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Punny Name
aka: Punny Names

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Ironically, this name gives him a hard time with airport security.
"As they come around now for the bell lap. Rooin Mahmood the Indian, Pissenmiov the Russian, just behind, the Italian, Beinsilli... There's another runner there on the inside, Whoskrapdisdacsz from Poland, and dropping away now, the Swede, Lars Persson."

Sometimes, a name isn't exactly meaningful or hiding something, but there's still something about it that is weird. And then you read it really fast, and go, "Oh!" and have your chuckle over the pun.

Pun names are just that: Names that make puns, such as Blake DeWitt, as Blake could mean Black or White, but Witt is Dutch for White. They don't have to be Meaningful Names, but often are. An overlap would be a baseball player named Homer (of which there have been several actual Major League Baseball players with that moniker, although a few were pitchers).

The pun name is a staple of the prank caller, who will disguise it just right so the other guy doesn't get the pun until he blurts it out.

A subtrope is Sir Verb-a-Lot. A third subtrope, for TV or radio stations with punny names, is WPUN. Camp Wackyname is also a subtrope. If a lot of characters in a given work have a punny name, it could be an example of Punny Theme Naming. If a group of people's last names forms a pun, it could relate to The Law Firm of Pun, Pun, and Wordplay. Also overlaps often with Real Joke Name, where someone laughs at what they think is a pun only to be told that that's actually the character's real name. (And they've Never Heard That One Before.)


See also: Who's on First? and Who Names Their Kid "Dude"? For a list of tropes with Punny Names, see Just for Pun.

If it's a title, then it's Pun-Based Title.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

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    Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: In Season 2 episode 6, Headmaster Tele sounds like he's complementing his students when in reality he's talking to the bus driver, who is named Tong Xuemen (同学们, pinyin "tongxuemen", means "classmates"; the name of Tong Xuemen the bus driver is one Chinese character off but pronounced the same way). The English version of the episode reworks the joke so that the bus driver is instead named Avery One, a soundalike of "everyone".
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf:
    • Weslie's Chinese name is Xǐ Yángyáng. This is meant to be a pun on the Chinese idiom "Xǐqìyángyáng", which means "full of joy", and the homophonic "yáng" which means "sheep" or "goat".
    • The wolves' Chinese names end in "太狼" ("Tàiláng"). This is a pun on the Japanese language. "太狼" ("Tàiláng") and "太郎" ("Tàiláng") are homophones in the Chinese language, and "太郎" is also the Japanese name Tarō, meaning "the first son". Japanese names can appear aggressive in the Chinese language, and this fits the evil wolves.

  • A mainstay of the The Twelfth Man audio comedies, especially with parodies of foreign sportsmen's names. Examples include "Wasee A-Crim" (Was He A Crim), a remarkably prescient reference to Wasim Akram some years before the match-fixing controversy); "Hafeez Andmissin" (Half His Hand Missing), a parody of Azeem Hafeez, who was born without two fingers on his right hand); and "Imheer Sohail" (I'm Here So Hail), Aamir Sohail.
  • A Rowan Atkinson skit titled "Role Call" featured this trope in which Rowan played a teacher calling role, all of the student names he called out were punny and also rather inappropriate (e.g. Herpes, Ima Dick, Up Yorsh, My Prick, Your Prick, and On Top)
    "If you fall asleep again, Ontop, I shall be very annoyed!"
  • David Letterman. (Example: Kim Jong-Il's cousin Menta Lee-Il.)
  • Every Private Eye Monologue done by the Capitol Steps starts out something like: "I'm a private detective. My father named me Hugh. My mother named me Jim. My last name is Bissell. So people call me... Huuuugh Jim Bissell".

