The Butcher
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Basic Information

The Butcher is an Always Male Characterization Trope and a common Name. It refers to a character whose name or nickname is or includes the phrase "The Butcher". For Added Alliterative Appeal, the are often "The Butcher of (someplace that starts with a B)". The implication is usually that they've killed enough men they could practically set up a meat market. In a few cases, it may be applied to someone who actually chops the meat off the corpses of his victims, but that's pretty rare.

Related Tropes:

Real Life:

The following are historical and contemporary personages that have become known as The Butcher:

See Also:


  • As with Ulysses Grant above, not all of the butchery need be deliberate: a general known for feeding his own men into (metaphorical) meatgrinders might well be awarded the title for his incompetence.
  • Sometimes "The Butcher" is applied as an ironic nickname to the most timid member of an otherwise violent group or organization.
  • Sometimes it's a red herring, such as cases where the characters job is literally a butcher, but he's a really nice guy.
    • Then there's Butch Cassidy, who really was an outlaw and a bank robber, but whose name came from the fact that he used to work as a butcher.
    • Also, as above William Poole … although by all accounts he wasn't a nice guy, he just happened to dress and sell meat for a living when he wasn't engaged in organised crime.
  • Alternatively, the handle might be given to an incompetent surgeon whose outcomes are less like medicine and more like chopping meat.
  • Might also be used as an ironic name for a very camp male character - either because he "could do to be butcher" or "because he has a lot of mince about him".


: Video game : The upper levels of the dungeon in Diablo were home to an early boss known as "The Butcher" - an obese, cleaver wielding demon with a taste for human flesh, well cured and hung.

Game and Story Use

  • Simple and effective way to note that a character is a murderer, torturer, or head of a genocidal regime. That name says a lot, and none of what it says is pretty.
  • A character named The Butcher might actually be a reincarnation of one of the historically famous Butchers. Or, they might be possessed by the ghost of a historical The Butcher.
  • If you're going for the subversion, don't be surprised if the PCs kill him before they can figure out that he's not the psychopath they thought he was. They're bound to assume that he had to earn a name like The Butcher.
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