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"Lord Wingus Eternum is short. My true name would begin with a dawn, end with the moon, and ravage your mind like a nightmare."
Lord Wingus Eternum, Spliced

When you introduce someone, you probably add a brief title and description so that each person gets a little more information than, "Bob, this is Alice. Alice, Bob." One might say Bob scuba dives, or Alice just got her pilot's license.

These people cut out the middle man. "Runs with Bulls", "The Forgotten Flame of Endless Unmarked Years", "The Princess Magnificent with Lips of Coral and Robes of Black Feathers"... you get the idea. Appropriate or not, the name is a full description.


See also Overly Long Name, Purple Prose, Awesome Mc Coolname, and Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card!. Compare The Noun Who Verbed, Preppy Name, Translation: "Yes", and The Trope Without a Title.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • This causes a bit of a Dub-Induced Plot Hole in Durarara!!. One of the main characters is named Mikado Ryugamine, which means "Emperor of the Dragon's Peak". It's pretty much exactly as strange as if someone walked up to you and said "Hi, my name is Emperor of the Dragon's Peak." Unfortunately, we don't translate Japanese names, so English viewers are left confused as to why everyone is making such a big deal out of his name.
  • The title character in With the Light is given a name on the first page meaning "Light of the East"; his surname, Azuma, is the nanori (proper name pronunciation) of "higashi," meaning "east." Not to be outdone, his little sister Kanon's full name would be, loosely translated, "the sound of eastern flowers"; her mother decided to give her the name Kanon, written with the kanji letters for "flower" and "sound," after hearing a canon playing on the radio while giving birth.
  • In Drug & Drop, Kazahaya lists off Rikuou's name as being one of the many stupid things about him because it sounds like a religious landmark, but then has to acknowledge that his own does too.
  • The "Flame-Haired Blazing-Eyed Hunter", eventually renamed Shana. That one is a bit zigzagged, because that's not actually a name, it's a title. One that has had several bearers in the past. The character herself was raised with No Need for Names and considered the title suffcient identification in of itself.
  • Happens sometimes in Kill La Kill. Mankanshoku Mako's surname means "Full-Dressed Battleship", while Kiryuuin Satsuki's means "Palace of the Spectral Dragon".

    Comic Books 
  • In the Immortal Iron Fist series, the seven Immortal Weapons have names like Tiger's Beautiful Daughter and Bride of Nine Spiders. Technically these are titles, but in some cases we never learn their personal names.
  • The Great Ten were a Chinese superhero group in the pre-new-52 DC Universe. Most of its members had names that fit this trope. The members are: Accomplished Perfect Physician, August General in Iron, Celestial Archer, Ghost Fox Killer, Immortal Man-in-Darkness, Mother of Champions, the Seven Deadly Brothers, Shaolin Robot, Socialist Red Guardsman, and Thundermind.
  • Likewise with DC's Japanese superhero team, the Super Young Team. Introduced in Final Crisis, their names were meant to sound transliterated. The group included Most Excellent Superbat, Sonic Lightning Flash, Shy Crazy Lolita Canary, Shiny Happy Aquazon, and Big Atomic Lantern Boy.
  • DC Comics' Lobo, although his name sounds like a common word for "wolf", actually took his name from a Khundish word meaning, "He who devours your entrails and thoroughly enjoys it."
  • Tex Willer's Indian name Eagle of the Night was given to him because, at the time, he was doing just that to some criminals: appearing from nowhere (possibly from upside) to prey on them, and did it mostly at night. He was a bit bemused when Lilyth (his wife) first sprung that on him, but as soon as she told him the reason he decided it was fitting and started using it himself.

    Fan Works 
  • In The Power of the Press one of Harry's tutors, Julius Augustus Murphy, has an Indian name which means "He Who Soars with Eagles."
  • In Lady Black, Lord Potter the American member of the International Confederation of Wizards has a name which translates as "Wiggles with Grace." She insists on Harry referring to her simply as Grace.
  • In Mary Potter 1: the Call to Adventure a boa constrictor in the zoo tells Mary its name is "The Sound of Wet Scales on Small Stones" and a garden snake she meets at Hermione's house is called "The Scent of Air After the Storm."
  • In Snapped the snake Draco Malfoy summons during the dueling club meeting second year is called "Bane-of-all-rodents."
  • In The Power of a Well-Organized Mind Harry acquires some Parseltongue books written by a Naga whose name translates as "Warm Breath of Morning."
  • Against My Nature has a Chinese Fireball whose name translates roughly as "the glow of light through scarlet flowers at the water's edge in sunset."
  • In Adventures in Dimension Hopping Harry, Tom and Spike meet a Naga whose name translates roughly as "she-who-wanders-in-darkness-unworried."
  • In Unbecoming Voldemort's snake Nagini asks Heather for her name.
    Heather translated passably as Soft-Thing-Under-The-Belly, which pleased the snake more than the name of Master, which, really, was closer to He-Who-Can-Kill-All-Others-But-Is-Warm-Place.
  • Broken Wings has a viridian rain forest boa whose name translates as "Sparkly green treasure hidden in the treetop."
  • In Hold your Breath the merfolk chieftain in the Black Lake is called "Sunlight-passing-through-Sharp-Corals."
  • A Diplomatic Visit: Chapter 24 reveals that the wolves' full names, in their native language, have hidden and much longer meanings.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Fifth Element has Leeloo, whose full name translates as "Precious Stone of the Earth, Defender of Light and Life, the Honorable". Her sobriquet means "Stone".
  • Dances with Wolves includes Native American characters with names like "Stands with a Fist" and "Wind in His Hair"... also averted in one instance, with one character who's simply named Otter.
  • In Susannah of the Mounties, the named Indians are Big Eagle, Little Chief, and Wolf Pelt. Shirley Temple's character is christened "Little Golden Hawk" by the Indians. In Real Life, during the production of the movie, she was made an honorary member of the Blackfoot tribe and given the name "Bright Shining Star."

