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When the name of a character from a show is slightly tweaked when the show is dubbed or otherwise translated into a foreign language because the original name would sound obscene or otherwise be unfortunate.

Subtrope of Dub Name Change, Barely-Changed Dub Name and Dub Pronunciation Change and illegitimate sister trope to Inconsistent Spelling. See also Cross-Cultural Kerfluffle and Bite the Wax Tadpole.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In the German dub of Attack No. 1, main protagonist Kozue Ayuhara was renamed Mila Ayuhara. The reason is obvious, as her original first name sounded very much like "Kotze", which is a vulgar German term for vomit.
  • Shingeki no Kyojin is called Attack on Titan (should be "Attack of the Titans", but was mistranslated) to avoid being associated with the racist book "March of the Titans".
  • Italian dub of the various Bakugan series changed Vestroia to Vestronia because "troia" is Italian for "whore".
  • In the Arabic version of Case Closed, Eri Kisaki got her name changed to Mary, as her original name bears some similarity with "Iri", "my ass" in some dialects.
  • The reason Laputa is known as Castle in the Sky in English is because "la puta" is Spanish for "the whore" and when they have to say the name of the titular city they pronounce it "LAP-uta" with the emphasis on the first syllable to differentiate it from the Spanish term. The name is taken from a place in Gulliver's Travels, and Jonathan Swift probably knew what it meant.
  • One minor Shinigami in Death Note is given the name "Gook", written out in clear Romaji in the How To Read 13 volume. As that name is also a slur used for Asian people, Viz's translation swaps it out for "Gukku".
  • In the European Spanish translation of the Di Gi Charat manga, Hikaru Usada is addressed by her first name, Hikaru, rather than her last one, because Usada can stand for both used (thing) and used woman, normally a vulgar slang for a woman who have lost her virginity.
  • An odd case in Digimon Adventure 02: Dagomon, a Digimon named after the Lovecraftian version of Dagon may have had his name changed in the dub because it was shortened to Dago-mon, "dago" being a racist term. Since the dubbers didn't get the Cthulhu mythos reference, his changed name, Dragomon, is only a reference to a certain Russian boxer. The dub also changed Pipimon's name to Datirimon likely to avoid the inevitable pee pee jokes from kids in the target audience.
    • The Latin American dub of Digimon Tamers refers to Culumon as Calumon, since "Culu" sounds too much like "culo" ("ass" in Spanish).
    • The Digimon dubs were usually fine with religious Digimon names, even references to Satan, keeping the names of Beelzemon, Lucemon, Devimon and its variants, Mephistomon, and even a plot point referencing the Number of the Beast, however one curious exception was Diablomon, changed to Diaboromon in Digimon: The Movie. This was likely because a theatrical release would have exposed the show to a wider audience and the parents and Moral Guardians might actually be paying attention.
    • Another notable exception to Digimon dubs not changing names for religious reasons is Sephirothmon from Digimon Frontier, who had his name changed to Sakkakumon. This was likely done because having a villain that is not only named after, but looks exactly like a symbol from Jewish mysticism carries antisemitic implications.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • The titular Dragon Balls are called the "Esferas del Dragón" (the Dragon's Spheres) in Latin America, since "bolas" (the more literal translation of "balls") is slang for testicles. Oddly, the European Spanish translates it right as "Bolas de Dragón". Over time, the manga is published both as Dragon Ball and Bola de Drac, due to its popularity has it also spawned a parody series, Dragon Fall, filled with Spanish humor.
    • In Italy, The Balls are called "sfere" (spheres) instead of the more literal "palle", which means both "balls" and "testicles".
    • The Latin American dub changed Chi Chi's name to Milk, as the former is derogatory slang for women's breasts in Spanish. Although Chichi does actually mean "milk" in Japanese too, and is also a Japanese "baby-talk" word for "breast", it's not as derogatory there.
    • Mr. Satan is called Hercule in the French and North American dubs, although for different reasons. Unlike the North American dub, the French dub didn't have any problems with including Judeo-Christian references in their version, they only changed it to avoid confusion with Satan Petit-Cœur ("Satan's Little Heart", Piccolo's name in the French dub). In addition, the Dragon Balls become the Crystal Balls. Funnily enough, the Filipino dub changed his name to the more funny-sounding "Mr. Pogi" (Mr. Handsome, despite the fact he isn't).
    • The Italian dub changes Goku's Saiyan name from Kakaroth to Kaaroth, since it sounds like "cacca", italian for "poop". But again, the Spanish dub leaves it untouched. Russian dub also left Goku's Saiyan name unchanged, although in Russian it means " Poop into the mouth".
    • In the Portuguese dub, Chi-Chi was changed to Quica (pronounced "kika", and short for "Francisca") since the original name (although only by altering the pronunciation from "Chi-Chi" to "Shi-Shi") means pee.
    • In the Trimark dub of Curse of the Blood Rubies, Pansy's name was changed to "Penny", since "pansy" means an abused gay man.
