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They Call Him "Sword"

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They call him "Blade", too.
I, I am the blade, I am the promise unmade
I, I am the knife, I bring death to your life
I, I am the axe, to stop you dead in your tracks
I, I am the sword, I bring the fear of the Lord
— "I Am the Sword" by Motörhead
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Sometimes a Red Baron can have very specific nickname or title that compares him to some kind of weapon, often to his Weapon of Choice. Large Ham badasses or similar people will like to announce this right after yelling his real name, especially during My Name Is Inigo Montoya moment.

Swords are the most popular weapon to call heroes after, followed by axes, hammers (both are the most popular among dwarves in standard High Fantasy worlds) and daggers. A Super Hero can name himself after a weapon and many bizarre combinations including some kind of it were common during the Dark Age of Supernames.

For more cool and magnificence, one can be given the name/nickname of Stock Weapon Names, such as Excalibur or Kusanagi.

A subtrope of The Magnificent and Red Baron

The inverse of I Call It "Vera", when somebody gives a human name to his weapon.

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Examples:

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    Swords 

Anime and Manga

  • The main character of Claymore belongs to an order of warrior women, whose members are known to the common people as Claymores after the great swords they wield. However, Clare informs Raki that this is merely a nickname bestowed by others, and they only ever refer to themselves as "warriors". Raki is actually able to recognize an impostor based on the fact that she refers to herself as a Claymore, which a real warrior would never do.
  • Jacobus "Jack" Rakan from Mahou Sensei Negima!, The Man of a Thousand Blades.
  • Tekkaman Blade has the title character, and Tekkaman Sword. Tekkaman Evil in U.S. version - Teknoman - is known as Sabre. Miyuki/Shara is Tekkaman Rapier.
  • Rai-dei the Blade from Trigun, so-called because he's the only guy who uses a sword in a Space Western. He has tricks to negate this obvious liability; in the anime, a shotgun hidden in the blade, and in the manga, rocket-powered roller skates that give him an advantage... somehow.
  • In the first episode of Shakugan no Shana, Shana claims to not have any specific name, mentioning that she is typically referred to by the name of her sword, the Nietono no Shana. Hence, Yuji decides to call her Shana.
    • Parodied in one Shana Abridged episode (the 2nd episode of the series):
    Shana: I don't need a name. (Plus there's everything else that's wrong with that sentence.)
    Yuji: Then what can I call you?
    Shana: I'm the Flame Haze with the sword Nietono no Shana.
    Yuji: Then I'll call you Nietono-no!
    Alastor: If you're going to name her after the sword, Shana would sound better.
    Yuji: But Nietono-no sounds more Japanish.
    Shana: Don't I have a say in this?
    • Ironically, if Yuji really is Japanese he would not have left the "-no" part in since that is a particle and would make no sense without the "Shana" part. Also, precisely because "Nietono" is more Japanese that he didn't choose it because then all the Japanese would be saying "Who the hell gave her such a bizarre name?" That's besides the point though.
  • Tobari from Nabari no Ou is named after Roland's famous sword, Durandal.
  • Kamika from Corpse Princess has the title/nickname "Sword Princess".
  • DokiDoki! PreCure has Cure Sword. It's also her actual name, she's not from earth.
  • Ghost in the Shell has Motoko Kusanagi. The author Shirow Masamune joked that the name's obviously a pseudonym, as it's akin to calling oneself "Jane Excalibur".
  • Mobile Suit Gundam AGE in OVA Memory of Eden we have Asemu piloting Gundam AGE-1 Swordia.
  • "Flower Sword" Vista and "Six-Sword Style" Hatchan from One Piece.
  • Excalibur in Soul Eater is a person who can turn into a weapon to be wielded (like many characters in the series), in his case a powerful sword. He's also a rather obnoxious loudmouth that no one wants to wield him.
  • In Infinite Stratos, the real name of Tatenashi is actually Katana.

Comic Books

  • The DC superhero Katana, named for her magical cat, Anna.
  • Eric Brooks is better known as Blade by the vampires, due to his weapon of choice.

Film

  • The assassin Broken Sword from Hero.

