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Law of Alien Names

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Gordon: What do Krill names sound like?
Ed: I don't know! I don't think anybody knows.
Gordon: Probably exotic and alien.
Ed: Probably, yeah. Like Quarz-Noth, like that kind of thing.
Gordon: Zang ob'Tozon.
Ed: Kreeyewlox-stein.
Gordon: Probably not stein.
Ed: No, not stein.
Gordon: Like... a-Haj Valorp.
Ed: Frusen Glädjé.
Gordon: Häagen-Dazs.
Ed: Yeah, see, any one of these could be right! We don't know!
The Orville, "Krill"

Sci-fi and fantasy writers often find themselves with the challenge of creating dozens, if not hundreds, of exotic-sounding names for their characters and locations.

Perhaps it's just because they want something that sounds pleasing to their Anglophone audiences, or maybe they are unaware of how strange foreign names can sound even here on Earth, but in the end their countless alien species will have remarkably similar-sounding names, always adhering strictly to English phonology, or deviating from it in very minor ways.

Television sci-fi writers seem to be fond of using a particular formula: The name may start with any consonant followed by any vowel. For an example, we'll start with "Ga".

The next letter will be either an R or an L (sometimes both) or either an M or N. Next up is another vowel, usually followed by R/L or M/N. An R or L may be followed or substituted with another consonant, usually something soft. This would give us something like "Galdin" or "Gamar."

If it's a woman's name, a "feminine" (to Western ears) ending such as -a or -ia will usually be added, eg. "Galdina," "Gamaria."

Names will sometimes end with T, D or K, although these are more common in the warrior race. They will commonly be given names with hard consonants and guttural sounds. Sounds such as K, Ch, T, Th, Z and sometimes X are favored - K especially as the last consonant, if not the last letter. R may also be used as a final letter, if only because it makes a good excuse for someone to make a hearty "ARRGH!" sound: "Well met, GormARRGH!"

Writers are also fond of using the Punctuation Shaker on warrior race names like salt on cheap French fries.

Female members of the warrior race may be exempt from the harsher-sounding names carried by the men and given names that fit the former formula better: for example, Klingons such as Sirella, Larna and Mara.

On the other hand, elves will virtually always have names and a language that sounds Tolkien-esque, full of soft sounds such as Th, Dh, D, L, R, M, N, and V. Doubled-up vowels are popular, and names often as not end with the letter L or N. Elven names are often on the long side, usually passing the seven-letter mark on a regular basis. Where a female character in a sci-fi show would be called Marin, an elven female would be named Marianael.

Vowels are often doubled up to increase the exotic factor; usually A and U— Maara instead of boring old Mara. (A for nice aliens, U for mean ones. Bonus points if the name is some variant of Cruul/Kruul.)

As a corollary, you can often tell a lot about a race just from the names of its members: the harshness of the species is often directly proportionate to the harshness of its language. You will probably never see a race of peaceful agrarians with names such as "Gorthog" or "Churgzak," nor will you ever see a race of bloody warriors with names like "Mathiella" or "Farlian". You can bet that someplace called "Jakrizag" isn't going to be a world of green meadows and fluffy bunnies. Someplace like that will have a pleasant-sounding name like "Elasolia". In some cases, even the same name will appear harsher in the transcription that an author adopts for the language of a harsher culture: "Dhârkalen" sounds harsher than "Darcaln" despite being pronounced almost the same way.

Mind you, most of the patterns described above do have limited factual underpinnings, in what is (somewhat dauntingly) called a Sonority Sequencing Principle by phoneticians.

Unless the setting as a whole has some kind of Theme Naming (like all the villains in an arc are refrigeration equipment or musical instruments), aliens from Japanese media usually have repeated sounds in their names. It might be because Japanese onomatopoeia tend to be duplicated like that (they use them for a lot more things than sounds, e.g. "shibu-shibu" means "reluctantly"). Additionally, it's common to see the conflated "R"/"L" phoneme utilized in Japanese alien names. Both of these ideas are meant to represent inhuman sounds that aren't normally found in the Japanese language.

A Planet Named Zok is a Sub-Trope. See also A Villain Named "Z__rg", Planet of Hats, Name-Tron, Xtreme Kool Letterz, and Fantastic Naming Convention.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Sgt. Frog: The Keronian race and a select few from other alien races have names that adhere strictly to an ABB rhyming pattern. Keroro, Giroro, Tamama, Kururu, Dororo, you get the idea. (Keroro and the Keronians are probably also puns on the word kerokero, which means "croak" or "ribbit".)
  • The Deviluke in To Love Ru seem to mostly follow the "duplication" structure, with their princesses named Lala, Momo, and Nana. Their male names don't seem to follow it, i.e. Gid and Peke.
  • The Ctarl-Ctarl in Outlaw Star reduplicate, like their ambassador Aisha Clan-Clan and their flagship the Orta Hone-Hone.

