FANDOM


WikEd fancyquotesQuotesBug-silkHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extensionPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifierAnalysisPhoto linkImage LinksHaiku-wide-iconHaikuLaconic

Want to make your character sound wealthy? Just give them a snobby rich kid name. This is for those names like Chase (or Chace), Blair, or in older programs Libby (which is a name more strongly associated with commoners now). For extra pretentiousness points, add a Roman numeral at the end to indicate that the name itself is a legacy. "The Third" seems to be the most popular. Girls may also be given traditional boys' names (such as Spencer or Blair).

For the Hispanic culture equivalent, note the constant use of the two first names, the emphasis in the last names (specially in countries where a Heroic Bastard one can have one, where more legitimate children have two), or for some ridiculousness, certain kinds of nicknames. Nicknames ending in "-ina" are popular to indicate a Rich Bitch of the airhead type.

In Germany, the phenomenon of upper class parents giving their offspring more conservative names like Emil, Cornelius or Viktoria has coined the term "Emilism" as opposed to "Kevinism", describing the tendency of lower class parents to give their children names unusual to German-speaking areas, especially English names like the aforementioned Kevin, Justin or Mandy.

Compare It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY", which overlaps with this sometimes when people intentionally mispronounce a name just to make it sound more classy. A trademark of the Upperclass Twit and Upper Class Wit.

Note, a name associated with upper class characters in one generation will often sound "common" in the next as working class mothers decide to name their children after characters in books or movies, members of the royal family etc. For example, James Bond married a very classy young woman called Theresa, known as Tracy. And she wasn't the only classy Tracy in films of that era either. Sharon was quite a "nice" name back then too. By the 80s? Not so much. By now, Sharon and Tracy will be working class mothers whose own children have names they considered classy when she chose them, only to discover that all the other Sharons and Tracies had chosen them for their urchins, too. (this specific example applies only to the UK; in the US people simply stopped using these two names so that "Sharon" among Baby Boomers and "Tracy" among Generation X are time-capsule names, linked far more strongly to generation than class.)

Royal names are another example of this latter phenomenon. In the late 19th Century there was a fashion for Victoria/Victor and Albert/Alberta in honour of the queen and her husband. By the time the first Steptoe and Son movie was made, 'Arold (Son) told Albert (Steptoe), with reference to the baby they had adopted, "Naw, we're no' callin' 'im Albert; 's common!"

Examples of Preppy Name include:


Anime and Manga

  • The English version of Tokyo Mew Mew gave us Corina Buxworth (aka Aizawa Minto).
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX had a bunch of these in Chazz Princeton, Atticus and Alexis Rhodes, and Syrus and Zane Truesdale.
    • Well the school pretty much is a prep school. Also present are Jaden Yuki, Blair Flannigan, Chumley Huffington, and Bastian Misawa

Comic Books

  • Warren Worthington III.
  • In The DCU, the closest thing Firestorm has to an archenemy is Danton Black, alias Multiplex.
  • In the Archie comics, there's Veronica Lodge.
  • While not canon, Watchmen fanon has invoked this trope on occasion with the suggestion that Ozymandias' full name is Adrian Werther Veidt III.

Film

 Duckie: His name is Blane? Oh! That's a major appliance, that's not a name!

  • Dissected and analysed in Freakonomics. In an interesting inversion, the girl's name Ashley reputedly devolved from a popular middle-class girl's name to a lower-class "Wal-Mart set" girl's name.
  • Devon Montgomery Johnston III from Cars, who is also simply known as DJ.
  • She's the Man has the twins Sebastian and Viola Hastings

Literature

  • Most characters in Gossip Girl.
  • Gilderoy Lockhart and Justin Finch-Fletchley, and possibly also Kingsley Shacklebolt and Neville Longbottom, in Harry Potter.
  • Dalton Campbell in The Sword of Truth.
  • Carson Flynn in the Mythology 101 Cycle, who is fairly rich (at least by college professor standards).
  • In the Pink Carnation series, Geoffrey Pinchingdale-Snipe, Sebastion Vaughn, and Reginald Fitzhugh.
  • Cotton Remington Weathington-Beech, and his school friends, in the Machine of Death story "Prison Knife Fight".
  • The pornographic novel The Oxford Girl is narrated (and nominally authored) by a character named Presley Abbott.

