occupation, or disparagingly as the Poet-sirrah. Even after he becomes a folk saint centuries after his death, he's only ever called Poet.
  • Captive Prince: Both the characters and the narration only ever refer to the Regent of Vere by his title.
  • In Castle Hangnail, the head minion of Castle Hangnail has no name, and answers to whatever his current master or mistress calls him, which has resulted in him spending large periods of time going by "Lackey" or "Wretch". Molly decides she's not going to be that kind of person, and settles on "Majordomo".
  • Done frequently and hilariously in Catch-22: Nately's whore, Nately's whore's kid sister, Nately's whore's pimp, the Texan, the Soldier in White, the Soldier Who Saw Everything Twice, the C.I.D. Men, the Maid in the Lime-Colored Panties, and Dreedle's Girl.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia:
    • In The Silver Chair, the fourth (or sixth) book, the Big Bad is merely called "the Witch", "the Queen", or "the Lady of the Green Kirtle".
    • The White Witch (who, confusingly, is also called "the Queen" and "the Witch") actually gets a name: Jadis. However, no one actually refers to her by name, she's "The Witch" to most Narnians and "the Queen" to her servants. The name "Jadis" is mentioned maybe once or twice in each book she appears in.
    • Caspian's wife is never called anything but "Ramandu's Daughter".
  • In The Chronicles of Prydain, the Big Bad of the first book is always called the Horned King. Only Prince Gwydion, the Big Good of Prydain, ever learns his real name — because that is the tool with which he can be defeated. Even when Eilonwy asks what the real name is, he tells her it must stay a secret, adding, "I assure you it was not half so pretty as your own."
  • Chronicles of Thomas Covenant:
    • The entity who created the Land is only ever referred to as "the Creator" or as "The man in the ocher robe."
    • Gods in this setting seem to have a descriptive title as their "true" name; there's also the Despiser and the Lover, though both of these are given other names by mortals and as such don't fit the trope as well.
  • In Jeramey Kraatz's The Cloak Society, the Tutor, who instructs the children of the Cloak Society.
  • The titular villain of "Clockpunk and the Vitalizer", The Vitalizer (a reference to his powers, which allow him to bring inanimate objects to "life" under his control).
  • Conqueror: Lords of the Bow includes a nameless assassin and spy who infiltrate the Mongol camp during the siege of Yenking. The spy goes by the name Ma Tsin, though this is a pseudonym, and the sections told from his Point of View only ever refer to him as 'the spy'. Bones of the Hills features the Old Man of the Mountains, imam of the Assassins.
  • In The Cosmere, Vessels of Shards tend to be known both in and out of universe by the Intents of their Shards, rather than by their mortal names. (Ati tends to be called Ruin, Leras tends to be called Preservation, Tanavast tends to be known as Honor, etc.) Justified by the fact that holding a Shard warps your mind to fit the Shard's Intent, so that after a few millennia the Intent is a more accurate descriptor than their human name. And of course we don't actually know all of the Vessels' mortal names yet, so a few can only be referred to by their Intents out of universe. Notably Hoid, who knew the Vessels before they took up their Shards, is one of the few characters who often calls the Vessels by their original names.
  • The "man in the yellow hat" from the Curious George books. In The Film of the Book, he's named Ted.
  • Daemon gives us The Major, who is never known by any other name. Turns out, he's not even a Major in any branch of any military, though it seems he used to be.
  • The Demon Headmaster has no given name or, for that matter, backstory; although he's only a Headmaster in the first book, the heroes still call him that because that's how they first met him (and it's just easier). He does have a name, and in fact what his real name is is an important plot point in the fifth book, but the prose always finds a way to avoid saying it. (This was taken to extremes in the TV adaptation of the second book, where a list of names with his on it was also an important part of the plot but still managed to avoid showing his name.)
  • The emperor in Detectives in Togas is mentioned several times, but never by name. From the dates given in the story, we can conclude it's Tiberius, second Roman emperor.
  • The woman in yellow in Dirge for Prester John, called Theotokos, which is clearly not her real name. She is an authority figure, but how literally we should take this title is unclear as yet.
  • Discworld:
    • The Librarian of Unseen University, simply called "the Librarian". In his case, all his coworkers with the possible exception of Rincewind have forgotten his real name (apparently Horace Worblehat), and he actually takes great pains to hide it from the other Unseen University faculty in order to keep them from turning him back into a human, since he prefers his current orangutan form. Just don't call him a monkey.
