10 Dickensian Character Names Deciphered

This article was in a recent edition of Literary Hub and it made me wonder if Charles Dickens was writing today, would Donald Trump be one of his characters? From Mr. Pumblechook to Mr. Pecksniff, the Meaning Behind the Monikers

  By Bryan Kozlowski

You have to love Charles Dickens’ knack for naming characters. Who else could have come up with monikers like Mr. Sweedlepipe, Honeythunder, Pumblechook, and Squeers? And who, but Dickens, could make each name fit so well, like a tight literary glove, onto each character’s unique personality (of course Scrooge is a miser, could a scrooge be anything else?)

It was a talent that has kept readers chuckling for nearly two centuries. But time has left us modern, neo-Dickensians with a major disadvantage. We don’t see things in those names that Victorian readers would have easily picked up on, hidden 19th-century slang that would tell us something new (and often funny) about each character’s makeup. In short, we miss the brilliance of many Dickensian names because we rarely look beyond their appearance and sound. To redress that, here’s a look at ten of Dickens’ most beloved characters and what their names really mean.

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