  • In the Berserker story, "Pilots of the Twilight", Holt was raised by the 'Reen who named him, translated roughly, "He-orphaned-and-helpless-whom-we-obliged-are-to-take-in-but-why-us?". Upon return to human society he was given the name Holt Calder.
  • In The Host, Souls choose their own names, which are often the old names of their host bodies; sometimes they change them when they get a new host, sometimes not. As such, the Souls in the book, who are inhabiting humans, can have names like "Kathy," or things like "Fords Deep Waters," "Sunlight Passing Through the Ice," and "Rides the Beast."
  • Discworld:
    • In Reaper Man, Mrs. Cake's spirit guide is One-Man-Bucket. He's the ghost of a man descended from Howandaland natives whose tribe's naming convention is to name the baby after the first thing the mother sees. His full name is One-Man-Pouring-A-Bucket-Of-Water-Over-Two-Dogs. His slightly-older twin brother is mentioned as "Two-Dogs". It's guessed by an outsider that his full name is Two-Dogs-Fighting. One-Man-Bucket corrects this guess, saying Two-Dogs "would have given his right arm to be called Two-Dogs-Fighting".
    • There are some residents of Lancre who are accidentally named in this fashion, because they are literally named after whatever the priest at the ceremony says — there was even a King My-God-He's-Heavy the First. Magrat herself is so-named because her mother couldn't spell Margaret; her own daughter ends up with the name "Esmerelda Margaret Note Spelling" after a failed attempt to avoid it.
    • Discworld also parodies the Puritan convention, with Omnians having names like Mightily-Praiseworthy-Are-They-Who-Exalteth-Om, Smite-The-Unbeliever-With-Cunning-Arguments, and Visit-The-Infidel-With-Explanatory-Pamphlets. There's also Sam Vimes's ancestor Suffer-Not-Injustice.
    • In Snuff, it is revealed that goblins are all named like a cross between Magical Native Americans and Exalted characters — "Tears of the Mushroom", "Regret of the Falling Leaf", "Shine of the Rainbow", "Sound of the Rain on Hard Ground", "The Pleasant Contrast of the Orange and Yellow Petals in the Flower of the Gorse," and so forth. This poetic/artistic streak in a species that most people treat like intelligent vermin is significant to the plot, although their exact naming conventions are never precisely explained. They're apparently loose translations, and only a word or two in Goblin. Abbreviating a goblin's name is a good way to make it violently angry unless it is very well disposed towards the negligent human.
  • In China Miéville's novel Embassytown, the alien Hosts mark certain human residents as similes to be used in their everyday language; the main character is formally named "there was a human girl who in pain ate what was given to her in an old room built for eating in which eating had not happened for a time," or "the girl who ate was given to her" for short.
  • The Stormlight Archive has a character known as "Rock" whose real name (Nuhumukumakiaki'aialunamor) is an entire poem in his native language about a rock his father found just before he was born. Apparently everybody in his culture has names like that, which leads to some confusion later when his family is introduced and he introduces his son as "Rock", as he is also named after a rock, but clarifies that it is a "different kind of Rock".
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • The Lord of the Rings: In Entish, all names, possibly all nouns, are comprehensive descriptions of the person or thing in question. They consider anything else to be "hasty". Treebeard only uses that name for the convenience of non-Ents. His true name is apparently his entire biography, and given that he's one of the oldest living things in Middle Earth, it's basically an epic-length novel. In other words, when you ask someone "Who are you?" they will tell you their name. When you ask an Ent his name, he will tell you who he is.
    • Melkor, the Big Bad of The Silmarillion (and Tolkien's entire cosmology), has his name translate as "He Who Arises in Might".
    • Galadriel's name translates to "Maiden Crowned With Radiant Light" in Sindarin. This though is a nickname, given to her by her husband Celeborn (awww). Her real name, however, is Artanis, which means "Noble Woman." Most elvish names end up being this trope if translated (with a few exceptions like Gilgalad "Brightstar" and Cirdan "shipwright"). For example, Aragorn's name means roughly "Noble Eagerness", a rather accurate description. note 
  • The cats of the Tribe of Rushing Water in Warrior Cats are named after the first thing their mother sees when the cat is born, e.g. Brook Where Small Fish Swim, Night of No Stars, etc. One character remarks that in his mind, this would lead to a lot of cats being named Roof of Cave, Wall of Cave, or Floor of Cave.
    • Even the tribe itself is like this, seeing as it was named after the waterfall guarding its cave.
  • In the Keys to the Kingdom book Lady Friday, the Winged Servants of the Night all have names like this. For example: "The One Who Survived The Darkness".
  • In the Honor Harrington series, the non-human sentients known as Treecats have descriptive names giving an insightful view of them. Notable names have included "Laughs Brightly", "Swift Striker" and "Echo of Time". Humans have also been awarded names by treecats, such as "Death Fang's Bane", "Darkness Foe", and "Dances On Clouds". In fact, treecat names are critical to the formation of the Grand Alliance; it's the revelation of Eloise Pritchart's and Thomas Theisman's treecat names, "Truth Seeker" and "Dreams of Peace" respectively, that convince Honor the reborn Republic truly can be trusted.
  • In Iain M. Banks' The Culture setting, names function as characters' addresses (although the full forms are rarely mentioned in the novels). As Banks explained:
    Banks: Culture names act as an address if the person concerned stays where they were brought up. Let's take an example; Balveda, from Consider Phlebas. Her full name is Juboal-Rabaroansa Perosteck Alseyn Balveda dam T'seif. The first part tells you she was born/brought up on Rabaroan Plate, in the Juboal stellar system [...]; Perosteck is her given name (almost invariably the choice of one's mother), Alseyn is her chosen name (people usually choose their names in their teens, and sometimes have a succession through their lives; [...]); Balveda is her family name (usually one's mother's family name) and T'seif is the house/estate she was raised within. The "sa" affix on the first part of her name would translate into "er" in English (we might all start our names with "Sun-Earther", in English, if we were to adopt the same nomenclature), and the "dam" part is similar to the German "von".
    • At the end of the piece, he dubs himself "Sun-Earther Iain El-Bonko Banks of North Queensferry".
  • Anyone and everyone associated with the Lands Born of Smoke and Sacrifice in Breaking the Wall. Up to and including the "Lands Born of Smoke and Sacrifice." Among actual characters we have Flying Claw, Honey Dream, and Righteous Drum.
  • Bartimaeus's full name (according to him, anyway) is "Bartimaeus of Uruk, Sakhr al-Jinni, N'gorso the Mighty and the Serpent of Silver Plumes".
  • The Hawkbrothers in the Heralds of Valdemar series choose (or are given) two-word "use-names," which can signify personality or important attributes (Steelmind, who never forgets), recall a memorable occasion from the person's life (Starfall, who dove from a cliff at the moment a meteor flashed overhead), or simply be poetic (Wintersky). These can be changed at adulthood or after life-altering events (Darkwind was known as Songwind in happier times).
  • In Doctrine of Labyrinths, Mildmay's name is short for Mild-May-Your-Torments-Be-At-The-Hands-Of-The-Wicked.
  • The Hiths in the Doctor Who New Adventures novel Original Sin all changed their names once their society was destroyed by the Earth Empire. They now call themselves things like Powerless, Friendless, Afraid And Alone, so every time they give their ID to an Earth official they're making a political point.
  • The Faction Paradox novel 'Newtons Sleep' features a character named Lord Yellow Dog of the Thirty-One Cuts.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • The Outsider known as "He Who Walks Behind." Its full name is a two-minute montage of unfathomable fear, helplessness and pain. Naming conventions are unknown, but he has a brother named "He Who Walks Before." Incidentally, both of these names are at least partial descriptions of literal traits: He Who Walks Behind is always behind you, no matter how quickly you turn around. He Who Walks Before is the herald of an Outsider invasion.
    • In a trilogy of short stories, Dresden has dealings with the Sasquatch, more properly known as the Forest People, who are actually highly intelligent. His main contact among them is named Strength of a River in His Shoulders, or River Shoulders for short.
  • In the Star Carrier books, Turusch names are most closely translated as this. An example would be "Emphatic Blossom at Dawn", referring to an ambush hunter on their homeworld. Since the name in question belongs to a tactician, it's appropriate.
  • A demon lord or perhaps some sort of quasi-deity named "The Prince Who Dreams in the Void" is mentioned in the passing in Dissolution.
  • Wolves in The Wheel of Time communicate telepathically, so their names are not words but a jumble of sensations and images that are usually summarized in human language by a single descriptive word. For instance, "Hopper" is actually "A cub on a hilltop leaping repeatedly into the air as he tries to fly like an eagle", and Dapple is "Sunlight dappled through autumn trees onto piles of dead leaves with the smell of musk and earth". Wolfbrothers are adopted in the same manner: Perrin is known as Young Bull, that is "a brash young bull with gleaming metallic horns" which represent the axe that is his Weapon of Choice, while Elyas who prefers a long knife is Long Tooth, or "a wolf with one long, metallic fang."
  • Flashman is adopted by an Apache tribe and, due to his horseback skills, is named White-Rider-Goes-So-Fast-He-Destroys-The-Wind-With-His-Speed. Unfortunately for convenience it's shortened to He-Who-Breaks-The-Wind or Wind Breaker. Given how Flashman farted his way down the Valley of Death at Balaclava, you could say it's appropriate.
  • In Children of the Corn the children worship an unseen demon known as "He Who Walks Behind The Rows."
  • Ayesha in H. Rider Haggard's She is also known as "She-who-must-be-obeyed."
  • Translating the Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon, written by a medieval Japanese court lady and one of the earliest diaries still in existence, Ivan Morris said he didn't feel he should transliterate the names, "for fear that they might produce a false exoticism of the 'Honorable Lady Plum Blossom' type." This is actually a dig at Lafcadio Hearn who used that exact name in an example of women's names and how their honorifics work in Japanese.
  • In Remnants, the species that humans name the "Blue Meanies," who call themselves "the Children" (of Mother), all have names in the style of "[Number] [Positive Adjective] [Natural Feature]," such as "One Perfect Mountain" or "Four Divine Streams." This is to honor the artificial environments within Mother. When Yago starts a cult among the Meanies, members still follow this trope, renaming themselves things like "Yago's Catlike Grace".
  • Mostly averted in Trail of Glory. The Cherokee characters tend to have this type of names, but drop them in favour of more anglicized versions. A good example would be Kuhnungdatlageh, which translates to "He Who Walks Along The Peak Of The Ridge", but who usually signs his name "John Ridge".
  • A long footnote in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy explains that Ford Prefect's father was the only survivor of Betelgeuse Seven after its inhabitants were destroyed in the Great Collapsing Hrung Disaster, and during Ford's childhood on Betelgeuse Five he was nicknamed Ix, which is Old Betelgeusian for "Boy Who Is Not Able to Satisfactorily Explain What a Hrung Is, nor Why It Should Have Chosen to Collapse on Betelgeuse Seven."
  • In Girl of Fire and Thorns, every Invierno has a name like this, and every one demands to be addressed by their full name. The most prominent is "He Who Wafts Gently with the Wind Becomes as Mighty as the Thunderstorm", nicknamed Storm for convenience. Unlike most instances of this trope, these names aren't tailored to the person and can be passed around like other names, as Storm mentions his name is popular back home and we see some names that apply to multiple characters.
  • In The Crocodile God, the Tagalog mythology of the story is fused with Mythopoeia due to the centuries-long conquest by Spain, and most of the gods' epithets heavily invoke this. Haik is the title's Filipino crocodile-god with a whole string of epithets: "Whale-rider," "Haik who breaks the ships in his teeth," and "son of voyagers." His cousin is "Lumawig the last-born" whose older brothers are the Four Winds, Haik's older sister is "Hina who follows the moon," and another goddess is named "Mayari-who-is-the-moon."
  • Tomcat Blue Eyes' Diaries: One of the tomcats from Blue Eyes' neighbourhood in the city is called "Tore-his-li'l-ear". Unsurprisingly, he has a partially torn ear. He's a bruiser and tries to pick up fights, but Blue Eyes also notes that he sings exceptionally well and with lots of feelings, so Blue Eyes doesn't really think him evil.
  • The Sothōii in The War Gods tend to favor incredibly fancy names for their warhorses. The mare that Baron Tellian gives to Kaeritha is called Dark War Cloud Rising which she shortens to Cloudy.
    • Coursers tend to have shorter but similarly poetic names. For example Walsharno translates as "Battle Dawn" which, as the characters note, is extremely appropriate for a courser who is bonded to a champion of the god of war.
  • In the Xandri Corelel series, the Psittacans have names like Many Kills and Day Dawns Red (Many and Dawn for short).
  • Dinotopia:
    • The T-Rexes in Dinotopia Lost give these to the protagonists. Chaz's is Slays With Words, Will is Thinks Through Fear and their Struthiomimus companion Keelk is Walks Through Stone.
    • Newcomers are even referred to as "Dolphinbacks."
  • X-Wing Series: In The Krytos Trap, Rogue Squadron visits the planet Ryloth, where Wedge learns about some peculiarities in their language, such as how they run names together to get one meaning, but changing the pronunciation also alters the meaning, with some of these translations being rather long. Wedgan'tilles means "slayer of stars", while the Basic version of Wedge Antilles roughly translates as "One so foul he could induce vomiting in a Rancor".

