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Malicious Misnaming

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Daxter: Um, excuse me Count Vulgar...
Veger: IT'S VEGER!!!
Daxter: Yeah, whatever...
Jak 3

A person dislikes another person and repeatedly, intentionally calls them a name to rile them up, specifically a mutation of their own name.

It can range from insults with (reasonably) good wordplay, like if Bob calls Alice "Malice", to something embarrassingly juvenile, like if Bob calls Alice "Callous", which isn't related to her name, or something that's not even a word like "Smalice" ("Smelly Alice"). Another possibility is that Bob is deliberately garbling the name to indicate that he considers Alice unworthy of even the basic courtesy of getting her name right.

Another variation is when a person changes their name to reflect a change in their life but someone else refuses to acknowledge the change and keeps referring to them by their old name.

May be a form of Irritation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery and Embarrassing Nickname. See also Hey, You!. Compare Accidental Misnaming, where the character genuinely can't remember the other character's name.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Hachikuji Mayoi of Bakemonogatari enjoys adding extra 'ra' syllables to Koyomi Araragi's name. Arararararagi-san! When confronted, she claims she stuttered. She's not being mean, though. The two simply have a very strange friendship.
  • In Basquash!, Dan twists Sela's nickname "Platinum Hurricane" into, among other things, "Platitude Hotpad" and "Plastic Candycane".
  • In the Digimon Adventure 02 dub, Davis calls TK "TE", "TJ", and pretty much every other combination. TK suspects he does it intentionally. In the original version, this was a none-too-translatable pronoun- and honorific-related matter that basically amounts to Daisuke calling Takeru "Hey, You!" with a bit of extra pointedness. In one instance where a flustered Davis calls him "TA", TK questions it, and Kari giggles, "He can't even spell TK!" Though it was definitely intentional when he called him "TP". And it's been confirmed that the script writers were brave enough to go through the whole alphabet.
  • Gintama: Gintoki often calls Katsura 'Zura', which means wig, even though they've known each other since childhood. This prompts Katsura to say "It's not Zura, it's Katsura!" Parodied so many times by Katsura himself. It's also known as his Catchphrase, but Gin still hasn't caught on.
  • The main character of Humanity Has Declined doesn't like people calling her the granddaughter (her grandfather is rather important). What she does like being called isn't clear.
  • In his first appearance in Hatenkou Yuugi, Rayborn refuses to tell Rahzel his name, so she decides to call him Spicy Diamond, shortened to Spicy or Spi. Even after they become friends, she sometimes calls him Spi if she's in a bad mood.
  • An interesting variation: in Coffin Princess Chaika, after capturing Chaika Bogdan, Tohru and Akari demand to know her name. When she refuses, they decide to just call her "Sticky", and proceed to do so incessantly until she angrily blurts out her real name.
  • InuYasha: The title character and his rival Kōga rarely call one another by name; Inu-Yasha calls Kōga "yasee ookami" (variously translated as "wimpy wolf", "wolf boy", and the like), and Kōga calls Inu-Yasha "inukkoro" (translated as "dogface", "pup", or "dog crap"). This starts out as a sign of their active dislike for one another but gets less malicious as their rivalry does.
  • In Jinki EXTEND, Aoba Tsuzaki is contemptuously given the nickname "Ahobaka" by Ryouhei (aho and baka both mean stupid). Later on, it becomes an affectionate nickname. In the English dub it is translated as "Aobimbo".
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Joseph challenges D'Arby to a water tension match — a glass is filled to the rim with water, and they have to take turns dropping in a number of coins of their choice, with the loser being the one who causes the water to spill. Joseph intentionally gets D'Arby's name wrong ("Barby" and "Obby") in order to agitate him, which means he'd be less focused on keeping the water tension from breaking. It doesn't work — D'Arby had already set a cheat while setting up the glass.
  • In Letter Bee, one older Letter Bee, Moc Sullivan, derides Lag for going beyond the call of duty, and calls him "Lang" and "Lob" before departing and ignoring Lag as he calls out his actual name.
  • Lupin III: The Columbus Files: Lupin aggravates his lookalike, Nazelhov, by mocking his chortle and calling him, "Nasal Cough".
  • In Mai-Otome, Sergey calls our lovely heroine Arika "arinko" ("ant girl") based on her name and how her hairstyle makes her braids look like antennae. It's fairly obvious the term is meant to be affectionately insulting, given his immaturity and his attraction to Arika because of his infatuation with her mother, Lena. Mahya also uses this nickname on Arika in Mai-Otome Zwei.
  • In My Hero Academia, protagonist Izuku has beem called "Deku" by Bakugo since they were little; it's an Alternate Character Reading of his name which means "can't do anything", a jab at the fact that Izuku is one of the few Muggles in a world where 80% of the population has powers. After one of his Superhero School classmates says that she likes the name (she thought it meant "You can do it!"), Izuku starts wearing it as a badge of honor, even making it his superhero name.
    • This is actually a big part of Bakugo's character as he hardly calls anyone by their name. The only people who answers by name are Kirishima and Uraraka— the one who convinced Izuku to make "Deku" his hero name.
  • In My Monster Secret, Mikan refers to Fuku-chan, the God of Fortune inhabiting her glasses, as the God of Misfortune since his attempts to bring her luck always backfire spectacularly and cause more problems than they solve.
  • In Ouran High School Host Club, the members of the Host Club refer to Kasanoda as Casanova or Bossa-Nova in order to humiliate him. Except maybe in the twins' case, Kasanoda's name was more of a case of Accidental Misnaming. Later on, it became something like an Insult of Endearment.
  • In Sailor Moon Mamoru calls Usagi Odango-atama (literally, Dumpling Head — or, if you go by the DiC dub of the first anime, Meatball Head) based on her hairstyle. She hates it at first and throughout the first season insists that "They're not odangos!" Once she and Mamoru start dating, it becomes a pet name (though Usa-ko is used far more often) and other masculine (though not male) characters, namely Haruka and Seiya, start using it as well.
  • Sgt. Frog: Sgt. Keroro is forever known as "bokegaeru" (Stupid Frog) to Natsumi.
  • In Slayers, main character Lina does it frequently, to mock enemies she doesn't respect. She called Zolf only "third-rate wizard" and "mummy-man". And played it even further with Naga: she pretended to forget her name, then asked again right after Naga gave her name anew, then suddenly turned another way — "remembered" their last meeting and said she was joking and is not about to forget the name of a girl who managed to fry her own butt. Just to exploit every possible avenue of humiliation.
  • Barnaby from Tiger & Bunny is not happy about the Embarrassing Nickname his partner Kotetsu insists on calling him by. While he gives up on complaining around episode 5 or so, he still continues to dislike it enough to snap out of a brainwashed state of sorts just to inform Kotetsu that "[his] name is not Bunny! It's Barnaby!"
  • In The Twelve Kingdoms the maid Ooki Suzu is called "Mokurin" (an alternate reading of the last two kanji of her name, and which means "Fool" in the local language) by her Jerkass mistress Riyo. At some point, the poor girl has a breakdown and starts screaming, "I'm not Mokurin! My name is Suzu! SUZU!"
  • Tozuwa from Witchblade jokingly refers to Masane as Masamune (big chest) because of her large breasts. In the English dub he calls her "Melanie", because of her "melons". She really doesn't mind it though.
  • In Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, Panty and Stocking Anarchy always call Brief "Geek Boy", because he's a geek and they think it's beneath them to remember his name. At one point, Brief is held hostage at gunpoint and begs them to address him by his name before he dies. They refuse, but save him. When Panty falls in love with him, she finally starts calling him by his name.
  • In Girls und Panzer, Sono Midoriko is often known as "Sodoko", particularly by Maho, whom she frequently lectures for being late, as well as the student council, and she often responds by telling people not to call her that. However, she and her friends on the disciplinary committee- Gomoyo and Pazomi- tend to call each other by their nicknames.
  • In Cardfight!! Vanguard, the resident Butt-Monkey, Katsumi Morikawa, is often called "Make-mi (Lose-umi)" by various characters. This is actually meaningful, seeing as he lost all his fights on screen (Katsu means victory while Make means defeat), except in Episodes 51 and 52.
    Miwa/Kamui: Make-mi ("Lose-umi")!
  • In Great Teacher Onizuka, Tomoko was often called Toroko (or "Slomoko" in the English translation) due to her lack of intelligence. By her "friends".
  • In Fuuun Ishin Dai Shogun Ryouma repeatedly calls his associate Verbeck "Ver-bigdick".
  • In Bleach Yumichika calls his zanpakuto "Wisteria Peacock" despite its real name being "Azure Peacock". He does this because his zanpakuto absolutely despises wisteria and refuses to fully release when called by this name. This ensures Yumichika never reveals the true nature of his indirect magic-style zanpakuto, which would see him ostracized by the rest of his division which favors direct-physical style combat.
  • In Log Horizon, Shiroe would often call Demikas by something that sounds similar but is not quite right, such as "delicious." Him dropping the habit and calling Demikas by his proper name is a sign of his Character Development.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman: In a somewhat confusing example Jason Todd called Tim Drake "Pretender" rather than Robin at their first meeting when he cut his throat. The confusion comes in because originally "Jason" was actually Clayface and it was only retconned later to have actually been Jason who then switched out with Clayface as part of his getaway.

