Many unpleasant diseases have Greek and Latin names that might make nice names for people if not for the associations. Such associations aren't so unwelcome in broad burlesques, which is where these names are most likely to be found.
Diseases named after people don't count.
A common source of Parody Names, and target of Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?. Not to be confused with The Disease That Shall Not Be Named. Index Syndrome is an index of trope names that sound like diseases. Can often overlap with Names to Run Away from Really Fast as diseases are something that most people want to run away from. Often overlaps with Unfortunate Names.
- Bernadette's real name in Mobile Suit Crossbone Gundam can be read as Tetanus (though most fan translations romanize it as Tetanith). It's little wonder she prefers being called Bernadette even after the crew find out who she really is.
- Justified in Cells at Work!, where every character is on a Race Name Basis based on what they are (Red Blood Cell, White Blood Cell, Macrophage, Streptococcus...), though they have individual designations as well.
- Anna Russell's "How to Write Your Own Gilbert and Sullivan Opera" had Pneumonia Vanderfeller as the name of the typical "British, piercing type soprano."
- There used to be a whole genre of jokes/Urban Legends wherein a Funny Foreigner or black person would punch above their presumed intellectual weight and give their child a name like Eczema.
- In the Asterix comics:
- The wives of Geriatrix and Unhygenix are respectively named Angina and Bacteria.
- Asterix and the Olympic Games has an Athenian tour guide named Diabetes.
- In a very unfortunate turn of events, the antagonist of The Chariot Race (published 2017) is named Coronavirus.
- The main villain in Lady Rawhide: Other People's Blood is a Pirate Girl who calls herself Scarlet Fever (although this name is probably self-chosen).
- A short-lived Franco-Belgian Comic parodying heroic fantasy was titled Kégoyo et Klamédia. Klamédia, the heroine's name, sounds of course quite close to Chlamydia.
- Tomainia (which might as well be spelled "Ptomainia") and Bacteria, expies of, respectively, Germany and Italy in The Great Dictator. Tomainia is ruled by Adenoid Hynkel, by the way.
- In Hudson Hawk, one of the CIA agents explains that their code names were diseases when they first started out. "Do you know what it's like being called Chlamydia for a year?"
- At the end of Addams Family Values, Cousin Itt introduces his new nanny: Dementia. Who turns out to be way too compatible with Uncle Fester... right down to being super-pale and having a bald head. Uncle Fester himself probably also counts.
Dementia: It means "insanity".
Fester: My name is Fester; it means "to rot".
- The Castle Anthrax in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
- Darth Plagueis is a Sith Lord mentioned in Revenge of the Sith who was obsessed with finding the key to immortality. Palpatine tells Anakin Skywalker that Darth Plagueis became so powerful that he was able to create life by influencing the midi-chlorians, and had the power to save people from dying. Plagueis was killed in his sleep by his apprentice.
- Waiting...: Two customers have a discussion, where one mentions that it's too bad chlamydia is a venereal disease, as he thinks it would otherwise be a wonderful name for his daughter.
- Lin Carter's Imaginary Worlds contains an essay in worldbuilding in which he suggests naming fantasy characters by taking names from mythology and disguising them a bit. By way of example, he takes the god Hermes Trismegistus and the prophet Zoroaster, blends their names together, and ends up with... Herpes Zoster.
- A common ailment on the Discworld:
- In Hogfather, Ridcully mentions that he's got a distant cousin named Verruca, and there's also a small child named Verruca Lumpy. Whether they're the same character is unrevealed.
- Narrowly averted in Carpe Jugulum, where we're told "There'd be a Chlamydia Weaver toddling around today if her mother hadn't suddenly decided that "Sally" was easier to spell".
- Wyrd Sisters has two separate characters point out that Lancre sounds vaguely like some sort of disease.
- The title character of Fever Crumb explains that, when she was born, it was fashionable for children to be named after ailments that their mothers suffered during pregnancy. Hence such names as the titular Fever, Diarrhoea, and "Craving-For-Pickled-Onions McNee".
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: The resident Spoiled Brat is named Veruca Salt. The trope even gets pointed out by Willy Wonka himself! And her mother is named Angina!
- In the Doctor Who spin-off novel Human Nature, one of the antagonists is an alien Creepy Child named Aphasia.
- Darth Plagueis from the Star Wars Expanded Universe.
- In Neverwhere, Neil Gaiman gave us a villain named Mister Croup.
