Xtreme Kool Letterz

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Reactions resulted in the product being coined "Krazy Glue;" a product so crazy that it requires intentional misspelling.

Certain letterz of the English alphabetz are just "kewler" than others. As such, many peoplez will intentionalli mizzpel wordz by xubztituting these letterz, in the hopez that this will draw moar attentshun from young peoplez and make the rezult look moar youth-oriented.

Whether this actually workz on the youth crowd is debatable; this is a pop-culture phenomenon that comes and goes like many other fads, sometimes losing its appeal almost immediately out of the gate.

The most common substitutions are:

  • "K" in place of a hard "C" (like in Mortal Kombat)
    • Note that this is often used to give characters that "medieval", "germanic", or "Soviet Russia" tinge. In actual German, however, spelling things with "C" instead of K (or Z, often seen in circuses spelling themselves "Circus" instead of the dictionary's "Zirkus") would have the exact same effect, or make words look old-fashioned (becuause they were written with C in former times).
    • The reversal, substituting "C" instead of "K," is also very common in the Hip Hop community.
  • "X" substituted for "Ex," especially in the word "Extreme," or just slapped onto a name for no apparent reason.
    • Also, "ix" substituted for "ics" or "icks" at the end of a word.
  • "Y" instead of "I" in the middle of a word.
  • "I" instead of "Y" at the end of a word.
  • "Z" instead of "S" at the end of a plural word.
  • Spelling "cool" as "kool", or worse, "kewl".[1]

Less-common variantz include:

  • Letters 2 Numbers, like "2" in the place of "to" or "too".
  • Phonetic spelling; for example, inserting "-shun" in place of "-tion" or its kin: "Acshun!"
  • Substituting letters from foreign alphabets in place of English letters, regardless of whether that letter has any similarity in pronunciation or meaning. For example:
    • "Д" for A: That's actually the Cyrillic "D".
    • "Σ" for E: The Greek sigma is actually pronounced like an "S".
    • "И" for N: That's actually the Cyrillic I (pronounced "ee")
    • "Я" for R: In Cyrillic, The Backwards R is actually a "ya" sound.

Interestingly, this trope tends to favor letters constructed primarily from hard straight lines and sharp angles -- "X," "K," "Z," so on.

This can also extend to acronyms/abbreviations/initializations to make them more memorable, even if the chosen letter isn't, technically, the one in the original word. "Extensible Markup Language," for example, is easier to remember by its initialization of "XML" than "EML".

"Leet speak" (or "1337") can be considered this trope played to extremes, where almost every normal letter is replaced by some form of "extreme" counterpart, which to those unfamiliar with the meme can vary anywhere from "slightly different" to "utterly unreadable," depending on how "hardcore" the user wishes to appear; it's believed that leet originated from the cracking[2] community, which may explain why it's never spread beyond circles of computer geeks (and online gamers).

"Text speak," originating in IM and a popular shorthand for use with mobile phones, is similar to "1337," though the hardcore consider it a different language.

One possible justification for Xtreme Kool Letterz in Real Life is that, at least in the United States, "common words" cannot be trademarked as-is, but deliberate misspellings can.

The overall trope is Older Than Radio, with deliberate misspellings being used for humor at least since the early Victorian era. (And back then, of course, semiliteracy was such a problem that many otherwise articulate people unintentionally misspelled words, making this trope not only comical but also satirical.)

Xtreme Kool Letterz shows up around this wiki as well, with titles such as Friends of Really Kool Sobriquet, and yes, this article.

See also:


Xamplez


Advertyzing[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Early advertising example: A 1950s print ad for Heinz baked beans included the caption, "Beanz Buildz Kidz!" And that wasn't even their main slogan... it was "Beanz Meanz Heinz".[3]
  • The soda MDX, which stands for Mountain Dew Xtreme.
  • Not just MDX, but any Mountain Dew product. Watch the commercials.
  • Bratz (doll lines, animated series, DVDs) TOTALLY qualifies.
    • Not just with the name, but the name of every single doll line they have. Doll names with a short I also have a double II for no apparent reason. And then there's the "Twiinz,"
    • One Bratz book is actually namedXtreme Kool.
    • Once they got to stringing together names like "Bratz Babyz Ponyz," you get to wondering how much longer until they trademarked the letter z and we'd all have to start paying them to be able to use it.
  • Sprint's new WiMax service will be called "XOHM" (pronounced Zoam). "It's an invented term that went through extensive market research and tested well with consumer and business audiences," said Sprint's John Polivka. "There is a certain 'cool factor' with the X in it..." (source)
  • Sheetz convenience stores have a fast food counter that sells "Bagelz" and "Wrapz".
  • Intel's Xeon processors—oddly enough, not really targeted at the "extreme" gaming crowd.
  • When NVidia released their first DirectX 9 video chipset, they christened it the GeForce FX 5800. However, it ran very hot and was utterly destroyed by the rival ATi 9700 that was released months earlier. The FX name became associated with "total suckage" and the name was dropped upon the introduction of the GeForce 6000 series. You could still get yourself a GeForce 8800GTX though, so it's not like the Xtreme Kool Letterz were dropped completely. The "GT" is often used to refer to a sporty edition of a car (more horsepowers, perhaps) and the X added the cool factor. The absolute extreme would be the Nvidia GeForce 9800 GTX+ (also known as the less awesome GeForce GTS 250).
  • Invoking this trope for a product name is one thing, but how about invoking it for a brand name? Cue XFX, very respected AIB partner for graphic cards. Of course, some of its more popular products are... Nvidia cards. Of course, the company management just couldn't help to make some "XXX" series to distinguish its premium versions of most products. So you end up with cards like the "XFX GeForce 9800 GTX XXX edition." Incidentally, the general consensus is that at least the company lives up to its name.
  • Microsoft's "DirectX" and "ActiveX" technologies are themselves an example of this. What does the X convey about the product, exactly? [4]
  • The "Xbox" falls under this trope as well. Microsoft realized that "DirectX Box" just didn't sound all that catchy. The Xbox is, essentially, just a computer with streamlined DirectX support, one of the reasons why it and its successor are touted as being "developer friendly."
  • Automobile model names tend to acquire a two- or three-letter suffix to indicate a "cooler" sports car version. This suffix will usually contain one or more of the following: "GT" or "G", "S" or "SS", or "X". The the car in question need not have any actual sporting or high-performance characteristics; the letters on the decal or name badge are enough to impart coolness. (E.g., AMC Pacer X, Yugo GVX.)
    • There are, of course, cars with cool sports car letter suffixes which live up to the hype: the mid-sixties Impala SS, for one.[5]
    • The Dodge Omni GLH is a rare example of a model name suffix which stands for something: "Goes Like Hell," a reference to the car's hotted-up engine. There was an even higher-spec version of the car called the Omni GHLS- Goes Like Hell Some More.
    • Vespa mostly uses this straight, but inverts it in the LX series; The series was launched in 60th anniversary of the (Italian) company, and LX is Roman numerals for 60.
  • The Kia Forte is available as a four door sedan, or as a two door Koup.
  • Products that for some reason go from version "9" into version "X". Roman numerals + Xtreme Kool Letterz = Rule of Cool.
    • Mac OS X.
    • The new version of QuickTime included with OS X Snow Leopard is so Xtreme that it skipped from version 7 to version X.
    • The ATi X series of video chipsets, which came after the 9000 series.
    • Paint Shop Pro, made by Jasc and then bought by Corel, originally used 1-8 for its version numbers. When Corel bought it, it went from 8 to IX. Then came X, then XI. As the switch happened with 9, not 10, one might be inclined to think this might not be a case of Xtreme Kool Letterz... until the 12th version came out as "X2".
    • Partly from superstition about the number 13, and partly so they could have cool letter in its name, the thirteenth version of Wordperfect Office is called X3. (And who is this WP Office owned by? Do we see a pattern here?)
  • There are "freeline skates" with the brand name Xliders as well as a pumped-up Razor scooter called a Xootr. I am completely at a loss as to how to pronounce either of those.
  • As of 2008, the packaging and advertising for Goldfish snack crackers features four anthropomorphic crackers as mascots. One of these cracker characters is named Xtreme.
  • According to Wikipedia, Kool-Aid (originally Kool-Ade) was first sold in 1927, and Kool cigarettes were first sold in 1933.
  • The banners on this page right now, which, many thanks to Ads by Google, are currently "XTREME Ringtones," "Xtreme Machine Wheels" and "Xtreme Diesel Performance."
  • Many things marketed to kids seem to use this trope, probably in an attempt to make their product seem "cooler".
    • Kidz Bop probably falls under this category
  • There used to be a cider called "Xider". I've wondered if the spelling was supposed to evoke an American pronunciation of "exciter," but everyone around here (Sweden) just said "kseeder". Then regulations changed and the stuff could no longer be legally referred to as a cider, so they changed the name to "Xide," whatever that's supposed to mean.
    • It's probably meant to be excite, but the spelling makes you say it as if you had a runny nose.
  • Trix, and Kix.
  • The next big global compact sedan from General Motors is sold in Europe, and will be sold in the U.S., as the Chevrolet Cruze.
  • Officially, the name of Elon Musk's private spaceflight company is Space Exploration Technologies, but they use "Space X" because it just sounds cooler.
  • Playstation Network has a sort of video-magazine entitled Qore (Core).
  • Even fairly mundane things like public transport follow this trope. The transport manufacturer Bombardier is particularly fond.
    • They have the "Flexity" tram and the "CX-100" people mover as two examples. Just to really make sure they keep this trope, most of their vehicles run on FLEXX bogies (or trucks). The fact one version is the FLEXX Eco is a trope in itself, as these days it's cool to be "eco".
    • Also from Bombardier, the TRAXX locomotive. "Stands for Transnational Railway Applications with eXtreme fleXibility." TRAEF would not have sounded anything like as good.
  • UNIX got its name when Unics became a Non-Indicative Name by no longer being a uniplexing (i.e. one thing at a time) system.
  • The X Windowing system, now X11, which is commonly used on Unixen. Justified—it's predecessor was "W", as in "Windowing"
  • Brazilian entrepreneur Eike Batista names all of his companies '** X' (EBX, MMX, OGX, MPX, LLX...), because he wants to "multiply wealth".
  • Springfield Armory Company imports the Croatian-made HS-2000 handgun into the U.S. and sells it under the name "Springfield XD". The "XD" is short for "eXtreme Duty".
  • Although it wasn't named this way for kewlness, Cheez Whiz definitely fits the spelling pattern.
  • Pringles "Xtreme" flavors.
  • DiGiorno Pizza & Wyngz.
    • Which was actually because they couldn't legally call them "wings" due to the absence of any actual wing meat.
  • The "ambient electronic device" Karotz, successor to the Nabaztag.


