Follow TV Tropes

Following

Prefers Proper Names

Go To

This character always refers to their peers by their full given name, not their more commonly used nickname or diminutive form. It's not always a sign of aloofness, and they might even be the person's close friend, however, for whatever reason, they don't use nicknames.

This is usually a sign of a serious or formal character. It might also signify either an age gap between characters or a professionalism between them.

Advertisement:

Sub-Trope to Spock Speak. Compare to Full-Name Basis, You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious, Full-Name Ultimatum, First Name Ultimatum, and Hates Being Nicknamed. Contrast with The Nicknamer.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 
    Comic Books 
  • Raven refers to her friends by their names. She's one of the few who call Dick "Richard". This is due to her aloof personality and upbringing.
  • Alfred is close to several of the Batman characters, however he often uses the formal given or surnames of his comrades (I.E. "Master Bruce/Master Wayne", "Master Richard") for the sake of formality.
  • Ra's Al-Ghul uses proper names for those on whom he has not bestowed a title like "detective", for instance he calls Tim "Timothy", Cass "Cassandra" and Dick "Richard".
    Comic Strips 
  • Peanuts:
    • Eudora refers to Charlie Brown as "Charles". This doesn't reflect formality and is instead a sign of her weird personality.
    • The very formal Marcie calls her friends by their full names. Peppermint Patty is her exception, but she does use "Patricia" the few times she doesn't just call her "sir".
    • Although she usually is The Nicknamer, Peppermint Patty always calls Lucy "Lucille". This may be because she doesn't like Lucy very much.
    Fan Works 
  • The Blinky Bill fanfic ''Blinky and the Substitute Teacher'' by DragonBoy618 sees Mr. Renart call Blinky "William", from his last name "Bill".
  • In Fallen Angel, Amy is not on good terms with Tails. She refers to him by his name, "Miles".
  • Allirea in Radiance sees nicknames as childish and refuses to use them. Elspeth figures out that the "Del" who copies powers and betrayed Pera is the same person as the "Addy" who Bella has warned her to stay away from, because Allirea insists on referring to her by her full name, Adelaide.
  • Proper Lady Duchess in All My Kittens refers to the Street Smart stray Bob as "Robert", even though he only mentions his name as "Bob".
  • Quizzical:
    • When Princess Luna first meets Quizzical in I'll take that one:
    Let us give it a try anyway. You no longer need call Us "Princess". You shall call Us "Luna."
    If that is your wish, Princess Luna.
    You just now called Us "Princess Luna".
    Did I, Princess Luna?
    • Pinkie Pie always calls Quizzical by that name, because she likes the sound of it, instead of the In-Series Nickname of "Quiz".
Advertisement:
    Film - Live-Action 
  • In John Wick, Winston is the only character in the film to refer to John as "Jonathan". But the third film reveals that this too is an alias.