Literature

  • Ser Arthur Dayne from A Song of Ice and Fire is called the Sword of the Morning, a title given to the current wielder of the greatsword Dawn, an ancient hereditary weapon of the Daynes made from a fallen star. Unlike most ancestral weapons in the setting, the sword is not given to the heir of the house, but to the most worthy, and it sits unclaimed when there is no worthy wielder. Ser Arthur is the most recent holder of both title and sword, and is particularly famous for both his skill and his chivalry. Even his enemies consider him a Worthy Opponent.
  • Star Wars Expanded Universe:
    • Jaina Solo: Sword of the Jedi. She spends a while trying to figure out what exactly this title is supposed to mean. Even when Luke gives her the sobriquet, though, it's clear that he's not saying the rest of her life will be smooth sailing. It would have been explored further in the Sword of the Jedi books, but Disney decided not to give them the go ahead after the buyout.
    • Venku Skirata: His father gave him the name Kad, which means saber in Mando'a. He later uses the name Kad'ika (little saber) when he leads a political movement on Mandalore advocating a focus on Mandalorian interests and defense and a withdrawal of Mandalorian mercenaries from wars in which they have no stake.
  • The Elder Scrolls: In Morrowind and Oblivion, the Legendary Weapon Umbra is a powerful but cursed sword which steals the souls of its victims, and tends to possess its owners, resulting in them becoming obsessed with the sword and adopting its name as their own. They become Blood Knights who seek out strong opponents. If they win, the sword claims the soul of a new victim. If they lose, the sword finds a new and stronger host... The Player Character can, of course, use it as much as they like without consequence.
  • In the D&D parody The Intercontinental Union of Disgusting Characters, the heroine is named Sick Sword. Confusingly, her sentient broadsword is named The Sick Sword.
    • The sequels take this ball and run with it, with characters (and their respective weapons) named Disgusting Sword, Ridiculous Sword, Gross Sword, and Unbelievable Sword.
  • Túrin in The Silmarillion becomes known as "Mormegil", Sindarin for "black sword."
  • In Codex Alera Master Swordsman Aldrick is known as "ex Gladius" for his preferred weapon- the midlength sword common in the Aleran legions. On occasion he's simply referred to as "the Sword".
  • In The Annals of the Chosen everyone goes by a name related to their profession or peculiar trait. As a result, each Chosen Swordsman has a name such as "Blade" or "Sword".
  • Rudi Mackenzie of the Emberverse was named the Sword of the Lady as an infant at his Wiccaning. His mission, in the second trilogy, is to find and claim the actual sword of the same name.
    Ingolf: So you're the Sword, and the sword is the Sword?
    Rudi: A bit confusing, I admit.
  • In The Hammer and the Cross Brand's name means sword in Norse. His favored weapon is the axe, though.
  • Special Constable Andy "Two Swords" Hancock in Thud!, a worryingly keen member of the Ankh-Morpork Militia whose twin Agatean katanas even make Commander Vimes a bit nervous.
  • A.A. Attanasio's The Last Legends Of Earth has, as a minor character, a folk hero who is actually simply named "Sword".

Live-Action TV

  • Kamen Rider Blade. In this case, named for the tarot suit of Swords. From the Missing Ace movie, there's Kamen Riders Glaive.
  • Kamen Rider Sasword (a portmanteau of "sasori" ("scorpion") and "sword") from Kamen Rider Kabuto.

Tabletop Games

  • Digimon: Alphamon Ouryuken Mode (Ouryuken translates to "God Dragon Sword".)
  • Pokémon:
    • Gallade, the male evolution of Kirlia.
    • Honedge, Doublade, and Aegislash as well; being literal animate swords (though "Aegis" is a shield reference instead). In French, Aegislash becomes Exagide, a dual reference to the French names of both Excalibur and Aegis. The German names take the cake, though, referencing several mythological swords: Gramocles (Gram and the Sword of Damocles), Duokles (Sword of Damocles again), and Durengard (Durandal).

Video Games

  • Sanger Zonvolt, The Sword that Cleaves Evil, and his rival, Wodan Ymir, The Sword Of Magus from the Super Robot Wars game series.
  • Kargath Bladefist from Warcraft has hands made of, well, blades.
  • Inverted in the Soul Series with Yoshimitsu, who named his katana after himself.
  • Saber, from Fate/stay night. Which is the name of her class, a sword-user. ...which is an interesting language quirk, as the other classes were Lancer, Caster, Archer, etc.note 
  • The King of Fighters has a whole clan of this: the Kusanagi Clan, of which the hero Kyo Kusanagi is the latest. In this case they actually own the legendary Kusanagi sword itself, which is passed to one clan's head to another; Kyo's father Saisyu is the current head.
  • Sword Man of Mega Man 8 and Blade Man of Mega Man 10.
  • Sword Knight and Blade Knight of the Kirby series.
  • The main character in Away Shuffle Dungeon is known simply as "Sword."
  • Malik al-Sayf in Assassin's Creed. It translates to "King of the Sword". He earned it too, before losing an arm.

