What’s in a Name?

I’ve been thinking about names a lot lately. Names of fictional people, specifically. I typically put a great deal of thought into what I name the characters in my stuff. My (hopefully) soon-to-be-published novel, The End of Jimmy Ray Day, features some names I just love: Sam Sneed, ‘Big’ Bill Byrd, and, of course, the titular Jimmy Ray Day. Those names all ring to me and I think sound great. I’ve begun to wonder, though, if there’s a such thing as names that are too ridiculous—I mean so ludicrous that they take you out of what you’re watching or reading. Last week I posted about Ted Lasso, which is kind of a lame name. I’ve also been watching another show on Apple TV called Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet (still not sure how I feel about it), and they have a character named C.W. Longbottom. Pretty silly. But what, you may ask, started this train of thought? I have one word for you:

Bootyhole.

This gentleman is a character from the Amazon Prime show, Hunters. His name is Arthur “Bootyhole” McGuigan, but everyone just calls him Bootyhole. He never gets upset that he is called Bootyhole, it’s never explained why he’s called Bootyhole…he’s just Bootyhole. And for a show about hunting and killing Nazis (granted, with some comedic leanings), I found the name too damn dumb to let go. It took me right out of the show.

Maybe the writers of the show loved it because it made them laugh. Maybe there was a backstory to it that got cut out. Who knows? Doesn’t matter, I couldn’t take it. Also, I assume this is a mostly comedy issue. I doubt there are many dramas out there with completely ridiculous character names, although I’m sure there must be a few. What about you? Are there character names that are too dumb to bear? If you write, do you give any characters silly names? Tell me about your Bootyholes. 🙂

Published by Kenneth Jobe

Kenneth Jobe is a writer, photographer, musician, and Native Californian living in the Midwest with his wife and son. His fiction has been published in Jitter, The Rusty Nail, Ghostlight: The Magazine of Terror, and the horror anthology Robbed of Sleep, Volume 2. His debut novel, The End of Jimmy Ray Day, is being published by Literary Wanderlust, coming late 2021.

2 thoughts on “What’s in a Name?

  1. Longbottom is actually a fairly common name in England. When I lived there we had neighbours called Rossbottom. The “bottom” in these names is a reference to geographical features, not human anatomy. I do agree, though, that being called “Bootyhole” is not something most of us would appreciate.

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