    Comic Books 
  • Superman:
    • Superman's cousin is named Kara, which is an example of the trope, but an odd one in that the name became popular in English as an actual name after the introduction of the character, to the point where on Smallville she just calls herself Kara and there's nothing weird about the name. In truth, it isn't actually alien, rather of Proto-Italo-Celtic origin (Italian "beloved", Irish "friend"), but as stated above, it was hardly ever used as a given name until long after Supergirl made it popular.
    • In the "Who Took the Super out of Superman?" storyline, Superman is bedeviled by an alien called Xviar.
    • "The Untold Story of Argo City": Back when he lived in Argo City, Zor-El fought a space monster called Zygor.
    • In "Way of the World", Supergirl battles an alien conqueror called Dolok.
    • In "Superman vs. Muhammad Ali", the villains are a warlike alien race called "Scrubb".
  • Albedo: Erma Felna EDF has reasonable-sounding planet names like Derzon, Danet, and others, to the weird-sounding ones like Arras Chanka, Ish-tako and the ones from the ILR.
  • Averted in the Mike Baron and Steve Rude comic Nexus, where most of the aliens have names like Dave, Fred, Sinclaire, and Tyrone. Fred converts to Judaism and changes his name to Judah.
  • Legion of Super-Heroes has a lot of made-up or spelling altered names: Tinya, Brin, Luornu, Jo Nah, Wimena... to name a few.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman (1942):
      • The name of the war obsessed alien Commander Kel-X manages to combine multiple harsh sounds.
      • The large slaver aliens who had commanded the gremlins before the gremlins revolted and ended up stranded on earth were called Ytirflirks.
    • Legends of the Dead Earth: In Wonder Woman Annual #5, the Unremembered are a group of humans who have lived on a Generation Ship for 10,000 generations. All of their names feature a capital "X": AlyXa, ValXan, KarXyn, CatXon, GanXul and OlXus. In all but the last case, it is the fourth letter.
    • Wonder Woman (1987): Ectreba is probably the best fit from Wondy's crew, with even an "a" at the end to make the name feminine. Sakritt also deserves a mention.
  • Young Justice: While the Human Aliens of the planet Myrg have normal-ish names like "Ramia," their more alien conquerors, the Slag, have names like K'rnd'g, because apparently vowels are for lesser species.
  • ''Guardians of the Galaxy:
    • Drax, Gamora, and Groot are all examples of this trope.
  • Skrulls zig-zag this a bit: the Super-Skrull's real name is Kl'rt, and similar Skrull names such as R'Klll, Dorrek, and H'rpra exist in the empire, fitting their somewhat warlike race. However, the Super-Skrull has mellowed out over time and become less villainous, and other Skrulls have names such as Jazinda and Criti Noll, which sound more neutral.
  • Kree in the Marvel Universe often have a single, hyphenated name - Mar-Vell, Ko-Rel, Yon-Rogg - with bonus points if the name allows for a Shout-Out to another comic book company. Plenty of exceptions exist, however.

    Comic Strips 
  • Parodied in a Robotman and Monty comic strip, where Monty is writing a paragraph for a fantasy novel. He activates his word processor's spell-check function... causing his computer to selfdestruct.

    Fan Works 
  • There are plenty of alien personal names in With Strings Attached: Stal, Keelan, Grynun, Fi'ar, Remlar, Terdan, Lyndess, Grunnel, Brox, As'taris, Ma'ar, Kerrun, Sapsa, Deris, Bayanis... but just try to figure out which ones are male and which are female. Word of God has it that the names are internally consistent based on a scheme of the author's own.
  • The Both Syllables series expands on the Irken naming themes mentioned below. Specifically, it's stated that Irkens tend to have longer names, but contract them to a compound of the first letter and last syllable; for example, Zim's full name is Zerninim.
  • Plan 7 of 9 from Outer Space. Intrepid Reporter Buster Kincaid tells Captain Proton that Planet X is "the most unimaginative name in history." His Martian colleague snarks that "Earth" is hardly any better.
    Proton: Do you know how many planets there are in the universe? You try thinking up names for them all!
  • Hellsister Trilogy: In addition to canonical names like Kal, Kara, Dev, Tanya, Garth, Ayla... it has Highfather's daughter D’reema.
  • Haabu from Savior of Demons is an example of the double-vowel subtype, though this is because his name is a pun on haboob - instead of double o's, the author wrote him with double a's instead to obscure the pun.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Discussed in Gentlemen Broncos, in which a sci-fi writer orders a class of young writers to name their characters things like this, insisting a girl rename her character, Teacup, Tylonious.