Live Action TV

  • Richard Woolsley III from Raising the Bar.
  • Flynn Carsen of The Librarian fame, though ironically he's not rich.
  • Leverage has a lot of fun playing with these when the team runs a con at a private school in "The Fairy Godparents Job". One of the kids' first names is Widmark.
    • Of course, considering the show is about white-collar crime the Villain of the Week will at least occasionally have a preppy name too.
      • And let's not forget the recurring villain, Sterling.
  • Barnabas Collins, Cyrus Longworth, Skyler Rumson and Bruno Hess from Dark Shadows.
  • Justified in Jeeves and Wooster (and the books they were based on).
  • Chase (his last name; his first name, rarely used, is Robert), from House, M.D.. Some of these names overlap with upper-class-sounding British names; with Chase it's both. He started as the Upperclass Twit but had a little character development making him a competent twit, much like Charles Emerson Winchester III from M*A*S*H.
  • Speaking of which, Charles Emerson Winchester III from M*A*S*H*.
  • Greenlee Smythe and Colby Chandler on All My Children. Both first names are their mothers' maiden names, which is a typical preppy naming convention.
  • Chatsworth Osbourne, Jr. from The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.
  • Charles Widmore from Lost who is a rich businessman thanks to the company he owns. Which is, of course, called Widmore Industries.
  • Thurston Howell III (Jim Backus) in Gilligan's Island.
  • Crispin from Skins. Just Crispin. Like Prince, Madonna, Cher, Lemar... only Crispin.
  • Wesley Wyndam-Pryce from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
    • Also Cordelia Chase.
  • Jackie Gleason character "Reginald van Gleason III" (note "the Third" yet again)
  • Audrey fforbes-Hamilton from To the Manor Born.
  • Addison Forbes Montgomery-Shepherd from Grey's Anatomy.
  • Harrison Chase from the Doctor Who episode The Seeds of Doom.
  • As explained in the trope description, this is a common occurrence in Hispanic telenovelas. Usually it is the male protagonist who is well off, and this means we wind up with a male lead called Ricardo Facundo (always, always called by both names) while the female lead is called María, Juana, or other ridiculously common names. This tendency has been parodied many, many times, often giving the parody protagonist an Overly Long Preppy Name.
    • One famous case of a female Preppy Name is "María Joaquina" from the telenovela Carrusel. She was never called just "María," ever.
    • Castilian Spanish conventions are different, and the pijo naming clichés tend to go along Araceli, Soraya or Cayetana for girls and Gonzalo, Rodrigo or Borja (Borjamari in terminal cases) for boys.
  • More than half the cast of Gossip Girl. Including some of the actual cast members, such as Chace Crawford, Blake Lively, Penn Badgeley and Leighton Meester. The cast is full of them.
    • This last one is funny, since her parents were actually small-time crooks from Texas (her mother was serving time for marijuana smuggling at the time of her birth), but her name would be completely at home in the New York City aristocracy, particularly given that her last name is Dutch (a large proportion of New York's oldest families are Dutch for historical reasons).
  • Blaine Anderson from Glee.
  • A good chunk of the kids from The Lying Game (Sutton Mercer, Laurel Mercer, Thayer Rybak etc.). The poorer characters have much more down to Earth names (Emma Becker, Ethan Whitehorse, Justin Miller etc.)
  • Pretty Little Liars includes Spencer Hastings, Aria Montgomery and Mona Vanderwal. Also the teacher Ezra Fitz
  • Jon Stewart's fond of playing with this when discussing GOP presidential hopeful Wilfred Mittington Romney the Third (to give a typical example).

Professional Wrestling

Radio

  • Hubert Updike III in The Alan Young Show, voiced by Jim Backus.

Real Life

  • Rupert Grint
  • The late Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. Amusingly, this was the opposite of upper-class when he was born: "Arthur" was still a fairly common name in 1917, and "Schlesinger" would have been seen as too ethnic--and particularly too Jewish[1]--to be truly upper-class in that era (during which Jews were not considered white, and Germans were for obvious reasons not well-trusted).
  • Engelbert Humperdinck (although it is not his birth name).
  • Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch
  • Poppy Petal Emma Elizabeth Deveraux Donahue, aka Poppy Montgomery.

Video Games

  • The Ace Attorney series brings us Richard Wellington and Wesley Stickler.
  • Most, if not all, of the preppies in Bully.
  • Slade Percy Benedict III from Wall Street Kid. See this playthrough.
  • Lord Montague "Monty" Basingstoke-Pratt IV from Kingdom of Loathing, a hero of the Frat Warriors. He drops an item that increases money gains.
  • Florian Phinaes Horatio Aldebrant, Esquire- otherwise known as Finn in Dragon Age Origins DLC Witch Hunt.
  • The Sims 2 has a pre-made sim named Francis J. Worthington III. He's obviously supposed to be a snobby rich kid.

Web Comic

Web Original

  • Orville Brand, Blair Duchess, Hadley Sharpe, Nelson Stickling and Tatum West on Honorable Hogwarts.
  • The idea behind Reginald Cuftbert's name in Spoiler Warning's Let's Play of Fallout 3. The original suggestion was Reginald Cuthbert, but something was lost in translation.
  • SOTF-TV: A good portion of the kids in Silver Dragon Academy have this sort of name. Examples include Mae St. Clair, Leopold Sutherland, Bob Lazenby, and Renée Carlson.

Western Animation

  • Remy Buxaplenty from The Fairly Odd Parents.
  • The real name of Cave Guy from Freakazoid, whose voice is apparently based on Thurston Howell III, is Royce Mumphry.
  • The students at Morningwood Academy in Family Guy, including James Williams Bottomtooth IV and Rogers Chapstick, heir to the Chapstick fortune.
    • All of the employees at the New Yorker, as well: Wellesley Shepherdson, Fielding Wellingtonsworth, Livingston Winstofford, Amelia Bedford Furthington Chesterhill, and James William Bottomtooth III.
  • Theodore "Tobey" MacCallister III. My, but isn't that a mouthful?
  • Trevor Noseworthy IV from James Bond Jr..
  • From Total Drama, Cody Emmett Jameson-Anderson.
  • Bradley Uppercrust III from An Extremely Goofy Movie

Notes

  1. Although Schlesinger was not himself Jewish, his paternal grandfather was a Jew from Prussia
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.