Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-27-2016, 07:19 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Schenectady, NY, USA
Posts: 40,686
Your fictional namesakes

I just downloaded a book and discovered that the main character has my wife's maiden name (it's also my great-great-grandmother's name). The name is not a very common one, though the author used it as a pun and pronounced it differently to make it work.

And I remembered that the title character of the movie "Max" has the same last name as mine.

Now I'm sure if your name is Jones or Smith or Johnson, it's pretty easy to find examples. But how about less common names? Do you have any fictional namesakes?

Bonus if both first and last name match, but first name matches are probably too easy.
__________________
"East is East and West is West and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does."
Purveyor of fine science fiction since 1982.

Last edited by RealityChuck; 09-27-2016 at 07:20 PM.
  #2  
Old 09-27-2016, 07:21 PM
silenus silenus is offline
The Turtle Moves!
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 48,546
An exact match for the last name is highly unlikely, but a variant spelling has shown up in a number of novels and stories about Nazi Germany. Mom always said "I wish the SOB had been named Smith."
  #3  
Old 09-27-2016, 07:40 PM
TBG TBG is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Michigan
Posts: 8,584
There have been a few characters with my last name, but they always pronounced it differently.

No one with first and last as far as I know. First name is common enough that it's not notable for any characters to have the same one.
  #4  
Old 09-27-2016, 07:57 PM
stillownedbysetters stillownedbysetters is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 3,082
There was a very popular doll that came out when I was 2 or 3 years old. The doll had my first and middle names, no last name. My family joked that we had invented the doll and named her after me.
  #5  
Old 09-27-2016, 08:00 PM
wonky wonky is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: DC area
Posts: 29,398
I'd be shocked if a fictional character had my maiden name. It's very German and hard for many people to pronounce. My married name is easy.


Quote:
Originally Posted by stillownedbysetters View Post
There was a very popular doll that came out when I was 2 or 3 years old. The doll had my first and middle names, no last name. My family joked that we had invented the doll and named her after me.
Hi, Raggedy!

Last edited by wonky; 09-27-2016 at 08:01 PM.
  #6  
Old 09-27-2016, 08:57 PM
terentii terentii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Moscow/Toronto
Posts: 14,427
The name on my birth certificate is the same as that of a once-popular male comic strip character, but it still sounds like a girl's name. When I was growing up, telephone operators always thought I was a girl because of it.

My surname is that of a once-popular rock-n-roll singer. It sounds cool only when you pronounce it with a European accent, like in The Blue Max.

I try to avoid using both.
  #7  
Old 09-27-2016, 09:03 PM
terentii terentii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Moscow/Toronto
Posts: 14,427
Quote:
Originally Posted by stillownedbysetters View Post
There was a very popular doll that came out when I was 2 or 3 years old. The doll had my first and middle names, no last name. My family joked that we had invented the doll and named her after me.
Patty Play Pal?
  #8  
Old 09-27-2016, 09:15 PM
Chronos Chronos is online now
Charter Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 73,018
My surname is quite rare, and I've never actually seen it used in fiction... but there's one science fiction story that has a name that's close enough that in some places a typo makes it the same. IIRC, my almost-namesake is a dragon-breeder.

There's also a slightly different Americanized version of my surname that's a little more common, and borne by exactly one well-known person, but I've never seen that form in fiction.

My full name would certainly never show up in fiction, and to the best of my knowledge, I'm the only one in the US (though there might be one or two others in Germany).

I identify a lot more with my mom's side of the family, though, and her maiden name is much more common (still not a Smith or Jones, but common enough that you'll sometimes see it in the news). The only specific occurrence I can think of, though, is a minor character in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.
  #9  
Old 09-27-2016, 09:17 PM
Biffy the Elephant Shrew Biffy the Elephant Shrew is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Over on the left
Posts: 13,186
I have the same first and last name as a character on Lost, which I have never seen.
  #10  
Old 09-27-2016, 09:18 PM
Loach Loach is offline
The Central Scrutinizer
Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Pork Roll/Taylor Ham
Posts: 23,166
Quote:
Originally Posted by silenus View Post
An exact match for the last name is highly unlikely, but a variant spelling has shown up in a number of novels and stories about Nazi Germany. Mom always said "I wish the SOB had been named Smith."
Mr Hilter?
  #11  
Old 09-27-2016, 09:58 PM
terentii terentii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Moscow/Toronto
Posts: 14,427
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loach View Post
Mr Hilter?
More likely Bimmler or MacGoering.
  #12  
Old 09-27-2016, 10:32 PM
Mister Rik Mister Rik is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: The bunghole of WA
Posts: 12,341
My last name showed up in the classic The Far Side cartoon in which a student is raising his hand and asking his teacher, "Mr. Osborne, may I be excused? My brain is full."
  #13  
Old 09-27-2016, 11:12 PM
Ukulele Ike Ukulele Ike is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 15,241
Oh, hell. I was a crime fiction editor from the early '80s into the early aughts. My authors were constantly using my surname in their novels.