    Comic Strips 
  • Snoopy in Peanuts fills his stories with punny character names such as Kitten Kaboodle. His names are considerably more clever than his stories.
    • During a run of strips before Christmas one year, Sally was playing a shepherd in a Nativity play. She told Charlie Brown, "I give my line, 'Hark!' and then Harold Angel starts singing." Initially Charlie Brown thought she was guilty of making a malaprop, until the end of the arc, where he met Harold Angel.
  • Dick Tracy: The title character's name. One storyline included the characters Chris Chendo, Virgil Ohso, and Phil Harmonic. Guess where the action is taking place.
  • Popeye: The Oyl Family: Olive, her brother Castor, parents Cole and Nana...
  • Rick O'Shay centered around the title character, a deputy sheriff in the Old West. Most of the supporting cast also had punny names, including love interest Gaye Abandon and Tagalong Kid Quyat Burp.
  • Kudzu: Rev. Will B. Dunn.
  • In Calvin and Hobbes, the author of Hamster Huey and the Gooey Kablooie is named Mabel Syrup. Also, Calvin's Film Noir alter ego is named Tracer Bullet.
  • Happens sometimes in Striker. Warbury Warriors was once owned by Mustapha Futti Kalub. Get it? Must have a footy club!


  • Used everywhere in Medieval Madness, especially with the kings and knights — the King of Payne, Lord Howard Hurtz, Sir Lanceless...
  • Two of the modes in Revenge from Mars are named "Tower Struggle" and "Mars Kneads Women".
  • The "Itchy & Scratchy" episodes in The Simpsons Pinball Party are "Spay Anything", "Kitty Kitty Bang Bang", "Field of Screams", and "Esophagus Now".
  • Sega Pinball's Batman Forever calls The Riddler's saucer "Mr. E" (mystery), while one of the game modes is named "Face Two-Face" (face-to-face).
  • Wet Willie (as in, the schoolyard prank) from White Water.
  • One of your opponents in The Champion Pub is the Australian Dan Unda (down under).
  • Used all over the place in The Party Zone, starting with your host, Captain B. Zarr.
  • As with the source material, The Flintstones plays this to the hilt.

  • In The Chimera Program arc of Cool Kids Table, Golden's ability is silence.

    Print Media 
  • Private Eye has writers called Phil Space, Polly Filler, and Lunchtime O'Booze. This dates back at least to shortly after Bloody Sunday, when they printed a number of obviously-made-up letters about the atrocity, nearly identically worded and all including the phrase "But we all know who is to blame —". One blamed "IRA gunmen"; the "author" was a Mrs. Ira Gunman. For a while in The New '10s, genuine letters signed with punny names became a regular slot on the letters page called "Pseuodonyms", until it got out of hand and the editors put a stop to it. There are still occasional letters printed with punny signatures, usually discussing whether or not they should bring back "Pseudonyms".
  • In his youth, astronomer Patrick Moore and his friends delighted in winding-up the editors of crackpot magazines by submitting spoof articles under pseudonyms such as "N. Ormuss" and "Professor Meisenratz".
  • MAD naturally has some. For example:
    • In a western segment that parodied contemporary (Fifties and Sixties) sci-fi movie exposition tropes...

    Professional Wrestling 
  • It is fairly common for wrestlers to use punny ring names. It should be noted that the punny names listed below tended to be from the early and mid-1990s, which is regarded as a Dork Age by many wrestling fans. Notable examples include:
    • Justin Credible
    • Dr. Isaac Yankem (a wrestling dentist from Decatur, Illinois)
    • Irwin R. Schyster (IRS, a wrestling tax inspector)
    • Hugh Morrus (who later changed his name to Hugh G. Rection, claiming that WCW management had given him the name 'Morrus' to make him look stupid. No, really.) (he did eventually get to use his real non-punny name in the WWE Bill DeMott)
    • The Undertaker's manager, Paul Bearer.
    • Adam Bomb
  • Punny names in the post-Attitude Era are toned tone a bit.
    • Kane, which is a homophone for Cain, who was also a vindictive brother in The Bible.
    • Lita, short for "Lolita". Bit of a sell-by date on that one.
  • Even wrestling moves can have punny names. One such example is the Fisherman's Suplex, so named because it involves 'hooking' your opponent's leg. Wrestler's finishing moves sometimes have puns based on their ring name, such as "Air Bourne" or "Paige Turner".
  • Progress Wrestling has a wrestling priest called Pastor William Eaver. His name can be shortened to Bill Eaver.
  • The Dupps, a Wrestling Family of hillbillies represented over the years by Jack Dupp, Bo Dupp, Stan Dupp, Puck Dupp, and Fluff Dupp. Their names were all puns on the word up - jacked up, bowed up, and so on.
  • Paige Turner, a wrestling librarian.
  • Kimona Wanalaya, a stripper-turned-valet in Raven's Nest in ECW in 1996. WCW renamed her Leia Meow.
  • Former wrestler Alex Wright's wrestling school is called The Wright Stuff.
  • Not a punny name, but rather a punny Red BaronWWE's web bio of La Parka opens with "One of the more popular Mexican competitors to make his way to WCW, La Parka didn’t earn the nickname 'The Chairman of WCW' for his business acumen." During his WCW run, he habitually entered the ring carrying a steel chair, often playing air guitar on it, and wasn't above using it on his opponents.

