sábado, 24 de setembro de 2011

Names In Spotlight: Evil Girl Names

If there's one theme I prefer girl names over boy names, it's evil names. Not only in literature and mythology, but also in movies and TV series, girls just have the more interesting names. While a lot of them are pretty common names, such as Katherine [Vampire Diaries], Carrie [Carrie], Victoria [Twilight], Kali [Hinduism], Faith [Buffy The Vampire Slayer] or Regan [The Exorcist], there are some that are either really rare, or that have gone out of usage in many years.

Below are some uncommon evil names used in cinema and TV. Not necessarily evil in origin or meaning, but because they were used on evil characters.

Morticia [Addams Family]
Wednesday [Addams Family]

Everyone has seen or at least heard about "The Addams Family". They were at their most normal, an unconventional family, who reveled in anything evil or painful. Morticia, the mother, and Wednesday, the daughter, were both very elegant with a gothic appearance, and like the rest of the family had an obsession with the macabre. Morticia and Wednesday have never made the SSA ranking, and probably never will. The first one because it's a mouthful and heavily associated with the character, and the second one because days of the week as first names never caught on.

Rhoda [The Bad Seed]

In this movie, Rhoda was a sociopathic girl who inherited her evil predisposition from her grandmother. She is highly selfish, and kills anyone who gets in her way of getting whatever she wants. This was probably the first "evil little girl" portrayal, inspiring many others to use a child as the ultimate evil. Rhoda was a semi-popular name in the first half of the 20th century, but hasn't been seen since 1975. I personally don't think it fits in with today's naming trends, so it's absence will probably continue for a while longer.

Alessa [Silent Hill]
Dahlia [Silent Hill]

"Silent Hill" is a horror video game series, that is critically acclaimed for it's intricate storylines, well developed characters, and sinister visuals and sounds. The perfect horror game. In several of these games, Alessa is the child that influeces the world you see around you. She transforms her nightmares into reality, making you fight all sorts of evil beings along the way. Alessa however is more of a victim though, since she was abused and tortured as a child by her evil mother, making her a lot more sympathetic. The game was turned into a movie, which changed the story slightly, but Alessa remained a dark character with enormous power, and a thirst for vengeance for those that did her wrong. The name Alessa is obviously a nickname, although it stands well on it's own as an elegant name. It has never charted in the SSA ranking, even with italian names being all the rage lately. I definitely think it fits in with other names, especially since the similar Alyssa is still really popular.

 Dahlia in the game was Alessa's mother, a religious lunatic that wanted her daughter to be the one to give birth to an demonic creature. She burned Alessa, but kept her alive in a bed for years to cause her enormous pain, which was the type of stimulus the evil spawn needed to grow inside of her. In the movies however, Dahlia's character was changed dramatically, and instead she was more of a misunderstood mother rather than an evil psycho. Dahlia had never charted in the SSA ranking, until these last few years. It has been climbing steadily, although still pretty uncommon. The movie probably helped, along with others such as "The Black Dahlia". It's the type of name that is pretty, since it's a flower, but also dark sounding at the same time. It's a combination that works for me.

Drusilla [Buffy The Vampire Slayer]

Drusilla was a shy girl with psychic powers that slowly transformed into a depraved evil vampire, becoming a sort of sexual predator, who killed mostly weak people and children. In Drusilla's defense, she had all her family murdered, most likely in front of her, at a time she was scared of her powers and in a fragile state of mind. Drusilla is another extremely rare name, having only cracked the top1000 a few times, but never higher than #824. Personally, I don't think this name is ready for it's time to shine, the -ella names have all the spotlight for now.

Samara [The Ring]

Samara, was a girl with mental powers, who drove her mother crazy by conjuring hallucinations in her mind, and lead several horses to their death because they wouldn't let her sleep. Creepily though, she never actually slept. Her mother eventually dumped her in a well, where she tried to escape several times but ended up dying. Her spirit however lived on, and her zombie-like corpse emerged whenever anyone would see a very peculiar video tape. Even though she was a very dark character, parents across America actually found her oddly sympathetic, maybe because of her tragic death, or her lonely life when alive. The name Samara soared after the movie release, but has been going downhill for the last few years, sitting currently at #606. I personally think it's a gorgeous name, and would love to see it higher.