Animez & Mangaz[edit | hide]

  • The official English translation of the Bokurano manga explains the name "Zearth" by invoking this trope (justified, in that it's a bunch of kids piloting the robot). It is worth noting that the real reason for the name Zearth is that it's the Japanese pronunciation of "The Earth" rendered back into English (well, it's close to it anyway). On the one hand, even in a direct translation, the kids did go with "Zearth" instead of "The Earth" because it sounded cooler. On the other, has anyone ever actually said "the z makes it more extreme!" with a straight face? In the world of Bokurano they might.
  • Transformers examples:
    • This is the basis behind the names of X-Brawn and Skid Z in Transformers Robots in Disguise. It was for a whole thought that X-Brawn was used because Hasbro couldn't secure a trademark on 'Brawn', but one of their marketers later explained that they just put in the X too look cool.
    • Also, "Lazorbeak" from Beast Wars. (The Generation 1 character is always spelled "Laserbeak," as are the Cybertron and Animated ones. Expect a lot of people to get it wrong anyways.)
  • Ikki Tousen's fourth season, Xtreme Xecutor
  • Digimon examples:
  • The anime Texhnolyze.
  • Dragon Ball "Z".


Bord Gamez[edit | hide]

  • English-language Scrabble gives you more points for using K (5), J (8), X (8), Q (10), and Z (10). Justified as these letters are the hardest to use, though there are some legal two-letter words containing them, such as za and qi. The trick? There's only one of each.


Kard Gamez[edit | hide]

  • Yu-Gi-Oh card game:
    • It includes a card called Mind Haxorz in the set Rise of Destiny. Really! It's fun to mention that the original Japanese name of the card is merely "Mind Hack".
    • We also have Meklord Astro Mekanikle. Deserves special mentions because in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's it's the trump card used by the villain.
    • Invoked with the Xyz monsters introduced in Yu-Gi-Oh Ze Xal and the card sets. It's pronounced "ik-seez" and is a reference to spacial coordinates.[6] Humorously, up to the point of their announcement in the TCG, fansubbers of the show never caught that meaning, assuming it was "Exceed" because it was the closest-sounding actual word.
  • Magic the Gathering's Phyrexia, with names like Gix, Xantcha, and Skithiryx. As Tom LaPille puts it, "Are you more intimidated by the thought of the dread reign of Firecsia or Phyrexia?"


Komix Bookz[edit | hide]

  • X-Men examples:
    • X-Treme X-Men. Generally considered a really silly title, one online reviewer referred to the first three issues as That Claremont Book. Ironically, when, after 46 issues, the book was canceled and the writer moved the characters to Uncanny X-Men, the team was renamed "X-Treme Sanctions Executive."
    • "Storm claims it was an inside joke, and blames Gambit. Gambit blames Rogue. I blame society."—Cable, X-Men: Future History - The Messiah War Sourcebook.
    • Arguably, the X-Men themselves. In the first issue, Professor Xavier notes that it stands for "X-tra power!" Fortunately, it's been retconned to stand for both Xavier's name and the X Factor, the unknown genetic factor that gives mutants their powers.
    • And then there's Professor Xavier's name:
      • Ther's all the adaptations that pronounce it "Professor Ex-avier," just to make it clear to stupid viewers that there's an X in his name. "Xavier" is an archaic Spanish spelling of "Javier," so it should be "khavi-air" (or "zavvy-ay", in French), people. ("Ex-avier" is a common mispronunciation of "Xavier" in Real Life, though).
      • The Spanish dubs fortunately make a point of pronouncing his name "Khavi-air".
      • There is a comic where Xavier admits that technically it isn't pronounced like that—he just prefers it.
    • And the X-Men spin-off book X-Force once had a character called Adam-X, the X-Treme. Ah, the '90s. Thankfully, "the X-Treme" part rarely appeared outside of cover announcements of his guest appearances.
    • Before Adam-X, there was Illyana Rasputin, aka Magik.
    • Even earlier, there was Alex Summers, aka Havok.
    • Subverted really deviously during Grant Morrison's run. The first arc of New X-Men was titled "E is for Extinction." Let's just say that another writer might have emphasized a different letter of that word. [7]
    • When the second incarnation of the X-Force was threatened with legal action over their name, leader the Orphan simply changes it—to "X-Statix". He says it came to him in a dream and he doesn't really know what it's supposed to mean.
  • In the second issue of Hyperkind, one of the newly empowered Hyperkind decides to adopt "Logic" as his Code Name. Another member (the resident comic nerd of the team) stops him, telling him to call himself "Logix" because, "That's how it's done!" Said comic nerd then decides to call himself Amokk, for the same reason.
  • In The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier, Mina delivers a Take That to the producers of the League of Extraordinary Gentleman movie when she identifies a rocket as being American because "who else would think that "extra" starts with an "X"?" The League movie was often referred to as LXG.
  • In The DCU:
    • The hero Aztek was named by a newspaper. Drawing on the South American motif in his costume, a reporter dubbed him Aztek "with a 'K' -- because of all the neat high-tech stuff he's got on his uniform."
  • Kobra
  • Underground Comix. So called to distinguish them from mainstream comics.
  • Kimota!
  • Hell, just watch any of Linkara's Atop the Fourth Wall skits and it has a 50/50 shot of pointing one of these out with "Because poor literacy is KeWl!" message.
  • In the weekly Anthology Comic The Beano, there is comic strip entitled Ratz.
  • Captain America (comics) of Marvel's Super Soldier program was Weapon 1. 40 years later came the last major Super Soldier trial: Weapon X.


Komix Stripz[edit | hide]

  • Krazy Kat is one of the very first examples. She had bit parts in George Herriman's assorted Sunday comics as early as 1903, was called "Kat" by 1909, and "Krazy Kat" by 1910. By the time she got her standalone strip in 1913, she'd developed her personal dialect, a mixture of Spanish and Yiddish accents with Ks everywhere.