Webcomics

Real Life

  • The Arabic name "Saif" means "sword", and it doesn't stop there. In Arabic, putting indefinite noun X before definite noun Y translates to "the X of Y". Thus "Saif Allah" is "The Sword of God"note  and "Saif al-Dīn"note  is "The Sword of the Faith." "Saif" has long been used as a personal name; the later two were historically given as nicknames to indicate a good warrior, but today they are common as given names and surnames.
    • The most famous bearer of this title is Khalid ibn Al-Walīd, a fearsome warrior and general in the early days of Islam known as "Saif Allah al-Maslūl": The Drawn Sword of God. Trust us, he earned that title.
  • Timur the Lame also styled himself as "Sword of Islam" to legitimize his conquests, though considering that most of his enemies and victims were other Muslims like Arabs, Indians, Ottoman Turks and Persians, they probably didn't appreciate the nickname.
  • Henry Morgan (as in Captain Morgan, the guy on the rum bottles), perhaps the most famous and successful Privateer in history was known as The Sword of England.

    Knives 

Anime and Manga

Comic Books

Film

Literature

  • A silly example from Memory, Sorrow and Thorn: a mercenary hitman in Nabban carries so many knives about his person and is so fond of threatening people with them that his nickname is "Ave Stetto" (lit. I have a knife). When he pulls this number on Duke Isgrimnur, he finds out the hard way that mere possession of a knife is insufficient to threaten a grizzled veteran.
  • "Saint Alia of the Knife" from Dune, attributed to Alia Atreides by her followers. Considering she assassinated someone (with poison, but still) at the age of three...
  • In Justin Cronin's post-apocalyptic vampire novel The Passage, Alicia is referred to as "Alicia Blades" because of her skill at throwing knives and tendency to always have them on her person.

Theatre

  • The Threepenny Opera: "Someone's sneaking round the corner, could that someone be ... Mack the Knife?". Funnily enough, it's a jack knife.

Video Games

  • In the overseas version of Captain Commando, Jennety (aka Mummy Commando) gets an alternate name, Mack the Knife, after the above.
  • Daud from Dishonored is known as 'The Knife of Dunwall' for his work as an assassin.
  • In Dragon Age II, if brought along during Mark of the Assassin, Varric ends up bestowing the nickname "Shivs" on Tallis, due to her being something of a Knife Nut.

Real Life

    Axes 

Anime and Manga

Comic Books

Literature

Live-Action TV

Professional Wrestling

  • Larry "The Axe" Hennig, who teamed with his son Curt Hennig as the Axe Attack.
  • Axe, one-half (later one-third) of the late '80s/early '90s tag team Demolition.

Toys

Video Games

Webcomics

Western Animation

  • Orlando the Axe, a badger from Redwall
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    Hammers 

Anime and Manga

Film

Literature

  • Charles The Hammer Edmund Talbot's real identity from Council Wars.
  • Edward I, Malleus Scotorum (Hammer of the Scots). Unfortunately, the name does not mean he was Scottish, but that he "hammered" those that were, if perhaps not as literally in Real Life as in 1066 and All That.
  • There is a blacksmith in A Song of Ice and Fire simply called Hammer. He has an apprentice named Nail. Not to mention one of the great houses of Westeros, Martell - which literally means "hammer".
  • In Inheritance Cycle, Roran Stronghammer.
  • Bruenor Battlehammer (and indeed the entire line of Battlehammer kings).

Professional Wrestling

Tabletop Games

Video Games

  • Orgrim Doomhammer of Warcraft lore, named (or namer of) his infamous weapon. According to the novels, the hammer is actually a family heirloom, passed down from father to son. Only the current wielder can bear the name Doomhammer. Since Orgrim has no children, after his death, the weapon is passed on to Thrall, the new warchief of the Horde. He does not adopt the name, though.
  • Rook Delvinius Cato, the Longhammer, in Ravenmark: Scourge of Estellion. His signature weapon is a large two-handed war hammer, which passes on to his son Marius after the Rook is assassinated.
  • Fable II's Sister Hannah, the Hero of Strength. It's also an Appropriated Appellation - "Hammer" is originally a derogatory nickname for her, but after her father's death and her decision to join the protagonist, she grimly advises them to "Call me Hammer."

