Angela's English classes

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Character names which are nouns or verbs

The title of this entry has boldly invoked a myriad of names. A list that I do not attempt to fully complete as the number terms I am interested in clarifying is extremely scanty if we come to realize the overwhelming amount of them which exist in English. I would like to spark some people’s curiosity and let them notice the meaning of a few names may help in making learning vocabulary more memorable. Beginner students acquire a sense of enlightenment when they become aware of the “hidden” meaning of names they have heard so many times. Spanglish offers this opportunity with a couple of words, such as bisteck (beef steak) or wachiman (watchman). At high school I remember a friend of mine had noticed how Popeye is pronounced  in the Spanish-dubbed version – Po-p/ɛ/y-y/ɛ/;in contrast to the actual correct English pronunciation. The discovery cracked us up and we were a little offended by the change in pronunciation.   The following list is in alphabetical order.


A Jack is someone who does heavy jobs. Applejack from My Little Pony certainly joyously involves in work that demands great physical effort. Similarly, we have the term lumberjack – a person who transports timber, logged trees. Moreover, applejack is also an alcoholic drink made from apples. The character in the series makes and sells cider, too.

ALL the pony names in the series have meanings. However, I thought hers didn’t have a meaning that could be so easily elicited. Besides, from the more than 200 ponies, she is the most famous. List of ponies – Wikia

2. Buzz Lightyear and Woody:

The words buzz has a lot of meanings. For this character I think that as a verb to fly low and as a noun (informal) excited interest or attention are the meanings that best apply since he achieves flying and his arrival caused commotion among Andy’s toys. Woody the cowboy was a less modern, more old-fashiones style toy compared to the astronaut. He isn’t made of wood as far as I am concerned. I looked the name up and it appeared as a form of the male given name, Woodrow, at

3. Flounder:

This verb means to struggle clumsily or helplessly. Ariel, the little mermaid from Walt Disney, was accompanied by her insecure friend, Flounder. Unlike, the closeness to the verb,  he certainly differs from the fish with the same name which is a fish that has a flat body and swims on its side with both eyes on the upper side.

4. Flotsam and Jestsam:


Moray eel by duncan 88x31

    Disney’s Little Mermaid movie contains many characters with names to exploit. It also has several follow-ups with names that are worth taking in. Ursula, the half octopus sea witch, had two moray eel pets. Both character names are related to the shipwreck. Flotsam is the part of the wreckage of a ship and its cargo found floating on the water and jetsam refers to the floating objects that are thrown into the water from a ship to lighten it or regain stability. flotsam-426785_640 (1)   Flotsam by tawil88x31

5. Popeye:

Popeye always has one eye closed.  In colloquial language to be popeyed has two meanings- to have your eyes open in suprise or literally that an eye or both are protruding.

6. Scooby Doo and Shaggy:

"Scooby-gang-1969" by DVD frame capture taken by FuriousFreddy from Scooby-Doo's Original Mysteries DVD (Region 1). DVD copyright © 2000 Warner Home Video.. Licensed under Fair use of copyrighted material in the context of Scooby-Doo via Wikipedia

“Scooby-gang-1969” by DVD frame capture taken by FuriousFreddy from Scooby-Doo’s Original Mysteries DVD (Region 1). DVD copyright © 2000 Warner Home Video.. Licensed under Fair use of copyrighted material in the context of Scooby-Doo via Wikipedia

After doing some reseach on this one I finally found an appropriate deifnition in the online Collins Dictionary: I don’t have a scooby doo what you’re talking about Often shortened to:scooby. The scaredy dog is part of  Mystery, Inc. and he also involves in looking for clues. Shaggy his friend has long brown hair. His name is an adjective to describe a person or animal with long messy hair.

7. Splinter:


          Astillas de madera de fondo by Petr Kratochvil pdp-button-small

    The teenage mutant ninja turtles’ sensei is the wise mutant rat, Splinter. His origins vary across the original comic, series and movies. One of them is that he was formerly Hamato Yoshi, who mutated into a rat and was given the nickname due to his conspicuous ablity to break wooden boards. A splinter is a small, thin, sharp piece split or broken off from the main body.

8. Tinker Bell:

“TinkerbellDisney” by Disney Hadas (Disney Latino’s version of Disney Fairies) downloads section. Licensed under Fair use of copyrighted material in the context of Tinkerbell  via Wikipedia

In Peter Pan she would fly around him and spread her fairy dust. Afterwards, she obtained more protagonism starring her own movies where her name is better understood. A tinker is someone who travels and fixes metal ultensils. In addition, it is also used to designate a clumsy worker. Sadly, in Spanish her name was reduced to Campanita (Small Bell) and can’t be interpreted as in English.

9. Tom:

The male of various animals is called a tom. A tomcat is a male cat that hasn’t been castrated and consequenlty marks his territory and fights over females. You will remember how Tom from ‘Tom and Jerry” would ignore his sometimes mousefriend to court a female cat.

More on the name’s background: