That's one funny Mather

Name, that is.

Cotton Mather.


The only other person I’ve ever heard of named “Cotton” was “Stymie’s” little brother on “The Little Rascals.”

And Cotton Mather’s father’s name?

Increase Mather.


What was up with those 17th century names?

I don’t know, but there was a member of Parliament under Cromwell named Praise-God Barebones.

There are also a couple of Puritans in Ben Jonson’s comedies named Zeal-of-the-Land Busy and Tribulation Wholesome. They’re fictional characters, to be sure, but I assume Ben was making fun of a real trend in baby naming. Maybe Puritan parents were in the habit of just opening a Bible and picking a word at random?

“Don’t take life too serious, son – it ain’t nohow permanent.”

Major Major Major Major,
'nuff said

Butrous Butrous Ghali (sp?)

My $.02.

Don’t forget Picabo Street and that one fellow who changed his name to Trout Fishing in America.


The Puritans had a thing for “virtuous” names. Some examples:

Love (boy’s name!)

And so forth.
– Sylence

And now, for my next trick, I will talk in spooky half-references.