Characters in novels with ridiculous names

Some writers of fiction are known for giving their characters extremely outlandish names.

Tom Wolfe’s novels feature people named Ray Peepgass, Wismer Stroock, Freddie Button, Fareek Fanon, Virgil Ziggefoos, and law firms with names like “Clockett, Padett, Skynnham and Glote”, “Dunning, Sponget and Leach” and “Curry, Goad and Pesterall.”

Cockpit by Steve Keshner features “Ahmed Slitherian” and “Bob Foreskeen”. The book is a “DocuNovel,” meaning that the events are real but some of the names are changed. I’m assuming those two were among them.

The Crying of Lot 49 has Oedipa Maas, Pierce Inverarity, Mike Fallopian and Genghis Cohen. (This has to be the winner, I would think.)

What are some other absolutely absurd names from literature?

I’m extremely fond of Snow Crash’s main character’s name : Hiro Protagonist. Spells things out nicely :slight_smile:

Charles Dickens was known for this. Here is a listing of some of them:

I recently was distracted reading an otherwise-good book because a character was named Jack Spratt. No reason, no allusions to nursery rhymes- just Jack Spratt Jr, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Spratt.

Major Major Major, Catch-22.

Peregrine Pickle from The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle

Cordwainer Smith was a master of this. He had character names like Go-Captain Alverez, Father Moontree, Captain Wow, Lady May, C’mell, Dolores Oh, Mother Hitton (and her Littul Kittons), Benjacoman Bozart, Lord Sto Odin, and Doctor Vomact.

Have to nominate P.G. Wodehouse, the creator of Gussie Fink-Nottle and Catsmeat Potter-Pirbright.

The protag in one of my favorite series of novels is named Atticus Kodiak. Love it.

I don’t know what his middle name is, but I hope it’s Winnipeg.

I never could get used to ‘Bigger’ in Native Son. Usually, no matter how bizarre a character name, I get used to it as I learn the character. Bigger never gelled for me, though. Just didn’t seem like a name at all.

Keith Laumer’s *Retief *stories abound with outlandishly-named characters, primarily the Ambassadors of the various missions. I can recall Ambassador Clawhammer, Ambassador Grossblunder, Ambassador Crapwell, Ambassador Longspoon, and Ambassador Sternwheeler.


The protagonist of one of the most famous works of American literature is named Huckleberry Finn.

Natty Bumpo was the hero of an immensely popular series of books by James Fenimore Cooper, although to be fair his “real” name was Nathaniel and he had several other nicknames.

I was going to mention Dickens, curse you.

One of Harry Turtledove’s Great War novels (either American Front or Walk in Hell) had a Canadian army officer named Pierre Lapin. Which is pretty ridiculous if you know a bit of French.

Open any Kurt Vonnegut novel to a random page.

Terry Pratchett is well known for giving his characters unusual names, although he has said you can find equally odd names in any local phone book. He’s also had a fair number of major characters with quite ordinary names like Susan, Sam Vimes, Fred Colon, and Agnes Nitt, but there’s also the likes of Magrat Garlick, Rincewind, Ponder Stibbons, Cheery Littlebottom, and Moist von Lipwig.

Not really ridiculous in-and-of-itself, but David Weber’s revolution-starting, people’s-committee-leading, noble-executing character Robert S. Pierre is a bit over the top. Honor Harrington is pretty silly, too.

Also, Pooh.

Anyone named “Humbert Humbert” was bound to have issues.

…and Mustrum Ridcully, and Havelock Vetinari, and Nobby Nobbs…

I hardly notice it now, but Hieronymous Bosch is a pretty ridiculous name for a cop (Michael Connelly’s series character).