    Literature 
  • In Holes, Mr. Pendanski, one of the "counselors" at Camp Green Lake, insists on referring to the campers by their proper names in an attempt to maintain an illusion of respectability (such as Stanley, Theodore or Lewis as opposed to "Caveman", "Armpit" or "Barf Bag"), save for Zero, whose actual name, Hector, he doesn't bother to remember.
  • The Wheel of Time: To the Aiel people, nicknames of any sort are the kind of affectionate gesture that's only used between family and lovers, and never in public. They insist on Full-Name Basis because their own naming convention doesn't have surnames and they're uncomfortable using only part of someone's name.
  • In The Worst Thing About My Sister, Marty's mother is the only one to call her by her real name: Martina.
  • Discworld goblins have elaborate, poetic names and consider it a deadly insult to abbreviate a name, so they either don't know or don't care that non-goblins don't usually go on a Full-Name Basis.
  • In The Transmogrification Of Roscoe Wizzle, Roscoe's teacher, Mr. Pinchbeck, insists on calling Kinchy Boomer by her full given name, Kinshasa, since he prefers not to nickname his students.
  • An Unkindness of Ghosts: Theo has called people by their proper names all his life, even addressing his father by his rank and surname. It's a sign of both his sense of propriety and a deeply isolated and emotionally abusive childhood. He keeps the habit with the few people he does care about, which his nanny (and birth mother) Melusine privately admits causes her a bit of a pang.
    Live Action TV 
  • In House of Cards (US), Claire is the only person who calls her husband 'Francis' instead of 'Frank', possibly because she is the only one to completely see through his persona.
  • Diane from Cheers would address people by their formal names, calling Cliff "Clifford" and Norm "Norman" (even when everyone else calls out "Norm!"). The only exceptions are Sam (would be Samuel) and Coach (would be his real name, Ernie or Ernest).
  • In Parks and Recreation, the very anti-frivolous Ron Swanson almost exclusively refers to Andy Dwyer as "Andrew". This corresponds to his refusal to be silly and informal, but also lends a fatherly tone to his interactions with Andy.
  • In Happy Days, Mrs. Cunningham always referred to Fonzie by his given name of Arthur. She was the only one to do so.
  • House of Anubis: Victor, being the old-fashioned character he is, refers to all the students either with their full names ("Nina Martin") or with honorifics ("Miss Martin"). When he first met Eddie and referred to him as "Edison", Eddie's request to be referred to as Eddie was immediately rejected, and the very fact that he'd even asked for Victor to call him by his nickname shocked the other students. The one time he didn't use a student's full name was in the Season 2 finale, where his referring to Nina as simply "Nina" was played as a show of warmth and affection.
  • On The King of Queens, Doug's father in law Arthur would only call him Douglas out of general contempt.
  • Carson from Downton Abbey insists on calling everyone by their proper names, signifying his strict and serious nature. When the new footman tells him that he prefers to be called Jimmy and that everybody calls him that, Carson completely ignores this and calls him James anyway.
  • Jackie from That '70s Show calls Kelso and Hyde by their given first names Michael and Steven. She also calls Eric and Fez by their common names, but this is less notable, because only Hyde calls Eric 'Foreman', and nobody knows how to pronounce Fez's true name.
    Video Games 
  • Due to her upbringing as a warrior, Grolla Seyfarth is the one member of the Rosenkreuzstilette who refers to the others with their full first names. This is especially noticeable in her interactions with Spiritia Rosenberg (whom the others usually call Tia) and Sichte Meister (whom she calls Lady Sichte).
    Western Animation 
  • In the Simpsons episode "Lisa's Date With Density", post-makeover Nelson calls Jimbo "James".
  • Blinky from Trollhunters prefers to call Toby by his actual first name "Tobias" unlike everybody else.
  • In one episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, SpongeBob's new, proper friends call him "SpongeRobert".
  • Violet is the only character in DuckTales (2017) to refer to Webby by her full name Webbigail, and is also shown to call Huey "Hubert" in the season 3 premier.
  • Johnny Test: Bling-Bling has a tendency to sometimes call Johnny "Johnathan." A few other characters do it rarely throughout the series, but the former does it the most often.
  • South Park: Stan's parents sometimes refer to him by his full name Stanley.
  • In Back to the Future, Jules always calls Marty "Martin", notably being the only person to do so, as his parents and younger brother all use the nickname. This fits with Jules' tendency towards Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness.
  • Family Guy: In "Friends of Peter G", Peter is shown an Alternate Universe where he lived a life of sobriety. In this world, one of his friends is named "Johnathan", and is explicity stated to prefer being called by his full name.
  • Mighty Max: Virgil the Fowl will often prefer to use proper names and titles when referring to others while also being a devotee of Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness as well as Insistent Terminology. Actually manages to annoy one of Max's friends by using her full name, causing her to refer to him as "Virgillius."
  • In Rugrats, Phil and Lil frequently addressed each other as "Phillip" and "Lillian", especially when angry.
Advertisement:
    Real Life 
  • Shamus Young noted that at one of the fast food restaurants he worked at, to enforce a feeling of informality the staff members were required to address each other (and the managers) by their first names; Shamus and his co-workers rebelled against this by calling each other their last names.

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report