    Comic Strips 
  • Dilbert has a newsletter written by Dogbert, that people can send questions to. Dogbert will invariably give an insulting answer, starting by punnily misstating their name.
  • In Retail, the original district manager, Jerry, would often refer to Marla as Darla. After Jerry got promoted to another part of the country the new D.M. revealed that Jerry knew Marla's real name, but pretended that he didn't. A year later Jerry returned to the strip and is now calling Marla by her correct name (probably because she knew the ruse now). He's still an asshole, though.

    Fairy Tales & Folklore 
  • The eponymous heroine of Cinderella is actually named Ella. "Cinderella" is a cruel nickname given by her step-family because she's often smudged in cinders due to the menial labour she's forced to undertake.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animated 
  • Aladdin: Jafar constantly calls "Prince Ali Ababwa" (Aladdin in disguise) "Prince Abubu".
  • Big Hero 6: In the opening bot-fight scene, Yama taunts Hiro by calling him "Zero".
  • Cats Don't Dance has child star Darla Dimple invite upstart Danny Cat to tea, where she misnames him "Donald" and "Dino." Danny takes no offense, figuring Darla sees too many people to remember anyone precisely; in fact, Darla is such an Alpha Bitch that she's doing this as a Stealth Insult.
  • Coraline: Wybie (real name "Wyborne") is referred to as "Why-were-you-born" by Coraline at least once.
  • In Despicable Me 2, Gru mocks the already-unfortunately-named Silas Ramsbottom by calling him "Sheepsbutt".
  • Dumbo's name is actually Jumbo, Jr. "Dumbo" is a cruel nickname that sticks.
  • In The Great Mouse Detective, Basil keeps getting Olivia's last name wrong.
  • Hercules is often mocked with the name "Jerk-ules".
  • In Quest for Camelot, Ruber indirectly refers Ayden the silver-winged falcon as a "pigeon".
  • Toy Story: Woody is so jealous Buzz that he mocks him with names with "Light Beer" and "Light Snack".
    • Toy Story 2: Echoing Woody, Stinky Pete, after revealing his true colors, mocks Buzz by calling him "Buzz Lightweight" due to his keen hatred towards space toys.
  • In Trolls, Chef calls scullery maid Bridget "Idjit".
  • In Zootopia, Mayor Lionheart calls his assistant Bellwether "Smellwether". She mentions at one point, she tried getting back at him by calling him "Lionfart", but he did not take it well.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Chinatown, Noah Cross repeatedly calls Jake Gittes "Mr. Gitts" despite Jake constantly correcting him.
  • In Cube Zero, Jax keeps deliberately misnaming Dodd with names such as "Mr. Codd", "Mr. Clodd" and "Mr. Wad" to assert his authority and contempt for the 'button guy'. He only addressed him by his proper name when Dodd shows he's not entirely a coward and purposely sabotages his plans.
  • In Deadpool, Wade Wilson/Deadpool constantly mocks Ajax by always calling him Francis, his real name, which he hates.
  • In Fantastic Four (2015), Johnny Storm refers to Victor Von Doom as both "Adolf"note  and ''Borat'', in reference to his accent.
  • In Fearless (2006), Huo Yuanjia faces a martial artist who uses a "Tiger Claw" attack. Huo mocks him by calling it "Kitten's Paw".
  • In Fracture, the murderer and legal self-defender Ted Crawford repeatedly refers to his prosecutor William Beachum as "Billy" to mock him as a little boy trying to play games with an older genius such as him. Beachum tries to convince Crawford that he has no problem with it, but it's clear that he does.
  • In Kick-Ass 2, Todd Haynes declares his superhero name to be Ass-Kicker, only for Kick-Ass and Battle Guy to say that sucks and then mock him by calling him "Ass-Licker".
  • In Kingsman: The Secret Service, Dean refers to Eggsy as "Mugsy" while the snobbish Kingsman candidates call him "Eggy".
  • In The Matrix films, Agent Smith will only refer to Neo as "Mr. Anderson" — his name when he was still a slave of the Matrix. The one time he calls him "Neo" turns out to be hugely important and leads immediately to Smith's defeat
  • In Molly's Game, Charlie refers to Molly's original lawyer Butterman as 'Butterball', and then as 'Butterbean'.
  • In National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Mr. Shirley always addresses Clark by the wrong name.
  • Star Wars: Played for Laughs in The Last Jedi when Poe hails General Hux and repeatedly refers to him as "General Hugs", just to Troll him (but also to keep him occupied until Resistance ships were in position.)
  • In The Sting, Henry (in his "Shaw" character) and calls Doyle Lonnegan by the names "Linneman" and "Lonahan" during Lonnegan's poker game.
  • In Think Like a Man, one of the men's My Beloved Smother consistently refers to his girlfriend Candace as "Tandace" to annoy her.
  • Unforgiven's Little Bill, having beaten English Bob to a pulp and locked him behind bars, taunts him by reading aloud the dime novels in which he'd starred as "the Duke of Death", but insistently misreading the title as "the Duck of Death".

    Literature 
  • In the Amber Brown books, sometimes some kids tease Amber by calling her color names other than "Amber" or "Brown".
  • In Sara Pennypacker's Clémentine chapter books, the main character, Clementine, is upset that she was given a fruit name but her little brother was just named something normal, so she keeps calling him vegetable names, such as "Spinach," "Rutabaga" and "Lima Bean." Eventually, it just becomes a Running Gag that even brother is entertained by and her parents stop trying to correct her. She's so dedicated to it that in one of the books she actually visits a Chinese market to learn more vegetable names and she even does it in her first-person narration such that her little brother's real name is never even actually mentioned.
    After breakfast, Zucchini and I made our parents a card. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! it said. WE SURE ARE GLAD YOU TWO MET! "If they hadn't," I explained to my brother, "we wouldn't be here. We'd be..." Asparagus's jaw fell open. "Extinct? Like dinosaurs?"
  • Discworld: In Guards! Guards!, the Palace Guard expresses his contempt for the Night Watch by calling Vimes "Captain Slimes, was it?"
  • Elemental Masters book 3, Phoenix and Ashes: Eleanor definitely takes being called "Ellie" by Alison as this trope. Whether Alison meant it this way, or was just using the diminutive form to emphasize "Ellie's" role as servant, is left up to the reader.
  • In Freaky Friday, Annabel calls her brother "Ape Face" to annoy him. It turns out that he likes it, and doesn't tell her because then she'd stop calling him it.
  • Nick in The Gap Cycle takes malicious glee in referring to Angus Thermopyle as "Captain Thermo-Pile". (Angus' last name is actually pronounced "ter-mop-oh-lee", as in the place in Greece.)
  • In Harry Potter both types are present: the Marauders call Severus Snape "Snivellus", while Dumbledore insists on addressing Voldemort by his given name, Tom. There's also Draco Malfoy's "Weaselbee" for Ronald Weasley, as well as Luna Lovegood being called "Loony".
  • In The Mortal Instruments, Magnus calls Simon a variety of names starting with S, and very rarely calls him by his name.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians:
    • Mr. D (a.k.a. Dionysus) intentionally refuses to call Percy by name, usually calling him Peter Johnson, or some other similar name.
    • It seem's that it's not just Percy whose name he butchers. In The Titan's Curse he calls Annabeth "Anniebell" or "Annabelle".
    • Annabeth also calls Percy "Seaweed Brain" for most of the first book, and continues to as an friendly/affectionate nickname for the remainder of the series.
  • In Ellen Conford's The Revenge of the Incredible Dr. Rancid and His Youthful Assistant, Jeffrey school bully Dewey Belasco frequently referred to title character Jeffrey Childs as "Childish".
  • In The Scarlet Pimpernel, Sir Percy continually annoys Chauvelin by deliberately getting his name wrong, calling him "Chaubertin" or "Chambertin".
  • In Kim Newman's Alternate History novella Teddy Bears' Picnic, film director Michael Powell makes a deliberate decision to refer to the government censor Putnam as "Putt-man", and instructs all of his staff to do the same.
  • In A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Aunt Sissy has an affinity for the name "John" and addresses all her husbands and lovers to the point that her family doesn't always learn their real names. Her third husband asserts himself toward the end, insisting that Sissy and her family call him "Steve". Sissy's affectation was changed to "Bill" in the film version, for obvious reasons. Sissy is sexually liberated for her time, but she is not a prostitute.
  • Happens a few times in Warrior Cats.
    • Firepaw calls Darkstripe "Dirtstripe", for all his obstructive behavior.
    • When Fireheart is punished by having Longtail supervise him at all times, Longtail doesn't miss the opportunity to mock Fireheart and calls him by his apprentice name, "Firepaw".

