Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Top Ten Most Unfortunate Character Names

I came upon a great meme hosted by Jamie at The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's topic is Top Ten Most Unfortunate Character Names:

1. Horatio Hornblower from the book series by C.S. Forester: He is a naval officer and how I am supposed to take him seriously with such a surname? He is a great, courageous man, but the name Hornblower just blows. Pun intended.

2. Humbert Humbert from Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov: If a detective was interrogating this man, they’d lose their patience fast. “What’s your name?” “I told you already, it’s Humbert Humbert, detective!” “Stop messing with me and tell me your real surname!” It’s just a little too much when the first name is exactly the same as the surname.

3. Huckleberry Finn from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain: His first name is a plant; a fin is what some animals have, say a shark. Adding an “n” doesn’t help. I don’t mind the surname Finn, but Huckleberry and Finn together makes me laugh.

4. St. John Rivers from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë: It’s the pronunciation that bothers me here. It’s something like “sin-jin” and the first time I heard it in a movie adaptation, I thought the actors got it all wrong. But they were right, it just sounds so wrong.

5. Pooh from Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne: Need I say more? Pooh, poo, get the idea.

6. Irma Prunesquallor from the Gormenghast series by Mervyn Peake: Poor woman. Her first name is fine, but her surname – not so much. Put very simply, she’s s Irma Dirty Prune. I’m sure she leaves a lasting impression with that name.

7. Lord Sepulchrave from the Gormenghast series by Mervyn Peake: Sepulchre and grave combined: this calls for a very grave fellow. It works in the novels, but this doesn’t mean his name is not ridiculous. (In fact, the Gormenghast series is full of such gems: Steerpike, Titus Groan, Abiatha Swelter etc.)

8. Fanny Assingham from The Golden Bowl by Henry James: I may have a dirty mind, but this name is hilarious. Fanny, ASSingham? Wow.

9. Tattycoram from Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens: It so doesn’t sound like a name, at all. I want to know what Dickens was smoking when he came up with Tattycoram.

10. Renesmee Cullen from Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer: Renee + Esme = Renesmee. Such a weird name mash. And the girl is nicknamed Nessie. As in, Nessie the Loch Ness monster. Kids in school are going to have so much fun teasing her.


Jan von Harz said...

LOL great list. I totally agree with you on all of these.

Michelle Fluttering Butterflies said...

Oh I did have a giggle at this list. Especially Fanny Assingham .. :)

Jo K said...

Great list. You are wrong at 10, though. Do we really think kids at school would DARE to make fun of Nessie? :)

The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

Great list-especially St. John! I've never understood why he wasn't just John-that's a perfectly acceptable name. And Tattycoram drove me crazy when I watched a miniseries of it (haven't touched the book...yet!)

Blodeuedd said...

Lol, I could live with St John if they said it like that but sinjin is just stupid

Anonymous said...

I always thought Hester Prynne was a ridiculous name as well.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE your list! I got a good chuckle out of every one of them.

Dot said...

Great list, there are some funny names out there!