  • The Bob & Tom Show: The "Paging Richard Smoker" segment is an "adult" example of punny names with the prank call motif.
  • Staple of radio show Car Talk, which has a fictional production staff consisting almost entirely of bad puns such as their Russian meter feeder Nikolai Putin (Nickle I Put in) or resident single mother Erasmus B. Dragon (Her ass must be draggin'). The Chief Legal Counsel for the show is Hugh Louis Dewey (aka Hughie Louie Dewey) of the notorious firm of Dewey, Cheetham, and Howe. Tom and Ray Magliozzi, the creators and hosts of Car Talk, so love this punny name that they named their production company "Dewey, Cheetham and Howe" (the window of the DC and H corporate offices, at the corner of Brattle and JFK Streets, are a source of constant amusement to residents of Cambridge, Massachusetts).
  • James Bond is referenced in Hideo Kojima's insane IdeaSpy 2.5 radio drama, where the spy's old flame has the name Call Now.
  • Back when W00t Radio still did live shows, even the autoplay list had its own DJ. His name? Otto Plair.
  • A Prairie Home Companion: When Garrison Keillor is the only writer, Sarah Bellum will be the only credited writer, referring to Gary's brain. Norman Conquest, Paige Turner, Natalie Dressed, Emanuel Transmission, Warren Piece, Guy Wire, Amanda Reckinwith, Hugh Jass, Pete Moss, and Sandy Beech have also been credited occasionally.
  • The Goon Show: plenty, most notably General Kashmychek and Justin Eidelburger ("Just an Idle Bugger"). Hugh Jampton is a crossover between this trope and Getting Crap Past the Radar; think of it in terms of Hugh Jass. For non-Brits: It's an example of rhyming slang where the rhyming syllable was later removed. Here Hampton Wick — meaning prick — is being shortened to Hampton then disguised as Jampton, then amplied by Hugh(ge)!
  • BBC Radio 1's Chris Moyles will sometimes ask his listeners to text other radio shows using this sort of name, then send in the results. Popular names include Toby le Rone (Toblerone) and Cara Mack (Caramac, a brand of chocolate bar). More ingenious listeners come up with multiple names, such as Liz, Anya and Carl Hickbread (lasagne and garlic bread) and a man calling himself Mark who said he was in his car with his baby son Spencer, knowing that the DJ would say hello to Mark and Spencer.
  • Will you please welcome Mr. and Mrs. L'point-Of-The-Last-Arrivals-Game-On-I'm-Sorry-I-Haven't-A-Clue and their son Theo L'point-Of-The-Last-Arrivals-Game-On-I'm-Sorry-I-Haven't-A-Clue.
  • The presenters of Radio Active (and later KYTV) include Mike Flex, Mike Channel and Anna Daptor. (mic flex, mic channel and an adaptor. This is what happens when you come up with silly names for your characters while in a radio studio.)

