The Strange Burden of a Name

A name is sometimes a ridiculous fate. For example, a man afflicted with the name of Kill Sin Pimple lived in Sussex, in 1609. In the spring of that year, the record shows, Kill Sin served on a jury with his Puritan neighbors, including Fly Debate Roberts, More Fruit Fowler, God Reward Smart, Be Faithful Joiner and Fight the Good Fight of Faith White. Poor men. At birth, their parents had turned them into religious bumper stickers.

Names may carry strange freights -- perverse jokes, weird energies of inflicted embarrassment. Another 17th century Puritan child was condemned to bear the name...

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