James Ellroy, for one, had a Police Commissioner Malloy in THE BLACK DAHLIA (1987), and a prominent Central Avenue jazz club called "Malloy's Nest" in THE BIG NOWHERE and L.A. CONFIDENTIAL.
  #14  
Old 09-27-2016, 11:38 PM
Biffy the Elephant Shrew Biffy the Elephant Shrew is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Over on the left
Posts: 13,186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ukulele Ike View Post
Oh, hell. I was a crime fiction editor from the early '80s into the early aughts. My authors were constantly using my surname in their novels.

James Ellroy, for one, had a Police Commissioner Malloy in THE BLACK DAHLIA (1987), and a prominent Central Avenue jazz club called "Malloy's Nest" in THE BIG NOWHERE and L.A. CONFIDENTIAL.
Ever work with Joan Hess?
  #15  
Old 09-27-2016, 11:42 PM
Ukulele Ike Ukulele Ike is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 15,241
I know (or knew) her well. (Smooched with her once in our younger days)

Oddly enough, I am married to a woman named "Claire."
  #16  
Old 09-27-2016, 11:44 PM
Ukulele Ike Ukulele Ike is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 15,241
Oh, god, did I just kiss and tell?

Anyway, we were both cute back then.
  #17  
Old 09-27-2016, 11:47 PM
ZipperJJ ZipperJJ is offline
Just Lovely and Delicious
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Northeast Ohio
Posts: 23,721
My last name showed up as the main suspect and then defendant on Law & Order one time. Woohoo!
  #18  
Old 09-28-2016, 12:12 AM
GESancMan GESancMan is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Portland
Posts: 3,020
A certain big-headed counselor on South Park.

I'm a teacher, and I use him as my profile picture on Facebook and other places.
  #19  
Old 09-28-2016, 12:25 AM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Western New York
Posts: 75,020
You'd think I'd encounter fictional characters with my name all the time; I have a common first and last name. But there's only been one time when I've seen my name used in a work of fiction; as a character in How the West Was Won.
  #20  
Old 09-28-2016, 01:20 AM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 9,047
There have been a number of fictional characters with my first name, which has two common spellings.

As for my last name, a well-known shock jock had a sidekick with that surname (which wasn't his real name) and there was a series of adventure stories for boys in the early 20th century featuring a family with that name. Think "Hardy Boys" only with our name. There is also a committee-with-a-pseudonym that writes contemporary books for teenage girls and that pseudonym has my surname.

Last edited by nearwildheaven; 09-28-2016 at 01:20 AM.
  #21  
Old 09-28-2016, 01:34 AM
GuanoLad GuanoLad is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Where the wild roses grow
Posts: 23,486
There was a much lauded novel that came out in the 80s that was entitled with our family's name. But I think it was used in reference to its definition (in Maori), not as a character's name.
  #22  
Old 09-28-2016, 01:44 AM
Nava Nava is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Hey! I'm located! WOOOOW!
Posts: 36,752
No namesakes I know of, and as far as we know my name+lastname combo is also unique in history, but there is a song dedicated to my firstname and it's been covered in multiple languages. It is so weird, hearing someone sing their love to you(r namesake) in a language you don't speak!

Last edited by Nava; 09-28-2016 at 01:46 AM.
  #23  
Old 09-28-2016, 01:48 AM
Balance Balance is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 8,007
Musicians, superheroes, aliens, shapeshifters, and many more besides. My personal name and surname are quite common; in both fiction and real life, my namesakes are legion.
  #24  
Old 09-28-2016, 02:23 AM
magnusblitz magnusblitz is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,117
Last name isn't super common but isn't uncommon. A Bond villain has it (and no, it's not Goldfinger).
  #25  
Old 09-28-2016, 04:04 AM
yo han go yo han go is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Europe
Posts: 260
What then? Scaramanga? No? Blofeld? Oddjob?