    Live-Action TV 
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus: Introducing the Gits — "A Snivelling Little Rat-Faced Git", his wife "Dreary Fat Boring Old", and their unseen son and daughters: "Dirty Lying Little Two-Faced" (son), "Ghastly Spotty Horrible Vicious Little" (daughter — the youngest), and "Ghastly Spotty Cross-Eyed" (daughter). It's possible that Terry Jones (A Snivelling Little Rat-Faced Git) misspoke by changing "Horrible Vicious Little" to "Cross-Eyed", thus accidentally creating a second daughter.
  • Kamen Rider Kiva: the Fangires all have true names in that fashion. Even the one-episode Monster of the Week have names like The Sincerity and Melancholy that the Twin Impostors Dream About, The Lady Portrait Torn in a Full Moon, The Clown Dances with a Turkey at a Fireplace and so on.
  • In Andromeda, Than-Thre-Kull names translate to Common as a haiku. We never hear the haiku, as they tend to shorten it for the non-Than as a key phrase from the haiku (e.g. Refractions of Dawn, Twilight, Clarion of Loss). Naturally, humans tend to shorten the names even more (e.g. Dawn). The Than don't appear to mind.
  • In Knightmare, Treguard's sidekick Majida has the full name 'Daughter of the Setting Moon Whose Eyes are like Daggers in the Hearts of Men who guard the Great Caravan of the Sultan'.
  • Doctor Who has a being whose true name can only be understood by children, if their hearts are in the right place, and the stars are too. They're more commonly known as "the Doctor".
  • Welcome Back, Kotter had the episode "Whodunit?" where Rosalie "Hotsy" Totsy claiming one of the Sweathogs made her pregnant. Feeling sorry for her, Horshack offers to be the baby's dad and notes the nobility of his namesake: In his lineage, Horshack means "The cattle are dying."

