Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Most Unfortunate Character Names

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted at The Broke and the Bookish.

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

10. St. John Rivers from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë - It doesn't look that bad in print.  But it's pronounced "sin-jin", which always made me think of the villainous Injun Joe from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.  Plus, I had to read Jane Eyre for an English class... and when the teacher started talking about this person named "Sinjin", I had no idea what she was going on about!

9. Americus Nation from Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts - When your name is so patriotic it's nauseating, your mother has gone too far.

8. Sookie Stackhouse from Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris - Does it rhyme with "cookie" or "kooky"?  And who the heck would name their kid that, anyway?

7. Po from Graceling by Kristin Cashore - It sounds like the way some people refer to poverty ("I was so po'!).  It's also creeping toward "poo", which is not great, either...

6. Beezus from Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary - Yes, it was a nickname for "Beatrice".  But that didn't stop the boys at school from making fun of her by rhyming her name with "Jesus".

5. Gale from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - Gail and Gayle are girls' names.  That's what I had in my head as I was reading this.  I never could wrap my brain around this one as a name for a guy!

4. Katniss from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - It does sound much like "catnip", as Gale said.

3. Peeta from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - I still can't figure out if this is a bastardization of "Peter" (much like Haymitch may have been a variation on "Hamish"); in any case, it makes me think of pita bread.

2. Pooh from Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne - What's worse than being named after a turd?

1. Renesmee from Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer - What's worse than being named after a turd?  Being saddled with this monstrosity, that's what!  Even the nickname -- "Nessie" -- is messed up.  Unfortunately, Renesmee is not the only child out there who was given a ridiculous name by a Mormon parent who was trying to be creative.  Check out this list at the Utah Baby Namer.  Once you've seen what some people in real life named their kids, these ten fictional names actually don't look so bad.


  1. Good point with Pooh bear there! Didn't even think of that one. But soooo true. And thats such a good point about what people REALLY name their kids. I heard a girl once whose parents named her Princess and her brother Prince. Talk about unfortunate. Sounds like dog names!

  2. St. John made my list too! That weird pronunciation is so annoying and doesn't match how the name looks at all. (Very funny that you didn't know which character your teacher was referring to! :D)

    And Po from Graceling...that name always annoyed me too. It sounded kind of like half a name to me, and I wanted to know what the other half was.

    I agree with some of the odd names from the Hunger Games...I got used to them pretty quickly, so they never bothered me all too much, but they are rather odd. Peeta especially...kind of sounds like it should be Peter but they left off the "r."

    And yes to Renesmee...seriously bad idea combining the names like that. I took a look at your Utah Baby Names link though and Renesmee begins to look positively awesome compared to some of those! I have trouble believing parents would inflict such torture on their poor children...

  3. Hahaha...definitely had to laugh at your Pooh comment! And YES Po was such a good pick. I forgot that one. Didn't care for it at all!

  4. Great list.
    I came across "po" in some book or other where it was used as a dialect word for a chamberpot, so I agree, it's unfortunate.

    Peeta is a real Indian name, both first and last. It's hard to guess whether it's male or female, but I'm guessing female.

  5. I TOTALLY get what you mean about St. John Rivers in Jane Eyre. I did the same thing! I kept reading it as "Saint John" in my head, and then when the teacher started talking about "Sinjin," I was totally thrown!

  6. "What's worse than being named after a turd?"

    Hahaha. Great list!

  7. "What's worse than being named after a turd? Being saddled with this monstrosity, that's what"

    That's so funny!!! I think all these names are creative, as they are so unique, once you say "Beezus
    everyone knows who you're talking about. But yeah, you're right ^_^

  8. Haha...love the reference to the Utah Baby Namer. Renesmee doesn't sound like a Mormon name, but they do have some weird naming patterns. My friend just named her baby LaDawn. How unfortunate.
    PS. I love your blog design. It's impressive that you did it.

  9. I feel you on Gale, and Peeta made my list. Prior to reading, I admit, I thought Katniss was a lesbian. I absolutely assumed Gale and Peeta were girls. lol my mistake...

  10. Great, funny list! I also added St. John, Pooh and Renesmee on my list. Oh my God, Mormons name their kids like that?! I wonder how I'd really react if someone was introduced to me as Justa Cowgirl, lol.

  11. I never got used to the name Patch in Hush Hush, despite how hot the character was. And yes, Renesmee is just plain bad.

  12. I like your list! You have a valid point about Pooh and now that you've mentioned it, Renesmee is an ugly name. Sookie grew on me after a while but I can see why it made your list.

  13. Heeheehee. Loved this post! Naming is so tough. The MC in my current novel-in-progress is named after a sixties television star. I keep going back and forth wondering if it's too strong a choice. But, now I can take comfort in the fact that at least I didn't name her Poo! - Stasia

  14. I love this meme! And YES omg I'm so glad I'm not the only one who was like "WTF Renesmee?!?" Let's not get over creative there, Stephenie Meyer. Geez.

    Thanks so much for hopping by my blog last week! I'm a little behind on my hopping.

  15. Great list! I have to say, the Hunger Games names didn't bother me too greatly. But you are right. Renesmee is the worst name of all time.
    I get accused of having a pretty weird name myself, but I like it.
    That link to Mormon names... wow. What a treasure trove of oddity. I'll never feel badly about being teased over my name again!

  16. I had to laugh at your #1 choice. As I was reading that was the name I was thinking. Never understood that one.

  17. Too funny! I am interested in names, so this post definitely caught my interest :)

    Always wonder about Pooh...

    Peeta - didn't think of pita, thought of pee...