The Best Bizarre Fictional Names

by Hope Hanson
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Hello again, and I’m back with another Top 5 Wednesday post for you! This prompt had me so excited when I first saw it and coming up with this list definitely made for a great time. I mean, come on. The best bizarre fictional names? It’s great!

If you read sci-fi or fantasy books, you’ve probably come across a name where you just stop and stare at it. How the heck do you pronounce that?? For this week’s T5W, what are the top five most confusing or unpronounceable names you’ve come across in your reading?

(This month’s prompts were provided and posted by Alex (The Scribe Owl). Top 5 Wednesday was created by GingerReadsLainey.)

It wasn’t easy to not make this list entirely made up of names from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. But I managed, and I hope you’ll find some entertainment in the selections I made! And if you want more, feel free to check out last week’s post here!

#5: Inej Ghafa (from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo)

Obviously, this one isn’t actually difficult. No, this is more embarrassing. But, hey, if I can’t laugh at my own failures, then what’s the point? Anyway, I genuinely struggle so hard to pronounce the ending of Inej’s name. I understand how, in theory, and it sounds right in my head, but my tongue refuses to cooperate.

Find it here!

#4: Aelin Galathynius (from Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas)

I don’t know why, but my brain refuses to pronounce Galathynius correctly. I always automatically go to saying “Galanthus.” It’s obnoxiously frustrating, but I can’t seem to fix it. Plus, I do not have the patience to take it slow with the pronunciation while I’m reading, so I’ve effectively admitted defeat. Apologies in advance to SJM if I ever attend a book signing or the like; it’s just to ingrained in my mind now!

Additionally, the question of whether Celaena was a hard or soft C haunted me all throughout the first Throne of Glass book. So, there’s that, too.

Find it here!

#3: Curufinwë aka Fëanor (from The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien)

I’ve said it a billion times before and I’ll say it another billion in the future: I love anything and everything Tolkien. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t struggle with some of the names, at first! A lot of the most difficult ones can be found in The Silmarillion. Although there are a number of others I couldn’t wrap my head around at first glance, Curufinwë was definitely one of the most mind-boggling.

Though, to be frank, although a lot of Tolkien names might not seem difficult to pronounce, there are many that aren’t pronounced as expected.

Find it here!

#2: Väinämöinen (from the Kalevala, compiled by Elias Lönnrot)

Clearly, you can, in fact, have too many umlauts. The first time I read this name, my mind went blank. Seriously, I couldn’t wrap my head around it. Normally, I can sound out a difficult name in my brain, even if I can’t get my tongue to work properly. But not this one. Obviously, that’s because it’s Finnish, a language I have zero experience with and definitely cannot speak, but still. The struggle was real with this one.

Though, difficult names aside, I do highly recommend the Kalevala! It’s a compilation of Finnish folktales and myths, and it’s incredibly interesting. But it is an epic poem, so don’t read it if you won’t enjoy works like The Iliad or The Divine Comedy!

Find it here, or read it on!

#1: Half the names in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

I know, I know. I already mentioned before the wealth of bizarre names to be found in Adams’ masterpiece. Still, I’m putting all the strange and confusing names from these books at the top of the list. Not only are they truly bizarre, but they’re also endlessly entertaining. So, here’s a selection of some of my personal favorites:

  • Oolin Colluphid
  • Slartibartfast
  • Eccentrica Gallumbits
  • Agraja
  • Bowerick Wowbagger
  • A-Rth-Urp-Hil-Ipdenu

That last one is only mentioned, but still. It definitely takes the cake for being the most bizarre. Also, if you have yet to read Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide books, I highly recommend you do. Not only are the names superb, but I also guarantee that everything about these books will make you laugh!

Find it here!

So, those are what I think are the best bizarre fictional names. But I want to hear your favorites, too! What hysterically weird names have you come across in books? What names confounded you the most? Pop down to the comment section below and let everyone know!

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