OTOH I'm quite sure my given name and surname could easily pass for some bondish super villain.
  #26  
Old 09-28-2016, 05:17 AM
JKellyMap JKellyMap is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 8,276
Quote:
Originally Posted by silenus View Post
An exact match for the last name is highly unlikely, but a variant spelling has shown up in a number of novels and stories about Nazi Germany. Mom always said "I wish the SOB had been named Smith."
Not nice of your mom to call your dad an SOB!
  #27  
Old 09-28-2016, 06:30 AM
Sangahyando Sangahyando is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 1,974
My family name is fairly common and ordinary; but it has yielded one fictional namesake which I've always found pleasing. Occurs in Kipling's ballad The Rhyme of the Three Sealers -- about rival American ships and crews which all defied the laws of Tsarist Russia by poaching seals for their fur, in Siberian waters. The ballad tells of three of these outfits falling out with each other over the pursuit of their quarry, and engaging in a mini-sea-battle. One of the captains concerned, is called Tom Hall -- which was my late father's name. Dad was an extremely honest and upstanding citizen; but I suspect that a little bit of him would have, wistfully, liked to be a piratical swashbuckler.
  #28  
Old 09-28-2016, 08:01 AM
Alessan Alessan is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Tel Aviv
Posts: 22,409
Not at all fictional: my last name is carved into stone at the foot of Napoleon's tomb.

Last edited by Alessan; 09-28-2016 at 08:04 AM.
  #29  
Old 09-28-2016, 08:25 AM
Sir T-Cups Sir T-Cups is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 7,410
Does it count if I won a contest to be put in the book? Because my first and last name (but not "me") are definitely in a book, but I won a contest with the author to be put there.

Otherwise, I would be berry berry surprised to see my last name anywhere. My first name is getting more and more common. I share it with the son of a comic-book time traveler and a certain anarchist who may-or-may not be real
  #30  
Old 09-28-2016, 08:58 AM
Dung Beetle Dung Beetle is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 15,162
I was always bummed that the only Stephen King character to be named Julie was that skank from The Stand..."more akin to crawly things found among tree roots than a real human being" or something like that. There may have been another Julie in his work since then but the damage is done!
  #31  
Old 09-28-2016, 09:22 AM
Chronos Chronos is online now
Charter Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 73,018
Quote:
Quoth Balance:

Musicians, superheroes, aliens, shapeshifters, and many more besides. My personal name and surname are quite common; in both fiction and real life, my namesakes are legion.
John Jones?
  #32  
Old 09-28-2016, 09:25 AM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 44,998
My middle and last names are the same as a very good cozy mystery writer. And I know someone named "Stephen Hayes"--the name of one of the men in that ghastly Connecticut home invasion.

But I've never seen my name in fiction.
  #33  
Old 09-28-2016, 09:59 AM
wonky wonky is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: DC area
Posts: 29,398
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir T-Cups View Post
Does it count if I won a contest to be put in the book? Because my first and last name (but not "me") are definitely in a book, but I won a contest with the author to be put there.

Otherwise, I would be berry berry surprised to see my last name anywhere. My first name is getting more and more common. I share it with the son of a comic-book time traveler and a certain anarchist who may-or-may not be real
That reminds me. I have a novel I wrote a few years back. Not published (yet?), but I asked dopers if anyone wanted to loan their names, and plenty said yes. I even took requests for how they would be portrayed. Some day, you'll all be famous!
  #34  
Old 09-28-2016, 10:35 AM
Sir T-Cups Sir T-Cups is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 7,410
I have a bookmark in the page where I'm listed because it's fun to show people.

It's one of my Jeopardy bits.
  #35  
Old 09-28-2016, 11:31 AM
Mister Rik Mister Rik is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: The bunghole of WA
Posts: 12,341
I almost forgot that, in World of Warcraft, there is a rogue class trainer NPC named "Osborne the Night Man", and a gnome NPC named Ozzie Togglevolt.
  #36  
Old 09-28-2016, 12:56 PM
Lightray Lightray is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: St. Louis MO
Posts: 5,816
My surname is fairly rare, but we're descendants of a Union general who was "lampooned" by using the family name for the carpetbagging "Evil Senator Stoneman" in Birth of a Nation (the 1915 one; not the 2016 one). Being mocked by a horribly racist movie wasn't a bad thing, and it was kind of a cool nickname for a couple months after we watched it in high school.

There's also a Will Stoneman in Iron Will. I'm pretty sure the character is wholly fictitious, though.
  #37  
Old 09-28-2016, 12:58 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
SDSAB
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: my Herkimer Battle Jitney
Posts: 71,768
Lightray, Gen. Stoneman is also mentioned in the lyrics of The Band's "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOTNQF-o_mQ
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ni...Old_Dixie_Down

I have never come across my full name in any fictional context, and have seen my last name used fictionally only twice, in related works.

Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 09-28-2016 at 01:01 PM.
  #38  
Old 09-28-2016, 01:01 PM
Prof. Pepperwinkle Prof. Pepperwinkle is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Chateau Pepperwinkle
Posts: 47,922
My last name is actually Summers, and I am descended from a group that includes the Victorian author Montague Summers, writer of The Vampire: Its Kith and Kin, and other dark and ponderous works of folklore. Buffy Summers, of Buffy the Vampire Slayer was named for him, so she's more-or-less a fictional relative.

