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Names to Run Away from Really Fast which inspire fear because they are fearsome adjectives: Vicious, Grim, Sinister, Nefarious, Horrible, etc.

Or they inspire mistrust because they sound "false", like "honest".


Examples:

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Common Adjectives:

    Craven 
Comic Books

Film

  • Wes Craven made a lot of horror movies, but he was a nice guy.
  • Thomas Craven, the cop from the American remake of the British TV show Edge of Darkness. (Though only the bad guys really needed to fear him.)

    Dark 
Anime & Manga
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! has several instances:
    • Yami (= Dark) Yugi, whose early punishments for people who attacked or threatened his friends included tricking people into yoyoing themselves through a roof to fall several stories, getting people stung by their own scorpions and subjecting people to illusory torture by Eldritch Abomination.
    • Yami Bakura, who loves trapping people in game-based objects (such as, in the manga, storing souls in a pair of dice so they always rolled high).
    • Yami Marik, who unlike the other two has no ancient Egyptian backstory, he just kills people.

Comic Books

  • The DCU has supervillain Damian Dharc.

Film

  • A common misconception surrounding Star Wars is that Darth is Dutch or German for dark, when neither of these statements are accurate. Dark would be donker and dunkel, respectively. Vader, on the other hand ''is'' Dutch for father, though it is pronounced differently in Dutch, and the intended derivation is from “invader”.

Literature

  • Darken Rahl from Sword of Truth, the Big Bad of the first book who comes very close to destroying the world.

Video Games

  • Dot A 2 gives us Darkterror the Faceless Void.

Western Animation

  • Buzz Lightyear's former partner, Warp Darkmatter from ''Buzz Lightyear of Star Command.
    Buzz: But Warp-
    Warp: Agent Z, please.
    Buzz Of course, amnesia!
    Warp: No.
    Buzz: Evil clone.
    Warp: No.
    Buzz: Android replica.
    Warp: No!
    Buzz: ...Okay, okay, it's so obvious! Zurg's mind control ray. He got to you first!
    Warp: Actually, I went to him. Evil is just so much more profitable than good, and more fun.
    Buzz: I don't believe it! The Warp Darkmatter I trained side by side with would not work for the most evil force in the universe!
    Warp: Look, Lightyear, I've been Zurg's payroll since the academy. Once I got the L.G.M.'s to spill the secret of the Unimind, the Big Z brought me on full-time. My name's Darkmatter! Who's surprised here?

    Dastardly 
Western Animation

    Evil 
Anime & Manga

Comic Books

Film

Literature

  • Divine Comedy: There's a group of devils in the fifth ditch of the Eighth Circle named the Malebranche, which means "Evil Claws" according to the The Dante Encyclopedia. Each of them has a name to reflect their sadistic nature, with their leader going by Malacoda ("evil tail") as he hunts for politicians to hook and flay.

Live-Action TV

  • Avery Schreiber played a villain named "Mr. Evil" on The Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine.

Theatre

  • Evillene the Wicked Witch of the West, from The Wiz.

Video Games

  • Pokémon Colosseum: It may be an unwritten rule that the leaders of Cipher have some part of Evil in their name. First was Evice, and second was Greevil. For added evil points, Greevil's Japanese name translates into 'Deathgold'.

Western Animation

  • 101 Dalmatians: Cruella de Vil, attempted puppy killer. Triple whammy, because you have "cruel", "evil", and "devil" in her name, if you ignore the word breaks.
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    Greedy 
Anime and Manga

Film

Video Games

Western Animation

    Grim 
Special thanks to The Grim Reaper.

Anime & Manga

  • Wolfgang Grimmer from Monster. He may look harmless but threaten his life and you'll wind up another victim of The Magnificent Steiner.
  • One of Aizen’s Elite Mooks in Bleach is named Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez, who so happens to be a Blood Knight.

Comic Books

Literature

  • In the Harry Potter series, a black dog known as "the Grim" is an omen of death.

Real Life

  • The Brothers Grimm. They might have been perfectly swell chaps themselves, but many of the fairy tales they collected were a bit... well, take a wild guess.

    Honest 

Real Life

    Horrible 
Just silly enough that it's (as far as is recorded here) never used seriously.

Literature

  • Horribin the Clown from Tim Powers's The Anubis Gates. An adept of Ancient Egyptian sorcery, who runs a crew of beggars that he crippled himself.