Fan Workz[edit | hide]


Filmz -- Anym@tion[edit | hide]

Filmz -- Lyve-Aktion[edit | hide]

  • Early example: The 1950 film Rocketship X-M, where the titular spaceship's name is short for "Expeditionary Mission".
  • The movie XXX and its sequel xXx: State of the Union. Best summed up with the following exchange:

Toby: Knocked over a few 7-Elevens, have we?
Xander Cage: Nah, I had my leg in a cast for about three months. All I did was play First-Person Shooter video games.
Toby: That's a really sad story.

  • When the teleplay The Quatermass Experiment was made into a film, it was titled The Quatermass Xperiment, apparently in reference to its BBFC X certificate (the film is nowadays rated PG).
  • eXistenZ could be justified because "Existenz" is the German word for existence and "isten" is Hungarian for "God," giving the director a reason to frame it with Caps.
  • Da Ali G Show is a chronic abuser of this, with such recurring words like "Respek" being used intentionally by the titular character, who referenced that all respect had been lost in the world since the word "respek" had been removed from the dictionary. But of course...
  • The marketing for the movie adaptation of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen used the acronym "LXG". Didn't help the movie either.
  • From the silent movies, the Keystone Kops were the inspiration for many later examples. Although at this time, K's weren't meaning "cool," but rather "funny," as in "ha ha, those guys can't spell correctly."
  • The titles of the hood classics Boyz N the Hood and Menace II Society.
  • Zardoz has some curious spelling like this, but it seems to be meant more as Futuristic Fonetiks ("applz" for "apples"). Not to mention the revelation that it's actually The Wizard of Oz.
  • American Dreamz parodies this. The title is the name of the show-within-a-show, an American Idol knockoff with a contestant played by Mandy Moore, who at one point sings a ridiculously vapid ballad with the chorus, "American Dreamz... dreamz... with a Z."
  • In Each to His Own, Olivia DeHavilland's character makes her fortune as selling "Lady Vyvyan" cosmetics. As her lowlife partner remarks "Classy, hunh?"
  • Bill and Teds Excellent Adventure: Wyld Stallyns!! Played for laughs, of course.
  • The title scene for The Hunt for Red October uses the "substitute some Cyrillic characters" variation.
  • Similarly, the Enemy of the State title swaps a few assorted symbols for English letters.
  • The "Rekall" brand in Total Recall.
  • The religious film C Me Dance.


Lyterature[edit | hide]

  • Discworld
    • Referenced in Terry Pratchett's Maskerade, in which Agnes Nitt attempts to change her name to Perdita X. Dream, where "X" stands for "someone who has a cool and exciting middle name." Doesn't work though—all the people in her village refer to her as "the Agnes who calls herself Perditax."
    • Also in Soul Music, when an all-troll Music With Rocks In band want to call themselves simply "Trolls" they're told, "But you've got to spell it with a Z. Trollz."
    • Funnily enough, on a non-Discworld note, when the Trolls doll line was revived for the 21st century (along with an animated series), the powers that be did just that.
    • The vampires in Carpe Jugulum express a desire to spell it "vampyres", as the Y makes it look more modern. Even though said spelling is probably older.
    • Dr. Hix in Unseen Academicals, head of the Department of Postmortem Communications, is really named Hicks, but with his black robe and skull ring he "would have been mad, or let us say even madder, to pass up a chance to have an X in his name."
    • And of course, there's the whole continent called XXXX. But pronounced "Fourecks" (and named after a Real Life brand of Australian lager).
  • The Matthew Martin series by Paula Danziger features a character who spells her name "Jil!" because she got bored with "Jill."
    • Another children's book has a character named Susan who changes her name to, well, the title says it all: My Name is Sus5an Smith. The 5 is Silent.
  • Several names in The Wheel of Time are actually perfectly ordinary names that have been grossly misspelled. Examples include "Elayne" (Elaine), "Padraig" (Patrick), "Birgitte" (Bridget), and "Logain" (Logan).
    • Well, to be fair, Padraig is a legitimate Irish variation of Patrick in its own right and Birgitte is a legitimate Scandinavian variant of Bridget. It should be noted that in the Norwegian translation of The Wheel of Time, Birgitte's name is translated to the more exotic sounding Bergithe, as Birgitte is quite an usual name in Norway.
  • Same goes for most personal names in A Song of Ice and Fire. The letter "y" is particularly common.
  • Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood pictures a future where hyper-rich corporations call themselves things like HelthWyzer and RejooveNation with a straight face. It's never explained, but one gets the feeling they have been forced to come up with these "creative" spellings because all the normal ones had been trademarked. Unless they actually thought it sounded cool.
  • Species in Peter David's Hidden Earth Chronicles include Mandraques, Firedraques and draqons.
  • Rob Grant's Fat had a pop group parodying Girls Aloud by the name of "Gurlz Banned".
  • One Doctor Who Expanded Universe novel has a character being dubbed "code-boy" by another because he spends a lot of time doing computer programming. You know, writing code. He loses his real name and ends up known as Kode, likely because of this trope.
  • In The Edge Chronicles, all the inhabitants of Sactaphrax uses this as do all the Leaguesmen, it's justified as the scholar who make up Sanctaphrax's population want to sound educated and the Leaguesmen want to sound like them.
  • J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series has a number of main characters with Names to Run Away From coupled with this sort of spelling. Some examples include: Phury, Rhage, Zsadist, Rehvenge, and Tohrment.
  • The Septimus Heap series uses this Egregiously for Magykal words and phrases.


Lyve-Aktion TV[edit | hide]

  • A late episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch involved Sabrina, Roxie and Morgan forming a girl group called "Girlz." During their first audition, they think they can easily beat the guy who went on before them because they have a Z in their name; however, his name turns out to be Zeke.
  • Stargate SG-1
    • Parodied in episode "Wormhole X-Treme," with the eponymous Show Within a Show. One character comments that he "wanted to call it Going to Other Planets, but the network said that shows with 'X' in the name get better ratings."
    • Of course, the titles of all Stargate series do the same thing, replacing the second "A" in "Stargate" with the gate symbol for Earth. Not mandatory, thankfully. Which, incidentally, is just an uppercase lambda with a kroužek on top of it. A rather strange blend of a greek letter with a Danish diacritic. It is described in-show as representing the sun rising above the Great Pyramid of Gizah.
  • Johnny Xtreme, one of the most recurrent non-intern (nor host, obviously) characters in X-Play. He was pretty much the Anthropomorphic Personification of "extremeness." He even tattooed Xs onto his arms and cut his beard in X shape. Given the tone of the show, it is pretty certain that Adam or Morgan must have pointed out the fact that there was an "X" on their show's name for no real reason.
    • During a review of Mortal Kombat, Adam and Morgan commented on the title, saying "everything is cooler when spelled with a K."
  • MXC: Most Xtreme Elimination Challenge. Used tongue in cheek, since it's a Gag Dub show.
  • The French series Kaamelott, parodying the Arthurian legends. A lone stylized "K" is also used prominently during the credits and even on fictitious heraldry. The author justifies this as being close to an ancient variant of spelling for "Camelot"; hence, here the effect aimed at isn't to look "cool" but "antiquated".
  • The shameless cable network Disney XD, which outright tells you they're both extreme and 'wit it', as the XD part is an "extreme!" emoticon denoting extreme happiness.
  • The official name of the college show on ABC Family is GRΣΣK. Of course, the sigma is transliterated as an S, not an E. How do you pronounce "Grssk" anyway?
  • Variant: On Top Gear, their homebuilt electric car (the Hammerhead Eagle i-Thrust) was named with a lowercase "i" because it was the Xtreme Kool Letter for the eco-friendly set.
  • Ed Helms filed a report on The Daily Show about an insurance made especially for teenagers and concluded with a fake ad that said it even covers you if you break your coccyx while skating—spelled kokkyx.
  • Kamen Rider Double's Super Mode is literally called CycloneJokerXtreme. This is primarily because the show's Transformation Trinket relies upon USB flash drive-like devices, each with a logo consisting of a stylized version first letter of its name that also represents its power (for example, a volcano shaped like an "M" for "Magma").


