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Sesquipedalian Smith

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Sallah: Please, what does it always mean, this... this "Junior"?
Professor Henry Jones: That's his name. [points to himself] Henry Jones [points to Indy] Junior.
Indiana Jones: I like "Indiana".
Professor Henry Jones: We named the dog Indiana.

When a character needs a name that tells the audience right away how awesome they are, this trope is one way to do it. The character will have a first name that's interesting and long—at least three syllables long—contrasted by short and unremarkable last name.

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Similarly to Mister Strangenoun, the first name is sometimes a cool-sounding noun that isn't normally used as a name. It could also be a made-up word, or an actual name, but only one that's rare enough to still sound unique. Can overlap with Wacky Americans Have Wacky Names, if it's something like, say, Perpugilliam Brown.

For the last name, "Smith" and "Jones" are the two most used, but any one-syllable name that sounds common and unremarkable also works.


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Keeping up with the Joneses:

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    Anime And Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Desolation Jones: While this is not the character's name, the series title fits the bill.
  • Forsythe Pendelton "Jughead" Jones III from the Archie series

    Film 
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    Literature 

    Live Action TV 

    Radio 

    Theatre 

    Video Games 
  • Eulogy Jones from Fallout 3.
  • TimeSplitters has an entire family of these spread across all three games and several centuries. The three that are introduced are Peekaboo Jones in 1965, his great-great-grandfather, Elijah Jones from the 1800's and Mordecai Jones from the Robot Wars in the 2200's.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • "Springboard Jones, the Divin' Detective! Vomitorium Jones, the Pukin' P.I.!" - Ludic Log

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 

Namesmithing:

    Comic Books 
  • Sierra Smith, a Western private eye in The DCU.

    Film 

    Literature 

    Live Action TV 

    Professional Wrestling 

    Video Games 

    Real Life 

Other Surnames:

    Comic Books 

    Film 

    Literature 
  • Encyclopedia Brown's real name is Leroy, but no one calls him that.
  • Children's Book: Dinosaur Bob
  • Lavender Brown from Harry Potter.
    • And Sirius Black and Severus Snape.
      • Arabella Figg, Nymphadora Tonks (and Andromeda Tonks, nee Black), Broderick Bode, Caractacus Burke, Bartemius Crouch, Elphias Doge, Marvolo Gaunt, Augustus Pye, Pomona Sprout, Emeric Switch, Emmeline Vance, Romilda Vane, and pretty much all the other Blacks. Thank you, Wikipedia.
  • In L. Sprague de Camp's Solomon's Stone, the hero finds himself in a world populated by the figures people daydream of being. Everyone has a Sesquipedalian Smith name, indicating first the daydream and then the mundane reality.
  • Huckleberry Finn
  • Atticus Finch
  • Ichabod Crane
  • CIAPHAS CAIN, HERO OF THE - aaaah, screw it.
  • Charles Dickens liked these too: Uriah Heep, Barnaby Rudge, and of course Ebenezer Scrooge.
  • Digory Kirke and Eustace Clarence Scrubb from The Chronicles of Narnia.
  • Dorian Gray.
  • In Terry Pratchett's Night Watch, the gravedigger's name is Legitimate First. ("Can't blame his mother for being proud.")
  • Nobody Owens from The Graveyard Book.
  • Solomon Kane
  • Slightly ruined by Pop-Cultural Osmosis, but Sherlock Holmes and his brother Mycroft both fall into this. Their first names only have two syllables, but they're terribly unusual names.
  • British romance author Betty Neels frequently did this to her heroines, and the more egregious cases (such as Brittania Smith and Eustacia Crump) were usually Lampshaded.
  • Coriolanus Snow, anyone?
  • Andromeda "Andi" Slate from the Viridian Saga.
  • From Knaves Templar (a historical mystery): Peregrinus Monk and Theophilus Phipps.
  • From Agatha Christie's The ABC Murders: Alexander Bonaparte Cust.
  • Merona Grant and the Lost Tomb of Golgotha: Merona Grant. Somewhat Lampshaded when she pokes fun at her own name to shatter the delusions of an admirer.
    Woolworth: Merona? I simply love that name. It's so strong, adventurous and independent sounding.
    Merona: It means sheep.
  • Mediochre Q. Seth.

    Live Action TV 

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Jacqueline Moore, and some of her other names to a lesser extent (Georgia Brown, Sergeant Rock)
  • Former TNA X-Division wrestler Consequences Creed, now known in WWE as Xavier Woods.
  • CHIKARA. Inverted with founder Mike Quackenbush, and with Max Smashmaster and Flex Rumblecrunch who were 2/3 of The Devastation Corporation.note 
  • Inverted with Rico Constantino, though averted with his full name of Amarico Sebastiano Constantino.