  • Tolkien's Legendarium: The languages and orthographies follow the "harshness of language = harshness of species" rule: the Elvish languages Quenya and Sindarin are very vowel-heavy with a lot of L's and R's; particularly Quenya, which looks and sounds a lot like Latin. Non-Elvish languages seem to go in a scale from softer to harsher as follows: Adûnaic, Dwarvish (which in the first drafts of the mythology were an evil race, later becoming neutral, and only turning good when The Hobbit became canon) and then of course Orkish / Black Speech. Harshness is also reflected in the different orthographies. Such as:  As noted on the Black Speech page, Tolkien had Irish Gaelic in mind for the language of Mordor, which he found "utterly unlovely" and said language was notably created in universe by Sauron himself. Tokien deliberately created his languages to reflect his own aesthetic opinions on language and speech.
  • The Inheritance Cycle is full of these: the hero's kingdom of Alagaësia, an evil emperor/king named Galbatorix, hideous mooks called Ra'zac, brutish orc-like creatures called Urgals, a beautiful elf named Arya and homeland of the elves Alalea.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy gives us Vl'hurgs, G'Gugvunts and Silastic Armourfiends of Striterax (whose army is called something even scarier), though Douglas Adams was deliberately and famously having fun with this trope throughout the series. He also parodied it with Trillian, which sounds at first to the audience like an alien name, but we soon find out the character is actually a human woman from modern-day Earth, and she just has an odd nickname (it's short for Tricia McMillan). He also dips into various different aesthetics of science fiction for his alien names — Zaphod Beeblebrox's name is supposed to sound Raygun Gothic, 'Vogon' is supposed to sound a bit Doctor Who, Hotblack Desiato is supposed to sound like a character from a dystopian science-fiction story, and so on.
    • Hotblack Desiato is in fact the name of a genuine London [real] estate agency.
  • The aliens created by Larry Niven always have names like this. Known Space alone has aliens with names like Chmee, Kdapt-Riit, Lloobee, Hrodenu, Kzanol, Halrloprillalar, Harkabeeparolyn, Phssthpok, and Kawaresksenjajok. The only exception are those aliens who possess vocal apparatus that make their names are so unpronouncable to humans, like the Pierson's Puppeteers (who choose names from the alien cultures they are working with as nicknames) or who don't use personal names (like the telepathic Grogs, who can instinctively tell who is being referenced in a conversation, or the Bandersnatchi, who just never bother with things like names). Also there are the low caste Kzin who are named after their jobs (Speaker-To-Animals). What do you expect from a writer whose full name is "Lawrence Van Cott Niven".
  • Niven once collaborated with a few other authors on a shared-world building project. The planet they were creating was originally going to be called Thrassus. Niven thought it sounded too Latin, so he changed the name to Thraxisp.
  • Animorphs:
    • An odd one indeed: Hork-Bajir. A rather peaceful race, despite the tough-as-nails name. Except they have blades EVERYWHERE. But they wouldn't hurt a fly. Until the Yeerks got hold of 'em.
    • And then there's the Andalites, whose names run the gamut, but are always at least three part. Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill, anyone? The middle name is from one of the parent middle names, if you look at Ax's parents' names in The Alien.
    • Yeerk names indicate the parental grub and have a number designation afterward that refers to their order of origination from the tri-parent. Originally the number changed as rank changed, but it was retconned to be permenant. In the case of a twin, one is the prime and one the lesser, like Visser Three and his brother. The prime gets all the best hosts and assignments. So, Visser Three is Espin9466 prime, the 9466th grub from the Espin tri-parent and the prime twin.
  • Anne McCaffrey pays a lot of attention to her naming conventions in the Dragonriders of Pern series.
    • All dragon's names end in TH, but the reason for this is never explored in-story.
    • It is traditional on Pern to name a child with a combination of the first half of the father's name, and second half of the mother's name. This is occasionally abandoned when the result is awkward, or could cause confusion as to paternity.
    • All male dragonrider's names have an apostrophe stuck in: their names are shortened forms of their pre-Impression names. A prequel novel tells us that it is the dragons that first started doing this and that they, at the time, shortened the names of both men and women. Shortened names are meant to be easier and quicker to shout while in the air, which explains why the dragons turned Falarran into F’lar. (The danger of mishearing names is apparently not as important.) After Jaxom Impresses Ruth, Lessanote  wryly notes that weyrwomen usually choose names that produce something nice when shortened: J’xom and Jax’m don't quite cut it, to her ears. (Fridge Logic: J’om is dead easy.)
  • Averting this was the original inspiration for Robert Heinlen's Stranger in a Strange Land, to the point where the original title was "A Martian Named Smith".
  • Harry Turtledove's reptilian Race from Worldwar have Only One Name each and it's inspired by Sssnaketalk. It's noted a few times that repeated letters in their names (such as the character Ttomalss) are sounded separately and are not compounded together. For the same reason, if the combination 'SH' is found in a name, it is pronounced 'ss-hh', not 'sh'.
  • The Ghiscari people from A Song of Ice and Fire have a naming convention which will make any evil alien proud. Lots of Rs and Zs and Ks, and a generally unpleasant sound which makes one (Westerosi, i.e. Fantasy Anglo-Saxon) character dismiss: "They are all Harzoos to me". They are a people of slavers with cruel and unusual customs.
