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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