    Insidious 
Film
  • Darth Sidious of Star Wars. Double points for rhyming with "hideous". There is a certain in-story justification, as Sith 'names' are not technically names, but titles given after they've purposely started down the road of evil.

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    Mean 

Theatre

  • Evamean the Wicked Witch of the East, from The Wiz. In NBC's adaptation, the Tin Man even exclaims, "They don't call her Evamean for nothing!", after recalling how the witch changed him from a human to a heartless metallic person.

Video Games

  • Team Meanies of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team, is a team that is composed of three Pokémon, two of which are commonly associated with dark and/or villainous behavior; Ekans, a snake who was the first Pokémon that belonged to Jessie of Team Rocket in the anime, and Gengar, the final evolved form of the Ghost Pokémon, Gastly.

Real Life

  • Colm Meaney, an Irish actor who is actually by many accounts a pretty nice guy. Doesn't help that outside of Star Trek fandoms he's mostly known for playing villains or at the very least hard-assed Anti-Hero types.

    Nefarious 

Live-Action TV

Video Games

    Savage 
Comic Books
  • Vandal Savage, DC Comics supervillain. While he may act sophisticated much of the time, he is a caveman, and has engaged in thousands if not millions of acts of murder, torture and cannibalism in his incredibly long life.

Literature

  • Globe-trotting millionaire genius super-man "Doc" Savage from the pulp franchise of the same name. Just because he's dedicated his life to using his superior abilities—and his superior fists—for the good of mankind doesn't mean he's not dangerous. Just ask his enemies.

Live-Action TV

  • Doctor Who: "The Witchfinders" has widowed landowner Becka Savage, who is not only carrying out a vicious Witch Hunt against her own villagers, she's responsible for unleashing the evil plaguing Bilehurst Cragg, and is doing it to punish others for her own sins.

Video Games

  • As if Deviljho from Monster Hunter wasn't bad enough, there's also its variant Savage Deviljho, who is enraged by default and has another rage state on top of that.

Real Life

  • Adam Savage from MythBusters: His job involves smashing, blowing up, or otherwise destroying various items in big and spectacular ways (and he is very enthusiastic about his work). Also, in episodes where the crew play out character roles, Adam often plays villainous characters with "Savage" somewhere in their name (i.e. Baron von Savage, Captain Redbeard the Savage).

    Shady 

Newspaper Comics

  • Recurring criminal Shady Shrew from Slylock Fox. This trope is usually extrapolated to other bit criminals like Reeky Rat or Slick Smitty — it's surprising that name profiling hasn't been implemented yet.

    Sinister 
Comic Books
  • Wonder Woman: Sinestra, a former Nazi spy who turned to kidnapping, human trafficking and scams after Nazi Germany fell.

Literature

    Slick 
Both the meaning and the snakelike pronunciation have connotations of being sly, manipulative, scheming, smug.

Newspaper Comics

Professional Wrestling

  • The Doctor of Style (and later known as "Reverend" after his Heel–Face Turn), Slick, a shifty manager in the WWF.

Video Games

Web Comics

    Strange 

Comic Books

Literature

  • The Lestrange family, fanatical Death Eaters best known for having tortured Neville’s parents into incurable insanity, in the Harry Potter series.

    Vicious 

Music

  • Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols. Sid was actually not that violent, nor was he particularly good in a fight; the pose of being a "moral danger" was certainly deliberate.

    Vile 
Comic Books
  • Early in his career, The Human Torch fought a villain named The Painter whose not-very-subtle real name was Wilhelm von Vile.

Video Games

    Wicked 
Literature
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has the Wicked Witch of the West, who's become an iconic villain in both the original book and the countless adaptations, including her infamously scary incarnation in the 1939 cinematic musical. On the other hand, Gregory Maguire wrote a novel titled Wicked exploring the witch's own point of view and making her significantly less...well, wicked. She does descend into tragic villainy in the end in Maguire's novel, but the stage musical based on the book gives her an even bigger dose of Adaptational Heroism to go with the generally Lighter and Softer tone.
  • W.I.C.K.E.D. from The Maze Runner and its sequels. It doesn't stand for anything good, either: "World In Catastrophe: Killzone Experiment Department".

    Wily 
Literature
  • Dire Wily, the villain to the also significantly named Halcyon Blithe in the series of the same name.