    Live-Action TV 
  • All My Children's Julia Santos would sarcastically refer to her older sister Maria as "Santa Maria" whenever they argued or their parents lectured her about being more like her, obviously fed up with being The Unfavorite to her. Erica did this also.
  • In the Angel episode "Destiny", back when they first met, Angelus mocked Spike, who at the time was named William, by calling him "Willie".
  • On Arrested Development, this is Gob's plan for dealing with his soon-to-be-ex-wife. ("For example, if her name's Amy, I'll call her Blamey.") This would probably work a lot better if he could actually remember her name.
  • In Bewitched, Endora would constantly diss Darrin by calling him things like "Durwood", "What's-his-name," "Darwin," "Dum-Dum," "Dolphin," etc. Serena would also do this.
  • In season 4 of Blackadder Captain Flashheart uses this derisive nickname for the eponymous character:
    Flashheart: Well, well, well, well, well, if it isn't old captain Slackbladder.
  • Desperate Housewives had a sexually promiscuous teenage girl named Danielle Van de Kamp, who insisted that her female rivals in school called her "Van de Tramp".
  • On A Different World, Whitley would often call Dwayne's girlfriend Kinu (the Romantic False Lead) Kino-no, Nuki, Kemosabe...
    • Kekookala.
  • Doc Martin: Martin's mother insists on calling Louisa "Louise" despite being corrected multiple times.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The First Doctor had a habit of messing up Ian Chesterton's surname (stemming from Throw It In! of William Hartnell's memory problems), calling him various things like "Chesterfield" or "Chesserman" or "Chatterton". This started out because he simply didn't care — as his character developed, he'd get Ian's name right most of the time but deliberately mess it up when trying to get a rise out of him (notably in "The Romans", where he's bored of living comfortably in a villa in the same time period for a few months and offended by how Ian seems to be enjoying it).
    • "The Rescue": Ian manages to get a bit of crap past the radar when misnaming the alien Coquillion "Cocky-licking" for the amusement of the human girl who is being terrorised by him.
    • The First Doctor likes to call Dodo "Dorothea", her real name which she detests. This is done less to annoy her and more because he thinks it's helping bring her up into being a Proper Lady.
    • The Sixth Doctor contemptuously calls the Valeyard various "-yard" cognates, like "the Backyard", "the Scrapyard", "the Brickyard", "the Graveyard", "the Farmyard", "the Knacker's-yard"...
    • The Ninth Doctor used to call Mickey "Ricky", clearly to irritate him. It took over a season (and a regeneration) for him to warm up enough to use the poor bloke's real name. And when the Doctor, Rose and Mickey wound up in a parallel universe in "Rise of the Cybermen", it turned out Mickey's counterpart there was, in fact, named Ricky.
    • "Asylum of the Daleks": Oswin Oswald refers to Rory by a girl's name, "Nina", though the name was the name of the first person she fancied, suggesting she intends it as negging rather than as an insult.
    • In "The Night of the Doctor", the Doctor refers to the Flame of Eternal Life as the Flame of Utter Boredom.
  • On Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, the titular character frequently has to remind people to call her "Dr." rather than "Miss", several of whom deliberately call her "Miss" in order to needle her and demonstrate their lack of respect.
  • ER. Dr. Jerk Romano repeatedly calls Elizabeth Corday "Lizzie" even though she's made it clear that she doesn't like it and once tried calling Peter Benton "Pete" and "Petey" before being shut down by Benton's Death Glare.
    • Dave Malucci also tries this, though it's actually a failed attempt at being friendly. Once again, Benton's Death Glare and Tranquil Fury—"When you address me, it's 'Yes, Dr. Benton' or 'No, Dr. Benton.'" — put a stop to it.
  • In the Friends episode "The One With Rachel's Crush", Chandler is worried that Kathy's co-star will undermine him by doing this:
    Chandler: Y'know, it'll be like, "So where's your boyfriend, what's-his-name, Chester?" And she'll go, "No no, it's Chandler." And he'll go, "Whatever, hahahahaha!"
    Joey: That is a good trick.
  • General Hospital's Ned often called his cousin AJ "Junior". Even though AJ was in fact his father's namesake and the term was technically correct, AJ and Ned's acrimonious relationship made it clear that Ned meant it in an insulting way.
  • In George & Mildred, George's mate Jerry constantly refers to Mildred and 'Mildew'.
  • The George Lopez Show: In "Girl Fight", Carmen's ex-boyfriend spreads rumors about her being sexually promiscuous, leading Alpha Bitch Piper to call her "Carmen Hopez" and "Carmen Can't-Say-Nopez".
    Benny: Hey, thank God our last name isn't Tucker.
  • Gilmore Girls: Lorelai apparently called Luke 'Duke' for a year after they met, although they later became best friends. Given their Will They or Won't They? relationship, it was probably a case of Irritation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery.
  • An episode of The Golden Girls has Dorothy's horrible new friend deliberately "forgetting" Blanche's name whenever they speak, instead calling her things like 'Madge'.
  • The season 3 premiere of How I Met Your Mother introduces Robin's new love interest, Gael (pronounced Guy-El). Ted, who is recently broken up with Robin, keeps pretending to mishear the name, and Ted's friends Marshall and Barney join in out of solidarity, calling him "Kyle", "Gail", and "Girl".