    • Due to the Philippines being a largely Catholic nation, everything that translates to "devil" and "demon" has been altered or removed, as censorship regarding those themes during the time of dubbing were strict. Examples include Piccolo's alias "Ma Jr." (Demon Jr.) being simplified as "Junior". Hs father is also simply addressed as King Piccolo instead of his full title of Demon King. Mr. Satan is renamed Master Pogi, which translates as "Master Handsome". The Mafuba, which translates to Demon Sealing Wave, has been changed to Evil Sealing Wave. The Masenko, which translates to Demon Flash, has been changed to Magic(al) Flash.
  • The Viz Media's translation of Fist of the North Star changed the name of the Golan army to The Provident (and their headquarters of Godland was renamed Providence). This was likely due to the fact that the group's name is derived from an actual place in Israel called Golan Heights and giving a Hebrew name to a Nazi-like army seeking to create a nation of superhuman warriors would've brought in some Unfortunate Implications. However, later translations stick to the original name.
  • The Italian dub of Gatchaman II refers to the previous series' villain as "Ratse", rather than Berg Katse note . This is due to the translators believing that "Katse" sounded too similar to "cazzo" (literally "penis", but also used as general Italian profanity).
  • Gundam:
    • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Duo Maxwell's "God of Death" Red Baron is changed to "God of Destruction" in the North American dub, not wanting to have any dark themes to show to children.
    • Mobile Fighter G Gundam: By the same merit, the eponymous God Gundam is renamed Burning Gundam (along with its Finishing Move God Finger), while the Devil Gundam is changed to Dark Gundam.
  • In the Brazilian dub and manga translation of the original Hunter × Hunter series, the character Kurapika was renamed Korapaika (anime) and Kurapaika (manga), since "Cu-ra-pica" can be translated to something like "Ass-penis". Or "Heals/Cures penis". This is later averted in the movies of the 2011 anime, where his name is pronounced "kuRApika" in the dub like the Japanese pronunciation,note  so it can't sound too obscene as it still respect the pronunciation.
  • The Latin American dub of Inazuma Eleven changes the name of the main hero, Mamoru Endo, with "Satoru Endo", since "Mamoru" sounds a lot like the Spanish word "mamar", which can be translated as the verb "to suck a cock". At least, unlike Inuyasha, they changed his name with a valid Japanese name. This is the same reason the Latin American Spanish dub of Saber Marionette J changed the last name of the main character Otaru Mamiya with "Otaru Namiya".
  • Inuyasha:
    • In the Brazilian dub, Kagome's name was changed to Agome, because "Kagome" sounds like "cago-me", or "I crap on myself". The Portuguese dub also proceeded to that change. Also, both Naraku and Miroku were changed to Narak and Mirok, to eliminate the "ku" (which is similar to the Portuguese language slang meaning "ass"). Oddly, the manga kept these changes in Naraku and Miroku's name, but reverted Kagome's name back to the original.
    • Kagome's name was changed to "Aome" in the Latin American Spanish dub for sounding like "cágame" or "cagame", both meaning "shit on me". The European Spanish dub, however, kept her original name.
    • And while the names could refer to those same things in Italian as well, none of them were changed. It does lead to a few jokes in the fandom, but it's no big deal.
  • Anime movie Jarinko Chie by Isao Takahata had the title character being renamed Kié la petite peste in the French dub because "chie" would sound like "chier" (to shit) in French.
  • Jewelpet Tinkle is changed to Jewelpet Twinkle overseas, as "tinkle" is an English term for peeing.
  • The European Spanish dub of Kiki's Delivery Service had Kiki renamed Nicky, since Kiki sounds like "quiqui", in which is a slang word in Spanish associated with sex. Similarly, the Filipino dub changed her name since "Kiki" is slang for "pussy."
  • The Latin American dub of Magic Knight Rayearth changes Mokona to Nikona, as it sounds very similar to "moco" (Snot) or "mocosa" (Lit. Snotty, also means brat).
  • Although not a vulgar word, the unpleasant connotations of the word "rot" is likely why Medarot had its title changed to Medabots internationally.
  • In the Brazilian translation of the shojo manga Meru Puri, the show within a show "Pika Rangers" was changed to "Poke Rangers". That's because "Pika" is similar to "pica", a really dirty (if not a bit outdated) slang for "penis". And the new name keeps the Pokémon: The Series reference, anyway.
  • In the Greek dub of Pokémon: The Series, the pokemon Poochyena is pronounced "Patchyena", as the 'pooch~' prefix brings in mind a greek slang word for penis.
  • In Norway Rave, Haru Glory's Disappeared Dad Gale was changed to "Gayle" to avoid confusion with being "That Crazy Glory''. Which led to a conversation about Haru's father's name meaning "a fresh breeze" a lie. For some reason many not weird names were changed too and a lot of Gratuitous English removed, but for some reason 'bad' added into some sentences despite the word meaning 'bathroom' in Norwegian.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • The European Spanish dub, which was known for changing almost every name for totally different Spanish names, changed "Mamoru Chiba" to "Armando Chiba".
    • The Latin American dub had Chibi-Usa's friend Momoko shortened to Momo, to avoid the near-homophone moco/mocosa meaning snot/snotty or brat).