  • On the Edge of Eureka: The Northern Mira, generally being more violent, have harsher names and a more guttural language. The Southern Mira generally have sweeter, more vowel-heavy names. Northern Mira include Cadé Maru and Jahin Svare, while Southern Mira include Raeilya, Chiramel, and Ararien.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Star Trek franchise had plenty of these: Kalo, Malin, Cadmar, Domar, Talas, Talla, Keval, Melora, Latara, Liria, Gilora, Tagana, Onaya, Damar, Danar, Toran, Nador, Aluura and Anara. The token Proud Warrior Race Guys, the Klingons, had names such as Kang, Kor, Koloth, K'Voc, Kaz, Klag (Klingons are very fond of K, it seems), Morak, Brok'Tan, Leskit and Thopok.
    • In the original series, there seemed to be a specific rule about this. Every named male Klingon had a name beginning with K, while male Vulcans had names beginning with S and ending in K, with three letters in the middle, and females had names beginning with T'. Enterprise stuck to this mostly, as did the earlier movies (with the exception of Saavik, a half Vulcan-half Romulan woman, and Maltz, a Klingon crewman). Worf broke the pattern.
      • A lampshade is hung on the similarity of Vulcan names in the Expanded Universe novel "The Lost Years", which explains that the "S, three letters, K" pattern is in honor of Surak. In a flashback, a contemporary rival of Surak berates another Vulcan (who has just changed his own name to fit the pattern), pointing out as the years go by, Surak's followers are going to have to come up with increasingly ridiculous names. Also note: Assuming that their alphabet has 26 letters and English pronunciation rules, this allows for at most 17576 distinct male Vulcan names, many of which will not be pronounceable, and no more than ten thousand or so names which will be.
    • On Voyager, all Talaxians have an X somewhere in their name.
    • In the novelization of the "reboot" movie Star Trek (2009), Nero explains that Romulan names are all but impossible for humans to pronounce correctly, so it is customary to render them into English by pronouncing the closest phonetic equivalent backwards (Which Romulans find less grating than hearing their names consistently butchered). Nero's name is really closer to "Oren", but the "r" can not be faithfully reproduced by a human.
      • In an interesting coincidence, this means that Sela, the half-Romulan daughter of Tasha Yar, may actually be named something close to "Alice".
    • The Star Trek Novel Verse has a series of "rules". While there are exceptions to all of these (no one culture or race can be truly homogenous in any custom), we have the following trends.
      • Tellarites have three names, usually of one or two syllables, the middle being a connective that appears to be chosen from a small pool. Examples include Bera chim Gleer, Bersh glov Mog, and Mor glasch Tev. (The names seem to suggest that these porcine aliens are Space Jews.)
      • Hermats have a name followed by a number, e.g. Burgoyne 172 or Rulan 12.
      • Among the Nasats, names are letter-number-shell colour, e.g. P8 Blue, Z4 Blue, C29 Green or V1 Red.
      • Triexians have two names connected by "na", e.g. Krelis na Then and Arex na Eth, or sometimes "ko", as in Nexa ko Tor.
      • Andorians have long first names and a family name prefixed with th', sh', zh' or ch', depending on gender (e.g Thirishar ch'Thane, Hravishran th'Zhoari, Sessethantis zh'Cheen or Kellarasana zh'Faila). They also have a shorter "familiar" name to compensate for the length- in the four examples given, these would be Shar, Shran, Thantis and Kell.
      • Coridanite names very frequenly end in a V.
      • Tholians have a single name, which usually ends in "ene". Examples include Loskene, Tezrene, Yilskene and Kasrene.
      • Damiani names have two syllables separated by an apostrophe, followed by a letter, an apostrophe and ullh, ullho or ullhy. Examples include Ra'ch B'ullhy, Je'tran T'ullh and Ne'al G'ullho.
      • Romulan names commonly end in "k" (Charvanek, Ruanek, Kalavak, N'Vek), as do Vulcan names (Tolek, Sivek, Taurik). D' and N' are common Romulan prefixes, while T' is a Vulcan feminine prefix.
      • The Rihannsu novels by Diane Duane manage to invert this trope with the Vulcans and Romulans. The peaceful Vulcans are the ones with with the guttural language full of harsh consonants, while Romulan speech is vowel-heavy and downright Elvish.
      • Thallonians have the honorific "Si" (Zoran Si Verdin, Jang Si Naran, etc).
      • Betelgeusians like the "uu" sound, and apostrophes, e.g. Kuu'iut or Uuvu'it. Rhaandarites like the "aa" sound (Gaanth, Zaand).
      • Manraloth like the "ae" sound, e.g. Giriaenn.
      • Denobulans like "m", "g", "p" or "f" sounds.
      • Betazoid males have names of one or two syllables (Tam, Cort, Gart, Ven), the females of two, three or four (Anissina, Mollarana, Damira), while their family names often end in n (Enaran, Kaldarren, Povron) or x (Xerix, Mryax, Xerx).
      • Efrosians tend to use a "Ra-" prefix on the surname (Ra-Yalix, Ra-Havreii, Ra-Ghoratreii), but not always.
      • Benzite names are two syllables and harsh-sounding (Meldok, Salmak, Cardok).
      • Tzenkethi names have four components: individual name, job, echelon within that job, proficiency grade. Example: Alizome Tor Fel-A, with "tor" indicating a position as special agent to the Autarch, "fel" being her membership in the "problem-solver" echelon, and "A" indicating the highest proficiency in that role.
      • Chelon names have lots of short, sharp syllables that sound like wet clicks and snaps - "i"s and "t" are common (Rinsit, Simmerith, Jetanien, Miltakka)
      • Alonis have long names like Quirmirkis, Nerramibus or Liezakranor. When off-world, they add a shorter additional name to the beginning to designate their function (“Tel” is diplomat, “Los” is soldier), and split the name in two (e.g. Los Tirasol Mentir is probably Tirasolmentir back home, Ambassador Tel Ammanis Lent is probably Ammanislent).
      • Bolian names tend to be one or two syllables.
    • In fact, most races and cultures show patterns in their naming, often subtle ones. It is possible in many cases to identify a character's species or culture by name alone.
  • Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis have more than their share - for example: Orlin, Harlan, Mallin, Nyan, Darian, Ren'al, Kalan, Pallin, Merrin, Marin, Perna, Sallis, Selana, Vala Mal Doran, Shayla, Zarah, Chaya Sar and Ladon Radim. Prominent Jaffa (the warrior race) had names such as Teal'c, Bra'tac, Se'tak, and Gerak.
    • Oddly enough, even though he's an alien, Jonas Quinn has a rather Earthly-sounding name. The actor's name is Corin Nemec.note  Does that seem right to you?
    • Many of the aliens on the show are really humans, and descended from natives of Earth. While their cultures had millennia to evolve independently, the presence of significant cultural continuity with Earth is a common plot point. This means the show has its own "Laws of Names," with character names being one (of many) hints as to what ancient Earth culture their ancestors represented.
    • Lampshaded by Vala in Stargate SG 1 S 10 E 8 Memento Mori
    "Vala isn't a particularly alien name." (Reading the back of a twinkie): "Disodium guanylate. That would make a great alien name, don't you think?"
    • Even more oddly, it's the SG-1 (which takes place in this galaxy) characters who are likely to follow the Law, but in Atlantis, a great many aliens have two names and stay far from the Punctuation Shaker. Milky Way, we get Teal'c, Shak'l, Fro'tak, and all those -n names (most of the above list comes from SG-1.) Pegasus, we get Acastus Kolya, Teyla Emmagan, Ronon Dex, Lucius Lavin, the aforementioned Ladon Radim... okay, there are still several -n names, but it's not as ubiquitous. Earth-style names are actually quite unusual for the Milky Way. You're still hard-pressed to find women whose given names don't end with A, though.
    • The more normal names in Atlantis are in keeping with the show's theme — almost everything there was influenced strongly by the Ancients, and the Ancients have a very Latin naming scheme to associate them with the Romans (the Romans being to roads what the Ancients were to stargates, more or less). Even the Ancient language is basically Canis Latinicus.
  • Doctor Who's Romanadvoratrelundar (Romana for short) fits quite well, although her full name is rarely used on screen.
    • The planet Raxacoricofallipatorius
    • The Mighty Jagrafess of the Holy Hadrojassic Maxarodenfoe.
    • Individually, they almost never have their own names, but start with a D, add a vowel, next an L, another vowel, and finish with a warrior-race K: Dalek.
  • Extra-terrestrial Power Rangers have names like Andros, Zhane, Karone, Maya, Trip, Kat Manx, Anubis "Doggie" Kruger, and Tyzonn.
    • Well...Human Aliens, anyway. Aquitians all have water-related names, be it ones like Tideus, water animal-related like Delphine, or a mix of other influences (Aurico, Corcus, and Cestro). Male names tend to either end with an S or O, whereas female names with the only two females we've met (Delphine in Alien Rangers and Cestria in Power Rangers Zeo end in E and A respectively. If we'd gotten the planned Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers spin-off, we would have seen their naming rules fleshed out a bit more.
  • The Orville lampshades this in the episode "Krill," when Ed and Gordon try to come up with plausible names for their alien disguises. But despite the lampshade, alien names in the show fit the trope to a T:
    • All named Xelayan women have names ending with -a (Alara, Talla, Drenala, Floratta, Solana) while male names end with -is or -us (Cambis, Galdus, Ildis, Serris). Family names are two or three syllables long and seem to be used in the English style (Western name order, wives take their husbands' family name, children inherit their fathers' family name).
    • Moclans, like all Proud Warrior Race Guys only have one name that has harsher sounds and male names end with consonants (Bortus, Jakhon...). But even though they claim to be a single-gender all-male race, the known women still have names ending with -a (e.g. Heveena), including Topa who was born female but underwent the mandatory reassignment surgery. (But not including Klyden.)
    • Even Krill names fit (though Ed and Gordon couldn't have known it at the time). Examples: Teleya (female), Haros, Sazeron, Arnak (male). They likely have multiple names as the Krill delegate's signature "K.T.Z." suggests.
    • Even the lampshading is lampshaded; it turns out that the Krill god is named "Avis", leaving Gordon with an irrepressible urge to make car-hire puns.
  • Tracker doesn't really have any consistency with alien names. Most are one- or two-syllable names with fairly simple sounds, even though they come from 6 different species. For example, the protagonist's name is Daggon, while the Big Bad is Zin. An interesting case with Nestov, who is a Desserian. Except it's not his real name, nor is it Desserian in origin, as he faked his prison records and gave himself a Nodulian name and origin. His real name is unpronounceable and only spoken once, which is odd, since many other Desserian characters have fairly simple names. Of the three alien females shown, all end in "a": Sedra, Vedra, and Lontoria. Male names tend to end in consonants, except for the pilot episode villain Rhee, who is a male Vardian in a human woman's body, and a Cirronian male named Reta. The Grand Finale shows some of these names written down in English, and the spelling isn't always straightforward, like with the name Yhir, which sounds more like "Yaheer" when spoken, or Tevv, which has double consonants for some reason.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Parodied in a Forgotten Realms short story in which an illusion-masked Volo visits Menzoberranzan. Asked his name by a drow official, he barks out a made-up series of Xs and Zs that he hopes will sound sufficiently drow-like. He gets busted, not because his random choice of syllables is complete unpronounceable nonsense, but because it's a female name for dark elves.
  • Zigzagged in Warhammer 40,000.
  • The FASA Star Trek game justified Klingon naming patterns by saying adult Klingons change the first letter of their name to show what their adult career is. A Klingon child who was named Vlou at birth, and who goes into the Imperial Navy, would change his name to Klou. Since most of the Klingons seen in the original series were Navy ....

