Follow TV Tropes

Following

Unfortunate Names / Other

Go To

  • The (Eurasian) Blackbird (to Americans: not to be confused with American Blackbirds, which aren't related to the thrush family but rather to the crow family) is a bird that is not only the most ubiquitous one of many European countries, but also, when humans are voting for "best singing bird" it is almost always unanimously voted as "best singer" (this is a Dutch example). Its Latin name is Turdus merula, and considering the unfortunate implications the word "turd" has in English, that's very unfortunate in English. And then there's the cousin of this bird, the Thrush - which is itself also always highly regarded in song-bird rankings, but in English its name is equivalent with "vaginal yeast infection"...
  • English-born Diana Dors, Richard Dawson's first wife from 1959-1966, was born Diana Mary Fluck. She changed her contractual surname to her grandmother's maiden name, because if her real surname was in lights and the "L" went out...
      Advertisement:
    • And to make matters worse, she had starred in quite a number of sexual comedy films and risqué modeling jobs.
  • Vuk is a Serbian / Slavic male name; consider the word this most sounds like in English... This was an almost Exploited Trope in Dutch 2005 movie Vet Hard, which featured a character called Vuk that was played as an extreme Butt-Monkey, and all other characters consistently referred to him as "fuck" (which in Dutch is the same swearword as in English).
  • Similarly, Isis is a feminine given name derived from the Egyptian goddess of fertility, motherhood and magic. The unfortunate aspect comes in at around 2014, when the Islamic State of Iraq & Syria was becoming something of a household name. Since then, the name has severely declined in popularity in the US, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
  • In that same note, the Afghani name "Negar". If you need it spelled out for you try yelling "HEY NEGAR" and see how bad it sounds, just for the love of god don't do it within earshot of anyone else unless you're a swift runner or have certain privileges...
  • Genacol is a popular form of arthritis medication worldwide, but in the Philippines, its name is often the subject of derision. That's because Genacol sounds like "jinakol," which is Filipino for "jacked off".
  • Advertisement:
  • The city of Des Moines, Iowa takes its name from the nearby Des Moines River, which was christened by the French explorers Marquette and Joliet specifically because they liked how French the name sounded. Marquette and Joliet encountered the Peoria tribe and asked them what the name of the river was. The Peoria told them "Moingoana," which kind of sounds like "moines," the French word for "monks." "Moingoana" actually means "shitface."
  • In the late 1970s and early 80s, The Campana Company had candy with appetite-suppressants in them. And they were called Ayds. It should come as no surprise that sales plummeted right around the time AIDS awareness was growing.
    The appetite suppressant in Ayds is not a stimulant.
  • The poor ice giant planet Uranus. note 
  • Homo Erectus (Upright Man), is an early species of Human notable for its straight (erect) posture. These days, if you say the words Homo Erectus to someone, they'll be thinking of another form of erectness altogether.
  • In the Washington, D.C. area, there is a local slang term, "DMV", which is shorthand for... well, the Washington, D.C. area, and stands for "D.C., Maryland, note  and Virginia. note  Nationwide, "DMV" conjures... less flattering imagery.
  • My Little Pony has included many... fascinatingly-named ponies over time. These include a yellow pony named Trickles, as well as ponies named Whizzer, Steamer, Floater, Pillow Talk, Swinger, and Player. Baby Surprise sounds a little too much like an unexpected pregnancy, rather than a baby version of a Pegasus called Surprise. Others, such as Tink-a-Tink-a-Too and Gigglebean, are merely silly.
  • Microsoft's search engine Bing. They apparently were not aware that 病 (bìng) translates to "disease."
  • The increasing popularity of Asian skincare in Western markets leads to some Cross Cultural Kerfuffle at times.
    • A popular Korean anti-aging, brightening and moisturising essence used to be called Cosrx Galactomyces 95 White Power Essence. Western Asian beauty enthusiasts gave it the Fan Nickname 'Racism Essence'. The beauty blogger Holy Snails emailed the Cosrx marketing team to explain what the name meant in English, and the product was changed to 'Whitening Power Essence'.
    • Cosrx also does a product called 'Skin Returning A-Sol'.