    • In the North American DiC dub, Kunzite was renamed Malachite. Note that the Z in his name is pronounced "ts" (since the mineral kunzite was named after Kunz, a surname of German origin).
    • Black Lady was likely changed to Wicked Lady to avoid implications of racism.
    • In the Mixx/Tokyopop manga translation of Sailor Stars, Sailor Star Maker's attack "Star Gentle Uterus" was renamed to "Star Gentle Creator".
  • Roy Focker from Super Dimension Fortress Macross became Roy Fokker in Robotech since his original surname was one letter away from "fucker".
  • The Italian dubbing of Tenchi Muyo! changed the name of a Big Bad from Kagato to Kayato, because the former looks and sounds like the Italian word cagato, "shat" (e.g. "Ho cagato" = "I have shat").
  • The Brazilian dub of Yu-Gi-Oh! never settled for a translation of "Millennium Rod"; at first it was literally translated, but it was clear that the word "Rod" ("vara") was too easy to innuendo-ize. Thus it was changed to "varinha" (Wand) sometimes, "cetro" (Scepter) other times. Definitely not "rod", though.
  • The English dub of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Judai's name is changed to "Jaden" due to similarities to the biblical figure Judah.
  • In the English dub of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds, Dick Pitt is renamed "Grady".
  • This was why Viz Media changed Gash's name to Zatch in Zatch Bell!: the original name is a misogynistic British English slang term for "vagina". Even the normal definition of the word "gash", a deep slash wound, was also too gory for a kids show.
  • Zoids: New Century: Like the model kits, Wardick, possibly a reference to Moby Dick, was changed to Warshark, sometimes War Shark.

    Comic Books 
  • Madame Adolphine from Benoit Brisefer became Albertine in Germany, since the name reminded too much of a certain Adolf. If you wonder why Peyo himself hadn't a problem with the name - the album was written in 1963, and Madame Adolphine would've been born long before Hitler came to power.
  • In the Dutch translation of ElfQuest, the minor character Acorn was translated to "Eekhoorn" ("Squirrel") which sounds the same and still can be associated with something you'd find in trees. The literal translation of Acorn would be "Eikel", which is also used as an insult in Dutch (because aside from the nut, it also refers to the name given to the top of the penis).
  • In old Spanish translations of The Lone Ranger, Tonto is called Toro ("Bull") because "tonto" in Spanish means dumb.
  • French-to-Italian case: The Smurfs ("Les Schtroumpfs") were originally translated as Strunfi. This sounded a bit too close to stronzi ("assholes"), so it was quickly changed to I Puffi.
  • Teen Titans:
    • In Brazilian Portuguese, Terra's civillian name Tara was changed to Dana, because tara, in Portuguese, is a synonym for sexual perversion.
    • Raven's dimension Azarath and entity Azar were changed to Azurath and Azur, for a non-dirty reason: azar means "bad luck" and Azarath is close to azarado ("unlucky"). This trope was averted in the cartoons, as, in spoken language, stressing a different syllable (AH-zarath X azaRAdo) is enough.

    Film — Animated 
  • The English dub of El Arca changed the Panty's name to Panthy.
  • The Italian and Brazilian dubs of Brave had the protagonist change the accentuation of her name from Mérida (MEH-rid-dah) to Merída (Meh-REE-dah), presumably to avert something similar to merda, "shit".
  • Coco was drastically renamed in Brazilian Portuguese as Viva: A Vida é uma Festa ("Live: Life is a Party"), due to the word sounding close to "poop" — coco also means "coconut", but with with a diacritical sign cocô becomes "poop". Curiously, the rename accidentally sounds too close to the The Book of Life Brazilian title Festa no Céu ("Party in the Sky"), which shares a Fandom Rivalry with Coco. The character the movie was named after, Socorro "Coco" Rivera, had her name changed to 'Inês'. Aditionally, Mamá Imelda became Mamá Amelia, probably due to sounding too close to merda ("shit").
  • The German version of The Fox and the Hound changed Vixey's name to Trixie because it would have sounded too similar to wichsen (pronounced just like the English word "vixen"), a vulgar term for masturbating. When the film got re-released on DVD, the original name was accidentally left in.
  • The Italian version of The Incredibles changed Frozone's name to Siberius (a pun on Siberia and maybe Sibelius), because 'Frozone' is similar to the insulting term frocione ("big faggot").
  • In the Brazilian dub of The Lion King, the term "Hakuna Matata" was changed to "Hatuna Matata", again, to eliminate the ku ("ass"). Seeing as it is a real Swahili phrase (and the change is not wrong, as hatuna is another conjugation of the Swahili version of "to have"), Disney's Brazilian branch always ping-ponged between reversing to the unedited sentence (the third movie used it right in the title) and using the censored one (the TV spin-off).
  • The German dub of The Little Mermaid renamed main character Ariel into Arielle. There are two reasons for that change:
    • First, Ariel in German is a male name, which would have caused no end of jokes.
    • Also, in Germany a very widespread brand of laundry detergent is called 'Ariel', which, considering the story takes place underwater, also would have opened the door for jokes.