Muzik[edit | hide]

  • You think "Muzak" is just slang? Think again... it's originally a brand name, created in 1934, to sell background music to retail stores and other buildings.
  • The musical group Gorillaz.
    • Also, the film to go with it, Bananaz.
    • And the short non-clip animations are Gorillabitez.
  • P!nk's album M!ssundaztood. "P!nk" is more of a Lucky Charms Title.
  • Kool Keith
  • The Lonely Island songs Just 2 Guyz, We Like Sportz and We'll Kill U.
  • Megadeth is suppose to be spelled without a second "A".
  • Kool & the Gang.
  • During Christina Aguilera's "Dirrty" phase, she was usually referred to as "Xtina", due to the fact that "X" is used as an abbreviation for "Christ" (as in "Xmas") for reasons dating back to Greek times—in Greek, the name started with the letter chi, which looks like an X.
    • Her 'Love Me 4 Me' uses extremely cool letters.
  • Xzibit, or as he likes to say, "X to the Z Xzibit." Hell, one of his most famous songs is "X"!
  • The Japanese rock band X Japan was initially known as just X. They changed their name when they gained international recognition because there was already a punk band in the USA called X.
    • In the opposite direction, for a few years in the 1990s British band Bush was known as Bush X in Canada, because a Canadian band from the 1970s still owned the name there.
    • British group Liberty X added their X for similar reasons, after being formed from a TV talent show's runners-up as plain 'Liberty'. This was a permanent change, though, as the name was contested within the UK, rather than being a monicker-of-convenience temporarily adopted abroad.
  • French example: la Tecktonik. Xtreme Kool Letterz (in particular the use of "ck") is also very popular amongst its practitioners around the world, either for individual aliases or group names.
  • The entire genre of jazz may owe its name to this. The name is derived from the Cajun patois word jass (referring to "strenuous activity" in general, and one activity in particular), and reputedly, it started being spelled with the double-z not only because "jazz" looked cooler, but more mundanely, at least in part because jokers kept stealing the letter J from the billboards.
  • The US Power Metal band Kamelot. (And no, the Arthurian Camelot is usually spelled with a C in German.)
  • Dethklok and to a lesser extent their "kvlt" spelling Dëthkløk.
  • Those Y's guys from Pyrymyd.
  • Strangely inverted with the Japanese band Polysics, whose name is based on a synthesizer named Korg Polysix
  • Electronic artist Sasha's hard-to-pronounce remix compilation: Invol2ver.
  • One of Enigma's latest CDs replaced the initial E with a Greek letter sigma. Sigma-nigma?
  • The UK disco house label Hed Kandi, taking it to the vowels as well.
  • British pagan rock band Inkubus Sukkubus. Technically, they were originally named Incubus Succubus, but changed it to Inkubus Sukkubus for "numerological reasons."
  • Pick a nu metal band. ANY nu metal band.
  • Primal Scream's seventh album is a bit... conflicted about this. Its title is spelled XTRMNTR on the mostly vowelless album cover, but then again the band's name is similarly written "PRML SCRM" there, and Exterminator is written in some other places.
  • Def Leppard, whose name is misspelled to make them sound less punk.
  • Led Zeppelin. Because their manager thought dropping the 'a' from Lead would help to prevent "thick Americans" from pronouncing it "leed". Famously produced an album with a 'title' that could not be vocalised or spelled at all, only four symbols, which veers beyond this trope through Lucky Charms Title to The Unpronounceable.
  • Boyz II Men.
  • For Synth musicians, most are familiar with these days with Yamaha XG Lite (that XG stands for Yamaha's proprietary eXtension to General MIDI, of course).
  • Hello! Project group Berryz Koubou. ZYX also counts.
  • A few songs by Swedish hair band Crashdïet, like Knokk 'Em Down and Breaking the Chainz.
  • Avril Lavigne's song "Sk8er Boi."
  • Industrial bands in general love swapping "K" for "hard C."
  • Metallica sometimes spelled their names like this (Jaymz, Larz).S&M does it for some songs.
    • Beatallica follows/parodies it. Their lyrics are transcripted with gratuitous "Z" everywhere, and the band members are The Beatles + Metallica mashups written with Xtreme Kool Letterz (Jaymz Lennfield, Grg Hammetson, Kliff McBurtney, Ringo Larz).
  • The American Hip Hop duo Outkast.
  • The Southern California ska band Shame & Skandal.
  • Prince abuses this a lot in his song titles (2 and U used wherever possible), combined with Lucky Charms Title (an eye-symbol for I), and he even writes his lyrics and liner notes in Xtreme Kool Letterz. Famously swapped his own name for a symbol that transcended this trope altogether.
  • Klymaxx, an all-female band best known for the soft rock single "I Miss You."
  • An awful lot of songs by 2Pac. 2pac himself was also an example, though rather than "to," it replaces "tu" (his real name was Tupac).
  • Stewart Copeland, ex- The Police drummer, in the first 2 years of band's existence, released some solo material under the name "Klark Kent." One of the songs was titled "Too Kool To Kalypso." On top of that, a CD compilation of Klark Kent material, released in 1995 was named "Kollected Works." And to top that all, his private little recording label is called "Kryptone Records."
  • One of Linkin Park's remix albums, Reanimation, has almost all of its song's names written this way. And, of course, Linkin Park itself.
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd, naturally.
  • Then there's the American New Wave/synthpop band Ebn Ozn, whose band name was taken from each of the main band members' last names, Ned Liben (EBN) and Robert Rosen (OZN).
  • There's also a Scottish post-punk band named Fingerprintz who wrote and recorded songs such as "Wet Job" and "Bulletproof Heart" before basically rebooting and renaming themselves into the more familiar The Silencers.
  • There's also a British jazz-funk band named Freeez that had a minor hit with a song called "Southern Freeez." Curiously, like EBN OZN above, they too had their most major hit with a song titled "AEIOU," though EBN OZN's song featured spoken word lyrics and Freeez's featured falsetto vocals.
  • And there's a pop/rock band that existed in the 1960s and '70s called Jaggerz, best known for their song "The Rapper."
  • Litefoot. U may kno him moar 4 da Mortal Kombat moovee n Da NDN n da Cubberd but hee iz allso a rappr. Eeven haz hiz pwn laybel. Itz djuzt lyke inny otha rekrd laybel tho, nkloodin skrewin hiz sined artiztz.
  • Classic rock band Slade has this in spades: "Cum On Feel The Noize" being one of the more harmless (and well-known) examples; then there are "Cuz I Luv You," "Look Wot You Done," "Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me," "Mama Weer All Crazee Now," "Gudbuy T'Jane" ... And I'm pretty sure that somewhere in the list, there are some misspellings I missed.
  • Blaqk Audio. It's either to pronounce it as "Black" or else it sounds like "blak-k" and "Blak-k Audio" just sounds dumb.
  • One of the song intros in Tom Lehrer's live performances mentions an eccentric who changed his name to Hen3ry with a silent 3.
  • Split Enz, although they chose that spelling as a nod to their home country of New Zealand, not just because it looked cool. Also, before changing the spelling, they actually released a few early singles as Split Ends.
  • 2 CHAINZ!!!!!!


Nyoo Me-D-ya[edit | hide]

  • Microsoft Windows NT 5.1, also known as XP, which is supposed to be short for eXPerience.
  • Applications written for the Linux "KDE" desktop environment tend to be named with K's replacing hard C's (Konqueror, Konsole). Sometimes the "K" usage is a tad bit more... nonsensical, as with the name of the bundled golf game, Kolf. (Admittedly, Kgolf would've looked stupid.)
    • Though KDE is a project that started on Germany, and several of those words are valid German words (like Konsole).
    • Originally KDE was supposed to stand for Kool Desktop Environment (currently it's simply K Desktop Environment; the K no longer stands for anything), with the Xtreme Kool Letterz spelling of "cool" being chosen for a good reason, in that the commercial Common Desktop Environment (which is a proprietary (i.e. not open-source) program with more restrictive terms than KDE) already claimed the name CDE, so KDE was chosen instead to avoid lawsuits from the owners of CDE. Plus, well, "kool" is better than "common." (Eventually KDE and its rivals GNOME and Xfce went on to replace CDE on Linux and some other Unix-like systems.)
      • The aforementioned desktop environments are all based on a certain common GUI system. This system is named... X. Just like that.
        • It's part of a pattern. It was the successor to the W GUI system, which was used by the V operating system. No Y yet.
          • W, as in "windowed". X, being the letter after W, was a perfectly legitimate name for W's successor.
    • And then there's POSIX. It stands for Portable Operating System Interface. Where does the X come from? It looks cool.
      • Probably from UNIX which is 'successor' of Multics (Multi-/Uni-) with XtremeKoolLetter at the end.
        • Ken Thompson's original version of the OS, written in Assembly, was called UNICS, a pun on MULTICS. Dennis Ritchie's C rewrite saw the name change to Unix.
    • An interesting case is the music player Amarok, which was originally spelled amaroK until it was decided that looked stupid. "Amarok" is the name of a real Inuit deity, however.
  • There was the Newgrounds troll group the "Kitty Krew." This sometimes lead to some unfortunate acronyms with some anti-KK groups, such as the "Kitty Krew Killers."
  • The music database MusicBrainz.
  • it iz common 4 teenz 2 do dis when textinq, also there iz a trend of usinq q instead of g.


