Nomenclature: "Frankenstein"

The monster’s name is Frankenstein.

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Technically, no; but that’s been a point of debate if you want to quibble with purists. “Victor Frankenstein” is the monster’s creator’s name, so technically it is Frankenstein’s ‘monster’ as the creature was never originally given a name, but people have taken to just calling the creature “Frankenstein”.

TMI from Wikipedia

Frankenstein's monster - Wikipedia

Mary Shelley’s original novel does not give the character a specific name. In the novel, Victor Frankenstein variously refers to his creation as the “creature”, “fiend”, “spectre”, “dæmon”, “wretch”, “devil”, “thing”, “being”, and “ogre”.[1] Frankenstein’s creation referred to himself as a “monster” at least once, as did the residents of a hamlet who saw the creature towards the end of the novel.

As in Shelley’s story, the creature’s namelessness became a central part of the stage adaptations in London and Paris during the decades after the novel’s first appearance. In 1823, Shelley herself attended a performance of Richard Brinsley Peake’s Presumption, the first successful stage adaptation of her novel. “The play bill amused me extremely, for in the list of dramatis personae came, -------- by Mr T. Cooke,” she wrote to her friend Leigh Hunt. “This nameless mode of naming the unnameable is rather good.”[6]

Within a decade of publication, the name of the creator, “Frankenstein”, was used to refer to the creature, but it did not become firmly established until much later.

I’m sure if you want to go with movie branding, Universal’s classic monster roster just shortcuts and likely has patented/copyrighted his image/IP as in their original movie as “Frankenstein”.


Technically, yes. Follow the original link. :slight_smile:

The monster is named “Frankenstein”, and the doctor’s name is just “The Doctor” in the canonical XKCD version of the story, of course.


I saw the comic, and hopefully you’ll agree to disagree as that nomenclature was not the author’s intent and is basically a crowdsourced nickname. Sure it’s easier and you’re welcome to call it anything you want, Ralph. :slight_smile:

Ah, but which author? That’s the point of the comic and the joke. Frankenstein is public domain and if we accept Randall Munroe as the author of “XKCD’s Frankenstein”, then the monster’s name is canonically Frankenstein. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I remember a drunken argument about this fifteen years ago at a bar, in which a friend of a friend espoused the unhinged and dangerous viewpoint that the monster’s name was Herman because the iconic monster had become Herman Munster.

Needless to say, I never saw that person again, because it is SO OBVIOUSLY TRUE that the iconic monster was the one Gene Wilder made. And y’all, GENE DID NOT NAME THE MONSTER.


But what about the monster’s intent? :crazy_face:

A tall man with pale, translucent skin and black lips is standing 
nearby with an avaricious look in his eye. He has a nametag on his 
overalls that says “Frankenstein”. He is holding an unusual staff.

> t creator
“Isn’t Frankenstein the name of your creator?”

The great creature sighs in response. “That’s a common 
misconception,” he says. “In fact, I am Frankenstein, and my creator 
is technically known as Frankenstein’s Scientist.”

– Brian Rushton, Never Gives Up Her Dead


But we know his name from the TV series sequel: Frank Barone.


You stole my post.



Gene fought Mel on that scene…


Well, if we consider the novel’s theme, the real monster is the creator, Victor Frankenstein, so Frankenstein is the monster’s LAST NAME.


(walks in)
(watches for a few moments)
(takes a sip of redbull)
Ayup. I’m…not stepping into this one.




Okay but consider: it’s not “Frankenstein’s monster” because Victor Frankenstein immediately flees in horror and takes no responsibility for his creation. He doesn’t end up a monster because of what Frankenstein did, he ends up a monster because of what Frankenstein didn’t do.


So maybe Frankenstein was the real monster all along.


If this were about AI stealing an author’s work ya’ll’d be wrestling in support of Mary Shelley.

I’m gonna take some time away from the forum I think. You’ve somehow managed to find a chink in my normally unflappable armor and I am enraged.

it’s not your fault. it’s mine for sustaining this absurd argument. I have had a terrible week, capped off by sustaining a grevious facial injury that has probably scarred me for life and I am probably not okay about it. I tried to make a dumb joke like it was okay - “positive or neutral” that it’d be fun to use a permanent scar as part of my Halloween costume as Frankenstein. There. I called it Frankenstein instead of Frankenstein’s monster. Happy?

There’s no way anyone could know about this. I’ll be back sometime.


I prefer to hear from Frankenstein himself:

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My XYL is still beautiful after decades. I’m more like Frankenstein’s monster after all of my wear and tear…


Post removed because it was clearly tone-deaf considering what happened to Hanon this week.

Apologies, everyone, especially Hanon. I can be a pedantic dick sometimes.

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OK, but let’s be clear here. Hanon’s original post was NOT pedantically correcting someone, it was off-handedly using Hanon’s preferred version of the name in the service of making light of an injury. And I can’t see that there’s anything wrong in someone using the term “Frankenstein’s monster” in their personal speech/writing if they find that more correct or even just more amusing.

The one who’s pedantically correcting someone (and doubling down and tripling down on it when challenged) is Mike_G, and he’s doing so by linking a comic whose whole point is that it’s not cool to pedantically correct people on this topic (albeit using the opposite direction as an example). And now I’m kinda regretting trying to deflect the conversation with silly humor instead of just blocking and moving on.


Totally agree and I regret if that’s how my post came off. Absolutely none of my post was about Hanon. His post just made me think about what we owe writers whose work is in the public domain, and the special nature of things like Frankenstein. I’m not accusing anybody of being pedantic-- it’s just clearly a little flashpoint, enough for comics to be made over it.

**EDIT: I’m just going to remove that post.