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Names To Run Away From / Unpronouncable 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.

Anything really long or otherwise impossible to pronounce on the first try. H. P. Lovecraft made this his stock in trade. For example, Cthulhu, Ithaqua, Shub-Niggurath, Y'golonac (YOU FOOL! YOU'VE DOOMED US ALL!!), Nyarlathotep,Yog-Sothoth, Etc.

Remember, you should always consider the original language of the story. Something impossible to pronounce can be perfectly easy to say for someone who hears things like that for their whole life. The same applies if character is supposed to be a foreigner; it might be normal for the country of his origin.

Naturally, this trope is a lot easier to pull off in written form than spoken.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Cthyllamon from Digimon Ghost Game, being named after Cthulhu's daughter. Despite his Psychopathic Manchild tendencies and he's no bigger than Angoramon, he's still a Mega-level capable of worldwide feats and seeks to turn the world's humans into Digital-Water spewing husks. Him being designed after MarineAngemon, another notorious Mega-level also speaks volumes.
  • Many of the arrancar from Bleach. Aaroniero Arruruerie, Nnoitra Gilga, Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez, Ulquiorra Cifer, Szayelaporro Granz... the list goes on and on.
    • Actually, the Arrancar names are quite easy. However, the some names of the Sternenritter are just...


  • Samir Nagheenanajar.
  • Anton Chigurh. A bounty hunter and Professional Killer who offs his victims via shotgun without batting an eye.
  • Dr. Hfuhruhurr and Anne Uumellmahaye from The Man with Two Brains. Part of their mutual attraction is their ability to pronounce and spell each other's names.
  • Played with in Dragonheart, when Bowen keeps addressing the dragon as "Dragon" and the dragon gets fed up with it. However, he informs Bowen that the knight would never be able to pronounce his name, as dragon speech is pretty much impossible for human tongues to master. They eventually agree on using Draco, which is much easier for humans to say.
  • Appropriately for a species of Starfish Aliens, the criminal Hutts in Star Wars have alien-sounding names. For example, Jabba's full name is Jabba Desilijic Tiure.

  • From Star Wars Legends:
    • Grand Admiral Mitth'raw'nuruodo, known to the galaxy as Thrawn.
    • Borborygmus Gog in Galaxy of Fear. "Borborygmus" is actually a real word that means stomach sounds.
  • The Forgotten Realms books have a habit of giving their dragons hideously long names.
  • X in Rick Riordan's Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer has a name simply described as: 'Something that started with Ks and went on for about thirty seconds.'
  • Most of the Lovecraft horrors fall into this category, but the one you must always be mindful for is simple. If someone says 'Hastur, Hastur...' you have two options. You can shoot the man before he can say the third Hastur, or you can run, and never, ever look back. Nothing makes a person haul ass faster than a summoned Eldritch Abomination.
  • One example of a place name like this is Zzyzx from the Fablehaven series. Zzyzx happens to be named after a real settlement in San Bernardino County, California.
  • Parodied in A Series of Unfortunate Events — The cruel and uncaring boss of Lucky Smells Lumbermill has an apparently unpronounceable name that is never given to the reader (and all attempts by Mr Poe at pronouncing it appear completely different). He is instead called "Sir".
  • The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel:
    • Tsagaglalal.
    • Huitzilopochtli, the name by which the Aztecs knew the god Mars Ultor. Huitzilopotchtli is a real life Aztec god, which makes this doubly unpronounceable - the form you see written here is the closest, phonetic, Spanish approximation of the original Aztec.
    • Coatlicue, the Mother of All the Gods.
    • It's a bit of a Running Gag that Machiavelli has trouble pronouncing Quetzalcoatl's name.
  • The demon from Artemis Fowl: N* 1, which is apparently supposed to be pronounced 'Number one', but is still a pain to read aloud.
  • Roger Zelazny's fantasy novel The Changing Land features a demon named Melbrinionsadsazzersteldregandishfeltselior. The long name is necessary for the invocation ritual, and if the sorcerer attempting it were to get as much as one syllable wrong, the demon would kill him. Understandably, wizards are reluctant to attempt it. Subverted inasmuch as one of the antagonists is a wizard named Baran, whose native tongue is a horribly complicated agglutinative language, so he has no problem pronouncing the name and using the demon for errands.
  • On the Discworld, demons are given names that look like they were selected by headbutting a keyboard; when the demon WxrtHltl-jwlpklz introduces himself in Wyrd Sisters, Nanny Ogg quips, "Where were you when the vowels were handed out, behind the door?" Her co-witch, Granny Weatherwax, pronounces it without raising a sweat. While there are hideous beasts from the dungeon dimensions a la Cthulhu, more description is given to their forms than names (they're usually described as what might be the offspring of an octopus and a bicycle).
  • Nyaruko: Crawling with Love!, which stars Nyarlathotep (but please, call her Nyarko). When she first appears she mentions that Nyarlathotep is just a nickname, and she has a real name; later novels reveal that humans have a very difficult time pronouncing it, and just being able to comprehend it can strengthen the bonds between a man and a woman.
  • In the Dragaera novels, one regional dialect within the Dragaeran Empire is notoriously difficult for outsiders to pronounce. Series narrator Vlad used to work for a crime lord whose name derived from that region, which Vlad could never say quite right: a fact illustrated by how it's never spelled the same way twice in the novels.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who:
    • Romanadvoratrelundar. While her first two incarnations were OK, even travelling with the Doctor, her third incarnation was... ruthless, to say the least.
    • The Raxacoricofallapatorian aliens are a subversion. The ones we meet are usually criminals on the lam from Raxacoricofallapatorius, but most of the species is actually lawful and good (albeit with a rather draconian system of punishment). Doubly subverted in that some individual Raxacoricofallapatorian baddies also have hard-to-pronounce names (Blon Fel-Fotch Passameer-Day Slitheen, anyone?).
    • The Mighty Jagrafess of the Holy Hadrojassic Maxarodenfoe.
  • Have I Got News for You once joked that "the Americans intend to invade Iran and replace Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with a dictator whose name is easier to pronounce." The Daily Show and The Colbert Report also frequently riffed on how alien the former Iranian dictator's name sounds to English speakers.

  • Sunn O)))—including whatever that is after the Sunn part; you just don't pronounce it—has a song called "Big Church [Megszentségteleníthetetlenségeskedéseitekért]". Anyone familiar with their music in the least knows that this church is most certainly evil.

  • The whole Aztec pantheon. Mictlantecutli, Centzon Huitznahua, Chalchiuhtlicue... They're doubly unpronounceable because the forms you see written here are the closest, phonetic, Spanish approximations of the original Aztec.
  • Although the name of the Jewish God is written as YHWH (which looks unpronounceable) that's due to it being a literal transliteration of the name from Hebrew, where it is written without vowels. This doesn't mean there are no vowels, just that they aren't shown (which is done often in Hebrew; vowel marks weren't added to the written language until the 9th century). However, God may have much longer mystical names (depending on the religious theories and interpretations) of up to seventy-two letters which have been lost at this point; these might fall into this trope.
    • Some scholars think that pronunciation of YHWH would actually be all breath sounds, leading to "God is breath/life." Which brings up the question "Can you pronounce breathing?"
    • Also, it is actually forbidden to Orthodox Jews to pronounce God's real name. When reading the Torah (which is done aloud), one just replaces it with "adonai" meaning Lord. This custom has persisted in Christianity despite Christians being allowed to pronounce God's name.
    • This is the source of the word Yehovah, reading YHWH with the vowels from adonai.
    • Even the word YHWH is actually a shortened version of the "real" name of God, which was allegedly dozens of syllables long and originally passed down in secret by the Levi clan and only pronounced aloud in the innermost chamber of His temple during the most sacred rituals. As far as anyone can tell, it has been lost to history.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Tht Whch Hs N Vwls (That Which Has No Vowels) from Munchkin Cthulhu.
  • This became a problem with Yawgmoth's name in Magic: The Gathering, to the point the French version changed it to the more pronouncable "Yaugzebul".
  • The Yu-Gi-Oh! card game has the Earthbound Immortal monsters. All of their names are in the Quechua language and have names like Ccarayhua and Wiraqocha Rasca.
  • A lot of archfiends from the less central fiend species in Pathfinder have these kinds of names. Stand-out examples include the qlippoth lord Isph-Aun-Vuln, the sahkil tormentor Xiquiripat, and the kyton tormentor Raetorgash. Note that just because they're not one of the major fiend races doesn't mean they're any less dangerous, they can still take all but the strongest heroes to pieces with ease.

    Video Games 

  • K'Z'K the Voweless One from Sluggy Freelance. So much that people can't pronounce it well, and that infuriates him.
  • From Homestuck, Feferi Peixes's lusus is a monstrous, tentacled mass named Gl'bgolyb.
    • The Zoologically Dubious beasts from Rose's grimoire have these kinds of names. Nrub'yiglith stands out in particular.
  • Secret from Keychain of Creation has a name so long that she can't pronounce it without fainting in the attempt.

    Web Originals 
  • BKCRMWDJVG of the Whateley Universe, a demon with its own hell dimension.
  • In Epic Rap Battles of History, Friedrich Nietzsche invokes this trope (as while "Nietzsche" isn't too out of the ordinary in the man's native German, ERB is an English-language American production):
    Because I'm N-I-E-T-Z-S-C-H-E
    And I'll end any motherfucker like my name in a spelling bee!

    Western Animation 
  • Nibbler's real name, apparently due to time constraints.
  • In The Simpsons: The chief of the Rigillians that abduct the Simpson family in the first Treehouse of Horror. "To pronounce it correctly, I would have to pull out your tongue."

    Real Life 
  • One of the twentieth century's most infamous tyrants intentionally defied this trope to make things easier. His birth name, Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili, is perfectly normal in Georgian but nigh unpronounceable in other languages. During his early years of revolutionary activity against the Tsar, he went by the code name of Koba (after a bandit in the novel The Patricide by Georgian author Alexander Kazbegi). Later, after Red October, he officially changed his name to the one by which most people know him: Josef Stalin.
  • This trope was again defied with Stalin's successor Nikita Khrushchev, often called "K" in the Anglophone press. Like "Jughashvili", "Khrushchev" is an ordinary name in its language of origin, but other languages had to simplify it to avoid pronunciation trouble.