    • Most of his faculty colleagues just go by their job descriptions as well, such as the Dean (in full: the Dean of Pentacles), the Lecturer in Recent Runes, the Chair of Indefinite Studies, the Senior Wrangler, and the Bursar. The Bursar's real name has been given as Arthur A. Dinwiddie ("That's Dinwiddie with an o."), but it's rarely used. This was lampshaded in The Last Continent.
      "One of us must know [the Librarian's] name, surely? Good grief, I should hope we at least know our colleagues' names. Isn't that so..." he looked at the Dean, hesitated, and then said, "Dean?"
    • According to Unseen Academicals, the Dean's first name is Henry. Ridcully at least has the excuse with regard to the Librarian that he was away from the University for 40 years and didn't know him before his accident. The Dean even uses his title to refer to himself. In Soul Music he monograms it onto a leather jacket.
    • Anthropomorphic Personifications tend to be "named" after whatever they're personifications of, for example Death and Time. Although Time retired in Thief of Time and now the job is done by her son who goes by Lobsang Ludd.
    • There are a few in The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents: Rat Catcher 1, Rat Catcher 2, the piper and the Stupid Looking Kid. At least until:
      Stupid Looking Kid: I think it [my name]'s Keith.
      Maurice: You never said you had a name!
    • The Duck Man, a Canting Crew regular, doesn't seem to remember his name from before he became a homeless beggar. Nor does he seem aware of the duck on his head, meaning that he doesn't realize this trope applies when people call him that.
    • In Guards! Guards!, the young man whom the conspirators set up for the role of dragon-slayer, with the intention of making him king of Ankh-Morpork, doesn't last long enough for the populace to learn his name. One character assumes his name is "Vivat Rex" because that's what all the banners hung in his honor say.
  • The main character and narrator of The Diving Universe is known only as Boss, neither giving nor using her real name.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • Defied. When Harry meets The Archive in Death Masks, a little girl who possesses the sum of all human knowledge, he insists on giving her an actual human name: Ivy.
    • Small Favor reveals that some in the White Council believe this habit of Harry's has potential for some dangerous consequences.
    • At this point he has also named Demonreach, a sentient island and a nexus/origin of leylines. That one has been more or less explicitly stated by the Gatekeeper to have been a really stupid move.
    • At first glance, the Gatekeeper himself also seems like this, but at one point someone mentions that his name is Rashid.
    • Again, at first glance, there's Chauncy, a demon Harry summons for information on occasion. The demon's True Name is actually Chaunzagorath (Or something along those lines), which is a bit of a mouthful, so Harry probably calls him Chauncy for the sake of not having to pronounce his name. Also, the previous novel showed it's unwise for demon-callers to blab the real names of beings they summon where enemies might overhear.
  • In Stanisław Lem's novel Eden, the characters (the crew of a spaceship) are only referred as the Captain, the Engineer, the Doctor, the Chemist, the Physicist, and the Cyberneticist. Lem subverts his own convention halfway through the book, when in the only scene dedicated to character development, The Doctor gets a name — Henry.
  • Everything's Better With Elves: Laura and Kim are the only humans with names; everyone else is known by various descriptions, most prominently the girl with improbably long hair, and her roommate, mostly called the "Elf Goddess".
  • The Big Bad of the Fablehaven series is always called "the Sphinx" (or "the Ethiopian" at one point). He's not really a sphinx, he's just called this because he's full of riddles and mysteries.
  • In Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club the main character never gives his proper name. He is referred to as one of the many aliases he uses in his support groups and later in the film/book he is referred to as Tyler Durden, but his true name is never told to us. In fact, he is only listed as The Narrator in the credits for the film.
  • The children in The Fire-Us Trilogy had their brains rather scrambled by trauma and forgot their real names. Some of them chose names that fit the roles they took after the virus. Hunter "hunts" for supplies to scavenge from houses and stores. Teacher gives the younger children lessons on the world before the virus, and Mommy takes care of them.
  • Fool by Christopher Moore has a royal food taster whose actual name is Taster. Several of the nobles are also referred to solely by their titles as well.
  • "Dead names" in ghostgirl are somewhere between this and Only Known by Their Nickname, though in this case the characters are named after what they did. Some characters have nicknames attached to their names related to how they died.
  • The Giver:
    • The Giver's real name is never revealed and he is always just called "Giver" by Jonas and "Receiver" by other characters.
    • The Chief Elder's real name is never revealed.