  • Moana: European dubs renamed both the movie and the main character Vaiana (except Italy, where the main character is Vaiana but the title is Oceania instead), because of two issues: not only because 'Moana' is a registered trademark in Spain, but also to avoid issues about having a Disney movie and character sharing a name with Italian porn actress Moana Pozzi. The Albanian dub was initially going to use this name change, but this was not positively received by Albanian audiences. Thus, the trope was averted in order to not lose audiences.
  • The Italian dub of My Little Pony: A New Generation renamed Pipp Petals "Ruby Petalosa", mainly because her original name sounds too much like Pippe (a slang word for masturbation).
  • In the British version of Robots, Aunt Fanny's name is changed to "Aunt Fan", since 'fanny' means something completely different (and more vulgar) in England than "bottom".
  • In the Italian version of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Peni Parker is changed to Penny Parker, due to the fact that Peni literally means "Penises" in Italian.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Chappie was retitled Humandroid in Italy most likely because the name is written almost like the word "chiappe", meaning "buttcheeks" (though Chappie retains its name in the film itself). Also "Chappie" is pronounced exactly like the old brand of dog food "Ciappi".
  • The Hungarian dub of Eternals changed Phastos to Phaistos, after an actual ancient Greek city, as his original name sounded like a combination of "fasz" (dick) and "tosz" (fuck).
  • Jaws was titled Les Dents de la mer ("The Teeth of the Sea") in France, and Jaws 2 was originally going to be titled Les Dents de la mer 2. However, the French distributor realized that when spoken out loud this would sound an awful lot like Les Dents de la merde ("The Teeth of the Shit"). The title was thus tweaked to Les Dents de la mer, 2e partie, which cleverly avoided the problem.
  • Some characters in the Star Wars prequel trilogy had to have their names adapted in Brazilian Portuguese:
    • Capt. Panaka (which is almost panaca, "moron") became "Panacé". Given the similarity and his tendency to second guess the Jedi about how to best protect Padmé, it's possible this was an intentional Bilingual Bonus rather than an oversight.
    • Count Dooku became "Dookan" to avoid jokes (do cu = "from the ass"). Dooku can also sound like "Dou o cu", "I can be ass-fucked".
    • Sifo-Dyas was renamed Zaifo Vias (a phonetic transcription), since the original name sounded so much like "if you would fuck" (se fodias).
  • Troy: In an inversion, the title was left untranslated in Italy because the translation "Troia" is more commonly used as slang for "whore". While in the right context, "Troia" is also known as the Italian name of the city and it's used in the Italian dub of the film, leaving that word as a One-Word Title without any context would have been too ambiguous, so the title is left in English.

  • In the German translation of The Babysitters Club, Stacey's name is changed to Daisy because her name sounds similar to "Stah-see" (Stasi was the common name for the East German secret police).
  • A rare not-obscene example: a side character from the third and fourth Diary of a Wimpy Kid books is a girl named Trista. In the Italian translation, since her name sounds like Triste ("Sad"), she was renamed Trisha instead.
  • In Spanish translation of Gulliver's Travels, the city of Laputa is renamed to Lupata or Lapuntu since la puta means "the whore" in Spanish. Gulliver claimed to be fluent in Spanish, but apparently he never learned slang because he missed the connection. Instead he drew connections to words in the native language meaning "high governor" (lap untuh) or "crepuscular wing" (lap outed). However, according to The Other Wiki: "It is likely, given Swift's brand of satire, that he was aware of the Spanish meaning". The Spaniard dub of the Ted Danson miniseries kept the Laputa name, presumably because it added to the bizarre, comical nature of the island and its introduction.
    Gulliver: Where am I?
    Enthusiastic speaker: In the Floating Island of Laputa.
  • The Finnish translations of Robert E. Howard's Kull-stories changed the titular King's name to Kall, as the possessive form of 'Kull' would refer to a slang-term of male genitalia, i.e. "I pray for your son, Kull" would read "I pray for your son's cock."
  • The Legend of Drizzt: Drizzt Do'Urden became Dzirt in the Russian translation, as his English name reminds of the word dristat', associated with diarrhea.
  • The German translation of Liesl and Po by Laurent Oliver has 'Po' (the name of the ghost that the girl Liesl meets) changed to 'Mo', since Po is a German word for "butt". This is especially important since Liesl constantly contemplates how much modesty she should exhibit with Po, who was a ghost for so long, it doesn't remember its gender anymore.
  • In the Hungarian translation of The Lord of the Rings, Treebeard's name is translated properly, but he is re-named "Elmbeard", because fa, the Hungarian word for "tree", is very close to fasz, a rather rude slang term for a certain male body part, and the word for "beard" begins with an sz, the same letter fasz ends with. Thus, the two words together would have added up roughly to "Dickbeard".
  • An Older Than Print example: When the medieval French translators of epic romances adapted the name of the Welsh enchanter Myrddin, they created the name 'Merlin' instead of the expected 'Merdin' to avoid the homophony with merde ("shit").