    Video Games 
  • Mass Effect's characters generally follow this trope to a T. Garrus, Liara, Wrex, Kal'Reegar, Tali'Zorah... There are simply too many examples to list.
    • Quite a lot of Turian names mimic Latin, although Garrus Vakarian's surname sounds Armenian.
  • Despite the name being Japanese in origin, Garamos (translated here as Galamoth) from the Castlevania series fits the above naming example almost perfectly.
  • The Elder Scrolls universe has some two dozen plus races, 10 (to date) playable and many more present or mentioned. Nearly all of them have their own Fantastic Naming Conventions, with the races of Mer (Elves) and the Beast Folk races being quite alien. To note:
    • The Altmer (High Elves) and Bosmer (Wood Elves) have naming conventions which borrow from Tolkien's Quenya and Sindarin Con Langs, respectively. Altmer names to be very vowel heavy with lots of "-il," "-ar," and the like suffixes (ex. Angoril, Ancotar, etc.). Bosmer names use a lot of "th" sounds, plus plenty of "d's, f's and g's" surrounded by soft vowels (ex. Glarthir, Fargoth, Enthir, etc.). According to supplemental materials of in-universe questionable accuracy, Altmer names are actually complex strings of numbers that merely sound like a name if you aren't fluent in their language.
    • The Dunmer (Dark Elves) are a varied bunch. Velothi (Ashlanders and rural House Dunmer) Dunmer names draw heavily from ancient Mesopotamia, leading to them sounding like they're straight out of The Epic of Gilgamesh. This works well with their ancient Daedra worship (most Daedric ruins have similar names, such as Ashurnabitashpi). More "civilized" Dunmer have a characteristic "Dunmerish" sound (ex. Falanu Hlaalu, Nels Llendo, Hlireni Indavel). The Dunmer nobility also use the names of their Houses as prefixes to their names (for example, Redoran Hlaren Ramoran, King Hlaalu Helseth, etc.). The Telvanni Masters use one name only (Mistress Dratha, Master Neloth, etc.).
    • Orcs (Orsimer) have traditionally Orcish sounding first names and surnames, and the surname gets the prefix "gro-" for male orcs, "gra-" for females. (Ex. Yadba gro-Khash, Borba gra-Uzgash, etc.) The surname in most cases is the name of the Orc's same-sex parent, similar to Icelandic. In other cases, the surname is the Orc's home stronghold. (Ex. Burz gro-Kash is "Burz of Kash").
    • The extinct Dwemer seem to have used to build names by mashing hard-sounding consonants together, although it's unclear whether that was actually the case or just a transliteration issue (since Dwemer language and alphabet varied wildly from Tamriel's lingua franca of the day, Aldmeris). Names known from modern sources contain vowels, such as Yagrum Bagarn (although he could've taken up the name for convenient interaction with his hosts at Tel Fyr), Kagrenac, or Dahrk Mezalf. Names mentioned in books - not necessarily (Bluthanch, Nchunak, Nblthd). Their naming convention mostly reinforces their enigmatic nature and alien culture.
    • The Khajiit have single names with prefixes and a Punctuation Shaker, for example Ra'Virr, Dro'Zel. These are generally honorifics bestowed or sometimes assumed (this is seen as arrogant). Unlike Argonians, they usually feel no compulsion to translate them. Sometimes no prefixes are added. (Ex. Vasha, Wadarkhu)
    • The Argonians are seemingly named (in Jel, the language of the Argonians) after unique traits they display while still hatchlings and, if they have frequent dealings with non-Argonians, get those names translated into Tamriellic. "Haj-Ei" becomes "Hides-His-Eyes," for example. In other cases, their name in Tamriellic is based on their profession. "Quill-Weave" is a writer, "Makes-One-Soup" is a chef, and "Lights-Sparks" is a mage.
    • For additional details on these (and other) races, see The Elder Scrolls: Races sub-pages.
  • In Neopets, Grundos, which are alien from Neopia, usually have names like this. But that only applies to (most) plot/game characters; 'user'-owned Neopets (Inlcuding Grundos) may have Names like this, or common names with numbers added.
  • Most of the aliens in Iji have names like these. Notably, most of the names ending in -a do not belong to females, as Krotera, Yukabacera, and Asha are all male. The only other named aliens are Tor, Vateilika, Ansaksie, Iosa, Hel Sarie, and Kiron.
  • In Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, the Luminoth have names like U-Mos, A-Kul, and other variations that involve a letter, dash, then three more letters. There is also U-Mos' mother V-Mos, so the second part might be like a last name.
  • Warcraft milks the Meaningful Name trope for all it's worth for the first names of the characters, and the last names are more often than not a case of Luke Nounverber.
    • Orcs use harsh-sounding, warlike letters. "Garrosh", "Drek'thar", "Aggra"
    • Both elven races use flowing names, with blood elves trying to outdo the night elves in terms of poshness. "Alleria", "Sylvanas", "Illidan"
    • Tauren (and tuskarr), being down-to-earth people, use 'gravy' consonants a lot. "Magatha", "Baine"
    • Draenei, being lawful but exotic, spice these with double vowels. "Maraad", "Iduuna", "Dornaa".
    • Trolls use Xtreme Kool Letterz and apostrophes a lot, implying mischief and a sinister side. "Zul'jin", "Zalazane", "Zanzil"
  • League of Legends has the Voidborn champions follow the <harsh syllable>'<harsh syllable> naming convention: Cho'Gath, Kha'Zix, Vel'Koz, Kog'Maw and Rek'Sai.
  • In Mutant Football League most of the all-alien Galaxy Chaos have names that parody famous alien characters; the rest fall squarely into this — Krixxis Nebulai, K'Zlon Vluklu, Daavaw Ubeplon, and Valator Palandrix among them
  • In Space Rangers, the Maloqs have a lot of R and voiced stops (b, d, g) in their names (and their planet names etc.), Pelengs have a lot of 'ts', 'ch', 'sh' sounds, Faeyans have a lot of l, m, n, f, p and y sounds and Gaalians have a lot of doubled vowels (such as 'Gaaldok', 'Raalito' etc.).
  • Chronos Twin has names like Nec, Twime, Skyla (planet), Wise (council), Luna, Nash... and then there's the player character's species name: Llhedar.