  • On Jessie, Mrs Chesterfield enjoys annoying people by calling them false names. She never addresses Jessie by her real name and instead says Bessie, Tessie, Nessie, Tressie, etc. Not only that, but she also called Emma "Jemma" and Darla "Marla" and Ravi "Rover".
    • Bertram is also nicknamed "Bertram Stinkle" by his high school rival.
  • One Life to Live's Luna Moody was sometimes derisively referred to as "Looney-bird" or Looney Tunes by her detractors thanks to her name and carefree New Age personality.
  • On Parks and Recreation, it turns out Jerry's name is actually Garry and he never bothered to correct anybody, but after coming out of retirement, he insists people call him by his real name. April, on the spot, maliciously renames him Larry... and he's been known as that ever since.
    • Ron also does this to people in order to avoid getting too friendly with them:
      Ron: Ann was getting a little chummy. When people get a little too chummy with me I like to call them by the wrong name to let them know I don't really care about them.
      April: That's a genius move.
      Ron: Thank you.
      April: You're welcome, Lester.
  • Throughout the first season of Remington Steele, Steele invariably calls Bernice Fox (Laura Holt's secretary) "Miss Wolfe".
  • Rumpole of the Bailey frequently addresses his obnoxiously sanctimonious Head of Chambers, "Soapy" Sam Ballard QC, as "Bollard". He also calls the young, ambitious Tory barrister Charles Hearthstoke "Hearthrug". Again, he does this to his face.
  • Parodied in a Saturday Night Live skit which had a husband vetoing every single name his wife suggested for their soon-to-be born child, finding someway the child would be ridiculed.
    Wife: How about Harry?
    Husband: [sarcastically] Oh, great idea! I can hear the little bastards now! "Hey, Harry! Where are the Hendersons?!"
    Wife: Were you bullied because of your name?
    Husband: NO!
    • They end up picking a name so bizarre that the kid is bound to be an example of this trope.
  • In the Richard E. Grant version of The Scarlet Pimpernel, the titular character repeatedly pronounces Chauvelin's name "Chavelon".
  • Scrubs
    • Dr. Cox does this to people. He has a tendency to call J.D. either girls names or "Newbie" even when he's been at the hospital for several years, he calls Elliot "Barbie", and Turk "Gandhi", "Turtlehead" and "Scalpel Jockey". Dr. Kelso also seems to think Chris Turk's name is "Turk Turkleton". When Turk calls Dr. Kelso on this, pointing out his name is "Chris Turk", Kelso looks at him for a moment, then rallies by claiming he's fully aware of the fact, he just likes "Turkelton" better. He also calls Turk "Turkleberry" and "Turkledawg" at least once. It should be noted that he never calls Carla anything other than her name (Nurse Espinosa), which proves his respect for her and Dr. Cox always calls her Carla. When he does call J.D., Turk, or Elliot by their real names, he's probably trying to be less of a jerk and more serious. This is very rare, incidentally.
    • Doctor Beardfacé is another constant victim of this trope, referred to as "Doctor Beardface" by pretty much everyone at Sacred Heart.
    • Snoop Dogg Intern/Resident/Attending presumably has a real name that no one ever uses. Unlike all the other nicknames people on the show have, he doesn't seem to mind being called Snoop Dogg, as long as you get his title right. Although in "Their Story", it's revealed via inner monologue he'd like to be called by his name, Ronald.
    • The Janitor has been called names such as Lurch and Sasquatch for two reasons: One is his imposing height and the other is that his name is guarded (by the character and the writers) like the gold at Fort Knox.
    • JD calls Elliot "Smelliot" in one episode; when she reveals she wasn't that bothered by it, The Todd complains that she got mad at him for calling her "Vagina Face".
  • On Seinfeld, George Costanza's high school gym teacher was a Sadist Teacher who loved to torment George in particular, and always called him "Can't-stand-ya".
  • Sisters. Second-oldest sister Teddy's ex returns to town to find her with a new boyfriend, Detective Falconer, and repeatedly substitutes other bird names, "Detective Toucaner, is it?"
  • On Star Trek: The Next Generation, Riker, Geordi, and Wesley Crusher derisively refer to Reg Barclay as 'broccoli' because they can't stand him. Captain Picard tells them to knock it off, before accidentally calling Barclay it in front of the entire bridge crew. Barclay looks absolutely crushed and leaves the bridge without another word, while Picard is horrified by his mistake. And in another episode, omnipotent trickster Q pronounces Picard's name as "John-Luck Pickherd" just to annoy him.
  • In The Thick of It, a reasonable chunk of both parties call Mr Tickel (pronounced 'ti-KELL') "Mr Tickle". This comes back to bite them when the emails in which they call them this get leaked.
  • In Wolf Hall, Anne Boleyn calls Thomas Cromwell "Cremuel" whenever she's mad at him. This does seem to be how a French person would pronounce his name (Chapuys says it that way too, and Anne spent much of her youth in France) but the contemptuous tone of voice she uses makes it clear that she means it as a slight.
  • Inverted in the Mini Series The Women Of Brewster Place when a young woman decides to reject her "slave name" and change it to something Afrocentric. Her mother continues calling her by her birth name, angering the girl until her equally angry mother reveals that she was named for an ancestor who escaped from slavery and that for her to change it doesn't honor her heritage, it insults it.

