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Names To Run Away From / Foreign Language Names

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Sandbox.Names To Run Away From Really Fast
Single Words: Adjectives (The Adjective One) | Nouns (Animal | Body Part | Colors | Weapons) | Verbs | Titles (Noun X | The Person)
Etymology: Ancient Dead Languages | Foreign Language Names
Named After: Conquerors | Notorious Killers | Redneck Names | Religious Names (Biblical Names | Demons or Angels) | Shady Names
Sounds and Letters: K Names | Mor | Names Ending In Th | R Names | Xtreme Kool Letterz | Unpronouncable Names
Various: Mix and Match

A form of Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Languages besides English can be quite open when coming up with names you normally wouldn't give your child.

See also Ancient Dead Languages.


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The German word of Hunter. Often used for a badass character.

    Anime And Manga 


  • The sickeningly racist novel Hunter (W. L. Pierce) features a Neo-Nazi Serial Killer named Yeager who targets interracial couples. He's a "hero" by the book's warped standards, but anyone with a brain would consider him a flat-out villain.

  • The Jägermonsters from Girl Genius, an army of monstrous Super Soldiers. Oddly enough they're mostly on the side of good! Although they're on the good team because our heroine Agatha is the heir to the Heterodyne family, and they were made by the old Heterodynes, who weren't nearly as nice as her.

    Real Life 
  • Chuck Yeager, World War II Ace Pilot and Cold War test pilot. Appropriately enough, he established his ace credentials by scoring 11.5 kills against the Luftwaffe, including making "Ace in a Day" by downing five planes in a single day, including two planes without firing a shot - one German pilot he was pursuing accidentally collided with his own wingman. Possibly more famous for his calm steady voice than for riding the cutting edge of aerospace technology or for his combat prowess.


A word meaning a 'tragic accident' or 'lethal occurence'. Though, this name is given to children who died either before birth or shortly thereafter. Still some parents don't quite get it. It's more widely known to be the Chinese name for "moon."

    Anime and Manga 
  • Angel Sanctuary's Katou's seldom mentioned first name is Yue, given by his father, because he was not his child, but the result of his mother's betrayal. It didn't finish him off after birth, but in the course of the series he gets killed - or most often kills himself - four times total.
  • Yue from Cardcaptor Sakura counts as well, since as the Judge he had the power to strip away the memories and emotions of everyone Sakura knew and loved. Sakura certainly seemed intimidated by him, though that may also have been due to his appearance and emotionless facade.
    • Yue's name in CCS is actually meant to be Chinese and carries the meaning of 'moon', not the above mentioned meanings (it's a symbolism going back to his creator—Clow Reed's symbol was the Moon). Could still be sort of playing with this meaning, though.
  • Yue Ayase from Negima! Magister Negi Magi averts the majority of this trope, despite all signs that she might.


    Western Animation 
  • Princess Yue from Avatar: The Last Airbender. Both meanings ("tragic accident" and "moon") apply: she nearly died at birth and was only saved by the power of the moon. During her Heroic Sacrifice, she gave up that bit of energy to save the moon's life, died, and was reincarnated as the Moon Spirit.


From the Arabic Ja`far, meaning, of all things, "brook." Probably gained its notoriety from Ja'far ibn Yahya al-Barmaki, about whom read below.



    Western Animation 
  • Jafar, the evil vizier in Aladdin.

    Real Life 
  • The original Jafar, the one they were all named after, was Ja'far ibn Abi Talib, who was of all things a pious warrior and a cousin/companion of the Prophet Muhammad. Yep.
  • Ja'far ibn Abi Talib's great-umpty-great nephew, Ja'far ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq, was the Sixth Imam of Shi'a Islamnote  (being a descendant of Ali ibn Abi Talib and the Prophet's daughter Fatima) and one of the founders of Islamic jurisprudence. As indicated by his laqab (nickname), he was noted for being upright, honest, trustworthy, and not in the least bit interested in actually ruling (despite claiming to be the legitimate leader of the Muslims).
  • Ja'far ibn Yahya al-Barmaki, aka the Grand Vizier Jafar, was a Persian nobleman and the Grand Vizier (i.e. Prime Minister) of the Abbasid Caliph Harun al-Rashid. He was executed under suspicion of having an affair with the Caliph's sister Abbasa. He appears in the Arabian Nights as a sort of detective (in a tale often cited as the Ur-Example of the Detective Story), but his patronage of learning—specifically the revival of Greek and Persian science and the encouragement of the paper industry, recently arrived from China—may have led to a reputation as a sorcerer: hence the villainous connotations.
    • It wasn't exactly "having an affair with Abbasa." Harun al-Rashid basically told Ja'far and Abbasa to get married but not to sleep together. He then flipped out when they disobeyed him. (And whether this story is true is quite debatable; his family were likely just executed for having too much power and therefore being a threat to the caliph's power.)
    • The fact that the Barmakids had only recently converted to Islam from Buddhism and were hugely tolerant of different religions (Ja'far's father regularly held gatherings of wise men from all religions at the court debating philosophy) also made various jealous people cast rumours of irreligion against them. They were usually accused of heresy rather than sorcery.
  • Muslim Spain actually did have a vizier named Ja'far who usurped the throne in the Middle Ages.