  • Shakespeare would sneak these in occasionally. Like Bottom the Weaver of A Midsummer Night's Dream. He turns into a donkey. Think about a word that can mean both "bottom" and "donkey", and you'll have it. Gotta love a Punny Name the audience has to construct for themselves! It helps that contemporary English pronunciation was closer to current day American pronunciation.
  • Urinetown has the toilet-monopolizing Urine Good Company.
  • On the Town has a few of these used for one-off jokes:
    • Claire's full name is Claire De Loone.
    • John Offenblock is known to all by his nickname, Chip.
    • Mr. Uperman, Hildy's boss, is identified by the back of his jacket as "S. Uperman."
  • In the musical Way Out West in a Dress, everyone's name is this. For example, the hairstylist is Rogaine, the criminal is Rob Banks, the one with an ear infection is Eileen, and the judge was Levy Fines.
  • In Torch Song Trilogy, Arnold's monologue at the beginning of "The International Stud" has him running off the punny Stage Names he's used for his Drag Queen act: Virginia Hamm, Kitty Litter, Bang Bang LaDesh and Bertha Venation.
  • Cactus Flower features a nightclub named "The Slipped Disc."

    Theme Parks 

  • There are these plush toys called "Mushabellies" which are fat, cuddly plush animals that chatter when you squeeze (mush) their stomachs (the bigger ones, however, make a funny fart-like sound known as grumbling when you squeeze them).
  • Many Ty plush toys. Some have a Meaningful Name, too.
  • Some Transformers, such as Sea Clamp, Spinister, Jhiaxus, and Tentakil, wind up with pun names. At its worst, it's truly Horri-Bull, and that makes us Fangry.
    • In Beast Wars, most characters were given names that suited their animal modes. The munky is Optimus Primal, the cheetah is Cheetor, Blackarachnia is a (mostly) black arachnid, the pterosaur is Terrorsaur, etc.
  • Often done by Larry Hama in the civilian names of G.I. Joe action figures. Examples include an Arctic trooper named Farley Seward and a Hovercraft pilot named Skip A. Stone.
  • BIONICLE had the Mukau, a bovine combiner model whose name is pronounced the same as "moo-cow". However, the story team thought the pun was silly, and the creature has since been renamed to Mata Nui Cow.
  • Monster High, as a World of Pun, extends this to all the characters' names, such as Frankie Stein, Draculaura, Cleo De Nile, and Abbey Bominable.
  • Mixels gives every Mixel a pun based on their abilities, design, or element, such as Flain (a genius with fire-based abilities) coming from "flame" and "brain" or Seismo, an earthquake-causer, coming from "seismograph". Even the name of their enemies, the Nixels, manages to become a pun, thanks to their goal of eradicating all creativity, or nixing it.

    Visual Novels 
  • The title of Pulltop-Latte's Koisuru Natsu no Last Resort plays on the phrase "last resort" for... some reason. The best one can see is that the story takes place in a beautiful resort and the protagonist gets to have sex with a bunch of beautiful young women; as for how "last" that resort is, it's hard to tell.
    • The reason becomes clear once you finish playing all the routes; each woman is in a complicated position in life (afraid to leave the resort due to unresolved guilt, trying to help a friend suffering from depression, earning money to support her bankrupt family, etc.), and their work at the resort is literally a "last resort" for them to get their life together and move on from what's halting them. The phrase is even used in one of the routes.
  • Fate/stay night has Fujimura Taiga (who has a strong connection with tigers). Lampshaded in-universe, as even most of her students call her Tiger (despite her hating the nickname).

    Web Animation 
  • Ultra Fast Pony. In the episode "The Pet Games", one of the color commentators is named Dick Hardman. Mainly he has that name as an excuse to cram as many dick jokes into the dialogue as possible. "Yes, farting in your opponents' faces is a classic Dick move."
  • The three knights among the Knights Of All Realms. Sir Lee the Irritable, Lady Bugg the Diminutive, and Sir Loin the One who is the Fat One.
  • FreedomToons: "What White Knights Actually Believe" features an internet white knight named "Chris Cucker".


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Punny Names


Rotten Romans: Drawing Names

General Pompey, disappointed with his roman army wants to decimate them, and this then resorts to drawing names out of a hat. Apparently his army didn't want to get beaten so they put in fake names.

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Main / PunnyName

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Main / PunnyName