    Myth & Legends 
  • In The Bible, the goddess Astarte is referred to as "Ashtoreth". The latter notably more resembles the word "bosheth" meaning abomination. It's also theorized that Baal is such a name as well.

     Other 
  • Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, the man who almost single-handedly made Hebrew a living language again, often mocked the famous poet Khayim Nakhman Bialiknote  this way, opposing his status as Israel’s national poet.note 
  • Do you think that a business is screwing over its customers by either reducing quality or charging inflated prices (or both) in the name of higher profits? Is there an "s" anywhere in the business' name? Then just turn the "s" into the dollar sign "$" and you have an insult! Examples: Micro$oft, Di$ney, $tarbuck$.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • This was stock-in-trade for Chris Jericho, who regularly misnamed the people he was addressing("Kirk Angel", "Mitchell Cole", "Bill Greenberg", "Hoot-'n-Toot Guerrera", "Chris Ben-Oyt", "Bore-Us Malenko", "Stinko Malenko", or "Raisin" about that one) A long, time ago, back when Santino Marella decided to interrupt Chris Jericho's second day back in the WWE, Chris Jericho proceeded to get his name wrong so many times in so many different ways that Santino exploded into a torrent of Italian for a few seconds.
  • LayCool sometimes did this as part of their 'mean girl' schtick, to the likes of "Piggie James" and "Smelly Kelly".
  • Jesse Ventura often referred to Tito Santana as "Chico" Santana. A few other (heel) wrestlers did it too.
    • He also referred to Hulk Hogan as "Chump" Hogan.
  • André the Giant once referred to Tito as "Frito" Santana.
  • As a heel, Sgt. Slaughter referred to the Ultimate Warrior as "The Ultimate Puke" and "The Immortal" Hulk Hogan as "'The Immortal Slime' Hulk Hogan."
  • It was Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake who came up with "'Scary' Sherri" in place of "Sensational" Sherri. It caught on big-time; many other wrestlers repeated the jape. Even color commentator Jesse "The Body" Ventura accidentally said it during SummerSlam '89.