  • Occurs in-universe in Martin Amis's novel Money. An advertising director tries to convince the American actor Spunk Davis to go by a different first name for the British release of the film, since his is British slang for semen. Eventually, they settle on using his initials.
    Davis: It means grit, pluck, courage.
    Mr. Self: True. But it also means something else.
    Davis: Sure. It means fight. Guts. Balls.
    Mr. Self: True. But it also means something else.
  • Astrid Lindgren's Pippi Långstrump was Pippi Longstocking in English-speaking markets, but she had to change name to Fifi Brindacier in French or Peppi Dlinnyichulok in Russian because Pippi sounds like words for urine in those languages. In German, however, Pipi means the same and she is still called Pippi.
  • In the Spanish translation of A Song of Ice and Fire (and the accompanying TV adaptation), Gilly's name is changed to Elí because 'Gilly' looks too close to gili, the short version of "asshole".
  • The fourth book of The Sword of Truth series has a character named Manda Perlin. In Russian, she became Mendy, due to the obscene meaning of the original word in Russian (it's a slightly less scandalous synonym of Country Matters).

    Live-Action TV 
  • Friends: In the Italian dub, Mona's name is pronounced "Moona", because in the Venetian dialect, Mona is both a vulgar term for female genitals and a term meaning, roughly, "idiot".
  • Full House: In the Italian dub (only later seasons), Jesse's surname Katsopolis is altered to Kassopolis, because 'katso' sounds exactly like cazzo, the most well-known Italian swear word (literally a vulgar slang for "penis", but it's also commonly used as the equivalent of the English F-word).
  • Downplayed with Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: in European releases of the toyline, Titanus was renamed "Titanos" to avoid issues due to the name containing the word "anus". However, the name change was not applied to the show.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: In the French version, the character Vash was renamed Virad, because Vash is homophonous with vache, meaning "cow". Oddly, though, the character Q (whom Vash accompanies in her second episode and on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) wasn't renamed despite the letter Q in French being a homophone of cul, which means "arse".
  • Averted by the Polish dub of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!. The antagonist's name, Koopa, sounds exactly like the Polish word for "poop" yet remains unchanged in the translation, which ends up sounding awkward to say the least.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Lost Ruins of Arnak was renamed to Les Ruines Perdues de Narak in France because 'Arnak' sounds like arnaque, which means "scam" — not ideal when you want to encourage players to explore the place.

  • In German productions of the opera Madame Butterfly, the surname of Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton is altered to 'Linkerton' (the alternate Trope Namer) to avoid suggesting the word pinkeln (to pee). Also, the reason why the same character is referred to as F. B. Pinkerton is apparently that Puccini saw the original play in London, where to avoid the British slang abbreviation of "bloody fool" the character was renamed Francis Blummy Pinkerton. The first edition of the opera uses the latter name for him, but the revised versions change his name back to "Benjamin Franklin," so Butterfly's referring to him as "F.B. Pinkerton" becomes apparent Accidental Misnaming.
  • The German version of Wicked changes many of the characters' names but the translations of Boq and Shiz University fall under this trope. Boq is changed to Moq as Bock is German for "goat" and Shiz is changed to Glizz as German pronunciation rules would dictate 'Shiz' be pronounced "shits".

  • Transformers:
    • For years, one of the Dinobots was named Slag, which has a very unfortunate meaning in British English. In 2008 a pair of new iterations of the character (the one from Transformers: Animated and a super deformed-style figure of the G1 character released in the Robot Heroes line) called him Snarl, which was already the name of a different Dinobot. Starting from the 2012 release of Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, the character's name was changed to "Slug" and remained like that ever since.
    • The Powercore Combiners toyline in 2011 introduced a new character, which was initially named "Spastic". They didn't realize the word had a different, more offensive language in not-American English, so when complaints began the figure's name was quickly changed into "Over-Run".

    Video Games 
  • In the English version of Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth, characters from Zheng Fa are named using the Chinese readings of the kanji of their Japanese names. The Fan Translation of the sequel continues this practice, but President Teikun Ō is called Di-Jun Huang instead of Di-Jun Wang, likely because they thought people couldn't take a president named "Wang" seriously.
  • In Aero Fighters, the Funny Animal dolphin pilot is known as Whity in Japanese. Since that's about a letter away from a racially-charged insult, he was renamed to Spanky in international releases.
  • Atelier Series:
  • In the SNES port of The Combatribes, the name of the penultimate boss was changed from Swastika to M. Blaster.
  • In Destiny 2, the name of The Fanatic, "Fikrul", has been changed to "Fokrul" in the German translations, due to the original sounding too much like "ficken", i.e. to fuck. Ironically, this change makes his name sound closer to the English "fuck" again.
  • EarthBound (1994) strangely averts this with the character Poo. In fact, Pu or Puu would arguably be a less unfortunate name and would probably be a more accurate representation of the original Japanese. This was in the middle of the gross-humor fad in the 1990s; see also the rest of the unfortunate marketing campaign ("This Game Stinks").
  • In the Russian translation of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim DLC Dawnguard, Durak's name was changed to Dorak because "durak" means "fool" in Russian.
