Also Known As...
Tuesday, June 19, 2007 at 10:40AM
thedeadpoets in bartholomew, ben johnson, books, dune, frank herbert, frank zappa, geeky, jessica, music, shakespeare, the merchant of venice

What other names did your parents consider for you?

ZOMG!  My dad picked the “boy” name and my mom picked the “girl” name.

Had I been a boy, I would have been “Bartholomew Zuma.”

My parents are both a bit into 16th and 17th century literature, and although they both love Shakespeare, my Dad also loves Ben Johnson.  One of Johnson’s last and best comedies, written sometime between 1620 and 1630 is called Bartholomew Fair.  Zuma Zuma was the name of Frank Zappa’s jazz-influenced side project.  When he wasn’t working with the Mothers of Invention, he was jammin’ with those hep cats.

My mom took my first name, Jessica, from Frank Herbert’s Dune.  But she also liked the idea that the name had originated (in its recognizable English form, at least) in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, wherein Jessica is the name of Shylock’s daughter.  And for a middle name, she picked Elizabeth, since it was the name of Shakespeare’s rather formidable queen.

My parents are such geeks.  <—-that sentence fills me with pride.

Article originally appeared on - official site of the U.S. band, and the endeavors of its members,Wa Conner and Jessica Griffin-Conner (
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