    Myths & Religion 

  • The Hidden Almanac:
    • Mole people have names like this, as demonstrated by the famous poet Worms-Moving-Sideways and the saint Flower-of-Dark.
    • There are also several mentions of a "whale wisewoman" named Six Notes Returning From The Western Stars.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Virtually everyone and everything in Exalted. Some examples are: the Princess Magnificent with Lips of Coral and Robes of Black Feathers, the First and Forsaken Lion, Seven Devil Clever, Strength of Many, etc. All give a pretty good feel for the trope. One might be inclined to think that this is because you are playing as divinely-empowered entities and the governments/organizations they form/unite under, but only in the Thousand Scales can something as mundane as being a member of the postal service get this treatment (you get a job as one of the Infallible Conveyors of Official Messages and Heartfelt Expressions, in case you are wondering). The Realm may be forgiven for that particular overly-flowery name — their state religious body, the Immaculate Order, has its roots in the Immaculate Order of Postal Carriers.
  • Both Werewolf: The Apocalypse and The Forsaken make use of deed names, wherein a werewolf's name among the Garou/Uratha usually reflects what they've done or what they do. Some examples from Apocalypse include Evan Heals-the-Past and Mephi Faster-than-Death.
  • In the Dragonlance setting, each individual gnome's name is his entire family history from himself going back to the beginning of the gnomish race. They talk fast. They apply much the same principle to other things as well. Famously, Mount Nevermind (where a lot of gnomes live) got that from a human hastily cutting off a gnome starting to launch into its gnomish full name.
  • Magic: The Gathering's Kamigawa block, based on Japanese Mythology, has That Which Was Taken. Its Rise of the Eldrazi set, which tellingly provides the page image for Eldritch Abomination, has the card It That Betrays.
  • Being set in a Wuxia-esque Asian mashup, similarly to Exalted, the characters in Jadeclaw tend to have names like this, such as "Bitter Storm", "The Little Mountain", or even "Number 21 Mouth" (so named because she was the 21st child of a peasant farmer, and another mouth to feed).

