November 9, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Unfortunate Character Names

The "Top Ten Tuesday" meme is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, and this week's topic is unfortunately named characters.

So, in no particular order...

1.) Mundungus Fletcher from Harry Potter — It's a fun name to say, but the whole second syllable of "dung" makes it a very unfortunate name to have.

2.) Gollum/Smeagol from Lord of the Rings — the poor guy has 2 names to choose from and they are both equally awful! No wonder he was so evil. Grima Wormtongue gets an honourable mention here, because really, who wants a last name like that?

3.) Mr. Kissler from Golden by Jennifer Lynn Barnes — because he's the villain, and yet his name contains the word "kiss." Also because when you say "Mr. Kissler" out loud it almost rhymes...

4.) A huge number of names from Lloyd Alexander's The Iron Ring. I love Lloyd Alexander's writing, but the names in this one? They are very strange. Hashkat, Garuda, Rajaswami, Adi-Kavi, Nahusha...I can't decide which is the most unfortunate!

5.) Multiple names from Margaret Buffie's The Watcher's Quest series: Huw (how do you even pronounce that?), Eefa, Gormala, Yegg, Badba... once again, I just can't choose.

6.) Ancilla Trent from Georgette Heyer's The Nonesuch — because it makes her sound about a hundred years old, and she isn't. Runner-up: her love interest Waldo. *shudders*

7.) Jehu from Jennifer Holm's Boston Jane series — Great character, but I never knew how to pronounce his name. Was it like "jeh - hoo" or was it kind of Spanish, like "yay - hoo"? I dunno, in my head it usually sounded like the first one until I started trying to puzzle it out again, at which point I often ended up getting "hey - you" out of it, which can't be right.

8.) Alis from Denise Jaden's Losing Faith — Because he's a guy, and he's saddled with the nickname of "Alis" for "Alistair." No matter how you spin that, it's still pretty unfortunate.

9.) Helmut from Martha Attema's When the War is Over — I'm sure it is nothing out of the ordinary to those familiar with German names, but for me, I tend to think of "helmet" when I see it.

10.) St. John from Jane Eyre — I always thought the pronunciation of it as "sin - jun" (that's how it's said in the movie versions) was pretty ridiculous, to begin with... and secondly why would anybody name their child "Saint" anything? *shakes head*


  1. Gollum/Smeagol! that one. Great list :)

  2. I had a problem with the name Alis too. Alistair seems more dignified.

  3. Haha wow never even thought about the whole Gollum/Smeagol thing. But now that you mention it really is unfortunate. And yeah Grima Wormtongue? With a name like that its no wonder he turned bad!

  4. This is a great list :D
    Thank goodness Gollum/ Smeagol and some of the other names are fanasy characters!

    I haven't read The Nonsuch by Heyer but Waldo is definitely a very eccentric and unfortunate name. Also, Ancilla means slave girl in latin which seems a very strange choice for what I'm assuming is a society girl.

  5. Oh wow, I forgot about good ole Dung! Hahaha, that's awesome. Thanks for stopping by - new follow!


  6. It is pronounced "sin-jun," which I totally didn't know till last year. I've always found that pretty weird too, yet oddly appropriate since he's all about the mission work.

    Mundungus Fletcher, FTW. Any name with "dung" in it is pretty much a fail. And again, so appropriate cause he really is a pile of dung. Ew.

  7. Great list! There are a lot on here I have never seen before :) I can't believe I didn't think of Gollum/Smeagol or even Bilbo Baggins for that matter.

  8. LOL I love this post. Yes, those are some unfortunate names! How about this one?
    Zaphod Beeblebrox
    Cut Me Own Throat Dibbler

  9. It's difficult when you have to have a pronunciation guide for the characters in your books!

  10. LOTR has a lot of bad names. As for St. John, I thought it was pronounced the way its mentioned in the movies too! Far from a saint, eh? ;)

  11. Great List! Mundungus also made my list :D

  12. Hi Danya, thanks for commenting at my place! The names came from two different series. Zaphod Beeblebrox is from the Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams.
    CMOT Dibbler lives on The Disc World, a series created by Terry Pratchett. I enjoy both series, find them funny, strange but funny.


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