A common badass name. It translates as "ghost" or "spirit" (it can also mean "mind" but that's less common) but people/things named Ghost tend to be far less threatening... unless of course you've built up your tech tree.

    Anime and Manga 
  • MD Geist
  • Signum from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's can summon the Panzergeist (Armored Ghost).
    • This is more commonly translated as "Tank Spirit", which is more accurate given the effect that it has.
  • In the new .hack manga and video game series, ''.hack//Link'', one of the Big Bad's minions is thus named. It's interesting to note that within Schicksal all members other members are named after musical instruments in German, making Geist the Odd Name Out. This later proves to be a quite Meaningful Name when it's revealed that Geist is actually Saika's brother in the real world, as well as the person who sent a virus replica of Aura named Death Queen Aura into The World R:X.



    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 

  • Girl Genius has Geisterdamen ("ghost ladies"), an army of warrior-priestesses who worship the setting's Big Bad known as the Other.

    Real Life 
  • The Geisterbahnhöfe in the days of the Berlin Wall were quite creepy.
    • Duh. German uses Geist- in the same way as English. Geisterstadt is 'ghost town'.


The syllable mal- means "bad", "evil" in many Romance languages, being derived from Latin malus (with the same meaning). It also appears in many English words, as in malicious, malign, malevolent, malignant and (yes, these words exist) maleficent and malfeasant. Malefica particularly is Latin for "witch".

    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Minor Marvel Comics Mad Scientist Doctor Malus, who grants super-powers to deserving C-list mooks.
  • Malice is the name of two supervillainesses, one in effect the Dark Invisible Girl.
  • Rogue of the X-Men is called Malicia in French, an obvious reflection of her status as a former supervillain.


  • The Malfoy family from Harry Potter. This one is actually only indirectly derived from Latin; thanks to Rowling's obsession with French/Old French wordplay (cf. the names Voldemort and Lestrange), the name is rough Old French for "bad faith" (modern French would have something else).
    • With first names like 'Draco', 'Lucius', 'Narcissa', you know that these are not nice people.
  • Ivanhoe has a lot of these. The Templar Preceptor Albert de Malvoisin ("bad neighbor"), for one.
  • Maladicta, coffee-addicted vampire and Sweet Polly Oliver from Monstrous Regiment.
  • Matron Malice from the Dark Elf Trilogy.
  • The Demonata - Malice.
  • Maleagant, a villain from Arthurian Legend, introduced by Chrétien de Troyes.
  • Gualterio Malatesta, an assassin and villain from the Captain Alatriste series.
  • The eponymous character in Les Chants de Maldoror.
  • Wizard-Emperor Maldor from Beyonders.
  • They don't get much more malevolent than General Augustus Malevolyn from the Diablo novel Legacy of Blood, who commits a lot of demonic atrocities throughout the novel.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Firefly: Malcolm "Mal" Reynolds, who if not an Anti-Hero is certainly flawed. River even Lampshades that interpretation of his name. Of course, the actual etymology of the name "Malcolm" is, ironically, strongly Christian.note 
  • The Malus from the Doctor Who story "The Awakening", which is an alien sentient WMD that causes and derives power from Hate Plagues.

  • The villain of the MMO Wizard 101 is named Malistaire.

    Tabletop Games 


  • Malum, desert-wandering antihero from BIONICLE.