  • In F-Zero: Maximum Velocity there is a track with a Gulliver's Travels-inspired name Laputan Colony (with some Laputa-like floating islands in the scenery backdrop). For the same reason as Castle in the Sky, Laputan Colony was renamed in English to Empyrean Colony. In the same game, the car Dirty Joker was renamed Sly Joker, and the car Crazy Horse was renamed Wind Walker (probably to avoid the Unfortunate Implications of perceived Native American stereotyping).
  • Although it's not obscene, having the word "Kill" in it, coupled with the name sounding feminine is likely the reason Killy had his name changed to Kyle in Lunar: The Silver Star and all of its remakes.
  • The Final Fantasy V English translation changes Butz's name to Bartz, because Butz sounds like, well, Butts. His hometown of Lix, curiously, has been left untouched.
  • In the PSP version of Final Fantasy Tactics, Delita's sister was renamed from Teta to Tietra. Teta is slang for "tits" in Spanish and Portuguese. This one was probably unintentional, though.
  • In the SNES and Sega CD ports of Final Fight, Damnd's and Sodom's names were changed to "Thrasher" and "Katana" respectively, since the name "Damnd" is just "damned" with one letter removed (which is sometimes considered a profane word), while the name "Sodom" (aside for being the name of a biblical city) is also the basis of the word "sodomy". The SNES version of Street Fighter Alpha 2 used "Katana" for consistency, even though all the other console versions didn't have any problem using "Sodom." When Final Fight was ported to the GBA, Damnd and Sodom were allowed to use their original names again. Street Fighter 6 eventually establishes that the former's full name is Thrasher Damnd, with both names used interchangeably.
  • Mist in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance had her named changed to Alja in the German version, as "mist" in German is a curse word roughly analogous to "crap".
  • Fire Emblem: Awakening:
    • The axe Swanchika was renamed into Helswath probably to avoid connection with the infamous swastika.
    • In the non-English European translations, Lon'qu was renamed to Lon'zu - phonetically, Lon'qu sounds the same in French as "long cul" (which means, roughly, "long ass").
  • In the English localization of Fire Emblem Fates, the character known as Benoit in the Japanese version of the game was renamed to Benny, as most North Americans associate the name Benoit with a certain professional wrestler who famously murdered his wife and son before committing suicide.
  • A duo of bosses in the Kirby franchise are called "Pon & Con". Con is renamed "Cot" in French because the word "con" is a vulgar way to call someone an idiot in French.
  • The Last of Us: The Fireflies are renamed Luci ("Lights") in Italian. The literal Italian translation of "fireflies" is actually "lucciole", but that word is also Italian slang for "prostitutes", so they used "Luci" instead.
  • The protagonist of The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is named Rean Schwarzer. The katakana spelling of his surname indicates it's supposed to be pronounced as if it were German; i.e., "shvartzer". Unfortunately, shvartzer happens to also be a racial slur for Black people in North America. Thus, the English dub uses the heavily Anglicized pronunciation /ʃwɔɹzəɹ/ instead.
  • The Legend of Zelda
    • The boss Testitart was renamed to Manhandla for the English version, probably because the Japanese name sounded too close to testicles. Additionally, to the British the "tart" portion might not pass muster since it refers to a... woman of monetarily negotiable affection.
    • The recurring knight-like enemy characters known as the Darknuts in the English versions of the games were originally known as Tartnucs in Japanese. The change was likely due to, one, the name "Tartnuc" not really making any sense in English, and two, the fact that it forms the words "cunt rat" when spelled backwards.
    • The French versions of the games changed "Deku" into "Mojo", as the former would be pronounced almost identically to "de cul", or "of ass", in French. Having a serious character go by the name of the "Great Tree of Ass" would be... undesirable. Oddly enough, this was inverted in the original translation of Ocarina of Time, where the Bomb Flowers became "choux-péteur", literally "farting cabbages". "Péteur" should be read as "explosive", but the pun was way too easy to spot.
  • Batarians and Salarians in Mass Effect became respectively 'butariens' and 'galariens' in French, as 'batarians' sound like bâtard ('bastard', which is more offensive in French than in English) and 'salarien' sounds like 'sale à rien' (dirty for nothing).
  • The last world in Myst was originally called Dunny, but then the creators learned "dunny" is Australian slang for toilet. They changed it to D'ni. In spite of this they kept the pronunciation the same for most of the series, with only a few characters later on pronouncing it differently. Also, the file for the age, still visible in the CD-ROM's directory, is still named "Dunny Age".
  • NEEDY STREAMER OVERLOAD was changed from NEEDY GIRL OVERDOSE due to containing a rather unsubtle drug reference.
  • The reason Pac-Man has this name today is because when importing the original arcade game to North America, Midway (who originally released the game) noticed that the original name, Puckman, could let any kid vandalize the cabinet by turning the P into an F.
  • Persona 3
    • The romanized name of Fuuka Yamagishi (風花 山岸) is written as "Fuka" in Japanese materials, but the localization opted for an alternate spelling that adds the extra U, presumably to lessen the resemblance to the word "fuck".