  • Africa, or Czechs among Cannibals from Jára Cimrman's Theatre, penned by Ladislav Smoljak and Zdeněk Svěrák, presents an extract from The Feathered Snake which is a play within a play. It's used to demonstrate why this play by fictional dramatist Cimrman would fail in Europe. This trope is played Up to Eleven and for various characters.note 
    • "Jumped over the Fire and Burned Holes in his Moccasins" is the hero of the play.
    • "Danced like Crazy till the Bright Day" is a fiancée of "Jumped over the Fire and Burned Holes in his Moccasins". The chief "Feathered Snake" asks whether their relationship is steady.
    • "Doesn't Like Washing Herself" is another Indian girl of the tribe. Our hero wouldn't wish to live with her in one tent.
    • "Petted a Marmot against the Hair" is a reputed beauty, but "Jumped over the fire" wouldn't be able to cope with her mother.
    • "Screamed so much that Leaves were Falling" is the mother of the beautiful girl.
    • The girlfriend's father is named "Shouldn't have Angered your Aunt" who likes her boyfriend a lot.
    • The girl's mother died and her name was "Gouged her Uncle an Eye". Ouch
    • "He Who Steals" is a trader. "Jumped over the Fire and Burned Holes in his Moccasins" has bought buffalo skins from him.
    • The audience is also informed who played some parts in the première: "Jumped down from the Red Rock and was Winded" played the Indian chief, the female lead belonged to "Hunted Squirrels in Treetops with a Slingshot" and her boyfriend was portrayed by "Smoked a Peace Pipe even though he was not the Elder".
  • In the B-movie horror parody The Haunted Through-Lounge and Recessed Dining Nook at Farndale Castle, the medium at the seance has an Indian spirit guide named Big Chief Running Water Softener.

    Video Games 
  • Queen Pulsating, Bloated, Festering, Sweaty, Pus-filled, Malformed Slug-For-A-Butt from Earthworm Jim.
  • Every single Sammer Guy of Super Paper Mario has one, each more ridiculous than the last.
  • Halo's Forerunners have these names, generally; examples include Bornstellar Makes Eternal Lasting, Glory of a Far Dawn, Splendid Dust of Ancient Suns, and Genemender Folder of Fortune. If not, they either have more traditional names like Calyx or Soma (though the belated reveal of Faber of Will and Might's full name means that those might have just been shorthand names), or they're known primarily by their title, like Librarian or Didact (though the original names of those two do fit the trope: First-Light-Weaves-Living-Song and Shadow-of-Sundered-Star respectively).
    • The Engineers/Huragok inherited this tendency from their Forerunner creators, though their own names are specifically themed around their buoyancy qualities at the time of birth (since Huragok are basically floating gasbags), resulting in names like Lighter than Some, Far Too Heavy, Quick to Adjust, etc.
  • In Mass Effect universe Hanar soul names seem to fit this trope (e.g. Regards the Works of the Enkindlers in Despair), while salarian names take a page out of The Culture's book and use them as an address (e.g. Rannadril Ghan Swa Fulsoom Karaten Narr Eadi Bel Anoleis).
  • In The Elder Scrolls series, this is common in the naming convention of the Argonians. According to series lore, they are named (in Jel, the native language of the Argonians) for unique traits they display as hatchlings. Should they leave their homeland (either voluntarily or by force), they take on rough Tamriellic translations of their Argonian names. (For example Haj-Ei becomes "Hides His Eyes".) Other examples include Scouts-Many-Marshes, Stands-In-Shallows, and Watches-The-Roots. A quest in Morrowind involves assisting a bounty hunter in tracking down an escaped Argonian slave. It turns out the Argonian guide he has hired is the escaped slave going by his translated name. You can turn him in for the reward, or agree to keep his secret. 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.
    Hauls-Ropes-Faster: They call me "Hauls-Ropes-Faster." Eh, I don't care. They can't pronounce my Argonian name anyway.
  • The Friendly, Happy Roaches in Exile 3 and Avernum 3 all have names that describe their jobs. However since they are roaches this gives them names such as Filth Spreader.
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt features Emhyr var Emreis, the current emperor of Nilfgaard, who is also known in his native language as "Deithwen Addan yn Carn aep Morvudd". This translates rather elegantly to "White Flame Dancing on the Graves of his Foes". It should be mentioned that this isn't quite a name: "The White Flame" is an honorary title for Nilfgaardian Emperors, and "Dancing on the Graves of his Foes" is a reference to the time when he built a new palace on top of a cemetery where a large number of executed rebels had been interred, and used the headstones as floor tiles in the ballroom.
  • The King of Fighters: Anytime a character is overtaken by or working with Orochi, be it a Hakkeshu or Riot of The Blood, they gain a name like this, bar Yamazaki. But he doesn't care anyway. Examples include: Insane Iori with Blood of Orochi Under the Night of the Moon, Awakened Orochi Blood from the Darkness Leona, and Goenitz of the Wildly-Blowing Wind.
  • In the Forgotten Cults expansion for Tales of Maj'Eyal, there's a friendly Horror named "That Which Teaches History."

