Popular Culture Names

These names occur primarily in popular culture and entertainment. They are not commonly given to real people.
gender
usage
Aang 安昂 m Popular Culture
The hero of the American animated television series Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005-2008). When his name is shown in written form, it is composed of the Chinese characters (ān) meaning "peace, quiet" and (áng) meaning "raise, lift".
Anakin m Popular Culture
Meaning unknown. This is the name of a character (also known as Darth Vader) in the Star Wars movie saga, created by George Lucas. Lucas may have based it on the surname of his friend and fellow director Ken Annakin.
Asterix m Popular Culture
The name of a Gaulish hero (Astérix in the original French) in a comic book series of the same name, debuting 1959. His name is a pun based on French astérisque meaning "asterisk, little star" but appearing to end with the Gaulish element rix meaning "king" (seen for example in the historical figure Vercingetorix). All male Gauls in the series have humorous names ending with -iks.
Beavis m Popular Culture
Variant of Bevis. This name was used in the animated television program Beavis and Butthead.
Beetlejuice m Popular Culture
Variant of Betelgeuse used for the title character of the movie Beetlejuice (1988), about an obnoxious ghost who is commissioned to scare a family out of their new house. The character's name is spelled Betelgeuse in the credits, though in other media it appears as Beetlejuice.
Castiel m Judeo-Christian-Islamic Legend, Popular Culture
Possibly a variant of Cassiel. It is the name of an angel in the grimoire the Heptameron, a work that is sometimes (probably incorrectly) attributed to the 13th-century philosopher Pietro d'Abano. It is also the name of a character (an angel) on the American television series Supernatural (2005-2020). The creator Eric Kripke chose it after an internet search revealed that Castiel was an angel associated with Thursdays, the day the show aired.
Dilbert m Popular Culture
Meaning unknown. The second element is probably intended to be from Germanic beraht "bright". This is the title character in a comic strip by Scott Adams.
Draven m Popular Culture
From a surname (of unknown meaning) that was used in the movie The Crow (1994).
Elora f Popular Culture
Possibly an invented name. This is the name of an infant girl in the fantasy movie Willow (1988).
Fester m Popular Culture
From the English word fester meaning "rot, rankle". This is the name of the uncle on the Addams Family television series (1964-1966) and subsequent adaptations. The character was created by the cartoonist Charles Addams in the 1930s, though he was not named.
Frankenstein m Popular Culture
From the surname Frankenstein, used by Mary Shelley in her 1818 novel of the same name for the scientist Victor Frankenstein. The monster that Frankenstein created, which has no name in the novel, is sometimes called Frankenstein in modern speech, as if it were his given name.
Furiosa f Popular Culture
Means "full of rage, furious" in Latin. This is the name of a warrior who turns against the evil Immortan Joe in the movie Mad Max: Fury Road (2015).
Godzilla ゴジラ m Popular Culture
From Japanese ゴジラ (Gojira), a blend of ゴリラ (gorira) meaning "gorilla" and (kujira) meaning "whale". This is the name of a massive reptilian monster from a series of Japanese movies, starting 1954.
Gojira ゴジラ m Popular Culture
Japanese form of Godzilla.
Goku 悟空 m Literature, Popular Culture
Japanese calque of Wukong, referring to the Monkey King. Starting in 1984 it was used by Akira Toriyama for the hero in the Dragon Ball manga, and subsequently in several animated television series and video games.
Indy 1 m Popular Culture
Diminutive of Indiana. This is the nickname of the hero of the Indiana Jones movies, starring Harrison Ford.
Jareth m Popular Culture
Invented name, probably inspired by names such as Jared and Gareth. This is the name of the Goblin King, played by David Bowie, in the movie Labyrinth (1986).
Jor-El m Popular Culture
Created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in 1936 for a minor character comic book character. Originally spelled Jor-L, the name was reused (or the character was repurposed) for that of Superman's father in 1939. The spelling was changed to Jor-el and then Jor-El in the 1940s. His son Superman's birth name is Kal-El.
Kal-El m Popular Culture, English (Modern)
Created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in 1938 as the birth name of the comic book hero Superman, who came from the distant planet Krypton. The original spelling Kal-L was changed to Kal-El in the 1940s. Some have theorized that El is inspired by the common Hebrew name element אֵל ('el) meaning "God". Although Siegel and Shuster were Jewish, there is no evidence that they had this connection in mind, and it seems possible they simply made it up. Superman's other name, Clark Kent, was given to him by his adoptive parents.... [more]
Kratos Κράτος m Greek Mythology, Popular Culture
Means "power, strength" in Greek. In Greek mythology this is the name of one of the children of Styx and Pallas.... [more]
Kylo m Popular Culture
Meaning unexplained. This is the name of the villain, Kylo Ren, in the Star Wars movie sequels, starting with the The Force Awakens in 2015. Originally named Ben Solo, he is the son of Han Solo and Leia Skywalker. His name might simply be formed from the ky of Skywalker and the lo of Solo.