    Web Comics 
  • Parodied in Questionable Content, when Jimbo the trucker (who also writes bad romance novels) decides to start writing bad fantasy novels.
    Jimbo: First one's gonna be titled "March of the Sword-Princess Leihaephaera".
    Marten: Wow, how do you spell that?
    Jimbo: No f***in' clue. Lotsa A's and E's, I guess. But it sounds cool.
  • In Homestuck the trolls usually have two names that are each 6 letters long, 12 in total; for example: 'Karkat Vantas'.

    Web Original 
  • DeviantArt: The Nava Verse for the most part only exhibits names whose letters do not appear in the same arrangement anywhere else on the internet. Sometimes, an unusual username, one of this nature, can tip other users off as a sign that these users are hackers or spambots.
  • SF Debris: Hilariously exaggerated in his review of The X-Files pilot episode when the FBI section chief asks how a case involving the paranormal would be prosecuted.
    SF Debris: I point you to the disastrous case of Kramer vs. Gelavan-pah-doi!-doi!-bloop-ooh-ueh-fwuh-whoop-whulululululuh which showed how difficult jurisdiction can be in establishing these cases.
  • Averted in several Humans Are Cthulhu Tumblr blogs, where "Steve" is a hilariously common name amongst sapient races, requiring everyone named that to add a Species Surname to their designation.