    Radio 
  • In Absolute Power, Charles Prentiss always called the French waiter, Maurice, "Morris". When Maurice corrected this ("Maur-ees"), Charles would launch a more devastating putdown.
  • On Hello Cheeky, John Junkin casually addressed Barry Cryer as "Fatty". On one occasion, Barry calls him out on it with the reasoning that he's no longer fat. John complies — and refers to him as "Skinny" for the rest of the episode.
  • There was an instance on True Capitalist Radio during Twitter shout outs where someone tweeted with the name "Adolf Ghostler". Ghost reacted as you'd expect, and since then it became a common and effective trolling tactic to intentionally refer to him as "Ghostler" (though the effectiveness started to wane over time, but never completely disappeared).
  • A Running Gag on the American history podcast "The Dollop" is host Dave Anthony calling cohost Gareth Reynolds "Gary". Then in one episode Dave's young son walks in...
    Dave's son: Hi Gawy!
    Gareth: No!
    Dave: Nicely done my friend!
    Gareth: NO! (Dave starts laughing) NOOO!

    Sports 
  • For years, sports reporter Jim Rome called football player Jim Everett "Chris".note  They finally met on the TV show, Talk2, and Everett warned Rome not to do it again. Rome did, and Everett flipped over the table and knocked Rome out of his chair, as seen in this video. Many Rome detractors regard this as a Moment of Awesome for Everett. Since that incident, Rome regularly disconnects callers on his radio show who do the same thing to other male athletes.
  • For years after Muhammad Ali changed his name from Cassius Clay, many people still refused to call him by his new name:
    • Ernie Terrell was one of them, and in 1967 in the fight known as the "What's My Name?" fight Ali made him pay for it. Ali pummeled Terrell mercilessly while repeatedly screaming "WHAT'S MY NAME?" at Terrell. It is regarded as one of the few times Ali actually cut loose and showed unbridled ferocity in the ring.
    • Oscar Bonavena got the same treatment for the same reason.
  • Michigan State fans tend to refer to their arch rivals, Michigan, as "scUM." They also like referring to Michigan fans who don't have a personal connection to the university as "Walmart Wolverines".

    Video Games 
  • In Final Fantasy VI, Gau is highly amused by Cyan's Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe dialect. In the conversation that follows, he starts referring to Sabin as "Mr. Thou", to Sabin's annoyance.
  • When Karin recruits Eyrios in Fire Emblem: Thracia 776, she decides that he would not be so stuck-up if his name was more ordinary-sounding, and thus calls him Olson (much to his displeasure).
  • In Mystical Ninja: Starring Goemon, the Big Bad is a theatrical man who repeatedly calls Goemon Fernandez despite Goemon's objections. According to one of his flunkies, he tends to give people the name he thinks they deserve. He even calls Ebisumaru Antonio once.
  • JumpStart Adventures 3rd Grade: Mystery Mountain has Polly, the bratty child villainess, repeatedly referring to the robot Botley (the game's Exposition Fairy) with insulting rhymes of his name, such as "Snotley" and "Potley".
  • Linebeck, of The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, calls Link and Ciela by any number of degrading nicknames (rarely the same one twice) right up until they head into the Very Definitely Final Dungeon — whereupon he admits that he envies Link's heroic resolve. After a moment, Ciela realizes he's finally used her name.
  • In The Nameless Mod, Scara B. King pronounces the protagonist's name in a new way every time he says it. A conversation with NV Shacker reveals he does this with everyone (and notes that because he pronounced it right 1 in 3 times, he thought he was on a fast track to a promotion). Scara seems to do it out of mockery. It is definitely deliberate. Trestkon calls him out on it when he uses the correct name when stressed or uses a wrong name he has used before, to which Scara responds with a new one.
  • Coach Oleander uses this to mock Razputin in Psychonauts.
    Oleander: Is your name Joey?
    Raz: No.
    Oleander: Cause I'm gonna call you Slowy Joey.
    Raz: That's not my name.
    Oleander: What's that, Slowy? I can't hear you, you're talking too slow.
  • A running gag in the Sam & Max: Freelance Police games is how Girl Stinky always get the eponymous duo's names wrong. She remembers their names just fine, but chooses to call them completely random names just to piss them off.
    • In "The Devil's Playhouse" the two always mispronounce main bad guy Skunkape's (Pronounced Skoon-KAH-Peh) as just "Skunkape". At first it might seem unintentional, but the fact that they're the only characters who don't pronounce it correctly, it soon becomes clear that they're doing it just to be obnoxious.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic often calls Knuckles "Knucklehead" after the latter does something particularly unintelligent. He also calls Eggman "Egghead" on occasions.
  • In Alan Wake, Agent Nightingale calls Alan by a different author's name pretty much every time he opens his mouth. Not all of them are male authors, either.
  • In Interstate '82, Rank Dick takes great pleasure in addressing Taurus as "Mr. Tortoise", emphasizing the "toise" part. He later finds out it's not a good idea to do this to someone holding you at gunpoint.
  • In The Secret of Monkey Island, Sheriff Shinetop (who is the series' main villain LeChuck in disguise), constantly mispronounces Guybrush Threepwood's name. In one instance, his mispronunciations are completely randomized, and many of them bear no resemblance to his actual name ("Droopface," "Nosehair," "Spicecake"). When LeChuck is talking with his first mate shortly later, he pronounces Guybrush's name perfectly, strongly implying that he was employing this trope the entire time.
  • Daxter does this to Count Veger twice in Jak 3 to annoy him out of spite for banishing Jak to the desert at the beginning of the game.
  • In Borderlands 2, An ECHO log of Handsome Jack has him repeatedly screwing up the first name of his Vice President, even after Mr. Blake tells him that his first name is Jeffery, not Jimmy.
    • His old boss Harold Tassiter does this to a slightly lesser extent, referring to him as John to his face, usually after a perceived screw-up.
  • In FreudBot during a conversation with her son Steve's overbearing, neurotic mother refers to his girlfriend Samantha as "Satana."
  • In Bayonetta, Bayonetta loves to piss Luka off by calling him Cheshire instead of his name.
  • Sera of Dragon Age: Inquisition refuses to call the Big Bad by his proper name, preferring Coryphetits, Corypheshits, Coryshenuts, ect. Call her out on this and she is unrepentant, he deserves every shred of disrespect she can muster.
  • In Life Is Strange, Chloe constantly refers to her stepdad as "step-dork" or "step-douche". Nathan likes to make fun of Max' last name "Caulfield", calling her "Cockfield" or "Crackfield".
  • In the first expansion of World Of Warcraft, there were two rival factions, the Aldor and the Scryers, that referred to each other occasionally as Aldorks and Scrybabies.

