What’s in a name? Naming characters is, I think, one of the most difficult tasks faced by writers. You want the name to reflect their personality in some way. Can a name even do that? I don’t know, but we sure think it can.
Even more than given names, I love nicknames. One of my favorite aspects of Wolverine (at least in X-Men: Evolution) is that he has a nickname for almost everyone. And sometimes nicknames characters get are just ridiculous.
5. Cockroach, The Cosby Show
Cockroach is Theo’s best friend throughout high school, appearing in several episodes. Surprisingly, he is a worse student that Theo. He is Theo’s partner in crime. When they’re not goofing off, their writing raps for school projects, which I suppose, could be considered goofing off, too.
I want to know not only how he got that nickname, but how he makes it through school with a name like that.
4. Worm, Rounders
Ed Norton plays Worm opposite Matt Damon’s Mike McDermott in this poker cult hit. And, unlike Cockroach, we don’t have to make any assumptions about how Worm got his name. He is a worm. Not only does he cheat at poker games in order to make money, but he constantly takes advantage of Mike’s kindness. They should call him “Leech.”
He sabotages Mike so many times while Mike is trying to help him that I wanted to strangle him. He’s great at what he does, but he’s a horrible human being.
3. The Briefs Family, Dragon Ball/Z/GT
It’s no secret that the Dragon Ball universe plays with names. All of the Saiyans are named for vegetables. Mr. Satan’s (Hercule) daughter is named Videl, which is an anagram for “devil.” There are more, but my favorite is definitely the Briefs family.
They’re all named for undergarments. “Briefs” is self-explanatory. “Bulma” means bloomers, a type of women’s underwear. And we all know what “Trunks” and “Bra” mean. These are wonderful, horrible names—especially for children.
2. Seaman, YuYu Hakusho
Seaman is one of the Sensui Seven, a group of seven psychics whom Sensui uses to fight Yusuke and help open the Makai Barrier that separates the human world from the demon plane. Seaman is a confused young man who has been manipulated by Sensui.
Convinced that human beings are horrible creatures, Seaman teams up with Sensui to bring about the destruction of mankind. His name is derived from his ability to manipulate water and create monsters from water.
In my immaturity, I find his name hilarious. I would have called him something else. Like WaterBoy or something.
1. Boner, Growing Pains
Boner was the Cockroach to Kirk Cameron’s Theo. Easily the best sentence I’ve ever written. He helped Kirk’s character Mike get into trouble. There’s not a whole lot else I can say about Boner.
Now, I understand that boner didn’t always mean what it is widely accepted to mean now. A boner used to be a stupid mistake and not a, well, you know, boner. And that makes sense for the character.
But it’s still hilarious that there was a character named Boner on a show with Kirk Cameron, especially after Cameron’s conversion to Christianity that saw him rid the show of sexual innuendo and an actress who once posed for Playboy.