Pro Wreztling[edit | hide]

  • The Hardy Boyz, and their perennial rivals The Dudley Boyz, in WWE.
    • The Hardy's stable with Lita was also referred to as Team Xtreme
    • Spotlighted in a promo by Edge and Christian, the rivals of both teams, when mentioning "The Hardyz, and the Dudleyz, both of whom inexplicably spell their names with Z's"
    • Edge and Christian once brought out two senior citizens dressed as the Hardys to mock them, claiming that they were the Hardy Boyz from the future. Christian asked them if, in the future, people still spell things with Z's instead of S's.
  • Wrestling Society X
  • XPW (Xtreme Pro Wrestling), where both acronym and full name drop the E.
  • The XFL, WWE's short-lived foray into pro football. Unlike most pro sports league names, it wasn't an acronym; the X didn't stand for anything. It was supposed to stand for "eXtreme Football League"; the only reason it didn't is because there was already an Xtreme Football League at the time, which, ironically, ended up merging with the AFL before its first game.
  • There's NXT. Doesn't stand for anything, that's just the "xtreme kool" way of spelling "next" (since the program is the "next" generation of WWE).
  • After many years of identifying WrestleMania events with Roman numerals, #17 was officially X-Seven – pronounced "ecks-seven". And the next year saw X8, "ecks-eight". From #19 (XIX) onwards, all-Roman numbers have been back in vogue.
  • ECW's Rhino was renamed Rhyno when he went to WWF. That wasn't about being "Xtreme" though, that was so WWF/E could establish a trademark, hence why he went back to being Rhino after they canned his ass.
  • ECW itself was an xception to the rulez, so to speak, by correctly using an E for Extreme. (Other wrestling promotions such as XPW, as noted above, are not so grammatically-minded.) It was founded in 1992, though: you can bet that 10 or so years later there would have been an X in there for sure – their late-period pay-per-view Anarchy Rulz submitted to this trope, for instance. They also started out as Eastern Championship Wrestling.
  • Shawn Michaels and Triple H (and X-Pac, and Chyna, and Billy Gunn and Road Dogg) ARE D-Generation X, and they've got two words for ya...
  • Vince Russo's Sports Entertainment Xtreme faction from the early days of TNA.
  • Towards the end of WCW, wrestler Disco Inferno started spelling his name "Disqo Inferno."
  • The Radicalz


Ray-D-O[edit | hide]

  • Adam and Joe introduced a series of Song Wars Classics, which they insisted was spelt Song Wars Kqllasixcq (with a silent X).
  • Univision uses the "La Kalle" brand for many of its music stations in the U.S.


Sportz[edit | hide]

  • Many minor league sports teams use Xtreme Kool Letterz in their names, especially indoor football teams. A few examples: Kissimmee Kreatures, Nashville Kats, Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz, Kalamazoo Xplosion, Lehigh Valley Outlawz, Kansas Koyotes, Memphis Xplorers. Baseball has the Orem Owlz, the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx, and many varieties of "Sox" (though baseball teams have been using this spelling for over a hundred years).
    • The phonetic spelling of "Sox" was so immigrants would know how to pronounce it correctly.
    • The Orem Owlz are one of the final examples of a period of history in the state of Utah when this trope got out of hand. After people started making the connection that the three main sports teams in the state all had a double Z (The Jazz, the Grizzlies and The Buzz) people decided every team in Utah needed to follow suit. This lead to such team names as The Freezze, the Starzz, the Blitzz and the Owlz. Even The Buzz was changed to The Stingerzz for a while. This fad has since been proven to be stupid and doesn't show up with new teams.
  • Another French example: Le Parkour.
  • The XFL lived on this trope... which is why it died after a single season.
  • ESPN's Summer and Winter X-Games.
  • This high school football team. Admittedly, scoring 122 points in a single game and not being called out across the country for bad sportsmanship is extremely cool.[8]
  • Subversion: The Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox baseball teams didn't get their names because they looked cooler than "Red Stockings" or "White Stockings" (their original names), but because it was easier for the newspapers to print "Sox" than "Stockings." Eventually, the names stuck.
  • Quebec City's minor league basketball team is known as the "Kebs," short for "Kebekwa"—a phonetic spelling of Québécois, but rather ironically in English phonetics.


Taybletop Gamez[edit | hide]

  • The Orks' Da Orkz' Funetik Aksent is spelled with these in Warhammer 40,000. So are the names of lots of daemons. (Although the daemons often look like they've been spelt by randomly punching a keyboard).
  • Waste World RPG presents some kool spelling variationz like "skavengers," "drakonium," "konvoys," "kimera" and the like.
  • Many games, including Dungeons & Dragons from 3rd edition forward, gave in and abbreviated "experience points" as "XP". This carries over to computer games, too.


Vydeo Gamez[edit | hide]

  • Nintendo:
  • Good Old Games displays the message "Kewl, your purchase is complete" after you buy a game.
  • Bowser's vehicle in Super Mario World was originally the Koopa Klown Kar. Now it's the Koopa Clown Car.
  • Mortal Kombat takes this to an extreme.
    • In that series, every word which starts with a hard C (with some of the exceptions being Johnny Cage's last name and the live action series Mortal Kombat Conquest) is spelt with a K. Worse still, those are apparently the proper spellings of those words in the MK universe. Damn.
    • Another exception is the kharacter Chameleon, who started out as a kharacter who switched between the movesets of the male Ninjas. However, this is also kountered by the kharacter Khameleon, who does the same thing but for the female ninjas.
  • Gruntz is a puzzle game where plurals end in Z instead of S in the help file and in-game text. There are a few missed instances, however.
  • Mega Man X; the Game Boy Color versions were titled Mega Man X-Treme. A later series goes even further: Mega Man ZX, it's very convenient that the characters Zero and X already have the naming conventions to set up the kool title.
  • The release of the Microsoft Xbox provoked games publishers into a flurry of Xtreme naming to distinguish their not-so Xtreme ports of PlayStation 2 titles from the original versions.
  • In the Jak videogame series, the police Mooks are called the Krimzon Guard, despite the fact that the elites are dressed in yellow armor. (To be fair, the normal Krimzon Guard do dress in red.)
  • Kingdom Hearts is especially bad with this one:
    • Every single member of Organization XIII has an X in his or her name. What's more, their names are anagrams on their real names with an X thrown in for Theme Naming. 'Roxas' is also a real name (both place and person—it's mostly popular in the Phillipines), which helped to shade the obvious anagram that would ruin the Tomato in the Mirror. The more you know! Axel and Xion are real names as well, and the three make up the most sympathetic members of the Org.
    • Word of God from the Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep Ultimania vaguely justifies the Organization's Xtreme Kool Letteringz as being due to Xemnas's memories of his former self Xehanort's goals to obtain the χ-blade.
      • Subversion in the above rules, as normally the foreign letters aren't pronounced any different, but here χ-blade was not pronounced as X-blade but as "chi" blade (which actually sounds more like keyblade, so it fits).
  • HeadGames made a series of extreme sports games, including eXtreme PaintBrawl, eXtreme Watersports, and eXtreme Bull Riding. PC Gamer reviewer Colin Williamson was given the task of reviewing all of these and spared no chance to mock this at every turn. On eXtreme PaintBrawl:

It's gaming garbage taken to the eXtreme! Avoid at all costs.