    Web Comics 
  • The webcomic Keychain of Creation, being set in the world of Exalted, has many examples of this trope. Elegant Nova of Progression, for instance, is an Alchemical Mad Scientist. Resident Abyssal "Secret" has an Overly Long Namenote , spoofing the standard Abyssal naming practice; she uses "Secret" as the short form. She has to; due to having a Stamina of 2, she passed out the first time she tried to say the entire name.
  • Almost every goblin in Goblins is an example of this trope, being given their name by their tribe's shaman to reflect their destiny. The actual quality of the name can vary — one the one hand, there's Chief Kills-A-Werebear. On the other, there's Dies Horribly. Not every goblin tribe follow this tradition, though, and not all goblins are happy about it — just ask Complains-of-Names.
  • Digger's full name is Digger-of-Unnecessarily-Convoluted-Tunnels. Apparently wombats follow this kind of naming convention but are more prosaic about it. The other wombat we meet is called Descending-Helix, which is probably a reference to his construction habits but is also a pun relating to the fact that he is Digger's ancestor.
  • In Kill Six Billion Demons, the angels have particularly grandiose names with a number tacked on to signify how many times they’ve reincarnated, such as 82 White Chain Born in Emptiness Returns to Subdue Evil, or 6 Juggernaut Star Scours the Universe. Humans get in on the act, too, such as Allison, whose real name is Kill Six Billion Demons, and the monk Mathangi Ten Meti, AKA Murder the Gods and Topple Their Thrones.
  • Thundering Engine Woman from Girl Genius was a famous and powerful American spark who befriended and traveled with the Heterodyne Boys sometime before they disappeared and the Americas became inaccessible.
  • In ''Draconia Chronicles," we have the dragon Princess Luminia, who was given the name "Chuki" by her adoptive tiger mother Kilani. "Chuki" is a word in Tigerspeak that means "A gift from an enemy," in the sense of a sincere gift, eg, a peace offering, rather than a "white elephant." Luminia's Governess was mortally wounded during a raid, and was discovered by Kilani in her final moments. She gave the princess' egg to Khilani and died.

    Web Original 
  • There's a website called Seventh Sanctum which suggests randomized long names for your character called the Weird Name Generator.

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons, "Apocalypse Cow": One of the Spucklers' kids is called Stabbed-In-Jail.
    Cletus: We always figured someday Mary would marry. That's why we called her Mary. We name all our kids after what we think's gonna happen to 'em. Ain't that right, Stabbed-In-Jail?
    Stabbed-In-Jail: [sharpening and wielding a spear] We'll see who stabs who.
  • Futurama: Nibbler's true name.
    Leela: So your name is Lord Nibbler? That's a coincidence.
    Nibbler: That name is for your sake. In the time it would take to pronounce one letter of my true name, a trillion cosmoses would flare into existence and sink into eternal night.