Web Original

Real Life

  • Judas Maccabeus (Judas the Hammer).
  • AMG built a souped-up version of the Mercedes-Benz W124 sedan from 1986 to the early-1990s. The official name was "Mercedes-Benz 300E AMG". Ever since 1986, every Anglophone publication and every human fan knows it as "the AMG Hammer".

    Daggers 

Anime and Manga

Comic Books

Literature

Live-Action TV

Video Games

    Scourges (Whips) 

Comic Books

  • Red Robin: The only woman member of the League of Assassin's team the Seven Men of Death is goes by Whip, and never uses or allows anyone else to use any other manner of address for herself.
  • Skurge the Executioner from The Mighty Thor, though it's probably more of the "destructive force" sense considering his signature weapon was an axe.

Literature

  • Used several times in the Redwall books, such as the badger lords Sunflash the Mace and Orlando the Ax, as well as the series' first villain, Cluny the Scourge, who used his tail as a whip.

Tabletop Games

Video Games

  • The Undead Scourge in Warcraft III and World of Warcraft, though it's more likely it's using the "destructive force" definition rather than referencing the weapon.
  • The King of Fighters has the character named Whip. Obviously, she wields it. She's also often called "Muchiko" (Whip Girl) or "Whippy" by her superior Ralf.

Real Life

  • The codifier is Attila the Hun, who was known as "the Scourge of God," which pretty much turned "scourge" into a synonym for "destructive force."

    Other 

Anime and Manga

  • Simon from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann at some point started calling himself "Simon The Digger" or "Simon The Drill," depending on translation.
  • Tekkaman Blade: Tekkaman Lance. As you can see, this was a theme.
  • Sanosuke from Rurouni Kenshin had the nickname Zanza, or Sanosuke of the Zanbato.

Comic Books

  • The member of the League of Assassin's Seven Men of Death who murdered Boston Brand goes by "Hook".
  • Jei-san in Usagi Yojimbo refers to himself as the "Blade of the Gods".

Film

Literature

  • Captain Hook from Peter Pan.
  • The Drasnian queen's spymaster in David Eddings' The Belgariad and The Malloreon series is codenamed Javelin. The single best assassin, real identity known only to the Queen and Javelin, is known as Hunter.
  • A pair of (retired) assassins in Vlad's Dragaera books are known as the Sword and Dagger of the Jhereg. We call them Norathar and Cawti.
  • Piers Anthony's early Battle Circle novels: Sos the Rope, Var the Stick, Neq the Sword.
  • There is a god in The Riftwar Cycle called "The Shield of the Weak."
  • Even William Shakespeare uses this trope. Although Pistol fails to appear in more recent screen versions of Henry V, in the play he represents the ordinary rank and file of the English army. And, of course, Shakespeare himself has "Spear" in his name.
  • The Dresden Files has Michael Carpenter, Knight of the Cross:
    Harry Dresden: I don't call him the Fist of God as a pet name, folks.
  • In the Graceling spin-off Fire, Archer was born "Arklin," but his skill with a bow caused Fire's nickname for him to stick.
  • Subverted in A Song of Ice and Fire with Longspear Ryke, who does not fight with a spear. At least according to Tormund, it's a reference to his Biggus Dickus.
  • In The Wheel of Time, Zarine Bashere goes by Mandarb — "Blade" in the Old Tongue — during her stint as a Glory Seeking Hunter for the Horn. Abruptly zig-zagged when Perrin introduces her to a horse with the same name and she hastily chooses a new one.
  • The Silmarillion: More on Túrin/Mormegil: he also named himself Gorthol, "the Dread Helm", and fought alongside his friend Beleg Cúthalion - Beleg Strongbow, that is - in the land that was then called Dor Cúarthol, the "Land of Bow and Helm."

Live-Action TV

  • Spike on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Originally it was said because he used railroad spikes to torture his victims. We later find out was because someone said that he would rather have a rail spike driven through his head than listen to any of William's (Spike's pre-vamp name) poetry that after he turned he went after his former acquaintances with railroad spikes. His other moniker of William the Bloody on the other hand is actually a reference to his "bloody awful poetry", a fact that was apparently lost to vampire biographers.
  • Subverted in Angel: Cordelia assumes that a character's stated name of "Gun" is his street name. Turns out that his given name is Charles Gunn.
  • Kamen Rider:

Music

  • Black Sabbath song "Johnny Blade."
  • There's a song by Mexican band Zoé about a spy known as Razor Blade.
  • A song by Ruben Blades is named "Pedro Navaja", which translates to Razor Peter (or Peter Razor).

Tabletop Games

  • Forgotten Realms has a handful of such characters. The great paladin Ralgorax, the "Sword of Tyr" (mentioned in REF5 Lords of Darkness). Sir Ganithar "the Hammer Knight" or simply "the Hammer" (Knight Errant from A Matter Of Thorns). Ranger called "Ren o' the Blade" (from The Pools trilogy).
  • Pokémon has several, besides the Sword and Axe examples above:
    • Scyther, as well as its evolution Scizor.
    • Beedrill's Japanese name is simply "Spear".
      • Speaking of spears, Spearow.
      • And speaking of Beedrill... Beedrill. Also Drilbur and its evolution Excadrill.
    • Octillery, Magmortar, and Sharpedo are named for various projectile weapons.
    • Cubone, who is Bad with the Bone.
    • Shieldon and Shelmet are named for armor.

Video Games

  • Kirby: The Meta Knights (Meta Knight's group) members are named after the weapon they wield, i.e Axe Knight, Mace Knight (though in his case an Epic Flail), Trident Knight, Javelin Knight, and later Sword Knight and Blade Knight.
  • The very Shovel Knight. There's also his partner Shield Knight.
  • The eponymous Azure Striker Gunvolt, so named because he fights with both a gun and electricity.
  • Revolver Ocelot in Metal Gear Solid. Same goes for his squadmate Vulcan Raven.
  • The admirals fought in Dubloon's final dungeon all take nicknames from their weapons in addition to their normal names: Jeane the Fire Spear, Steel the Ice Blade and Thompson the Thunder Gun.
  • The main bosses of Super Mario RPG are weapon-based. Mack isn't directly named after his theme (it's a reference to "Mack the Knife"), but the others are Bowyer, Yaridovich ("yari" being Japanese for "spear"), and the Axem Rangers.
  • Bayonetta: The titular character.
  • Inverted in Devil May Cry 3, where Dante's Devil Arms are named after the demons he acquired them from.

Webcomics

Western Animation

Real Life

  • There was a Danish pretender named "Harald Kesja," where "Kesja" is a kind of spear.
  • Not only does gangster Machine-Gun Kelly count, but so does pool champion Machine-Gun Lou.
  • The word 'German' means 'spear warrior' in Old German.
    • The Norse equivalent of the word is Geirr, and the name is proudly used by a significant number of Scandinavians, particularly Norwegians and Icelanders.
    • Other names that use the same "Ger/Gar" root word include Roger, Edgar, Gary, Jarvis and Gerald.
  • The Scandinavian name Kjell/Kjetil, is usually translated as "helmet" (or "kettle" - albeit a sacrificial one).
  • Nearly 10,000 people in America alone can count themselves examples by virtue of being named Lance.note 
  • Throughout Africa, Kalash is a boys name, thanks to the ubiquitous Kalashnikov.
  • Genghis Khan once declared himself to be "The Flail of God."
    • This "name" itself is a title meaning "Ruler of the Universe" (compare e.g. "the King of Kings"), taken only when Temujin turned into the elected emperor after unifying various Steppe peoples into the single Horde via civil war. The same way as gur-khan, the title of his rival, meant the leader of a tribal alliance (gur).
    • And Jebe, "the Arrow," one of Genghis Khan's leading generals. He was originally named Zurgadai and was a warrior of the Taichud tribe, one of Genghis Khan's enemies. He earned that name by hitting Genghis Khan himself with an arrow in the neck during a battle before being captured by the Khan's men. Genghis Khan lived, was impressed by the captive warrior and his forthrightness when he told the Khan that he is the one who shot him, and gave him the name Jebe when he swore loyalty to the khan.
  • Hall of Fame basketball player "Pistol" Pete Maravich.
  • Numerous mobsters, such as "Machine Gun" McGurn and Louis "Two Gun" Alterie.
  • During some periods in Sweden, it was relatively common for military officials to give new surnames to recruits if there were too many with the same patronymic. Plenty weren't weapons, but others were (most of the categories above show up, as well as some that don't, such as Granath [an archaic spelling for grenade]), and it was usually inspired in some way by the person who got the name.
  • Morris "Two Gun" Cohen, a Jewish-Canadian adventurer who became a bodyguard to Chinese leader Chiang Kai-Shek during Chinese Civil War. Guess how many guns he carried?


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