- In A Song of Ice and Fire, Lysa Arryn (nee Tully) is only one letter off from Lyssa, meaning "madness" or in modern usage "rabies." At first it might just come off as Spell My Name with an "S", but given Lysa's character it was likely deliberate.
- Harry Potter has Pansy Parkinson, who does nothing besides playing the mean-girl bully role and fawning over boy bully Draco. The unpleasant association to Parkinson's Disease is obvious; and as a bonus, her first name can be used as an insult.
- This trope is briefly discussed in the Brazilian "The Hour of the Star": Upon learning the protagonist's name,note her loved one's response is "Sorry but that sounds like a disease, a skin disease." She concedes that she would prefer to have no name, rather than such a weird one. He then goes on to treat her coldly for the rest of the story, in case you're wondering.
- Elphaba and Nessarose's mother in Wicked is Melena Thropp. "Melena" refers to dark, bloody stools.
- Warrior Cats: The medicine cat Runningnose is named after his permanently runny nose. His mother named his "Runningkit", but he was given his adult name because of his nose.
- The Addams Family has Uncle Fester. Morticia also has two aunts named Anemia and Dementia.
- Like the aforementioned Veruca Salt, the fourth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer had several appearances by a werewolf named Veruca.
- From the Club Dorothée, a pastiche of the Conan the Barbarian movies features a Barbarian Heroine called Malaria.
- Glee has a girl from a rival show choir called "Aphasia", a speech disorder caused by brain injury.
- Mock the Week: Frankie Boyle's interpretation of "Lines you wouldn't hear in a period drama":
"Ah, the duke, my daughter has been itching to meet you. CHLAMYDIAAAA!"
- On Maid Marian and Her Merry Men, one of Marian's henchmen was a particularly large and stupid peasant named Rabies.
- In Finnish mythology (as recorded in The Kalevala), the goddess Loviatar, a blind and evil daughter of the death-god Tuoni, had nine sons fathered by either the wind or the sea-monster Iku-Turso. She named them Colic, Pleurisy, Fever, Ulcer, Plague, Consumption, Gout, Sterility, and Cancer.
- Woody Allen's play God uses this for the Theme Naming of its main characters: Diabetes, principal actor of the Show Within a Show; Hepatitis, its writer; Trichinosis, inventor of the Deus ex Machina; and Bursitis, the unfortunate actor chosen to play Zeus.
- Pathetic loser Sir Andrew Aguecheek from Twelfth Night has a name that evokes feverish ill-health ("ague" being an Elizabethan word for fever with shivering and chills).
- Child of Light has the jester Rubella, which while also being the word for "reddish" in Latin (or more accurately the feminine form thereof) also is the virus that causes German Measles.
- This is the Theme Naming scheme for the Furons in Destroy All Humans!. Diseases and fungi are both used.
- In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable , Hayate's Evil Twin Material-D/Lord Dearche wields a magical staff named "Yersinia Kreuz".
- Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies: The entire town of Coffinwell has disease-related names.
- The mayor is Mayor Laria. To avoid explaining the joke, readers are instead invited to read the name aloud.note
- A young courting couple are called Phleming and Catarrhina.
- Phleming is a character working on developing a cure for the mysterious plague that has infected the town, so his name is also a pun on Alexander Fleming, who is famous for patenting Penicillin, the antibiotic. It's a double-layered pun.
- While Catarrhina's character design is strangely reminiscent of the curse goddess Hina Kagiyama from Touhou.
- Interactive Fiction game Varicella has its title character share a name with chickenpox. Fittingly, he's wholly unpleasant, but not as bad as some of his contemporaries.
- In Drowtales, the origin of Syphile's name back when the comic was a roleplay drawn by the author was the word Syphilis.
- Wordnik has a list of Diseases That Make Lovely Girls' Names.
- In this parody of Cinderella, entitled Salmonella, the main characters are germs and all have names like this, including Salmonella, E. Albert Coli, Typhi, Prince Polio, the Pox Sisters: Chicken and Small, Enteria, Sally Shingles, Rubella, Scarlet Scabies, and Marvin Mumps.
- Thrax in Osmosis Jones. Justified, as he is a virus.
- The Looney Tunes short "Knighty Knight Bugs" has one of King Arthur's knights named Sir Osis of Liver. Naturally, he's introduced drinking a glass of wine (and doing a Spit Take when the king mentions the Black Knight).
- There's an Arthur character named Rubella.
- On Family Guy, the morbidly obese son of the Pewterschmidts' maid is named Diabeto.
- In the same vein, Cletus the Yokel from The Simpsons has a morbidly obese cousin named Diabetty and one of his daughters is called Rubella.