    Video Games 


    Western Animation 
  • El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera features a gigantic monster named El Mal Verde (The Green Evil).
  • The DCAU Superman series had Superman free a trapped Phantom Zone Kryptonian named Mala. Any Spanish speaking viewer knew immediately where the episode was going.
  • In Total Drama, Mike's evil split personality is named Mal.
  • The witch Maleficent, the villain of Sleeping Beauty from 1959. As one of the most (maybe the most) distinguished Disney villains, she also appeared in the Kingdom Hearts video game series.
  • The Season 1 finale of Steven Universe gives us Malachite, a fusion of Lapis Lazuli and Jasper, bound together by The Power of Hate.

    Real Life 
  • Malaclypse the Younger note , one of the writer of Principia Discordia. You don't want to mess with someone named 'Mal-apocalypse' who wrote a book of 'discord'.
  • Malaria, one of the most notorious parasitic diseases throughout history, is named after the Medieval Italian words for "bad air", due to its association with the stagnant air of swamps.


A prefix for words having to do with death or being dead, derived from the Greek word nekros.

    Comic Books 
  • Nekron, the big bad of Blackest Night, who raises Superheroes from the dead to fight their loved ones.


    Live Action TV 

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 

Tod / tot

The German words for "death" and "dead" are "Tod" and "tot" respectively (long vowel). People with names that look or sound like it tend to be scary.

    Comic Books 
  • Frau Totenkinder in Fables, who was every nameless evil witch from fairy tales, and in the story is mostly good but very sinister.
    • Possibly inspired by Friedrich Rückert's Kindertotenlieder (Children's songs of the dead), some of which were set to music by Gustav Mahler.
  • Otto Von Todt, the first vampire met in Requiem Vampire Knight.


  • Mr. Tod, the fox in Beatrix Potter. (Though since "tod" is a traditional North English dialect word for "fox," that one may just be a coincidence.)
  • Sweeney Todd, legendary London serial murderer.
  • The Young Adult series Chronicles of Vladimir Tod. The title character is a teenager, in many ways a very ordinary young man, dealing with all the growing-up issues any boy his age does—-except he's also half-vampire.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 

    Real Life 
  • Tod Slaughter, an actor in the early-to-mid-twentieth century who specialized in Card Carrying Villains, including Sweeney. His real surname was "Slaughter", but he added the "Tod".


Russian (and Slavic, in general) names seem to be frequently used in Western fiction for bad guys, probably due to the Überwald and Red Scare tropes. See also the Vlad examples under Conquerors

    Comic Books 
  • Ra's al Ghul is Arabic for "The Demon's Head."
  • Lobo. Even on earth, it conjures the idea of a rabid wolf, but on his planet, it translated into "He who devours your entrails and thoroughly enjoys it."
    • Why did his planet even need a word for that? How common can that actually be that they need a single word to describe it?

    Fan Works 

  • The Big Bad of the Seven Swords wuxia movie is named 风火连城 (Feng Huo Lian Cheng), which translates to "Wind and Fire All Over the City", or "city-razing firestorm" yeah.
  • Count Dooku in the Star Wars prequels is named after "doku", the Japanese word for "poison".
  • In the film Sicario (which itself is a case of this trope, being a slang term for hitman), Big Bad Fausto Alarcon is nicknamed "El Verdugo", which stands for The Executioner.


    Live-Action TV 
  • Hugo Panzer, from "Chuck vs. First Class".
  • Guerrero, from the TV Show Human Target. Spanish for "warrior."
  • In the Doctor Who story "Silver Nemesis", we have the murderous and power-hungry time travelling black magician Lady Peinforte, whose name is Old French for "strong punishment". It's also almost certainly a reference to "Peine Forte et Dure", a traditional English torture method in which a criminal defendant who refused to take part in their trial would be slowly crushed to death with rocks.

    Video Games 


    Web Originals 
  • Adele Couteau, a volent doctor on a proboards RPG site called Eclipse 913.
  • Worm has Moord Nag, whose name, translated from Afrikaans, means "Murder Night."
    • Averted with the Thanda, a feared group of Indian supervillains who naturally use Hindi and Arabic words instead of English for their code names, whose titles translate to such terrifying titles as "Repeat," "Instant" and "Embassy."

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • One of Hitler's generals was called Manteuffel, a name broadly translating as Man-devil (broadly because Teufel is written with only one f, and Mann with two ns).
  • General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Translated from the original German, the name means "Iron Hewer".