  • The unofficial abbreviation usually used for the PlayStation (until the PS2 came out, at least) was "PSX." This is because the console's codename during development was the "PlayStation Experimental." Made much worse by the fact that Sony actually released a separate console called the PSX (only in Japan, of course) which incorporated a video, photo, and music player with DVR support, along with the capability of playing PS/PS2 games.
  • This is just a screw-up of IGN's, but in a recent video report they referred to a game as "Sigma Harmonix" in text. Ten seconds later, we have a shot of the game's logo, which spells "Harmonics" like a normal person would. (Harmonix (spelled that way) is a different brand entirely.)
  • Parodied repeatedly in the online RPG Kingdom of Loathing.
  • The XBand service used a primitive modem cartridge for the SNES/Genesis to connect to players (as if on a BBS) through a now defunct service. The company that made it went on to create a Windows-based MPlayer service, which also eventually shut down. What made it even more Xtreme was the A in the logo was upside-down. Wait for it... XB∀ND!
  • Any term related to the Kremlins in Donkey Kong Country had their hard "C"'s replaced with "K"'s. This installment of Battle Of The Video Game Heroes Lampshades this by having DK ask if they honestly have to keep doing it.
  • The Shutokou Battle series of street racing games is known as Tokyo Xtreme Racing in North America.
  • There's a game in the Grandia series which is outside the main game 'continuity' (though none of the numbered games are related in any way). It's called... Grandia Xtreme! What's so Xtreme about it? It's primarily focused around Level Grinding.
  • The Spiritual Successor to Pokémon Colosseum, Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness. Apparently, "XD" stands for "eXtra Dimension." The pronounciation is actually supposed to be "Excess," but really, no one says that.
  • Left 4 Dead ostensibly has a reason for doing this, but it would be a blatant lie if we said the marketing team didn't use the 4 in the title for this reason.
  • The undeniably awesome "Petz" genre for the DS, namely the related "Dogz," "Catz" and "Horsez." How can you resist these 4 awesome names?
  • The Turbografx 16 action RPG series Exile is called XZR in Japan. They are pronounced the same if you torture the phonetics enough.
  • The Big Bad in Final Fantasy VIII replaces every c with a k. Although the Big Bad isn't really that cool or extreme in the relative sense. That didn't stop her theme music from being called "The Extreme".
  • A lot of Rareware's early games. Jetpac, Tranz Am, Atic Atac, Sabre Wulf, Underwurlde, Blackwyche and Dragon Skulle, oh my.
  • Certain expansion packs of Koei's Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors games bear the subtitle of Xtreme Legends.
  • The name of Battle Tanx just says it all really, with bonus points for making it a Wiki Word. Also apply to one of its little-know spinoff, WDL: War Jetz.
  • Somewhat lampshaded in Brutal Legend, where Eddie Riggs names his faction Ironheade, with an E to let others know that they're not kidding.
  • Intelligent Qube gets an honorable mention. It has a Q so it can be shortened to IQ. The European version goes for the more hard-hitting "Kurushi".
  • Marcus Fenix, sort of. Maybe they were targeting it to a base that they knew couldn't spell "phoenix"?
  • Did Blizzard think players of StarCraft wouldn't be able to spell "phoenix?" One of the Protoss characters is named Fenix.
    • Justified. He's a Protoss, not human. Said Scary Dogmatic Aliens also have names like Zeratul, Aldaris, Artanis and Raszcagal.[9]
  • The interface used on the Play Station 3, PSP, and some Sony TVs is officially named the XrossMediaBar (pronounced cross media bar).
  • Some of the Sonic the Hedgehog series' music albums sometimes have the word 'Traxx' or 'Soundtrax' within its title. There's also Sonic Xtreme.
  • THE iDOLM@STER
  • I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MBIES 1NIT!!!1
  • 3D Ballz
  • Comix Zone
  • Dynowarz
  • F.3.A.R.. Usually satirically pronounced as F'three'er, Eff'three'er, or even Free'r.
  • Frequently used in MMORPGs when a player really wants a name that has already been picked by someone else.
  • A rather confusing variation is Karnaaj Rally. After a quick analyzation you've probably come to the realization that it's "Carnage Rally". It seems they changed "C" to "K", which is common ever since Mortal Kombat. They added an extra "A" and changed the last two letters to "J".
  • Aggressors of Dark Kombat, the title of a Fighting Game for the Neo Geo, played on both Mortal Kombat and the name of the company that created it, ADK.
  • The obscure 1982 Midway Games game Kozmik Krooz'r.
  • Look no further than Egosoft's X-Universe, an entire series which gets its name from the player's ship in X: Beyond the Frontier: The Xperimental Shuttle.
    • A lot of human names seem to be recognizably modified from present-day names (Jesan is close to Jason, etc.).
    • Torus Aeternal.
  • Tachyon the Fringe's cover art replaced the 'o' in 'tachyon' with the Greek letter omega (Ω).


Vizual Novelz[edit | hide]

  • In Umineko no Naku Koro ni, Furudo Erika is an example of this in Japanese. Her given name, which would usually be spelled エリカ, is spelled ヱリカ. The ヱ is pronounced exactly the same as エ, but practically never shows up in normal writing anymore because it is archaic. Fitting for a Mary Sue Deconstruction.


Web Anym@tion[edit | hide]

  • Parodied on Homestar Runner: the creators have intentionally used Xtreme Kool Letterz in ways that make no sense:
    • Spelling "awesome" as "awexome."
    • The best is "Videlectrix Kidx."
    • For April Fools' Day, they make an intro for HSR Xeriouxly Forxe. Homestar... er, "H. Star" pronounces this with each X as a "KS" sound, rexulting in him getting xcolded by "S. Bad," who replaxes all hix xibilant conxonantx with pronounxed X's.


Web Komix[edit | hide]

  • Penny Arcade's Tycho has a fit when he hears about "Gamez N Flix."
  • In a similar fashion, Erin from Critical Miss has an "English gland" that flares up that flares when the language is abused, and becomes an Eldritch Abomination when she sees too much of this.
  • Khaos Komix. It fit the original comic a bit better than the current incarnation.
  • Xkcd: The apparent acronym has no particular meaning, but hits a few kool letterz. According to the author: "It's just a word with no phonetic pronunciation -- a treasured and carefully-guarded point in the space of four-character strings."
  • In Start of Darkness, a print addendum to the popular webcomic The Order of the Stick, Xykon's main goal while he was alive was to be a "badass evil villain". To this end, he not only invents a "cool-sounding name with an 'X' in it" for himself, he splits hairs over how people spell it.

Xykon: ... and my name is Xykon.
Right-Eye: Um, yes, OK, great and powerful sorcerer Zykon--
Xykon: No, no, no! With an X, not a Z! Z's are for pussies.

  • A.I. in Schlock Mercenary sometimes use numbers to substitute for letters, and even whole syllables, in their names; for example, "5er0" (pronounced "Ver-None," with 5 substituting for its Roman equivalent, V) instead of Vernon.
  • Last Res0rt has it right in the title, though Word of God justifies it on the basis of having a hard time securing a domain name in the "correct" spelling.
  • Parodied in Overcompensating.
  • The title Loserz has to be a bit sarcastic about this.
  • Slackerz, (even in the title) alludes to this constantly.
  • And there's "Mylytant Femynyst" from Precocious, for the "wymyn" version (see below).
  • The trolls of Homestuck, who seem to be in a Lensman Arms Race for the most obnoxious IM behavior, among other things pathologically replace letters with Xtra Kool ones, or with numbers.
  • Dan of El Goonish Shive sometimes uses these in the narration boxes.


Web Ureejnul[edit | hide]

"You have received an infraction for violating the Meez Rulz."

please, use the correct terminology
mundane: emoticon
occult: emotickon

Westurn Anym@tion[edit | hide]

  • Dimension X from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1987, which is alternately described as a distant spiral galaxy or an alternate dimension. Krang is possibly another example of 'K' for koolness.
  • The Powerpuff Girls:
    • In "Knock It Off": Professor Dick Hardly is selling his PPG clones under the name "Powerpuff Girlz X-treme," even going as far as calling Chemical X "Chemical X-treme."
    • Of course, the Japanese-created adaptation series is titled Powerpuff Girls Z. Even worse, the Japanese DVD episode titles imply that they should be called "Powerpuff Girlz Z."
  • Clone High parodied this with a Totally Radical energy drink called X-Stream Blu.
  • Presumably, the reason Swat Kats isn't titled SWAT Cats is because of this trope. The fact that the subtitle is "The Radical Squadron" seems to support that (as does the whole series' tone).
  • Following the "Keystone Kops" example above, an episode of The Simpsons has Krusty the Clown (which is an example right there) hosting "Krusty's Komedy Klassic" at the Apollo Theater. He really shouldn't have put the acronym on stage in big white letters in front of that many black people...

