Follow TV Tropes

Following

Rhyming Names

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ab_9.png
Advertisement:

A neat way to make a character's name memorable is to make them follow a rhyming scheme, either by giving them rhyming first and last names (e.g. Jack Black) or combining their names with a rhyming descriptor (e.g. Dennis the Menace). As an added bonus, the character might also speak in Rhymes on a Dime and/or live in a place that follows a similar rhyming convention.

Because it lends the characters an air of whimsy, this trope is particularly common in nursery rhymes, children's books, and cartoons, but they are definitely not limited to them.

Compare Repetitive Name, where the character's first name is the same as their last name or uses variations of the same word. Also compare Alliterative Name, which is another method of making a character's name catchy or memorable.

Compare also Rhyme Theme Naming, where different members of the same group or family are given rhyming names to emphasize their unity.

Advertisement:


Examples

    open/close all folders 

     Anime and Manga 
  • The title character of Black Jack is a Back-Alley Doctor who uses the catchy name as his alias. Funnily, this rhyming name is a loose transliteration of his actual name ("Kuro'o", which is written with the characters for "black" and "man", aka "jack").
  • One of the teachers in GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class is named Koshino Yoshino. She teaches fashion design, and because her subject is an elective, she doesn't get as much screen time as the other teachers, but she certainly makes the most impression to her students.
  • The protagonist of Keyman: The Hand of Judgement is a T-Rex named Alex. His full name is actually Alex Rex.

    Comic Books 

    Comic Strips 
  • Both the US and UK version of Dennis the Menace. Clearly, Dennis is the best name to give a mischievous troublemaker with a penchant of making "menace".
  • The Beano, home to the British Dennis, also has Roger the Dodger and Tricky Dicky. Defunct strips include Contrary Mary, Handy Sandy, Wavy Davey and his Navy, Jenny Penny, Alf Witt the Ancient Brit, Daniel the Spaniel, and Even Steven.
  • In Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin's favourite bedtime story is titled: "Hamster Huey and the Gooey Kablooie". The story also doubles as Rhyme Theme Naming, as Huey also rhymes with Gooey Kablooie.
  • The Dandy had Beryl the Peril, Cocky-Sue the Cockatoo, Wily Smiley, Robbie the Bobby, Jammy Mr Sammy, Dave the Brave, Billy Green and his Sister Jean, Fiddle O'Diddle, Vain Wayne, Fu Schnicken Kung-Fu Chicken, and Rocky Roller Pest Controller. DC Thompson really likes this trope.
  • Luann: Avoided for characters in the strip, but this and Alliterative Name gets used for nearly everything else; businesses, places and events all get the treatment. Café TJ, Moony Uni, Quibbling Siblings, Soufflé Lingerié, Kafe Kablooie, Chateau Trio, Fuse Follies... and all these were just since 2014 (the strip was created in 1985.)
Advertisement:

    Fairy Tales and Folklore 
  • Chicken Little is also known as Chicken Licken in the US, or Henny Penny in the UK. All of the other characters in the book also have rhyming names: Foxy Loxy (or Fox Lox), Ducky Lucky, Turkey Lurkey, Cocky Wocky, Goosey Woosey, etc.
  • Characters in Nursery Rhyme and children's poetry are frequently given rhyming names. Some examples include:
    • The good Doctor Foster, who goes on a trip to Gloucester (or Goster).
    • Eeper Weeper (or Henry Peeper in some versions), the chimney sweeper.
    • Georgie Porgie.
      Georgie Porgie, pudding and pie,
      Kissed the girls and made them cry...
    • Humpty Dumpty.

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live Action 
  • Con Air's main antagonist, Cyrus Grissom, is nicknamed the Virus, and often called Cyrus the Virus. None of his criminal activities actually involve viruses or other forms of bioterrorism, but it does rhyme with his given name.
  • Tiny Christmas gives us the character of Barkley Farkley.
  • In A View to a Kill, The Dragon to Big Bad Max Zorin is May Day.
  • Defied in The Wedding Singer. Julia Sullivan's feelings for Glenn Gulia promptly end when Julia bursts into tears imagining herself as "Mrs. Julia Gulia."

    Literature 
  • Amelia Bedelia. The narrative likes to reinforce this rhyming convention by referring to the titular character using her full name all the time. Amelia herself prefers to be called using her full name rather than just "Amelia".
  • Elsie Piddock Skips In Her Sleep has a guy named Andy Spandy.
  • Hairy Mc Clairy has several animals with rhymey names, including Hairy McClairy the dog (who lives at Donaldson's Dairy, to boot) and Slinky Malinky the cat.
  • House Of Robots: One of the many robots present in the Hayes-Rodriguez household is a drone named Drone Malone.
  • Judy Moody. In Judy Moody: Around the World in 8 1/2 Days, Judy makes a new friend named Amy Namey, who invites her to join the International My-Name-Is-A-Poem Club.
  • In The Little Blue Snake by Pavel Bazhov, a boy called Lanko is nicknamed Puzhanko ("the one who gets frightened"). He isn't shown to be that easy to scare, and we never find out how the nickname ever originated.
  • Discussed by Robert Nye in Memoirs of Lord Byron, where Byron himself claims that one should never trust a woman whose name rhymes with itself (giving example of one May Gray).
  • The eponymous Nate The Great has no known last name, although he has a cousin named Olivia Sharp. It's unknown if the two cousins actually share the same surname, but in any case, Nate the Great has a much nicer ring to it than the hypothetical Nate Sharp.
  • In Rhyming Russell by Pat Thomson, the titular character's name is Russell Fussell, which may have contributed to his compulsive habit of speaking in rhyme, to everyone's annoyance. After he gets over it, his headteacher Mr. Pumphrey develops the same habit — which may have something to do with the fact that his first name is Humphrey.
  • In Roys Bedoys, the protagonist is a boy named "Roys Bedoys" (pronounced "Royce Buh-DOYCE") and he has a brother named "Loys Bedoys".
  • In the Tracy Beaker books and associated TV show, meddling social worker Elaine is nicknamed "Elaine the Pain" by a large section of the cast, including the title character.
  • In Yulianna, or Dangerous Games by Yulia Voznesenskaya, there is a girl named Dara O'Tara.

    Live-Action TV 

    Music 

    Puppet Shows 
  • Sesame Street features a 4-year-old fairy named Abby Cadabby who also uses rhymes when casting spells.
  • Two of the Muppet Time shorts that accompanied The Muppet Show on Nickelodeon in 1994 featured a girl who loved scaring people, called Scary Mary.
  • Abercrombie Necros, a.k.a. 'Abercrombie the Zombie' in Li'l Horrors.

    Video Games 

    Webcomics 
  • Rusty and Co. has Madeline the Paladin and Derek the Cleric. The latter also functions as a Seer who comes up with appropriately rhyming prophecies to serve as Madeline's quest hooks.
    Mimic: Where're ya getting these little rhymes from anyways?
    Madeline: Derek the Cleric.
    Mimic: Silly me for askin'.

    Web Original 
  • Mother Goose Club modernizes various nursery rhyme characters. The girl based on the nursery rhyme "Mary, mary, quite contrary..." is named "Mary Quite Contrary".
  • Dr. Crafty has the show's deuteragonist, Nurse Worse.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • Actor and Tenacious D singer Thomas Jacob Black is more commonly known as Jack Black.
  • John Charles Carter, better known as Charlton Heston.
  • Wrestler Nora Kristina Greenwald has multiple stage names throughout her wrestling career, but she's best known as Molly Holly.
  • This trope is presumably why McDonald's's primary mascot is named "Ronald".


Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report