Thought for the Day

If I could choose any name I wanted and require everyone to call me by that name, I think I would probably go with something considerably more creative than “Francis”. Just saying.

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39 Responses to “Thought for the Day”

  1. 1 1 Neil

    For sure. A name like Francis would get you beaten up when I was in school.

  2. 2 2 Gordon / Brooks


    I’ll let those much more familiar than I with the apparently profound philosophical significance of “Francis” in the history of Catholicism take you to task for that wise crack.

    But joinging in the spirit of being a wise-a*s, here’s what comes to my mind first when I hear “Francis”

  3. 3 3 Steve Landsburg


    Without intending to imply any similarity between one Francis and another, the first thing the name brings to *my* mind this:

  4. 4 4 David R. Henderson

    LOL. It’s the mule that I immediately thought of. A generational thing, I guess. I think if I could choose any name whatsoever, it would be–David.

  5. 5 5 Jo in OKC

    But in Spanish, he’s Pope Francisco. The traditional nickname for Francisco is Paco, so he can be Pope Paco!

  6. 6 6 David Pinto

    I agree with David R. Henderson (who is not to be confused with Red Sox hero Dave Henderson).

  7. 7 7 Salim

    I think the bigger question is whether you go with a name that will get you a high Roman numeral after your name (Benedict XVI) or a low one (John Paul II) or none at all (Francis – eventually Francis I). I’d go with originality, although probably not Francis as such.

  8. 8 8 Seth

    I heard he wants to be called Psycho.

  9. 9 9 Gordon / Brooks


    How in the world have I never come across that Francis? Those films seem so classic — I feel like a cultural ignoramus, and I feel a sudden, troubling void in my life (What other great things am I oblivious to??).

    I’m familiar with Mr. Ed, but Francis the mule kicks the horse crap out of him.

  10. 10 10 David R. Henderson

    Could be your age. I’m guessing that you’re under 55.

  11. 11 11 Gordon / Brooks


    Indeed, I’m 47. And I’m real glad that there’s something for which I’m too young.

  12. 12 12 Ken
  13. 13 13 Gordon / Brooks

    Hmm, so far (through 12 comments) 25% of comments have included links to the same movie scene vid. Wonder if that percentage will hold up. At first I’d think it wouldn’t, but then again, when there are many more comments, perhaps a lower ratio of those posting new comments will bother checking any prior comments, so the percentage posting that vid may actually increase. On the third hand, those who have already posted it may comment again, and won’t post it again, thus diluting the percentage. On the fourth hand, this comment of mine may affect the outcome vs. what it otherwise would have been (kinda like why determinism is thrown out of whack if anyone could actually generate an otherwise reliable prediction, because the prediction changes the set of elements driving the future, thus altering the calculation of the prediction, cycling back ad infinitum…ok, my head hurts, I’m gonna just watch Francis the mule for a while).

  14. 14 14 Kirk

    I will not include a link. But I agree that the appropriate one involves, “lightening up.”

  15. 15 15 Dan Hill

    It’s an inspired choice, so long as he begins his first papal encyclical with the words “let me be frank…”

  16. 16 16 Eric Nilsson

    The Pope may not be Frank with everyone, but I expect he will be frank with most.

  17. 17 17 Mike H

    This name reminds me of the time a former colleague of mine chose this name for his newborn.

    He had said “I want to be certain that everyone who hears the name will know how it’s spelt, and whether it’s a boy or a girl”

  18. 18 18 Harold

    I thought of this one: Lullaby for Francis by Ian Dury

  19. 19 19 Dave

    Anyone know what the implications would have been if he had chosen something like Badass McBallshit I?

  20. 20 20 Gordon / Brooks


    There could be more…er…controversial names, given the P.R. (and of course, real) problems the church is facing.

    Pope Ben Dover
    Pope Haywood Jablomi
    Pope Barry McCockinnim?

  21. 21 21 Harold

    @20- Whilst we are on the subject of funny names, now is a chance to bring these airport announcments back to attention:

  22. 22 22 Ken B

    It’s fancier than you realize. It nay be spelt “Francis” but it’s pronounced “Throat-warbler Mangrove”.

  23. 23 23 Ken B

    Choosing your own name has many advantages. When I was dating I found using “Johhn D Rockefeller the sixth” very helpful.

  24. 24 24 Harold

    @23: You are a very silly man.

  25. 25 25 Harold

    That shouldbe @22, of course

  26. 26 26 Ken B

    @Harold: It has different conotations when applied to 22 or 23 doesn’t it!

  27. 27 27 Al V.

    I have a friend whose name is Leslie Ann Warren, but she is not that Leslie Ann Warren (some of you may be to young to recognize the name). Back in the day, she always got the best table at restaurants, the best room in the hotel, etc. Of course, folks were disappointed when they realized she wasn’t the celebrity, but Leslie hadn’t misled anyone, it was their own assumption that had tripped them up.

    So, I think I choose Warren Buffet.

  28. 28 28 Al V.

    Now, if I was choosing a pope name, I want to be Pope Lando II. Pope Hilarius II works for me, too.

  29. 29 29 iceman

    How about Pope Pourri?
    Llllighten up Francisco

  30. 30 30 Phil

    Pope Humbert.

  31. 31 31 Dick White

    I recognize Steve’s post and comments are lighthearted and so intended. Perhaps the new Pope selected Francis to remind the faithful of the adage attributed to Francis: “Preach the Gospel always; if necessary speak.”

  32. 32 32 Gordon / Brooks

    @ iceman — lol re: Pourri.

    How about Pope Indapizza ?

  33. 33 33 Gordon / Brooks

    Or Pope Peil

    If I were to celebrate a new pope with friends, I’d call it a “papa party”.

  34. 34 34 Tony

    I suppose that depends on how you define “creative.” He is, after all, the first pope to take the name Francis. It would be much less creative to take the name John, Benedict or Gregory, which are the most common papal names. By choosing Francis, he is up there with “Eleutherius” in creativity, which was only taken once.

  35. 35 35 Advo

    Well the problem is that as a pope, you have a narrow range of acceptable choices. You can’t just call yourself “Conan”, can you?

  36. 36 36 Harold

    Apparently this giving themselves a new name started in 533, when what would have been Pope Mercurius ascended. Having the name of a pagan god was not such a good idea, so he changed it to John II. The previous 55 popes kept their own name. Up to then, all of the popes are now saints, except Liberius and Anastasius.

    The seventh pope was St. Sixtus, which seems a bit of a misnomer. We are now up to Sixtus V, which seems to offer an oppertunity for a future pope to be sixtus six.

    The most recent cannonised pope is St Pius X, died 1914. before that, you have to go back to St. Pius V, 1572. Possibly choosing the name Pius would be a good move if you had ambitions for sainthood.

  37. 37 37 Al V.

    @Harold #36, I hope it will be a while until we have another Pius, given the reign of Pius XII, who was an apologist for the Nazis, a supporter of Mussolini, and silent on the Holocaust. During his papacy, the church in Croatia aided in the rounding up of Jews and Serbs and sending of them to concentration camps.

  38. 38 38 iceman

    @31 – yes at least my intent is lightheartedness not disrespect

  39. 39 39 Will A

    Prof. Landsburg:

    If I could choose any name I wanted

    You can legally change your name if you want. Some with a legal name of John have insisted on being called Jack.

    By choosing to keep your name as Steven it seems you have chosen a name neither less nor more interesting than “Francis”. Just saying.

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