  • Not all the ghosts and heavenly beings in The Great Divorce are named, and C. S. Lewis usually gives them nicknames (like the Big Ghost, the Hard-Bitten Ghost, and so on). The ghosts and Bright Ones whose names we do learn are usually learned in passing in conversation. There are only two exceptions to this: MacDonald, whom Lewis recognizes, and Sarah Smith.
  • Everyone in Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World.
  • Conrad's Heart of Darkness only has three characters that have names (Marlow, Kurtz, and a minor character called Fresleven). Others include the Narrator, the Accountant, the Manager, the Director, the Director's Uncle, the Pilot, Kurtz' Mistress, Kurtz' Intended, Marlow's Aunt, the Russian, etc.
    • The Secret Agent does this as well with the Assistant Commissioner and the Professor.
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's "—All You Zombies—", the narrator is only referred to as "the barman", but is at the end of the story revealed to be the same person as the other characters, originally called Jane.
  • In Hexwood by Diana Wynne Jones, four of the five Reigners are only referred to as Reigner Two, Reigner Three, etc. The only one whose name we find out is Reigner One.
  • In Louis Sachar's Holes, the warden of Camp Green Lake is only called Warden. We don't learn her name until the last few chapters, when it's revealed that she's the descendant of Trout Walker.
  • In Robert McCloskey's Homer Price and Centerburg Tales the town sheriff is referred to only by his title.
  • One Horatio Hornblower book has a young fugitive prince from a German province put in Hornblower's ship as a midshipman: His Serene Highness the Prince of Seitz-Bunau. Everyone calls the kid Mr. Prince. His actual name is never stated.
  • The Seeker and Doc from The Host. Regarding the latter; Wanda actually asks him why that is, and it turns out he finds his real name embarrassing. It's Eustace.
  • Kyrie's boyfriend in House of Leaves is only ever referred to as "Gdansk Man", Gdansk being the city in Poland he was born in.
  • The man that Katniss bought her sister's goat from in The Hunger Games is only known as the Goat Man.
  • All the characters in The Hunting of the Snark, except one who has No Name Given.
  • The Consul in Dan Simmons' Hyperion Cantos.
  • At the end of the first Inheritance Cycle book, Eragon gets a telepathic message from someone called "The Mourning Sage", or "The Cripple Who Is Whole". Subverted in that in the next book, we find out his name is Oromis.
  • The Kzinti in Larry Niven's Known Space universe do not have names until they earn them through acts of heroism or importance, although they can earn partial names that combine a real name and their rank or role. Until then, they're known by their rank or role, or familial relations until they've gained a role of some sort: Short-Son of Chiirr-Nig, Flyer, Engineer, Telepath, Speaker To Animals (diplomat to aliens). Speaker earns his name (Chmeee) after returning from the Ringworld. The Kzin captain in "The Soft Weapon" has a "partial name", Chuft-Captain. He doesn't get a chance to upgrade it later, being killed by the titular weapon's Self-Destruct Mechanism.
  • In Mickey Zucker Reichert's The Last of the Renshai series, there is a character that goes by "Captain" who is, in fact, a captain of a ship. When other characters ask for his real name, he says that "Captain" is his real name, because it's the name he uses for himself. Although Frey does eventually reveal Captain's original name.
  • The Lightbringer Trilogy: In Black Prism we are briefly introduced to a pirate shooting a musket at the protagonists. One of the protagonists recognizes him as a rather famous marksman who most people know simply as Gunner. At the end of the book, after his ship is sunk, Gunner has control of the only working lifeboat and decides that a promotion is in order, so he requests that his crew call him Captain Gunner.
  • In Larry Niven's The Magic Goes Away series, the Warlock was so powerful that his nickname became a name for all wizards. Much like Harry Dresden, names in the Magic Gone Away world had power, so he took steps to prevent it. He was so powerful and so old that he had induced mutations in humanity such that no-one was even able to pronounce his real name anymore.
  • The Murderbot Diaries: The title character is an artificial Cyborg "SecUnit", rented out by its parent corporation as security detail. Once it gains its freedom, the people who see it as a person rather than an appliance call it SecUnit like a proper name. It calls itself "Murderbot" ironically but doesn't give anyone else permission to use that name.
  • In Literature/Neverwhere Hunter, who hunts animals like the great blind crocodile of the New York sewers, is only known by that name. Everybody knows it, and gets real quiet when she announces herself.
  • Of Mice & Men's "Curley's Wife" is a classic example.
  • Old Kingdom: In the first book, Sabriel is rather surprised to find out that "Abhorsen" is not her father's name but his title. It's only revealed by a passing remark in Lirael that his name was Terciel.