Krusty: Hey, hey! It's great to be back at the Apollo Theater, and... (notices the three white K's behind him onstage) KKK? That's not good!

  • Also related to the above example, SpongeBob SquarePants's principle restaurant is titled the Krusty Krab.
  • Another early example of this trope being applied deliberately: Dragon Flyz (from 1996).
  • "Sonic Sez" from Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog. Of note, though, is the fact that "Sez" was written by Tails in each case, and when Sonic appeared, he would correct it to "Says".
    • "Sez" was also used on newspaper headlines decades before AoStH came about.
  • X-Men Evolution has Spyke and Berzerker.
  • Galactik Football
  • In Batman Beyond's future, the streets of Gotham City are plagued by a gang called the "Jokerz." Bruce is not impressed.
  • Code Lyoko does this with the monsters: Kankrelat (from French "cancrelat"), Blok, Krabe, Kongre, Rekin, Kalamar, Kolossus... Justified in-story with Odd doing most of the naming, and that's just the kind of thing he'd do. On the same note: "Lazer Arrow!"
  • The world of Invader Zim has no school, but rather a "Skool." Although it's not there to be cool, just to show how crappy their world is.
  • Disney had also originally intended to use that spelling of the word for the title of The Emperors New School. They also have the main character Kuzco, whose name came from the Peruvian city Cuzco.
  • Disney is replacing Toon Disney with XD. It's as bad as it sounds and the marketing is even worse.
  • The X-DuckX play this totally straight.
  • Futurama:

Bender: Blackmail is such an ugly word. I prefer "extortion." The "x" makes it sound cool.

  • Though it's not really in the cartoons themselves, these fan-made profiles for Simba and Timon & Pumbaa spell The Lion King's villain's name as "Skar", despite it being spelled as "Scar" everywhere else.
  • Ellipsanime's Xcalibur drops the E from the name of a certain legendary sword to supposedly sound cool.
  • Wakfu makes largely use of Sdrawkcab Name, but sometimes combines it with this for some names, like "Rubilax" ([Exc]alibur again), "Kabrok" ("corbac", French slang for raven), "Sybannak" (Cannabis)...
  • The Amazing Spiez, a spin-off series of Totally Spies!
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender subtly manages to slip this in. Everyone in the fire nation's royal family has the letter Z in their name (Zuko, Azula, Ozai, Sozin), and many characters from the Water Tribes have names featuring K (Katara, Sokka, Hakoda, Pakku, Kana, Kya). Iroh and Ursa are the odd ones out for the former example.
  • Two episodes of Jimmy Two-Shoes: "No Rulez Rules Jimmy" and "Team X-treme Team."
  • Lampshaded in the Robot Chicken sketch "8 Carrot".

Daffy: B-Rabbit, you're on.
Bugs: Eh, I told you, Daffy, my name is Bugs.
Daffy: No, your MC name is B-Rabbit! We've got to appeal to today's kids! No longer Looney Tunes, we're "Lizooney Tizunes"! Woo-hoo! Real hip-hop, dawg!

  • Courage the Cowardly Dog has Cats Katz.
  • The Problem Solverz and many of its episode titles. Interestingly, "Zoo Cops" is an exception to this. And bizarrely enough, Problem Solvers is actually spelled correctly in the pilot (just not in the title).
  • Cubix. Standard robots will have 'ix' on the end of their names, while Doctor K's creations always have a name beginning with K. Kolossal, Krab, Katastrophe, Klobber, Kannon, the Kulminator...
  • A short-lived Saturday Morning Cartoon on CBS in 1998 was called Birdz.
  • In Daria: Mystik Spiral, Trent Lane's band. Though he might change the name....


Reel Lyfe[edit | hide]