    Real Life 
  • Essentially all names mean something. Even the incredibly generic Alice and Bob could also be called Noble-Kind and Bright-Fame.
  • Most Native American names sound like "Running Bull" or something similar in their native language, so it's usually translated in media to make sure everyone knows exactly what they were named after. This actually started with the Bureau of Indian Affairs' attempt to take Indian census. Traditionals may have several names plus assorted nicknames throughout their lifetimes. The BIA started making people use assigned names at least when dealing with the U.S. government.
    • A particularly amusing Native American example is the 19th century warrior whose name was translated as "Young Man Afraid of His Horses." Apparently a more accurate translation is "Young Man Whose Enemies Fear His Horses"—in other words, the minute they see his horses coming it's Bring My Brown Pants—but either way the name belongs here.
    • Actual Indian names tend to be a lot less poetic than the fictional version. For example one old Comanche woman was known as 'Carrying Her Sunshade', and one Crow is recorded as being named 'Crazy Sister-in-Law'.
  • Related to this trope, in the German language (and perhaps others), an official title or name has its spaces removed and all the constituent words are pushed together into a single run-on word. Germans who hold noble titles can't use them in Germany and must instead convert their title into their surname. Winemaker Prince Donatus of Hesse's legal name is Donatus Prinz von Hessen, while Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband Prince Frederick of Anhalt is known in Germany as Frederick Prinz von Anhalt.
  • Names of Germanic origin are often this, if translated. And, while not Names to Run Away from Really Fast, there are many that are names to back away from slowly with your hands up—you wouldn't want to mess with a woman who is called Spear-in-Battle for example.
  • Some English Puritans of the 17th century made something of a habit of giving their children over-the-top religious names, like Praise-God and Fly-Fornication (yes, really). One child—Praise-God's son, actually—ended up being called Nicholas If-Christ-Had-Not-Died-For-Thee-Thou-Hadst-Been-Damned Barebone. Unfortunately, when he grew up he proved to be of loose morals and was generally known as Damned Barebone for short. He's actually kind of important. (For that matter, so was his father.)
    • This sort of name is still current among Christians in sub-Saharan Africa, giving us names like Goodluck Jonathan (a recent president of Nigeria).
    • Fly-fornication Bull, incredibly, became pregnant out of wedlock by a yeoman named Goodman Woodman(!).
    • Other puritans named their children Fight-The-Good-Fight-of-Faith White, Kill-Sin Pemble, and Much-mercye, Sin-denie, and Fear-Not Healy (these last three are siblings).
  • Translations of The Bible frequently spell out the meaning of a person's given name in its original language. One of the most famous examples is the name of the angel Michael, which is actually a complete question: "Who is like God?"
    • The "el" ending is very common among both traditionally Jewish names and the names of angels as it refers to God. For example: Daniel is "God is my judge", Raphael is "God Heals", Uriel is "God is my light". In fact for many the only thing we know for sure is that the name is some poetic allusion to God with the proper translation of the rest being unclear because of how Hebrew has changed over time.
  • Almost all Christian names do have a discrete meaning in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek or Latin; however, most are simple words or phrases (e.g. Benjamin=Hebrew Bin-yamin, "Son of the Right [hand]"; James/Jacob=Hebrew Ya'aqov, "Heel"; Mary=Hebrew Miriam, "She of Strong Will"; Dinah=Hebrew, "justified"; Ruth=Hebrew Rut, "Companion"). However, some names are in fact full sentences: "John" is short of Hebrew Yehonahan which means "God is Merciful", and both "Joshua" and "Jesus" are Anglicizations of "Yeshua" which is itself a shortening of "Yehoshua": "God is salvation." Rather fitting for its most famous bearer, don't you think?
    • Hosea takes the cake, though. He marries a harlot, and names two of their children "Unloved" and "Not Mine". It's part of a bigger bit of symbolism and prophecy, but still - harsh.
  • The registered show names of dogs and horses are often long-winded and rather ridiculous. Naturally, most people give the animal a "call name" that's much shorter and more pronounceable, and only use the long name at shows or for formal identification.' A horse's name must include elements of both parents' names.
    • For example, in the late '90s and early '00s, one American Kennel Club dog-agility championship front-runner was a Australian-shepherd registered under her showname "SlideRock's Solar Power" but went by the call-name "Suni" (pronounced "sunny").
    • Spoofed in Littlest Pet Shop (2012), where there's a show dog whose full name appears to be "Princess Stori (Heart Over The First I)", describing how it's supposed to be stylized when written.
    • At least here it's justified since registering show animals is like registering a username, i.e. they have to be completely unique with no duplicates.
  • On a simpler level, this is also where Europeans got most of their surnames. A lot of them came from the family profession, a person's lineage, or the town a person came from. "Smith" meant "the blacksmith". "Miller" was the guy who ran the flour mill. "Hanson" was literally "the son of Hans". "Norton" was "the guy from North Town". And "Brewer" or "Brewster", naturally, was the lady who made all the ale and beer for them to drink.note 
  • After he took control in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Joseph Mobutu changed his name to Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga—meaning something like "the earthy, the peppery, all-powerful warrior who, by his endurance and will to win, goes from contest to contest leaving fire in his wake" (translations differ). Most people just stuck to the first three names.

Alternative Title(s): Extremely Descriptive And Poetic Name, Name That Unfolds Like A Lotus Blossom, Name Which Unfolds Like Lotus Blossom


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