    • The Spanish Translation changes Aigis' "Orgia Mode" to "Modo Desfreno" (Unfrenzy Mode) As "Orgía" means "Orgy" in Spanish.
  • The name given to the emanations of the Sealed Evil in a Can of the Phantasy Star series has been variously translated as "Dark Force" and "Dark Falz" because the original name is "Dark Phallus".
  • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Justice For All, Juan Corrida's last name is Spanish slang for male ejaculation. That's why it was changed to Rivera in the Spanish translation.
  • Pokémon:
    • The electric flying squirrel Pokémon in Generation V was changed from Emonga to Emolga because containing the British swear word "mong" trigger profanity filters.
    • The all-female Generation V vulture Pokemon Mandibuzz is named "Vulgina" in Japanese. Despite being a combination of two words known to English-speakers ("vulture" and feminine names like "Regina" or "Virginia"), it sounds a lot like "vagina" in English,note  so didn't stick around despite its English-language origins.
  • Fokker from Power Stone became Falcon in the Western localized versions for rather obvious reasons.
  • In the English version of La Pucelle: Tactics, Mamelon (French for "nipple") was renamed Papillon (French for "butterfly").
  • Vodka Drunkenski from the Super Punch-Out arcade game became Soda Popinski starting with the NES version of Punch-Out!!.
  • Puyo Puyo: The character Satan has often been referred to as Dark Prince in Sega's translations, likely to try to avoid references to Satanism in a mostly family-friendly puzzle series.
  • In the Japanese version of RayCrisis, the robot with the flaming flaming BFS was named Sem-Slut; for obvious reasons this was changed to Sem-Strut in the English version.
  • Though Sol Feace kept its original title in all regions as a Sega CD launch title, the cut-down Sega Genesis/Mega-Drive cartridge release was retitled Sol-Deace, probably due to "Feace" sounding similar to "feces."
  • In Polish localizations of Super Mario Bros. series, turtle enemies named Koopa Troopa have same spelling as English version, but is pronounced as (KOH-puh), because "kupa" means "poop" in Polish.
  • Super Mario Bros. changed the "Killer" enemy to "Bullet Bill".
  • In the German translation of the Super Smash Bros. games, the Ice Climber Popo was changed to Pèpè, as popo means buttocks in German.
  • In Tales of Vesperia, Belius' title is "Duce of Nordopolica". In Italian, said title is translated as "Egemone" (hegemon) because Duce in Italian refers to a dictator, especially Benito Mussolini.
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles 1, Metal Face was originally called "Black Face," to fit in with the other Faced Mechon who are also denoted by color before learning their real name.note  The rename was due to "Black Face" also being the English-language term for a makeup style designed to mockingly caricature Black people.
  • In the Ys series, Dark Fact is Romanized as "Dalk Fukt" in Japanese versions. Also, a recurring species of Funny Animal known as "loo" was changed to "roo" in English except for the TurboGrafx-16 version of Ys I & II, which calls that species as a "quay". This is necessary since "loo" is a British English for a toilet.
  • Many a high school teacher of Japanese will tell you that in the classroom there will be no intentional emphasizing of the -shit- romaji spelling combinations occasionally found in Japanese words and names. But teenagers are immature, and will do it anyway just for lulz. So naturally, Shitan from Xenogears was renamed Citan, the Pokémon Makunoshita became Makuhita and Ishito from Chrono Cross was renamed Norris.

    Western Animation 
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: In Brazilian Portuguese, Anais' name is spelled with an accent (Anaís), because in Portuguese, "anais" is the plural of "anal". Still, many people giggle after seeing her name written, especially when it doesn't have the accent.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • In the U.K., the show was retitled to Avatar: The Legend of Aang, because "Bender" is a derogatory term for homosexuals there. Though, oddly enough, the word "Bender" is still used in-dialogue.
    • "Suki" means "bitches" in Russian. So in Russian dub she was called Zuki (in season 1 and 3) and Suyuki (in season 2) instead. Oddly, despite "suki" also meaning "bitches" in Polish, that dub kept Suki's name unchanged. "Suki" in general is often rendered as "Ski" in Russian. Same with "Aska" (e.g. Asuka from Neon Genesis Evangelion). However, dropping the weak "u" sound is not neccesarily done for such purposes: it's enough to move the accent off it to remove the "bitch" sound - but an accentless "u" is a very weak sound and is likely to be skipped even when it doesn't cause unneccessary associations.
    • The Greek dub changed Katara's name to Tamara because "Katara" means "curse".
  • The Darkwing Duck villain Negaduck is named Fiesoduck in the German dub. (fies = mean) It is very likely that his name was changed because Nega- sounds a lot like Neger, the German N-word.
  • In the German dub of Doki, Fico is renamed Rico because his name sounds like "ficko" ("fucko").
  • DuckTales (1987): In Russia, Scrooge's nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie are called Billy, Dilly, and Willy, due to Huey's name sounding similar to "hui", an obscene Russian word meaning "dick". Humorously, their dub names happen to have dirty connotations in English.
  • In the Italian dub of Littlest Pet Shop (2012), Minka's name is changed to Mirka because it sounds too similar to "Minchia", a slang form of "penis".