  • Fagin from Oliver Twist is named, but almost solely referred to as "The Jew". Averted in later editions.
  • In the epic Polish Narrative Poem Pan Tadeusz, many of the major characters are referred to solely by their nobility titles (The Judge, The Chamberlain, etc.)
  • Paradox: In Even the Wingless, Chatcaava don't put much value in names, thus the highest ranked ones are known by their titles. Emperor, Slave Queen, Second, Third, etc.
  • In the original novel The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux, there is a rather plot-central character known only as the Persian. He was, however, cut from Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical based on said book, with Madame Giry somewhat taking over his role.
  • Professor Mmaa's Lecture has Dr. Arsene's Private Detective, Professor Soul's First Assistant and Professor Soul's Second Assistant.
  • In The Queen's Thief books, the magus of Sounis and Eddis' Minister of War have gone through four books without ever being referred to by their names. (Although the latter is sometimes known as Gen's father.)
  • Ragtime:
    • The main Caucasian family are only referred to by their designation within the family — "Mother," "Father," "Mother's Younger Brother," "Grandfather." When this was adapted to musical theatre form in 1998, "The Little Boy" was given the name of Edgar (named after E.L. Doctorow, who wrote the novel).
    • Similarly, the Jewish immigrant family is referred to as "Mameh", "Tateh", and "The Little Girl", the former two being Yiddish for "Mother" and "Father". Aside from the Walkers, almost everyone in the novel with a name is an actual person.
  • Robin Hobb's Realm of the Elderlings: The Farseer trilogy has The Fool.
  • Redwall:
    • The book The Bellmaker features a baby mouse who is only ever referred to as "mousebabe". Brian Jacques, when asked what the mouse's real name was, responded "Didn't you ever know a family who always referred to the baby as just 'the baby'?"
    • In most likely every book in the series, there's also at least one otter character whose title is "Skipper of Otters", and is referred to throughout the book as "Skipper", though they all probably have their own names. There are also the Gousim Log-a-logs, who have their own names but are normally referred to as "Log-a-log So-And-So", and the leaders of the Redwall moles have the title of "Foremole" and are either referred to by just their title or have their names attached to it.
  • The Rifter: Kahlil may have had a name once, but now he’s only known by his title (the Kahlil) or its anglicized variant, Kyle.
  • The Moidart; despite being a major character in half the Rigante series we never learn his name. The same goes for another minor character, the Moidart's rival, The Pinance.
  • The two main characters of Cormac McCarthy's The Road are only ever referred to as the Man and the Boy.
  • Very few characters in Robinson Crusoe and its lesser-known sequel are given proper names, with the exception of Friday and a couple others. Instead we have "the Spaniard," "the captain," "Friday's father," "my wife," etc.
  • In The Sea of Trolls and the sequels, the mentor is only referred to as "the Bard" or "Dragon Tongue."
  • In The Secrets of Drearcliff Grange School, the school's custodian is known to one and all as "Keys" because she carries an enormous bunch of keys for every door in the school.
  • In Shogun, only the ruling class have actual names: everyone else is called things like "Old Gardener" (except prostitutes who take the names of flowers). The protagonist ends up being called Anjin-san, which is a polite way to refer to his job as Pilot of a ship.
  • In the Light Novel version of Slayers, Lina's home country is ruled by a demigoddess known only as the Eternal Queen.
  • The Southern Reach Trilogy: Expedition members are stripped of their names. During Annihilation no names are used for any of the characters, and the expedition members are only known as the psychologist, the biologist, the surveyor and the anthropologist.
  • In Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven, a number of characters are known solely by their function. The conductor of the Traveling Symphony prefers to be called "the conductor." One of the viola players changes her name to "Viola." The prophet also abandons his given name.
  • In Survivors certain dogs in a pack are known by their titles: The pack leader Alpha, their second-in-command Beta, and the lowest pack member Omega.
  • In the classic Japanese novel The Tale of Genji (which is considered by some to be the first modern novel), characters, especially women, are only referred to by titles, descriptions, and honorifics; their actual names are never mentioned. (Doing so would have been considered very rude.)
  • "The Old Man," erstwhile owner of "The Tell-Tale Heart" in the Edgar Allan Poe's story of the same name.
  • In C. S. Lewis' Till We Have Faces, the King is known only as the King, except for once in the beginning when his name is given as Trom. Similarly, the first priest of Ungit is only ever the Priest.