  • Malcolm X, whose real name Malcolm Little was obviously not kool enough. His point was that his last name was something given to his family as slaves. That means his real surname wasn't little, but something else. So the X was the symbol for that name.
  • A Norwegian 6-year old forced his parents to deliver a letter he wrote to the King of Norway, asking for permission to change his name to Sonic X.
  • The middle name of David X. Cohen, one of the creators of Futurama, starts with S. However, there was already a guy named David S. Cohen when the primetime animated series crews unionized, and the Writer's Guild of America does not allow multiple members to have the same name, so he adopted X "because it looked sci-fi-ish" and to ensure that he'd be the David Cohen everyone remembered.
  • The name Robert X. Cringely, well-known in tech circles, was entirely made up by InfoWorld magazine to provide some continuity for one of their columns, which would otherwise have been attributed to a string of short-lived writers. However, one Mark Stephens picked up the column and gained much fame with the Cringely name in the '90s. InfoWorld fired Stephens in 1995 and still has other writers filling in as "Cringely," but let him use the name outside of competing magazines as a settlement.
  • America's Best Dance Crew is a particularly egregious example of this. Almost every crew have "kool letterz" their name, but as an example three crews have the word "crew" in their name. Here are the ways they spell that otherwise simple word: "Cru," "Kru," and "Cr3w."
  • For the same thing with a different cause, see certain groups within the Womyn's Movement.
  • Many of the baby names discussed at this page suffer from this. "Mackenzie" not unique and special enough? How about Makenzy? Mykynzy? Mkynzptlk.? Mxyzptlk?
  • When parents name their children with Xtreme Kool Letterz:
    • Common in Brazil: many mothers (specially from poor families) like to put fancy, Xtremely Kool names on their children. From simply replacing 'c' with 'k' to entire contraptions with loads and loads of 'k', 'w', 'y', 'll' etc...
    • This is also common as hell in Black America. Those "Stereotypical Ghetto Names" are that way because it's popular. "Shaniqua" and "Keyshana" etc etc. link
    • Filipino families today are guilty of naming their children with such names as Krizalyn and Johndex. And their names are written on their birth certificates. Their excuse is that the old Filipino names [taken from Spanish names] are a tad boring and the recent American names are quite becoming cliche, so they decided that it would be cool if they add an extra letter and change some letter.
  • The AHEM military contracting company formerly known as Blackwater has changed their name to Xe. One could say that these days, Blackwater's name is mud.... So they changed it. Plus, there is the irony of them changing their name to the chemical symbol of an almost inert gas. Rachel Maddow quickly took to pronouncing it "she."
  • There is a cable TV channel in Brazil (Telecine) that once a week broadcasts movies subtitled with internet slang and Xtreme Kool Letterz.
  • Older Than Radio example: The nut that gives Coca-Cola (as well as Pepsi) its flavor is called a kola nut, but the spelling was changed to a "C" to match "coca" and "cocaine." (Partially subverted in that C is a less Kool letter than K.)
  • A possible etymology for "OK" is that it was an Xtreme Kool Letterz version for "All Correct": "Oll Korrect".
  • The Ku Klux Klan is clearly an example of this, and they have a potential to ruin an otherwise appealing use of Xtreme Kool Letterz when someone notices that the initials are KKK. Sometimes in comedy, as with Krusty's Komedy Klassic in The Simpsons or the Kappa Kappa Kappa sorority on Mad TV, this unfortunate set of initials will be played for laughs. Remember, though, that Hitler Ate Sugar and this trope is still not a bad thing even though a group of equally repulsive racists has taken a liking to the use of Xtreme Kool Letterz.
    • In the 20s, a Klansman could meet at a Klavern to have a Klonversation with the local Kleagle. Don't know the rules? Don't worry, they're all laid out in the Kloran. (Apparently, the Klan had the same naming conventions as the Donkey Kong series.)
    • There's an urban legend that "Ku Klux" approximates the sound of a shotgun being cocked. Another idea was that "Ku Klux" is a bastardization of kuklos, Greek for "ring" or "circle". The Kuklos Adelphon was basically the KKK before it was the KKK. Rumor has it that "klan" was added to the end, because the founders of the KKK were Scots-Irish.
    • There are various theories (some with more credibility than others) about the origin of the name, but no one knows the true story. All of them, however, contain a tacit admission of "it was mostly done that way because it looked cool." Whatever the reason, it gave an unhelpfully tongue-twisting name that many people erroneously or accidentally render as Klu Klux Klan.
  • For trademark purposes, the Sci-Fi channel recently changed its name to "Syfy", which is Polish for "acne." Parts of the sci-fi fanbase has decided it is short for syphilis. (No doubt you saw the subtle irony in the Polish translation.)
  • In the Japanese Language:
    • Using katakana in places where hiragana is normally used is something of an equivalent of Xtreme Kool Letterz. For example, オ早ウゴザイマス is considered more Xtreme than お早うございます. Though usually, when a character's lines are written in katakana, it's done to indicate that the character is speaking in a thick foreign accent or with No Indoor Voice.
    • Katakana is normally used for words originating in non-Chinese countries (especially English). Currently, it is considered 'kewl' to render foreign-originating words in Kanji for phonetic value ("Ateji", it's called; Touhou uses a lot of these, incidentally).
    • The odd thing is, both of these are older ways of writing things down.
  • The research paper database arXiv (the X is a Greek chi). Its pronounced "archive."
  • Aleister Crowley popularized the "Magick" spelling for magic in the modern western world. Now, there are people who spell it "majyyk."
    • Fun fact: dropping needless 'k's at the end of words like "magick," "musick" and "publick" was one specific goal of folks like Noah Webster.
  • All X-perimental aircrafts by the USAF, from the Bell X-1 to the Boeing X-53 are called X-planes.
  • The ratings "X" and "XXX"—except not. The other ratings (originally G, M, and R) were trademarked by the MPAA, but X was not; the original meaning was something like "this movie has not been rated by the MPAA." It could be self-applied by producers to any movie to indicate that they felt it was inappropriate for those under the age of 17. It was soon co-opted by the porn industry, and "XXX" was a marketing gimmick intended to imply something along the lines of "this movie is three times raunchier than an ordinary X". Non-porno filmmakers realized that the X rating had become essentially synonymous with pornography, and pressured the MPAA for a different designation. Eventually X changed to NC-17, which WAS an official rating and was a decided move away from Xtreme Kool Letterz. (And then Showgirls came out and NC-17 became porn.)
  • The Old English/Old Norse letter thorn (Þ / þ) has been used in place of a p in the "tongue sticking out" emoticon. Conversely the ð in Skaði (pronounced like the th in thus) has been turned into a d among astronomers.
  • In the UK at least, it is common to give limited-stop bus routes a number with an "X" prefix for Express, although this goes back many years. Of cource whilst giving a bus route an "X" prefix doesn't make it sound cooler (try as they do, making buses "cool" is very hard), it does make it sound faster. It is not uncommon to find "X" routes that are far from express.
  • Kamaz. It is actually an abbreviation, standing for Kamsky Avtomobilny Zavod, or "Kama Automobile Plant" (Kama is the name of a river).
  • The '50s and early '60s hot rod culture favored the term "kustom", particularly in George Barris' Kustom Kars (Barris is famous for many awesome TV Kars, including The Munsters' family koach, the Monkee-Mobile, the General Lee and the Batmobile).
  • In 11 markets, Comcast has changed the name of its "Triple Play" service to Xfinity, probably under the belief that it is "contemporary." Furthering this delusion, they have covered the site with Klavika (a sans-serif typeface with squarish curves that has become a go-to "web 2.0" face). Their mobile internet service, meanwhile, is the predictably "kewl" Internet 2go.
  • The Monster Raving Loony Party has purposely misspelled "Education" in their suggestions (2) page for their manifesto.
  • Toys "Я" Us.
  • Native Instruments seem not to be able to decide between Xtreme Kool Letterz and Gratuitous German. Product names like Reaktor or Kontakt fall into both categories, Komplete falls only into the former, and Maschine falls only into the latter.
  • Roland's top workstation generations of the 21st century have been named Fantom. The true reason, however, is that they weren't allowed to use Phantom.
  • The Oberheim Xpander synthesizer.
  • Wichita Falls, Texas has a mall called Sikes Senter.
  • The Improv Comedy troupe known as Comedy Sportz.
  • The computer hardware manufacturer Asus has a range of "Xtreme Design" motherboards.
  • "Tyre". Sure, it's the legitimate British and Commonwealth spelling of the word (for "the rubber thing you put on a wheel"—as distinct from "to weary", which remains tire), but it sure rubs off this way to North Americans.
  • An Android OS Twitter Client was renamed Twidroyd from Twidroid after being bought by Idealab's Tweet Up. The reasoning for this is that Lucas Films owns the trademark for the word Droid, nevermind the other bamillion apps with Droid in the name that aren't being sued right now.
  • In U.S. Air Force Civil Engineering units, pavement and heavy equipment operators are also known as "Dirt Boyz."
  • While X-rays weren't originally called that way for kool reasons, the name was certainly used that way afterwards. Witness the X-RAY shoe fitting machine, a relic of an era where radiation was widely considered to be the new and trendy scientific cure-all, with predictably disastrous results.
  • In the Philippines, there is a language called jejemon which follows the rules of this trope. And yes, the Filipino grammar nazis hate them.
  • Raven-Symoné. The accent serves no obvious purpose, since it's pronounced "Raven-Simone".
  • Phreaking, a now-discredited trope. (When was the last time you saw a phone booth?) Also, fone cards.
  • Coca-Cola had Coke Blak, with the a having what was supposed to be a breve but looked more like a tilde. It was a mixture of Coke and coffee.
  • Many Christian youth-oriented church groups have been doing variants on this since the late 80's and like most, it's questionable if there's any payoff for doing it.
  • The Cité Internationale Universitaire in Paris, which houses international students at the various Paris learning institutions, has a lot of fun with foreign letters on its signs, such as this or this. They don't even stay consistent throughout.
  • There's an office building in the St. Louis suburbs called Cequel III.
  • Xian and Xmas are common abbreviations for Christian and Christmas. The X abbreviation is taken from the Greek letter X or Chi, the initial of Christ.
  • Behold...the Chevrolet Cruze Wagon!
  • The Citroen Xsara. Pronounced "Zara" in UK adverts.
  • The AMC AMX. Its full name is the American Motors Corporation American Motors eXperimental
  • The names kids choose for themselves on Xbox Live. Hell, even the name Xbox itself.
  • The now defunct Burger Chef chain, which was sold to Hardee's, had sandwiches named the Super Shef and the Top Shef (a burger with cheese and bacon).

Because poor literacy is KeWL!

  1. The misspelling "kewl" only makes sense in American dialects; everywhere else distinguishes "ew" from "oo".
  2. "Hacker" is a case of You Keep Using That Word
  3. That was probably unintentional in terms of Xtremeness, seeing as how the brand name is, of course, Heinz, and the ad was just a play on it, not on Sup4 Kule L3tt4rz.
  4. The X is short for "Extensions". The Win32 GDI (the standard set of libraries used by Windows programs to perform graphics and input functionalities) proved too bulky and too slow to be used for games, having been designed instead to be a more general set of functionalities for application development. "Direct Extensions," or DirectX, was a library meant to simplify access to low level input/output hardware for graphics, input, sound, and networking. X for eXtension also applies to Intel's MMX instruction set. The other letters varied in meaning, or lack thereof, according to which side of the legal battlefield you were standing on. The X in this case is also the variable 'X'. Direct X is a collection of several different technologies.
  5. To be entirely fair, the letters indicate the particular feature package. "GT" stands for "Grand Touring," SS for "Super Sport," etc. Most GM muscle cars came in basic packages and enhanced SS packages (and not a few GT packages, although this was more a Ford feature), and even occasionally wandering off into nonsense territory, like the Camaro Z28 SS. While still "xtreme," the concept predated the modern fascination with xtremeness by at least forty years.
  6. three dimensions: its place on the mat, and the cards under it
  7. Except that the "X-tinction" title had already been used multiple times throughout the history of the team. He probably just wasn't allowed to use it again.
  8. It helps that their opponent had been putting up lopsided scores throughout their run to the championship game...and also that said opponent still managed to score 88 in the loss.
  9. pronounced "rash-a-gall"