This weekend between a conference entitled “Secrecy and Social Practice from Antiquity to Present” and the elegant Pembroke carpeting, I learned a few things. Including: which names I would be willing to pilfer from ancient history for my progeny. And also: that one shouldn’t refrain from playing the What-I-Would-Name-My-Kids game just because one won’t be having kids to name.

So without further ado. The Losers and Winners:


Definitely Not Hot (we had so many qualified applicants, we threw your name away immediately!)

Antigone (alas, a good name spoilt by the advent of psychoanalysis)

Damien (I’m sure most of you are familiar with the common associations with this name but in case you’re fuzzy I’ll refresh you: Damien is the name of the movement-sensing, cackling, Halloween skull that Ms. EM lifted from HalloweenSeasonKickOffParty2007. It currently resides on a kitchen table in Brooklyn and is turned on when guests get tipsy enough to jump. I think we can all agree that no one wants to be named after an automated party decoration. I mean, Tinsel, mayyybe.)


Almost as ’07 as POM

Sophia (error: classic(ist) rookie mistake, name totally played out thanks to New Testament scholars, budding etymologists, starry-eyed academics; bonus exclusionary reason: it means “wisdom.” If you wouldn’t tattoo the Chinese character on your iliac crest then you probably shouldn’t pin it on a child.)

Sanders (tragic downfall: overuse by men who also use words like “yar” and wear designer casual with their trust funds.)



Caligula (benefits: means “little boots,” according to wikipedia my source of most information about the ancient world, “Although Caligula was popular with the Roman public throughout his reign, the scarce surviving sources focus upon anecdotes of his alleged cruelty, extravagance and sexual perversity, presenting him as an insane tyrant.”)

Medea (I think we’re all clear on this one. If I had a daughter….)