Last edited by Prof. Pepperwinkle; 09-28-2016 at 01:01 PM.
  #39  
Old 09-28-2016, 01:21 PM
Lightray Lightray is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: St. Louis MO
Posts: 5,816
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir View Post
Lightray, Gen. Stoneman is also mentioned in the lyrics of The Band's "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down":
I actually went to the part of Georgia that Gen. Stoneman burned down on Sherman's March to the Sea. I had a brief moment of panic when they first question they asked me was "So, you a good ol' boy or are you a Yankee?

Apparently they'd finally forgotten some of the Civil War details by that point*, though, so I escaped unscathed. Guess I'm lucky they weren't fans of The Band.

* Except Sherman. They still took potshots at Sherman, even when the topic wasn't the Civil War.
  #40  
Old 09-28-2016, 01:27 PM
Cartoonacy Cartoonacy is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 1,520
I have a surname that's hard to tell how to pronounce when you read it, and hard to tell how to spell when you hear it. A friend of mine who's a comic book writer once used my name for a character, but he had to change the spelling to make it readable.
  #41  
Old 09-28-2016, 01:48 PM
Hilarity N. Suze Hilarity N. Suze is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Denver
Posts: 7,232
There is a character in one of Gillian Roberts's Amanda Pepper series who is reading one of MY books. But this is not a coincidence.
  #42  
Old 09-28-2016, 01:55 PM
Kimble Kimble is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 368
Once Marvel gets around to making an Alpha Flight movie, my first and last name namesake will become a lot more well-known. (I actually go by my middle name, though; I couldn't find anyone with that name.)
  #43  
Old 09-28-2016, 02:52 PM
wonky wonky is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: DC area
Posts: 29,398
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilarity N. Suze View Post
There is a character in one of Gillian Roberts's Amanda Pepper series who is reading one of MY books. But this is not a coincidence.
I love that series! How fun.
  #44  
Old 09-28-2016, 03:02 PM
Jennshark Jennshark is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Tren'un, NJ
Posts: 2,523
Not a fictional character, but I was named after the actress Jennifer Jones.

My last name is very common amongst Ashkenazi Jews, but we're Scots/Irish/Dutch.
  #45  
Old 09-28-2016, 03:20 PM
Teuton Teuton is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Plymouth, UK
Posts: 1,188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennshark View Post
Not a fictional character, but I was named after the actress Jennifer Jones.
Jennifer Jones?


The main character in Quadrophenia has the same name as me. It's a couple of years younger than me, too, so I wasn't named after him.
  #46  
Old 09-28-2016, 04:18 PM
Sassy Sassy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Where little cable cars..
Posts: 1,261
My last name in uncommon in the US and not very common in Ireland (from which it comes.) I was quite unreasonably delighted to have it show up with a minor character / witness in a Perry Mason novel
  #47  
Old 09-28-2016, 05:51 PM
Ethilrist Ethilrist is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Saint Paul
Posts: 26,197
My first name used to be exceedingly rare; I was 35 before I met someone else with the name. He was a little kid who ran into my cubicle on Take your Rugrat to Work Day, wearing a nametag that said "Hi, My Name is [Your Name]". Since then, I've met a few more and heard a lot more in fiction; it's become a quirky name to name nerds with walk-on parts in TV and movies.

Last name is fairly commonly used; the only fictional one I know for sure is a character with my last name (and the first name of a woman I know) who was included into one of the Champions comics when Steve Perrin was writing them; we all gamed together.

Real world, there was a guy with my exact first/last name who got a town named after him in Texas, and a recent Secretary of State had my first name, although he pronounced it wrong. He's probably to blame for it becoming more popular...

And, there's an NPC in Glorantha named Ethilrist. Never heard the name or played the game before I picked this for my user name.
  #48  
Old 09-28-2016, 09:32 PM
Ukulele Ike Ukulele Ike is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 15,241
...wearing a name tag that said "My Name is [Your Name]"...

Oooooooo! The very next time I have to wear a name tag THAT is what I'm going to write on it!

And then I'll walk around acting like the Robert Blake character in Lost Highway!
  #49  
Old 09-30-2016, 09:02 AM
Gedd Gedd is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 1,706
My last name is actually more common as a first name, but even then quite rare. I most recently found a cartoon character with it.

I do know of some fictional fools, criminals, and womanizers with my first name.
  #50  
Old 09-30-2016, 09:35 AM
bibliophage bibliophage is online now
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Maine
Posts: 10,192
I have a very unusual last name that I have never seen used as the name of a fictional character. However I have a long-dead very distant relative with the same last name who was somewhat famous but isn't exactly a household name these days. I have read his name in several nonfiction books, and he has even been mentioned, in passing, in a couple of fictional works.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:22 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2017 Sun-Times Media, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017