I have watched the movie Deadpool. I found the name quite interesting and read the following article about its origin.

As explained in the movie, Deadpool takes his name from the “dead pool” at the seedy mercenary bar he frequents. Though the term usually refers to a group bet on which celebrity will die next, the film makes it seem like this particular dead pool is limited to the ruthless patrons of Sister Margaret’s Home For Wayward Girls bar, with the joke being that assassinating people is a dangerous line of work so they’re all betting on which one of them will be killed first. But it turns out that’s not the case at all. A handy screenshot of the bar reveals most people have selected real-life celebrities, and Weasel and Wade Wilson are the only two weirdos who have bet on people they know (as referenced in the film, Weasel bets on Wade while Wade bets on a fellow assassin named “J. Boothe”).

-- Source: All the names on Deadpool’s dead pool

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In the movie, Wade Wilson is named Dead Pool. His tough friend Weasel and the cab driver call him Mr Pool, which makes me wonder why the title of the movie is Deadpool, not Dead Pool.

Why does Deadpool get compounded here? To make it sound more pretentious or what?


1 Answer 1


Wade Wilson's nom de guerre is one word, Deadpool; this was his name in the comic books long before the film was made.

In the film, treating it as if it were an ordinary name, "Dead Pool", is a joke: the cabbie uses it because Wade introduces himself as "Pool. Dead", echoing the famous line "Bond. James Bond" line and (as we find out later) echoing his friend Weasel's ironic use of it when Weasel toasts the name they've just settled on.

  • Oh, I'm amazed that you watched it! :) Can "dead pool" be used as a generic name for anyone appearing on a dead pool?
    – Kinzle B
    Jul 24, 2016 at 14:49
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    @KinzleB I didn't watch it; I just looked up the script. "Deadpool" doesn't mean "participant in a dead pool"; indeed, it doesn't "mean" anything outside of this fictional universe, it's just a name coined by the character (though I suppose you could us it as an attributive, e.g. a deadpool participant). Jul 24, 2016 at 15:33
  • So I don't need a hyphen to make deadpool adjectival?
    – Kinzle B
    Jul 24, 2016 at 16:07
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    @KinzleB Such compounds vary in their spelling. Typically they're spelled with a hyphen when new and eventually "graduate" to single-word status. A classic example: the name of my favorite sport started as base ball and then spent a while as base-ball before becoming baseball. The hyphen in attributive dead-pool participant would be a courtesy to the reader, who when the term dead pool is new may need a hint that the phrase is to be parsed as [dead pool] participant rather than dead [pool participant]. Jul 24, 2016 at 16:26
  • If a name is uttered the inverted way, e.g. 'Pool. Dead', how can I differentiate between a given name and a family name in real life?
    – Kinzle B
    Jul 25, 2016 at 1:13

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