Sunday, September 1, 2013


Vin Diesel as Riddick

You may have heard of this guy. He's one of the coolest bad-asses in recent movie history. I am of course referring to one of the most iconic characters Vin Diesel has played, Richard B. Riddick, more commonly known as simply Riddick.

The character of Riddick (pronounced RID-ik) first appeared in the 2000 action sci-fi movie 'Pitch Black', followed by 'The Chronicles of Riddick' in 2004, an animated movie called 'Dark Fury' in 2004 and 2 video games. While the name had (just barely) charted a couple of times before 'Pitch Black', this first movie caused it to chart again in 2001. But it wasn't until 'The Chronicles of Riddick' was released that this name started to gain some traction. In 2005 Riddick peaked on the U.S. SSA charts with 44 uses, which hardly makes it popular. To put it into perspective, girls named Khaleesi in 2012 outnumbered the boys named Riddick 5:1. But with a new Riddick movie - creatively titled 'Riddick' - due out this week, we may see a renewed wave of boys named Riddick over the next year.

Although we know it started as a surname, adapted from an English or Scottish place name, there's some confusion as to it's meaning. Theories include:

  • It's from 'hreod' meaning 'reeds' and 'wic' meaning 'outlying settlement', hence it means 'farm where reeds grow'
  • It was originally Reddick, a slurring of Red Wick, and means 'smooth field'; and
  • It was a medieval nickname from the Anglo-Saxon word 'rudduc', pronounced 'riddic', an name for the robin bird, so is thought to mean a male who 'strutted his plumage'. 

Another nice little side note is that apparently the motto for this surname is "Tu ne cede malis" which translates as "yield not to misfortunes". Maybe this was what the writers had in mind when they named this character, as he is certainly a survivor who will find his way out of any tricky situation whether it be through his astute judge of character, stealth, or his physical prowess.

Whatever Riddick means though, I'm sure there are many people scratching their head as to why this is a name anyone would consider. It contains the elements "rid", "dick" and "ick", none of which are positive. And it sounds like an abbreviation for "ridiculous". Isn't giving this name to a child just begging for them to be teased?

The answer is quite simple - it's easy to overlook these things because this character is just so freaking cool! Look Riddick up in the urban dictionary and the first user submitted definition starts with "Riddick is a fu**ing god". Granted, children won't be familiar with the character (and young ones definitely shouldn't see the movies); but as a lot of their opinions are learned from their parents, if the parents are familiar with the character Riddick they are much more likely to see it as a cool name.

As always, if you have been toying with the idea of using Riddick but you're worried about using it as a first name it would always make a great middle. It's almost like having Danger as a middle name, but comes with the dual benefits of being a sci-fi anti-hero icon and having a more modern, less kitschy feel.

This is one only for the hard core fans - and the brave ones at that.


  1. Yes I think you would need to be pretty brave to go with Riddick - it also reminds me of Ruddock, who is in the Liberal Party.

    I'm kind of in two minds about going with "it's iffy but it's so cool" names from popular culture. I saw a man named Trampus, which was a cool name from a cowboy show in the 1960s-70s, but just seems weird now. What happens when the cool name isn't cool any more?

  2. My son's name is Riddik Storm...just took the c out because I didn't want the word dick in his name!

  3. Actually I am also cool a Riddick just loving it