Western Animation

Other Adjectives:

    Comic Books 
  • DePrayve from Werewolf by Night, an evil side of a good scientist who chose to go by that name since he is "depraved".
  • Flash Gordon's foe Ming the Merciless.
  • Diabolik's name derives from "diabolico", meaning "devilish" in Italian. Double so because he took the name from a panther that was just that terrible (and the man who gave him the name was the one who, after barely surviving the first encounter, actually killed and stuffed the beast).
  • The full name of Paperinik, Donald Duck's superhero/antihero alter ego from Italian stories, is Paperinik the Devilish Avenger. Anyone foolish enough to earn his wrath has found out it's perfectly appropriate.

    Fan Fiction 
  • In If They Haven't Learned Your Name, the Winter Soldier steals a weird aircraft that turns out to be a Nigh-Invulnerable alien spaceship capable of supersonic flight. For lack of a better term, he half-jokingly refers to the spaceship as the USS Motherfucker, a moniker that winds up sticking as he abbreviates the name to just Motherfucker. This is before he discovers that it has destructive capabilities that qualify it as a weapon of mass destruction. Tony Stark approves of the name, naturally.
  • Paradise: Awe the dragon. It is mentioned that even the dragons among other races fear him above all else.
  • What About Witch Queen?: the Stormbringing Ocean, or Stormbringer for short. It's said that the climate there matches the name and the ships that dare to cross it - so-called pendulums - are giant Cool Boats at least three times as big as regular seagoing ships.
  • Domoverse: Sadist, who beat, starved, and turned Issac into a girl, inflicting PTSD on him in the process, and is a Hero Killer.

    Film 
  • A villain who is mentioned by Lucius in The Incredibles went by the name "Baron von Ruthless".

    Literature 
  • Spoiler from The Key To Rondo. The kids quickly realize he's bad news, and suspect that he's working for the Blue Queen. Worse, he's actually Leo's Wicked Uncle George, who had given the eponymous Key to the Blue Queen so she could run the world while he lived in luxury.
  • Horus Heresy: In a series based on a franchise absolutely encrusted with nightmarish titles, the high-ranking Dark Mechanicus official Urtzi Malevolus has one of the least subtle; most of the others at least did something violent to earn a title like "Flesh Tearer" or "the Red Angel", Urtzi seemingly joined up with a surname that is "malevolent" with the last few letters changed, then got promoted to a high rank.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The stated backstory of Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer reveals that his human nickname was "William the Bloody". In a subversion, it originally referred to his "bloody awful" poetry; it didn't become literal until after he became a vampire. Played straight with "Spike", a nickname that came from his habit of torturing victims with railroad spikes.
  • The Prison of the Abject from Emerald City. Lampshaded by the Wizard himself:
    Wizard: Mistress East and I, we had a partnership.
    Glinda: The Prison of the Abject.
    Wizard: Yes, an unfortunate name.
    West: An unfortunate prison.

    Video Games 
  • In Mother 3, we have the Natural Killer Cyborg. And yes, it's just as deadly as its name implies.
  • One of the bosses in Rogue Legacy is a giant Asteroids Monster with the boss subtitle "The Infinite".
  • Bad King Greyghast the Terrible in Embric of Wulfhammer's Castle manages to get "bad" and "terrible" in there, along with "ghast", a sort of monster.
  • If a creature in Ryzom has an adjective in its name like "Lacerating", "Rampaging", or "Massive", then unless you are a fairly high-level player (or even if you are a fairly high-level player) you should be running as far away from it as you possibly can.
  • The virtual reality-warping soldier that serves as Dr. Eggman's Dragon in Sonic Forces is named "Infinite", though how the name correlates to him in any way is never explained.
  • Cutthroat Bill from The Curse of Monkey Island. He introduces himself as just "Bill", and when Guybrush is unimpressed he reveals he's cleaning blood off a straight razor.

    Webcomics 

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • Raoul Vilain (real-life: Raoul Vilain), who killed French president Jean Jaurès.
  • Duncan Ferguson AKA Duncan Disorderly. A Scottish footballer who lives up to his "hardman" image with four convictions for assault (including one on a cop!).
  • Atropa belladonna, better known as Deadly Nightshade. When the name of a poisonous plant actually contains the word "Deadly", it's probably sign that you should stay the hell away!


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