    Toys 

    Video Games 
  • The Zork games feature a character named Antharia Jack. He's a movie star known for playing Indiana Jones-style roles, but his character's name is his own.
  • Calisto Yew
  • Elizabeth Greene.
  • Elephant Games likes to do this occasionally:
    • The Grim Tales series has a psychic detective named Anna Gray as its player character. Although she averts the trope herself, many of the names on her family tree qualify for it. This includes her mother, Anastasia Gray; her great-grandfather, Alister Gray; and her husband, Dorian Gray. Dorian gets bonus points for originally having been Dorian Black, meaning he fit the trope twice. (He took his wife's name when they married.)
    • In both the Mystery Trackers and Detectives United series, Agent Dorian Brown comes from an entire family of these. His parents were named Rafael and Angelina; his brother and sister are Mortimer and Arabella.
    • In the Strange Investigations series, player character Dana's Dead Little Sister was Ursula Strange.
  • In Dragon Age II, the younger sister of the player character is named Bethany Hawke. The player character may also qualify, depending on what first name the player decides to give them, but is invariably identified throughout the game as "Hawke."
    • In the DLC The Exiled Prince, the title character is an additional companion named Sebastian Vael.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Warrick Kaine, Laurel Brant, and Brother Right, to name a few from The Descendants.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • Orangejello Brown and Lemonjello Brown. Well, except not.
  • Capability Brown (not his real name)... and his Discworld counterpart: Bloody Stupid Johnson (his less famous contemporaries being Sagacity Smith and Intuition de vere Slade-Gore.
  • Former US President Rutherford Hayes
    • Preceded by Ulysses S. Grant, though his full name was Hiram Ulysses Seward Grant.
  • Some naming guides actually suggest giving longer names to children born in families with a small surname.
  • Harrison Ford. Seems like the Indy connections have come full circle.
  • Keanu Reeves
  • Immanuel Kant, philosopher.
  • Elijah Wood, actor.
  • Cameron Crowe, film director.
  • Julianne Moore, actress.
  • Montgomery Clift, actor.
  • Susannah York, actress.
  • Mackenzie Crook, actor.
  • Oliver Platt, actor.
  • Timothy Spall, actor.
  • Naomi Watts, model and actress.
  • Alejandro Sanz, singer.
  • Vivien Leigh, actress.
  • Josephine Tey, author of mystery novels.
  • Ezekiel Hart, politician and entrepreneur.
  • Gregory Peck, actor.
  • Penélope Cruz, actress.
  • Thelonious Monk, musician.
  • Lucian Freud, painter.
  • Virginia Woolf, writer.
  • Fairuza Balk, actress.
  • Elisha Gray, inventor.
  • Rosamund Pike, actress.
  • Marian Keyes, romance novelist.
  • Deborah Kerr, actress.
  • Adelaide Kane, actress.
  • Kaniehtiio Horn, voice actress
  • Angharad James, 17th century Welsh poet.
  • Awadagin Pratt, concert pianist.
  • Felicia Day, actress and writer.
  • Horatio Sanz of Saturday Night Live fame.
  • Mahershalalhashbaz (or "simply" Mahershala) Ali, an actor who appeared in House of Cards and Luke Cage (2016) and who won Best Supporting Actor for Moonlight (2016).
  • Sufjan Stevens, musician. Has a brother named Marzuki Stevens and a sister named Djohariah.
  • Nick Clegg has three sons, named Antonio, Alberto, and Miguel. Apparently, his Spanish wife, Miriam, insisted on this trope if all three were to have the surname "Clegg."
  • Vannevar Bush, 20th century American engineer.
  • Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee CBE CStJ managed to do this twice.
  • Supermodel Elle MacPherson has played this straight and inverted. She was born Eleanor Gow. Her parents divorced when she was young and her mother married a man named MacPherson. Eleanor took the last name and shortened her first name for balance.
  • Common in the NFL, with strange names combined with average or short surnames, such as D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Ndamukong Suh and Laveranues Coles.
  • BBC Radio 4 newsreader Zeb Soanes' full first name is Zebedee.
  • Giancarlo Stanton, baseball player. His full name is "Giancarlo Cruz Michael Stanton", but for the early years of his professional career he was simply known as "Mike Stanton". After the 2012 season, he insisted on a First-Name Basis.
  • Humiliation Hynde, a 17th century Puritan. Apparently he had two sons, both of whom were also named Humiliation Hynde.
  • Inverted, with John Mellencamp.
  • Inverted by Don Cornelius, the host of Soul Train.
  • Inverted in Nigeria and other African nations where English is widely-spoken. It's not unusual for someone to have an English first or middle name, while the rest of their name is in the native language, such as football player Peter Odemwingie or singer Sade aka Helen Folasade Adu.
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