Juri [Street Fighter]

"Street Fighter" is probably the most well known fighting game series of all time. Juri was a character created for the latest installment. She is an evil south korean woman, who wears a Joker like costume,has a spooky purple glass eye, and possesses powerful fighting abilities. She works for an evil corporation and basically fights off the good guys of the game. The name itself would easily fit in with other popular names such as Julie and Tori, but it's lack of exposure outside of the franchise is probably what's keeping it from charting in the SSA ranking.

Cruella [Cruella De'Vil]

One of the most famous fictional villains, has to be Cruella. And if you think her first name isn't an indication of her dark nature, then her last name should be a no brainer. She's a snotty, pampered heiress that has a fetish for fur. She desperately wants a mink made out of dalmation puppies, and elaborates all sorts of plans to get them at any cost. Unsurprisingly, the name never registered in the rankings, and probably never will. This will be one of the few -ella names that will always remain unappealing to parents.

Lilith [Supernatural]

In a show that evolved into a story about angels and demons, God and the Devil, it's no surprise that a character named Lilith would pop up eventually. The Lilith in this series follows certain mythological views, in which she is a blood thirsty demon that preys upon babies. She only inhabits bodies of little girls, making it all even more eerie. The name Lilith fits in perfectly with todays popular choices of Lily and Lillian, and the fact is, the name debuted for the first time in 2010. Maybe the evil association is finally fading away.

Morgana [Merlin]
Morgause [Merlin]

"Merlin" is a british TV series that is based on the Arthurian legend of the wizard Merlin / Emrys, but retells the story in it's own way. In the show, Morgana and Morgause are sisters, who happen to be sorceresses. Morgause is the eldest sister, in complete control of her powers and acts with dubious intentions, manipulating her sibling to bid her doing. Morgana on the other hand started off as an innocent women who was scared of her powers, didn't quite understand them, and therefore felt lonely and abandoned because of them.

Morgause came to her Morgana's support, teachng her about magic, but rubbed off her evil ways on her. Morgana eventually becomes extremely powerful and more and more secure of her abilities, but also more sinister, as she goes against former friends and family to reach her goal of getting to the throne.

Both names have never appeared on the SSA ranking to my surprise. Unfortunately, Morgana has been completely overshadowed by the more masculine and less atractive Morgan, and Morgause probably is too out there for most parents, and might cause pronounciation issues.

Ursula [The Little Mermaid]

One of the most recognised Disney villains is Ursula, the sea witch. She's a powerful octupus-like creature who comes up with all sorts of evil plans to become the sea ruler, manipulating everyone who she comes across. The name Ursula was never too popular, having ranked in the bottom half of the top 1000 until it's exit in the 1983, even before the "Little Mermaid" became it's kiss of death in the 90s. U- names are extremely rare for both boys and girls, and there doesn't seem to be a new trend that could revive them. For now, I'm calling this name extinct.

Mythology and Biblical names also spurred some interesting choices, so check these uncommon options out:

Persephone - She became ruler of the underworld when she married Hades. It's probably too elaborated to ever chart, even though I personally find it appealing. Penelope is a more usable alternative.

Pandora - She was sent to earth as a punishment to man. She carried a box containing all human illnesses, which were unleashed when she opened it. The name only appeared once in the SSA ranking, in 1952. The name is so intrinsecally linked with mythology, that I can't see it ever becoming popular.

Eris - She was the greek goddess of grief and discord.  Probably not the best association with a name, but I do think it's image hasn't been tarnished too much. I can picture little Eris' running around with the Ella's and Emily's of today. The name is uber rare, having charted only in 1923 and 1924. Surely a comeback is due, right?

Jezebel - The wife of Ahab (and Israeli king), who was notorious for her evil and vicious actions. Her use of makeup before her death also lead to her association with prostitutes. With that kind of history behind it, Jezebel has never ranked in the girls chart, and it's very likely that it ever will. A shame, as I find it quite pretty.

Nemesis - In greek mythology, she was the spirit of divine retribution. She was personified as the goddess of revenge. This name has never appeared in the SSA chart, and it's not exactly the type of names parents are drooling over these days. File this one under unusable.

Hope you enjoyed the little background of evil female names and characters. Do you like a few of these names? Do you see some of them becoming popular? Share your thoughts with me.

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