I was looking for some good villain names the other day, and stumbled across an article I wrote in April 2014 (amazing what one forgets). I checked the analytics and found it to be one of the more popular articles I’d written, and worthy of a shameless reblog. It may not spark an evil nym for you, but it isn’t for lack candidates from the women of Roller Derby.
Everybody loves a good villain, even better, a good villain name. To find a villain name that over time becomes a trademark of evil, the very mention of which instills a chill, is every author’s dream. Hannibal Lector, Darth Vader, Count Dracula, Cruella De Vil, Freddy Kruegar, Dr. Doom, Adolf Hitler – to name but a very few. Marvel and DC comics popularized pseudonyms to associate functional similarities like, Magneto, Dr. Octopus, Mystique, Joker, or Blackheart.
For me, the most inventive process of nomenclature for faux villains are pseudonyms used by Roller Derby girls with altered famous names, such as aptronyms – a name that matches the occupation of its owner, or charactonyms – a name suggesting a distinctive trait.
Everyone has his or her favorite name play-on-words. Rusty Bucket, Crisp E. Bacon, Solomon I. Lands, Dee Lyn Quint. One of my favorite primary school jokes of a fake library book: 50 Steps to the Outhouse, by Willy Makit; Illustrated by Betty Wont. Sophomoric for sure, but we loved it. Example of an aptronym could be Sally Blizzard – Meterologist, or an auto salesman with the name, Henry Ford Carr. Charactonym examples are more common, like Mistress Quickly, Dr. Horrible, or the famous Long John Silver.
Leave it to a once obscure sport to reset the bar on villainous name selection. If you’ve never watched women’s Roller Derby, you’ve been deprived. A main stay for us kids kept indoors on a midwinter Saturday afternoon when television had only four channels, it’s like speed skating with the aggressiveness of hockey and pro-wrestling. What makes the game even more fun is the cornucopia of pseudonyms used by the players.
With player names like Bruise Almighty, GoreJess, and Amelia Dareheart, what better place is there to mine for unique villainous names? Harley Quinn might be mentally imbalanced, and Dr. Doom might be one of Marvel’s top villains, but Mariah Scary could be the start of a whole new genre.
Until Drew Barrymore’s movie, Whip It, came out in 2009, roller derby had almost become a forgotten footnote of American sports. With names like Smashley Simpson, Babe Ruthless, and Bloody Holly, the movie Whip It reintroduced America to teams like the Hissy Fits, Traverse City Toxic Cherries, Detroit Pistoffs, Eves of Destruction, Murder City Kitties, Left Hook Honeys, Kappa Jamma Slamma, Arkansas Killbillies, Glamazons, Sadistic Sweethearts, and the Trust Fund Terrors. Cruella De Vil has nothing on these dangerous dudettes.
These are women who you don’t want to piss off, and they’re always looking for new blood, pun very much intended.
Courtesy of Buzzfeed, here’s a few names that had me smiling.
Vladimir Naboobkov, Wuthering Frights, Dora the Destroyer, Wolf Blitzher, Wikibleedia, Whoremione Granger, Whistler Smother, Susan B. Agony, Wench Press, Vulva Las Vegas, Velveteen Rabid, Uma Vermin, Tart of Darkness, Artillery Clinton, Skank Williams, Doris Day of Reckoning, Shirley Temple of Doom, Nasty Pelosi, Katniss EverMean, Naomi Cannibal, Kancer, Sigourney Reaper, Toe-Knee Soprano, Addy Rawl, Snot Rocket Science, Raw Heidi, and The Dalai Harmer
You might be inspired to create your own.
You’re about to enter the rink. The crowd is calling for blood.
What’s your evil name?
I’m thinking of Death E. Dahmer.