Ecce Homo

Thanks to Targuman, who says “Rather than Charles, wouldn’t he be any Tom, Dick, or Herodotus? He clearly got the human half of each so he is just…human.”

Meanwhile this has sent your editor to the dictionaries to figure out why Minotaur and Centaur weren’t both bullish.

But the CIDU factor mostly remains “Why Charles?” Or whatever leaves you scratching your head here…

(I was also going to ask why WuMo doesn’t appear on WaPo; but it turns out, it does. 🤷‍♂️ )


  1. I admit that it seems unlikely, but it’s possible that the author’s did (too much of) their homework. According to Wikipedia, the etymology of “Charles” traces back to a Germanic root: “The name is atypical for Germanic names as it is not composed of two elements, but simply a noun meaning ‘(free) man‘.” While the meaning “man” fits perfectly here, it doesn’t explain the usage of Germanic name in an obviously Greek scene.

  2. For those curious, the word “centaur” doesn’t come directly from a description of the creature the way “minotaur” does (meaning “bull of Minos”). There was an ancient tribe (of horsemen) that the Greeks called “Kentauros”, which roughly means “piercing bull”. The connection between the tribe and the name is not entirely clear, but the tribe’s name was then used for the half-man half-horse.

  3. Of course that’s an extremely unlikely outcome for a Charles; the vast bulk in the bell curve of Charleses are roughly 1/4 Human, 1/4 Human, (so 1/2 Human), 1/4 Horse, and 1/4 Bull.

    (Hmm… is a Charles like a bull, i.e. the male of the species? Are there also Charlottes? Or are Charleses like mules, and Charlottes like hinnies? And where would you get a Charlotte in that case, being as the Minotaur is already like a mule, requiring a bull sire? (Surely Zeus impregnated a cow somewhere along the line? But wait, that would be half god, half cow… This is getting complicated!) In any case, Charleses are almost sure to be sterile, so you couldn’t breed back to achieve a Charlotte. And actually, the Minotaur would have almost surely been sterile, so how the heck did we get the Charles??)

  4. Behold the legendary Esquilax! A horse with the head of a rabbit!…And the body of a rabbit!

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