    Western Animation 
  • In Invader Zim, most Irkens have short names, such as Zim, Tenn, Tak, or El, but there's also a one shot character named Gasploodge and several Irkens with names like Skutch, Larb, Spleen, Spork and Skoodge. Word of God has it that they didn't try too hard at consistency since an alien planet would have names that vary wildly just like ours. Word of God also has it that Shloonxtaplonxtis exists as a member of the Resisty solely to parody this trope, though, so they were at least aware of the Law of Alien Names.
  • Subverted somewhat in Galactik Football where all the aliens have names like Warren and Nealy and the heroes have names like D'Jok, Sinedd and MicroIce.
  • Futurama:
    • Lrrr and Ndndnote , Kif (a rather mild example), Morbo, Melllvar ("that's Melllvar with three L's"), and main character Turanga Leela (who's actually a human mutant).
    • Parodied in the episode "Mars University." The eponymous school has three lines for registration: A-J, K-Y, and then Z, which is the longest and made up entirely of aliens.
    • Gets parodied again in "Decision 3012," which spoofs the Obama "birther" theories with Earthican presidential candidate Chris Travers, a nondescript human who is rumored to be an (extraterrestrial) alien after his middle name is discovered to be "Zaxxar."
  • Warhok and Warmonga in Kim Possible. From Lorwardia, no less.
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender
    • The Alteans have names that focus on the 'lle' or 'or' syllables, such as Allura and Romelle (female) and Bandor and Coran (male)
    • The Galrans have names such as Krolia, Acxa, Zarkon, Sendak. There seems to be a focus on the 'k'
  • Averted in American Dad! with Roger. However, the then emperor of his planet was named "Zing".
  • Ignignokt and Err, the Mooninites, from Aqua Teen Hunger Force. However, one Mooninite is named Cliff. Averted in the case of Emory and Oglethorpe, as they are named after colleges.

Alternative Title(s): Law Of Fantasy Names