Leia Λεία f Biblical Greek, Portuguese, Popular Culture
Form of Leah used in the Greek Old Testament, as well as a Portuguese form. This is the name of a princess in the Star Wars movies by George Lucas, who probably based it on Leah.
Maleficent f Popular Culture
From an English word meaning "harmful, evil", derived from Latin maleficens. This is the name of the villain in the animated Disney film Sleeping Beauty (1959).
Mazikeen f Popular Culture
From Hebrew מַזִּיקִין (mazziqin) meaning "damagers, harmful spirits", derived from מַזִּיק (mazziq) meaning "damaging". As a given name it is borne by a companion of Lucifer in the comic book series Lucifer, as well as on the 2016-2021 television adaptation.
Merida f Popular Culture
The name of the main character in the Disney/Pixar movie Brave (2012) about a medieval Scottish princess. The meaning of her name is unexplained, though it could be based on the Spanish city of Mérida, derived from Latin Emerita Augusta meaning "veterans of Augustus", so named because it was founded by the emperor Augustus as a colony for his veterans.
Morticia f Popular Culture
From the American English word mortician meaning "undertaker, funeral director", ultimately derived from Latin mortis meaning "death". This name was created for the mother on the Addams Family television series (1964-1966). She was based on an unnamed recurring character in cartoons by Charles Addams, starting 1938.
Murron f Popular Culture
Used in the 1995 movie Braveheart for William Wallace's wife, who is murdered early in the film. In reality, Wallace may have been married to a woman named Marion.
Nala 2 f Popular Culture
The name of a lion in the animated movie The Lion King (1994). Though many sources claim it means "gift" or "beloved" in Swahili, it does not appear to have a meaning in that language.
Pikachu ピカチュウ m Popular Culture
From Japanese ピカチュウ (Pikachuu), derived from the onomatopoeic words ピカピカ (pikapika), a sparkly sound, and チュウチュウ (chuuchuu), a mouse sound. This is the name of a Pokémon, a yellow rodent-like creature who can summon electricity, from a series of video games starting 1996. This is technically the name of the species, though it is used as a given name for the creature in some contexts.
Popeye m Popular Culture
Created by Elzie Crisler Segar in 1929 for a sailor character in his comic strip Thimble Theatre, later renamed Popeye. He presumably based it on the English words pop and eye.
Sango f Popular Culture
Means "coral" in Japanese. This name is used in the Japanese comic book and television show InuYasha.
Sonic m Popular Culture
From the English word sonic meaning "related to sound", derived from Latin sonus meaning "sound". It also connotates speediness, or the speed of sound, due to words like supersonic or hypersonic. A notable fictional bearer is the speedy video game character Sonic the Hedgehog, introduced in 1991 by Sega. He is called ソニック (Sonikku) in Japan.
Spock m Popular Culture
The name of a half-Vulcan, half-human Starfleet officer on the Star Trek television series (1966-1969), later appearing in several movies. His name was invented by the writers, based on their rules that Vulcan names must start with an S and end with a k. In a 1985 tie-in novel his full name is said to be S'chn T'gai Spock (S'chn T'gai is the family name, since it is also borne by his father S'chn T'gai Sarek; this is despite the fact that he is often addressed as Mr. Spock by characters on the show).
T'Challa m Popular Culture
The real name of the superhero Black Panther from Marvel comic books, debuting in 1966. In a 2018 issue it was revealed that his name means "he who put the knife where it belonged" in the fictional Wakandan language.
Tintin m Popular Culture
Created by the Belgian cartoonist Hergé for the hero in his comic book series of the same name, debuting 1929. Hergé never explained why he chose the name.
Usagi f Popular Culture
Means "rabbit" in Japanese. This name was used on the Japanese television show Sailor Moon, which first aired in the 1990s.
Vesper m & f Roman Mythology, Popular Culture
Latin cognate of Hesperos. This name was used by the British author Ian Fleming for a female character, a love interest of James Bond, in his novel Casino Royale (1953). She also appears in the film adaptations of 1967 and 2006.
Wednesday f Popular Culture
From the name of the day of the week, which was derived from Old English wodnesdæg meaning "Woden's day". On the Addams Family television series (1964-1966) this was the name of the teenaged daughter, based on an earlier unnamed character in Charles Addams' cartoons. Her name was inspired by the popular nursery rhyme line Wednesday's child is full of woe.
Xena f Popular Culture
Probably a variant of Xenia. This was the name of the main character in the 1990s television series Xena: Warrior Princess.
Zorro m Literature, Popular Culture
Means "fox" in Spanish. This is the name of a masked vigilante created by writer Johnston McCulley in 1919 for a series of books, later adapted into movies and television.