Deceitful Names Their Meanings and Origins

Have you ever wondered about the meaning behind names that convey deceit and treachery? From ancient mythology to modern pop culture, these names have been used to depict characters who are cunning, sneaky, or even downright villainous. In this article, we’ll explore the origins and meanings of some of these deceitful names.

Who Are These Deceitful Characters?

Deceitful names have been used in literature, mythology, and popular culture to describe characters who are known for their cunning and sly nature. Here are some examples:

  • Loki: The Norse god of mischief and trickery. He is often portrayed as a shape-shifter and a master of deception.
  • Iago: A character in Shakespeare’s play Othello who plots against the protagonist and manipulates those around him.
  • Delilah: A biblical figure who tricks Samson into revealing the secret of his strength.
  • Ursula: The sea witch in Disney’s The Little Mermaid who tricks Ariel into giving up her voice.

What Do These Names Mean?

Names that convey deceit often have meanings related to trickery, deception, or betrayal. Here are some examples:

  • Dolos: A Greek name meaning “deceit” or “trickery”. In Greek mythology, Dolos was the god of deception and craftiness.
  • Mendacious: A name derived from the Latin word mendax, meaning “lying” or “false”.
  • Trevelyan: An English name meaning “traitor” or “deceiver”. It is derived from the Cornish word trefelyan, meaning “home of the deceivers”.
  • Guile: An English name meaning “cunning” or “slyness”.

When Were These Names Popular?

Many deceitful names have been used throughout history, but some have gained popularity during specific time periods. For example:

  • Judas: A biblical name that became popular during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. It is derived from the Hebrew name Yehuda, meaning “praised”.
  • Delilah: A biblical name that was popular in the United States during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • Loki: A Norse name that has gained popularity in recent years, possibly due to the character’s portrayal in Marvel’s Thor movies.

How To Choose a Name with Deceitful Connotations?

While deceitful names may not be everyone’s cup of tea, they can be a unique and memorable choice for certain individuals or characters. Here are some tips for choosing a name with deceitful connotations:

  • Consider the character’s personality traits: If you’re naming a fictional character, think about their personality and whether a deceitful name would suit them.
  • Look up name meanings: Research the meanings and origins of names to find ones that align with the desired connotations.
  • Think outside the box: Don’t limit yourself to traditional names or spellings. Consider alternative spellings, word names, or names from other cultures.

Pros and Cons of Choosing a Deceitful Name

Like any name choice, there are both advantages and disadvantages to choosing a deceitful name. Here are some pros and cons to consider:


  • Unique and memorable: Deceitful names can stand out and be more memorable than common names.
  • Fits certain personalities or characters: If the character is cunning, sly, or villainous, a deceitful name can be a good fit.
  • Can add depth or symbolism: If the name has a deeper meaning related to the character’s backstory or personality, it can add layers to the story.


  • Negative connotations: Deceitful names can have negative connotations and be associated with untrustworthiness or betrayal.
  • Difficult to pronounce or spell: Some deceitful names may be difficult to spell or pronounce, which could be a drawback for some people.
  • Potentially inappropriate: Depending on the context and audience, a deceitful name could be seen as inappropriate or offensive.

Alternatives to Deceitful Names

If you’re not sold on the idea of a deceitful name, there are plenty of alternative options that can still convey a similar meaning or vibe. Here are some examples:

  • Raven: A bird associated with mystery and darkness.
  • Scarlett: A name meaning “red”, which can evoke feelings of passion and danger.
  • Maleficent: A name associated with the Disney villainess who curses Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty.

Step-by-Step Guide to Choosing a Name with Deceitful Connotations

If you’ve decided to go with a deceitful name, here’s a step-by-step guide to choosing one:

  1. Consider the character’s personality traits and backstory.
  2. Research the meanings and origins of potential names.
  3. Look up pronunciation and spelling to ensure it is easy to say and spell.4. Consider the context in which the name will be used. Will it fit with the story or setting?
  4. Test out the name with others to get feedback and see how it sounds out loud.
  5. Make sure the name is not offensive or inappropriate for the intended audience.

Comparing Deceitful Names from Different Cultures

Deceitful names can be found in many different cultures and languages. Here are some examples of deceitful names from various cultures:


  • Hel: The goddess of death who presides over the realm of the dead.
  • Fenrir: A monstrous wolf who is foretold to kill Odin during Ragnarok.
  • Jormungandr: The serpent who encircles the world and is prophesied to fight Thor during Ragnarok.


  • Eris: The goddess of strife and discord who causes chaos and conflict.
  • Persephone: The queen of the underworld who is associated with death and rebirth.
  • Medea: A sorceress who helps Jason obtain the Golden Fleece but later betrays him.


  • Cain: The son of Adam and Eve who kills his brother Abel out of jealousy.
  • Jezebel: A queen who promotes the worship of false gods and persecutes the prophets of Yahweh.
  • Herod: A king who orders the massacre of innocent infants in an attempt to kill the baby Jesus.

Tips for Naming Villains with Deceitful Names

If you’re naming a villainous character, a deceitful name can help convey their malicious intentions. Here are some tips for naming villains with deceitful names:

  • Keep it simple: Short, sharp names can have more impact and be easier to remember.
  • Use alliteration: Names that start with the same letter can sound sinister and memorable.
  • Think about the character’s motives: If the character’s deceitfulness is motivated by greed, for example, a name related to money or wealth could be fitting.
  • Consider the story’s genre: Certain genres, such as horror or suspense, may call for more ominous or foreboding names.

The Best Deceitful Names for Fictional Characters

Choosing the “best” deceitful name for a fictional character is subjective, but here are some options that could work:

  • Raven: A bird associated with mystery and darkness.
  • Loki: The Norse god of mischief and trickery.
  • Sable: A name meaning “black”, often associated with darkness or mystery.
  • Morgana: A name derived from the Welsh word for “sea”, often used for characters associated with magic or deception.
  • Draven: A name derived from the word “raven”, which can evoke feelings of darkness and mystery.


Deceitful names can be a unique and memorable choice for certain individuals or characters. Whether you’re naming a villain in a story or just looking for a name with some edge, there are plenty of options to choose from. Just remember to consider the context and audience, and make sure the name isn’t offensive or inappropriate.


  1. Are deceitful names only used for villains?
    Not necessarily, but they are often associated with characters who are cunning, sly, or manipulative.
  1. Can deceitful names be offensive?
    Some deceitful names may be considered offensive depending on the context and audience. It’s important to do your research and get feedback from others before using a name.
  1. Why do people choose deceitful names?
    Some people may choose deceitful names because they like the sound or meaning of the name, while others may choose them to convey a certain personality or character trait.
  1. Can deceitful names have positive connotations?
    It’s possible, though rare. For example, the name “Trickster” could be used for a mischievous but ultimately harmless character.
  1. Should I choose a deceitful name for my child?
    Choosing a deceitful name for a child is a personal choice and depends on factors such as cultural background and personal beliefs. It’s important to consider the potential impact of the name on the child’s life and well-being.

We’re Emma Carole Paradis and Kimberly Carole, the owners and designers of Impeccable Nest, based in Bedford, New Hampshire. A mother-daughter team with a love of design. Originally from Manhattan Beach, California, now based in Bedford, New Hampshire, we bring a Southern California cool and New England tradition to our design. Not only do we work together…we also live together in a multi-generational home…and a home that they are known to design for others.

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