    • Dr. Jart do a sheet mask called Rubber Mask Firming Lover.
    • There's a popular brand of Taiwanese sheet masks called "My Scheming".
    • Many products have names that just sound absurd to English speakers, like Elizavecca Milky Piggy Silky Creamy Donkey Steam Cream Mask Pack. (Yes, it contains donkey milk.)
    • A Korean-influenced indie beauty product is called Shark Sauce. It does not contain shark (or sauce), but its inventor Chel Cortes often gets hate mail from people accusing her of cruelty to sharks. She also claims people sometimes drizzle their friend's bottles on fish or salads.
  • The sports teams of South Carolina University, AKA the Gamecocks. Many a mocking has been made of their ill-sounding moniker. The signs don't help.
  • The Great Tit, subject of more puns on its name than there are stars in the sky.
  • The Great Tit has nothing on the Agile Tit Tyrant, which sounds less like a name for a bird and more like a Boss Subtitle for a Hyrulean sexual predator or introduction for a stripper.
  • Theres also the Booby, the Dickkissel, the Bushtit, the Common Shag, the Kākā, the Swallow, the Andean Cock-of-the-rock... Let's face it, whoever was in charge of naming birds had a mother who forced him to let his obnoxious bratty little brother name some of them.
  • Enforced aversion: Craig Venter, genome entrepreneur, renamed his Institute for Genome Research (IGOR) to The Institute for Genome Research (TIGR) for obvious reasons.
  • Butt Valley, CA, totally a real place. And unlike the page illustration, there's no E on the end and it actually is pronounced "butt".
  • The Embriaco noble family, originally from Genoa, was active in Italian and Crusader state politics in the 11th-13th centuries. It was named after its founder Guglielmo Embriaco, whose name was derived from the Latin for "William the Drunkard". In other words, the Embriaco family is the "drunkard dynasty".
  • During the assassination attempt on former President Ronald Reagan, Agent Robert Wanko pulled an Uzi out of his briefcase in order to cover the President's evacuation to the hospital moments after the President had been shot.
  • The name for the mountain range "The Grand Tetons" sounds majestic... until you realize that the name is French for "Giant Breasts", which is what the mountains reminded early French explorers of.
  • Interstate Highway 69, one of the most recent interstate highways to be established.
  • The Richard Bong State Recreation Area was named after a decorated pilot from World War II. Unfortunately, the "Bong Recreation Area" sign is frequently stolen because of its accidental allusions to marijuana.
  • Pee Pee Township, Ohio. It doesn't help that it's named after nearby Pee Pee Creek (named after Major Paul Paine carved his initials on a nearby tree).
  • Shpock is a marketplace website and app that allows people to buy or sell various items, and it's a portmanteau of "Shop" and "Pocket" ("Shop in your Pocket"). Unfortunately, the name makes many people think it sounds like Sean Connery saying "Spock", instead, which they've gotten accustomed to. One supposes that the name "Pockeshop" ("Pocket Shop") would have sounded too similar to Pokémon.
  • The world's first female telephone operator was Emma Nutt. It's bad enough her name sounds kinda like "I'm a nut", but they had to lock her Wikipedia page to deter Wiki Vandals from making her name even more ridiculous.
  • Six Flags Great America has a roller coaster called Whizzer, though it’s actually one of the tamer coasters.
  • GIMP stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program. "Gimp" is also derogatory slang for a disabled person.
  • The canola plant is actually a crop that's genetically-modified from the rapeseed plant.
  • The Canadian Armed Forces has Operation Honour, a nation-wide offense against sexual misconduct in the forces. Shortening it to "OP Honour", as one would normally do with the name of any operation, is frowned upon as it took troops all of about five seconds to realize it sounds like "HOP ON HER" and start making jokes about it. It can even get a soldier charged for violating Operation Honour by telling an inappropriate sex joke, no less.
  • There is a persistent urban legend that Operation Iraqi Freedom was originally called "Operation Iraqi Liberation" but was renamed when people pointed out that it abbreviated to "oil" and began making jokes about Freudian Slips. However there's no actual public record of such a name change and it was most likely started by a Jay Leno anecdote, but true or not it's this trope in spirit at least.

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report