As you probably know, First Things has a long-standing fascination with names and namings, and we write every year about the Census Bureau’s report on the year’s names for babies.

Half our readers love it. Of course, the other half are utterly indifferent when they’re not openly hostile, but the ones who are interested in the topic must read this long essay in the London Review of Books : 5,000 words on the history of naming—prompted, improbably, by the author’s being asked to review Volume 5 of an Ancient Greek lexicon.

Articles by Joseph Bottum

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