    Visual Novels 
  • Okabe in Steins;Gate loves to call Kurisu "Christina" (probably due to the fact that "Kurisu" is exactly how one would render the name "Chris" in Japanese, albeit in katakana instead of kanji) much to her annoyance. So much so that she's pleasantly surprised when he doesn't. He also does this occasionally with Daru, calling him a "suupaa hakaa" (usually rendered in subtitles as "Super Haker") instead of a "suupaa hakkaa" ("Super Hacker"), which Daru is always quick to correct. It's a very subtle difference, with only a glottal stop separating the (intentionally) incorrect pronunciation from the correct one.
  • Umineko: When They Cry has the rather unusual case of Yasu in Episode 7, a servant scorned and mocked by his/her older fellow servants due to his/her young age and inexperience and thus given this nickname. The last name is "Yasuda", but we never learn the given name, so the fandom only knows this character as "Yasu", even though s/he hates being called that. Well, the fandom also knows him/her as "Shannon", "Kanon" or "Beatrice".
    Benon: We're leaving. Take care of yourself, alright? Ya. Su.
  • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials & Tribulations, rival prosecutor Godot frequently mispronounces Phoenix's last name, addressing him only as "Trite" instead of "Wright". He does this out of contempt, believing Phoenix responsible for Mia Fey's death earlier in the series.

    Web Animation 
  • Strong Bad of Homestar Runner is quite fond of this. He calls his little brother Strong Sad by a host of unflattering nicknames such as "Dump-O", "Trundle Bed", and "Dairy Queen". ("I told you I don't wanna be called that anymore. I made a mistake!") Strong Bad also frequently mangles the names of senders in Strong Bad Email, like calling PlasticDiverGuy in the e-mail "underlings" "PastyDeadGuy" and "PrancyDirtGirl".
    • A few SBEmail senders have turned the tables on Strong Bad; the email in "bottom 10" is addressed to "Weak Bad", and the email in "road trip" is addressed to "Fatty Bad".
  • According to Word of God, Deckard of Bee and Puppycat has a little brother who calls him "Dick-hard."
  • In Zero Punctuation, Yatzhee will frequently mock games by mangling their titles, like referring to Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch as Wrath of the White Guilt.