- American Dad! has Mr. Aids, the proprietor of Aids Hotcakes, who believes that no one buys his hotcakes because he's Irish.
- Mr. Tooth Decay was a character in a series of Colgate toothpaste commercials in the late 50s featuring Mighty Mouse.
- Not a person, but in Igor, the entire civilization the characters inhabit is called Malaria.
- Demencia (the Spanish spelling of Dementia) from Villainous is a nutty Monster Fangirl of an Eldritch Abomination supervillain.
- Ed, Edd n Eddy has the Kanker Sisters, feared by all of the kids in the neighborhood, especially the protagonists. Their family name seems like a play on "canker sores", which ache the mouth. Makes sense, considering their dreaded kisses and racking stalking.
- It's even worse in Dutch, in which "kanker" means "cancer".
- Evil Con Carne features Major Dr. Andedonia J. Ghastly, whose name is quite close to "Anhedonia", a psychiatric disorder in which one is unable to feel pleasure. Ironically, Dr. Ghastly is a much perky girl.
- Yin Yang Yo! has Saranoia - a pun on Paranoia - a sorceress with an obsession for defending Yin from a supposed parental favoritism, which is actually nothing but her reflection from her own terrible upbringing. To top off her delusional behavior, she always refers to Yang by the name of her brother, Mark.
- In an episode of The Powerpuff Girls where the girls get new identities based on her favorite comics, Buttercup is inspired by a parody of Spawn called Spore, and she renames herself as Mange. Mange is a skin disease caused by parasites.
- In Dr. Zitbag's Transylvania Pet Shop, the Exorsisters' nieces are named Listeria and Salmonella. Both are illnesses commonly contracted by consuming contaminated food.
- Tiny Toon Adventures has Rubella Rat, Babs Bunny's Evil Counterpart from Perfecto Prep, who's named for the virus that causes German measles.
- "Alexia" is a variation on Alexandra, Alexis et al that's also the medical term for loss of the ability to read.
- While "Amelia" is Latin for "lacking a limb", the given name is actually derived from German for "work", making it a linguistic false friend.
- "Caecilia" is a good example. It's a rather common Roman gens that eventually spawned many derivatives including but not limited to: "Cecil", "Cecilia", "Cecily", etc...It is derived from the Latin adjective "caecus", which means "blind".
- "Balbus" and its derivative "Balba" is used as a given name (though not much in modern times), most notably by Augustus's mother, Atia Balba Caesonia. It's a Latin adjective that means "stammering/stuttering".
- Another stuttering example that did hold up to modern times is "Blaise", which is derived from Latin "Blasius", ultimately from the Latin adjective "blaesus", which means...you guessed it. By the way, it's a masculine name (at least it's supposed to be).
- The ever-present Roman royal names "Claudius" and its derivatives "Claudia", "Claude", "Claudio"...It's from the adjective "claudus", meaning "crippled".
- "Melena" (alternate spelling "Melina"; literally "dark spots" in Greek) is used as a girls' name, but it also means "blood in excrement" as blood manifests itself as dark spots on stool.
- There are parents who choose to misspell the perfectly-normal "Lisa" to "Lyssa", thinking that it's more elegant. Little do they know that "Lyssa" is an actual word in Greek that means "madness" (in fact, there's an obscure Ancient Greek goddess with the name, though she's Just Following Orders) and is used in the present day as a translation of... rabies.
- A very rare non-Greek and Latin example: "Khadija" is Arabic for "premature child" and is usually applied to those children who are born premature, which, while not a disease by itself, is really a condition that should be avoided. But because a wife of Prophet Muhammad bore it, it became very popular among Muslims of Arabia, and the religion's expansion to the entire world exported the name too.
- A story is told of an unpleasant Air Force pilot who demanded the name of his girlfriend (Phyllis) be painted on his aircraft. The flight crew complied, then one prankster saw fit to add "Sy" just in front. The pilot didn't notice, but everyone else on base did.
- Duke Zhuang of Zheng, the most powerful person in China during the latter half of 8th century BCE, was born in a breech position. His name Wusheng literally means that.
- The Dave Barry column "The Hot Seat" (about setting a toilet on fire) feature a bacteriologist named Dr. Gerba, who gave his son the middle name Escherichia, as in Escherichia coli, a type of fecal bacteria.
"You named your son after bacteria?", was my first question.
"He finds that it's a good conversation starter.", Gerba replied. "If we'd had a girl, we'd have named her Sally Salmonella."