Real-life people with Dickensian names

Somewhat brain-fried at the moment, so here’s the beginnings of a list I started keeping off to the side after marking the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens.

“Dickensian” names is a bit of a slippery category — something to do with meter, with allusions to King James or Victorian English, and with a delightful mix of concrete nouns and sheer whimsy. The standard I’m using here is extremely subjective — can I imagine a character in a Dickens story having that name?

Anyway, I’m not sure if all of the following names quite qualify as “Dickensian,” so please feel free to call for the removal of any names you think don’t belong. But more importantly, please feel free to suggest more names and to add to this only-just-beginning list:

  • Powers Boothe
  • Smedley Butler
  • Wiley Drake
  • Prudence Farrow
  • Rollie Fingers
  • Calista Flockhart
  • Orel Hershhiser
  • Phineas Hitchcock
  • Englebert Humperdink
  • Adoniram Judson
  • Winston Justice
  • Thaddeus Luckinbill
  • Aimee Semple McPherson
  • Stirling Mortlock
  • Thurman Munson
  • John Pertwee
  • Miles Poindexter
  • Phineas Quimby
  • Basil Rathbone
  • Orville Redenbacher
  • Branch Rickey
  • Patience Drake Roggensack
  • Rousas Rushdoony
  • Percy Sledge
  • Heathcliff Slocumb
  • Charity Wakefield


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  • The Death family in the Southern states of the U.S. have always been emphatic that their name should be pronounced “Day-arth.”

    Then, there’s the old Two Ronnies sketch in which Ronnie Corbett tries alternative pronunciations of Ronnie Barker’s Dr. Death, only to have the Doctor say, “No, it’s Death.”

  • WDL

    Christopher and Pepperjack, just now seeing both of your responses to my comments about the surname Death.  Fascinating information from each of you.  

    That fine old surname seems rather to have died out, for some reason, don’t you find?