    Web Comics 
  • In 8-Bit Theater, Black Mage refers to Warmech (who's a bit slow) as "Boremech" and "Warblech". The robot eventually catches on, though it continues to be startlingly ineffectual at killing anything whatsoever.
  • In Consolers, Microsoft refers to his competitor Apple as "Crapple" at times.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Diane does this to Justin, calling him Jason. This same mistake has occurred on the boards, amusingly enough, unintentionally.
  • Cinna Grossul of Pacificators has a history with Muneca Powell and Kathy Lee, and it certainly shows.
    • Cinna calls Muneca "Doll" and every thinkable variable of this - idiot doll, berserk doll, Doll-Rex, and so on. Muneca is Spanish for dollnote , and Cinna knows this. It's intentional.
    • Cinna calls Kathy, who has a really bad case of acne and big teeth, "Miss Pimples", "Miss Bucktooth", and "Pimpleface". Yes, Cinna is a mature woman.
  • In Shortpacked!, Ken was often called by various other names Street Fighter characters (the joke being that he is somewhat of a forgettable Wall Flower). This carried over to the comments section, where he is ALWAYS referred to by another SF character name.
  • In Walkyverse It's Walky, Jennifer "Billie" Billingsworth is shown to have gotten her nickname this way. When they were younger, Walky called her "Billie" because she apparently hits like a boy.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In 101 Dalmatians: The Series, Cruella has a habit of addressing Roger with other R words like Rupert, Roadhog, Retro, Rudolph, etc. Very rarely does she get his name right.
  • In the Teddy Ruxpin franchise (which includes the series The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin), Jack W. Tweeg constantly gets this from his Lead Bounder (and Dragon) L.B.
  • In the Batman Beyond episode "Out of the Past", Terry persistently mispronounces Ra's Al Ghul as RAUZ (the same pronunciation used in Batman Begins) instead of the "proper" DC Animated Universe pronunciation, RAYSH. Talia constantly corrects him, getting more and more annoyed when Terry never tries to get it right. It may look accidental, but Word of God says this was Terry's subtle way of dissing the criminal mastermind by not even getting his name right.
  • A Beavis and Butt-Head episode spoofing Leave It to Beaver has Beavis as "The Beavis" and Todd as Eddie.
    Todd: So... Beaver.
    Beavis: Um, the name's "Beavis", sir.
    Todd: Oh, well excuse me... Beaver.
  • In Courage the Cowardly Dog, Eustace's dead brother Horst used to call him him "Useless".
  • Danny Phantom: Dash's name insults involving Danny's last name, like Fen-turd. Enough said.
  • In Drak Pack, main villain Dr. Dred willfully gets the team name wrong (with names like Drip Pack or Dog Pack), as well as the name of its leader, Drak Jr. (calling him names like Clack, Drake, or Plaque).
  • On Hey Arnold! Helga does this to insult Harold in the episode "Beaned" where she fools Arnold (and the rest) into thinking she's got amnesia.
    Harold: HELLO HELGA. MY NAME IS HAR-OOOLD! DO YOU REMEMBER ME?
    Helga: Why, of course I remember you, Cheryl.
    Arnold: Come on, I'll help you find your locker.
    Helga: What is 'locker'?
    Stinky: I reckon' that's the most pathetic thing I've ever seen...
    Rhonda: She's turned into a total freak!
    Harold: And she's calling me Cheryl!
  • In the Justice League episode "Wild Cards", the Joker refers to Superman as "Stupidman" and Batman as "Batguano".
  • In Lilo & Stitch: The Series, Mertle often calls Lilo "Weird-lo".
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, a lot of Rainbow Dash's colleagues like to address her as "Rainbow Crash".
  • Wizard Kelly, Oscar Proud's Sitcom Arch-Nemesis from The Proud Family, is known for doing this, calling Oscar himself "Oliver Prune".
  • On ReBoot, Enzo often calls the viruses insulting nicknames, such as Megabreath and Hexadismal. Also, only Dot seems to pronounce Cecil's name correctly (Ceh-cil, not Cee-cil).
  • The 90's revival segment of Secret Squirrel from 2 Stupid Dogs had an episode where a villain called the Quark repeatedly addressed Secret Squirrel as "Stupid Squirrel".
  • In a flashback episode of The Simpsons, Homer and Marge are trying to think of names for Bart (who Marge was pregnant with at the time). Homer shot down several names Marge suggested in order to avoid this trope.
    Marge: If the baby is a boy what do think about Larry for a name?
    Homer: Marge, we can't do that. The kids will call him "Larry Fairy!"
    Marge: What about Louie?
    Homer: They'll call him "Screwy Louie."
    Marge: Bob?
    Homer: Flob.
    Marge: Marcus?
    Homer: Mucus.
    Marge: What about Bart?
    Homer: Let's see... Bart, cart, dart, ee-art... nope, nothing wrong with that.
  • In Sonic Sat AM, Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic Underground and the Sonic comics based off the SatAM show, Sonic almost always refers to Robotnik as "Robuttnik".
  • In the South Park episode spoofing competition movies, Stan Marsh's self-proclaimed rival takes to calling him "Stan Darsh," which he seems to think is a clever put-down. A Woolseyism in the German Dub has him use the name "Stan Arsch," meaning "Stan Ass," which actually is an insult.
    • Another episode had a Hispanic kid named David, pronounced the Spanish way, "da-VEED". Naturally, Cartman pronounces it the English way no matter how many times David corrects him.
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Fry Cook Games", the final match between SpongeBob and Patrick is a wrestling match. During one part, SpongeBob takes a pencil to Patrick's nametag and erases the "Pat" from it, leading Patrick to bellow out "MY NAME'S! NOT! RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICK!"
    • Earlier in the same episode, Patrick mockingly uses the name SpongeBob SuperiorPants.
  • Baloo did this to Don Carnage once in TaleSpin, interrupting Carnage's typical long-winded self-introduction by calling him "Don Garbage". As expected, Carnage became quite irate (though given that Baloo had no intention of handing over his cargo, he felt that the confrontation was inevitable).
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012), Baxter Stockman is constantly misnamed by the Turtles, much to his frustration.note 
  • The Tick did this during his encounter with Thrakkorzog. His first attempt may have been Accidental Misnaming. The subsequent ones weren't. Thrakkorzog responds in kind later when he has the upper hand.
    • Including such gems as "Thorasmog", "Thoraxabug", "Laxativelog", "Four yaks and a dog", and finally, "Susan".
      Thrakazog: Now you're doing it on purpose!
    • Truly, it must be seen to be appreciated.
  • In The Transformers, Daniel Witwicky addresses the Decepticon Cyclonus as "Cy-clown-us" in the three-part finale "The Rebirth".

    Real Life 
  • Calling people their birth names after they've taken up a new name, otherwise known as "deadnaming". A particularly sore spot for transgender folk, obviously.
  • German politician Herbert Wehner had fun with this. Once he called a politician of the other side, named Wohlrabe ("nice raven") Übelkrähe ("evil crow").
  • Many students who have ethnic-sounding names become frustrated when teachers and professors consistently mispronounce their names, or insist on calling them by a nickname. For this reason, it's wise for teachers and professors who are just learning their class roster to 1) ask a student if their name is being pronounced correctly before giving it a go and apologize if it's not (giving him/her the opportunity to correct the teacher if needed and/or give a nickname that the student prefers) and 2) write the proper phonetic pronunciation on the roster sheet. (And, obviously, take the time to actually learn what they've written.)
    • The SNL skit in the TV section isn't without merit. Even the most normal, common names can fall victim to this, given children's penchant for cruelty. And heaven help those whose are a little unusual— for example, anyone named "Camille" probably has some unpleasant memories of being called "Chameleon".
  • After Ellen DeGeneres came out as a lesbian, anti-gay icon Jerry Falwell labeled her "Ellen Degenerate".
  • Happens to politicians a lot, including Donald Trump and let's just leave it at that.
  • Announcers on Channel 4 used to call The Simpsons by the wrong name when they introduced it. Here is a small sample.


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