Bad Character Names

You’ve got a new char­ac­ter for a big mas­sive­ly mul­ti­play­er game, so you need a name. How do you come up with a good name? Good ques­tion! I might write about that anoth­er time.

This is a list of what peo­ple do wrong. It was writ­ten with both a gen­ero-fan­ta­sy set­ting and a stan­dard Eng­lish key­board in mind.

(High­er on list is less bad, low­er on list is less good.)

  • Gener­ic names: Drag­on. Angel. Val­or.
  • “For­eign” Lan­guage words: Grande. Iki­masho. (For­eign to you is not for­eign to all–you’d laugh at a char­ac­ter whose name was “Big” or “Let’s go!”)
  • Jammed words: Drag­o­nan­gel. Burn­ing­cat.
  • Meta: An undead named Rot­ting. A tau­ren named Beef­cake.
  • Out of game con­text (OOC): Chuck. Space­ship.
  • Uno­rig­i­nal: Lego­las. Driz­zt.
  • Jammed and meta: Deathknight.
  • Jammed and OOC: Chuc­knor­ris. Brucewil­lis. Cap­tain­plan­et.
  • Jammed and meta and OOC: Undead­fred.
  • Jammed and talk­ing to the read­er: Ucantseeme. Pwny­ou. Imdeath. (Per­son­al­ly, I always choose the most obtuse nick­name pos­si­ble for these kind of names: “See you lat­er, Imd.” “My nick­name is sup­posed to be Death <cry>”)
  • Uno­rig­i­nal and late: Lle­go­lass. Dri­i­i­i­i­i­iz­zt.
  • Uno­rig­i­nal and late and jammed: Elfle­go­las. Deathknightt.
  • Pre­scrip­tion drug name: Prope­cia. Celexa. (Although giv­en enough time, phar­ma could elim­i­nate the gen­ero-fan­ta­sy name­space)
  • Swapped char­ac­ters: Dragòn. (pre­vi­ous­ly dis­cussed: Text-based game, yet I can­not type your name.)
  • Uno­rig­i­nal and swapped: Lêgolâs.
  • Uno­rig­i­nal and swapped and late: Elflêgolâs.
  • Polit­i­cal state­ments of any kind: Noba­ma. Mclame. (Your polit­i­cal views are unin­ter­est­ing in a game con­text.)
  • Jammed and talk­ing to read­er and swapped: Üçântsêêmê.

The order of these gets hairy in the mid­dle and is to taste, although I feel pret­ty sol­id about the top and bot­tom.

Thanks to the read­ers who helped with ideas.

Did I for­get any­thing? Is there a name worse than Üçântsêêmê?

More Words!

7 thoughts on “Bad Character Names”

  1. I’m sick and I’m cranky today and I love a good rant. I talked a while ago about stu­pid guild names, but stu­pid char­ac­ter names are right up there too. Mom­ma Ori Sez: If I can eas­i­ly guess your race/class/role from your name on your guild appli­ca­tion, you bet­ter believe you’re not going to even get a “thanks but no thanks’ email from me. Also, who­ev­er invit­ed the bank alt ‘nin­ja­luter’ to the guild when I was­n’t look­ing … your time will come. *angry fist*

  2. I can go along with every­thing except “for­eign” lan­guage words. Preda­tore and Imbroglio are stolen from the Ital­ian lan­guage. My grand­moth­er on my father’s side was first gen­er­a­tion Sicil­ian, so Ital­ian holds a spe­cial place in my heart. Plus, “imbroglio” basi­cal­ly means a con­fused or messed up sit­u­a­tion and there’s not an indi­vid­ual word in the Eng­lish lan­guage that means that… unless you count “clus­ter­fuck.”

    Either way, great post and I could­n’t agree more. And for the record, I actu­al­ly got a thank you from Chuc­knor­ris the oth­er day. I was logged onto Preda­tore, lev­el­ing Herbal­ism, then head­ing to the Dark Por­tal. A low­er lev­el Human Rogue bit off a lit­tle more than he could chew with three mobs attack­ing him. I dis­mount­ed and took some of the heat off of him. My chat win­dow read, “Chuc­knor­ris thanks you.” It was only then that I real­ized this cat’s name. I might have thought twice about inter­rupt­ing my jour­ney had I noticed the name from the start. =)

  3. You for­got names like Iilil (first let­ter is an i). Great post though, i real­ly hate spe­cial char­ac­ters in names for exact­ly the rea­sons you enu­mer­at­ed in your pre­vi­ous post. I always take into con­sid­er­a­tion how easy my name is to type when I cre­ate a char­ac­ter, even when I’m not includ­ing spe­cial char­ac­ters.

  4. Hows­about juve­nile sex­u­al­ly-based names includ­ing a bad visu­al pun:

    Hornypreachr — A Draenei Priest with the ‘Horns’ hair­style. (Get it? Ha! I’m fun­ny!)

    I actu­al­ly made this one. And still play it.

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