  • H. G. Wells' The Time Machine has a framing story of the Traveler telling his tale to a group of men. Apart from Filby, all are identified by their description: The Editor, The Provincial Mayor, The Medical Man, The Time Traveller and so on. In Stephen Baxter's authorised sequel, The Time Ships, the Traveler refers to his friend the Writer ... who is clearly H. G. Wells, but never named as such.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • The Mouth of Sauron from The Lord of the Rings is only ever referred to as the Mouth or the Messenger (both titles descriptive of his role in Sauron's hierarchy — he's the one who takes Sauron's words and relays them to both minions and enemies). This is because he gave up his real name so long ago that even he has forgotten it.
    • Like the other wizards, Gandalf revealed his real name (Olórin) to very few people in Middle-Earth, so he's mostly known by the the descriptive names he's been given in various languages: Mithrandir ("Grey Wanderer"), Gandalf ("Wand Elf"), and so on. At a few points, people who're asked whether they know Gandalf say that they don't know his real name, and just call him what everybody else does.
    • At the beginning of Fellowship of the Rings, Aragorn is known in Bree as "Strider." The narrative refers to him by this name until his "real" name is revealed at the Council of Elrond. (He gets around, and has a lot of names, and picks up even more over the course of the trilogy.)
    • Farmer Maggot's wife is never referred to by name.
    • In The Hobbit, neither the Elvenking nor the Master of Lake-Town are named — though in The Lord of the Rings, the Elvenking's name is revealed to be Thranduil.note 
    • Throughout The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion, Círdan the Shipwright's real name is never once uttered. "Círdan" just means "shipwright" in Grey Elven. Even back in the First Age, most elves didn't actually know the guy's real name, it hadn't been used in so long. Towards the end of his life, Tolkien wrote that some Grey Elves speculated it was Nōwē.
  • In The Traitor Son Cycle, many characters are only known by their functions, like the Red Knight, the King, the Keeper of Dorling, the Patriarch of Liviapolis and so on.
  • In Ruth Frances Long's The Treachery of Beautiful Things, The Fair Folk call Tom "the piper".
  • The man in the yellow suit from Tuck Everlasting is always referred to as such.
  • "The Bane" from The Underland Chronicles, though in Gregor and The Marks of Secret, we find out that his name is Pearlpelt.
  • The Rostov children's uncle in War and Peace is only referred to as Uncle.
  • In the Warcraft Expanded Universe novel Lord of the Clans, one of the few good humans is called only "Sergeant".
  • In Andy Hoare's White Scars novel Hunt for Voldorius, an in-universe example: Voldorius refers to Skall solely as "the equerry."
  • Gabriel from the Wicked Lovely series. The leader of the hounds is always the Gabriel. It's a name of rank, not birth. Not always, or at least, there's a Distaff Counterpart. When Ani talks about wishing to succeed Gabriel, she says she wants to be "Their [the hounds] Gabrielle." Gabrielle is the female form of Gabriel.
  • In Wizard of the Pigeons, the titular amnesiac Homeless Pigeon Person, Wizard, is known only as Wizard due to his Lossof Identity.
  • In one of Rick Cook's Wiz Biz novels, the main character asks his wife "What's his name, anyway? Everyone calls him Dragon Leader." His wife replies "Ardithjanelle. It means 'Shy flower of the woodlands'. It seems his parents were expecting a girl." The main character decides just to call him Dragon Leader.
  • The old Provincara from the World of the Five Gods is never given a name, not even by her daughter or brother.
  • Diane Duane's Young Wizards books have the Lone Power. The other Powers we meet seem to have actual names, but the Lone Power is only ever referred to as such or by the name some specific culture calls It. A Justified Trope. Naming any Power in the Young Wizards books seems (probably a deliberate move on Duane's part) to be like naming a god in certain real cultures: even if you can obtain and pronounce Its true name, the sheer extra-dimensionality and, well, power that comes with invoking such a name will probably kill or injure you in the process. However, the two main characters manage to speak the true name of the Lone Power once, while at the peak of their power as wizards. Mainly because being able to speak someone's true name allows them to alter it; this allows the main character to open a path for the Lone Power's eventual redemption.
  • In Zeitgeist by Bruce Sterling, the members of the international girl-group G7 are uniformly referred to as "the [nationality] One". This is not only done when referring to them indirectly ("The French One is my favorite. She can almost carry a tune."), but even when addressing them directly. ("What seems to be the problem, American One?") This helps remind them (and everyone else) that they're all quite replaceable, and, in fact, several get replaced during the course of the book.


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