  • In the Italian dub of Miraculous Ladybug, Kagami was renamed Katami since her original name sounds like a very rude form of "care about me" that literally translates as "shit on me". In Brazilian Portuguese, she was renamed "Kyoko" for the same reason.
  • The titular character of Mona the Vampire is called Milly in the Italian dub, since "Mona" is Venetian slang for "moron".
  • In Norway, the titular tribe of the French animated series Rolling with the Ronks!! was changed to the "Gronks", since "Ronk" is another Norwegian word for "masturbation".
  • Samurai Jack: Aku became Apu (or Abu, depending on the season) in the Brazilian dub because it would sound like "Ah Ass" in Portuguese.
  • The Transformers character Breakdown has been traditionally called "Vibrator" in the Hungarian translation of the Marvel comics. That name wouldn't fly in the 2020s and it was already the subject of jokes beforehand, so the Hungarian dub of Transformers: EarthSpark renamed him to the vaguely similar sounding Membrán ("Membrane" or "Reed Valve").
  • Transformers: Animated: Though it wasn't a translation, the character "Snarl" was originally meant to be named "Slag" in homage to a character from Transformers: Generation 1 (hence the triceratops alternate-mode; G1 Snarl was a stegosaurus). The name was changed because Hasbro discovered that "Slag" is a word for "slut" in Britain. It also developed into Cybertronian profanity roughly analagous to "shit" around the time of Beast Wars, so it was an in-universe Clean Dub Name as well.
    Sari: You named him Snarl?
    Scrapper: Well, I was gonna call him Slag, but I think he took it as an insult.

    Real Life 
  • The VIC-20 computer was distributed in Germany as the VC-20 so its name wouldn't be pronounced like the German F-word.
  • According to some reports, Arabic news services had to struggle with how to get around the fact that 1996 Republican US presidential candidate Bob Dole's surname was Arabic for "penis".
  • Zhiguli, the Soviet licence-built version of FIAT-124, had to be marketed abroad as Lada because otherwise, it would have sounded too much like "gigolo".
  • While it's a legitimate transliteration from the original Russian, part of why Vladimir Putin's surname is spelled 'Poutine' in French is because the English version looks and is pronounced like Putain, the French word for "whore", and is a curse word. However the French transliteration 'Poutine' does sound and look exactly like a French word, poutine, which makes him "Vladimir Gravy Fries" (though the dish is actually from French-speaking Canada, not France). This caused a few kerfuffles following his invasion of Ukraine. A poutine restaurant in Paris received threats, presumably due to the word being less familiar in France. And a restaurant chain in Quebec, which had long had a poutine dish named "Le Vladimir," renamed it "Le Volodymyr" in honour of the Ukrainian president. parodied this coincidence with this fake advertisement from an alternate universe where Putin's family immigrated to Quebec before he was born and started (what else?) a poutine restaurant chain. Averted in Spanish, despite his last name being the diminutive form for "fag", and an endless source of comedy in that language, though it requires to play with the accent: the name is pronounced "POO-teen", the insulting word is "poo-TEEN".
  • The reason the French word for "computer" is ordinateur is because otherwise, it would have both Country Matters and "whore" within the word.
  • In Germany and Austria the name of Vicks medicine was changed to Wick because both of the possible pronunciations of the letter V would make it a sexual word — pronounced with an 'F', it's the F word; with a "W", it's the German term for "to wank".
  • When Kinki University near Osaka established a foreign language department in the mid-2010s, they found the name 'Kinki' — referring the area between Osaka and Kyoto — too similar to "kinky," thus making the entire college Mistaken for Subculture. While the Japanese name remained Kinki Daigaku, the English name is changed to "Kindai University", from the portmanteau of the university's native name.
  • The SUV originally called Mitsubishi Pajero got it's name changed to Mitsubishi Montero for Spanish-speaking markets, due to pajero being "wanker" in Spanish.
  • The Japanese drink Calpis is known as "Calpico" in America, likely due to the fact 'Calpis' sounds like "Cow Piss". The katakana on the bottle still says "Calpis", though.
  • A car developed by the Brazilian arm of Volkswagen was called Tupi after one of the country's native tribes. But given there was the risk of foreigners laughing at how it sounds like "to pee", it was renamed Fox.
  • In French, most string instruments such as the violin and cello have similar names to their English ones with the exception of the viola, which is called the alto due to viola being a form of the French verb for "rape".
  • The bassoon is called some variation of fagot in most languages, but not in English due to similarity to a homophobic slur.
  • The name of the former Prime Minister of Japan, 鳩山由紀夫 (Yukio Hatoyama), when read in Cantonese, starts with 鳩 (gāu) which is a vulgar word for "penis".note  This lead to news in Hong Kong to pronounce it like 溝 (kāu) instead to avoid the profanity.
  • The SUV called the Renault Arkana in most countries where it's sold was instead called the Renault Mégane Conquest in the countries making up the former Yugoslavia, as "Arkan" is the nickname of a notorious Serbian war criminal.

Alternative Title(s): Linkerton