15 Dickens Characters With Really Silly Names

M@
By M@ Last edited 14 months ago
15 Dickens Characters With Really Silly Names

The recent series of Dickensian brought to life many of Charles Dickens's more colourful characters. The novelist delighted in peculiar names, which often reflect their owner's characteristics, like Mr Bumble or Thomas Gradgrind.

Here are some of our favourites, drawing on one character from each of the 15 novels.

  • Serjeant Buzfuz (Pickwick Papers — sounds like personal grooming product from Remington)
  • Master Bates (Oliver Twist — the character's full name is Charley, but Dickens delights in calling him Master Bates)
  • Wackford Squeers (Nicholas Nickleby — a nasty school master, fond of whacking pupils)
  • Dick Swiveller (The Old Curiosity Shop — look out for the bit in chapter 7, where he 'with difficulty ejaculated')
  • Simon Tappertit (Barnaby Rudge — the titular character has a strange enough appellation, but Simon gets the nod for his slightly rude surname)
  • Charity Pecksniff (Martin Chuzzlewit — it should be noted that almost everyone in this novel has a silly name.)
  • Rev Melchisedech Howler (Dombey and Son — not the best of novels, and also a little fallow for peculiar names)
  • Uriah Heep (David Copperfield — a well-known character who gave his ridiculous name to a band)
  • Woolwich Bagnet (Bleak House — brother of Malta and Quebec, after their birthplaces)
  • Mr M'Choakumchild (Hard Times — the stupidest name in the whole of Dickens. He's a school master, obviously)
  • Decimus Tite Barnacle (Little Dorrit — or we could have chosen Tudor Stiltstalking)
  • Jarvis Lorry (A Tale of Two Cities — one of the more sombre novels, where silly names are scarce)
  • Uncle Pumblechook (Great Expectations — a classic Dickensian mouthful)
  • Pleasant Riderhood (Our Mutual Friend — surely a future Bond girl)
  • Hiram Grewgious (Edwin Drood — not sure if it's deliberate, but this weird name is an anagram of 'Gregarious Whim')

Dozens of other names could have been listed. Feel free to share your favourites in the comments.

See also: the filthiest quotes from Charles Dickens's novels.

Last Updated 02 October 2017