Grade "A" Nimrod

Why did I choose, of all possible names, the name “Nimrod” for my central character in the Nimrod the Hunter series?

I mean, it’s almost impossible to think of the name “Nimrod” and not associate it with someone who is acting a fool, an idiot, a moron. The name has become part of our culture, referencing anyone who acts foolishly. This cartoon is a perfect example of that, with an exasperated Calvin berating Suzy’s habit of deconstructing her sandwich before eating it as the act of a nimrod.

Which is odd, when you consider that the name belongs to one of the Biblical kings of old – a great-grandson of Noah, King of Shinar (Mesopotamia), in which resided the great cities of Babel and Uruk. He was known as a “might hunter before the Lord”, and as a “mighty one upon the Earth” – so how is it that the name of this great Hebrew king is now associated with buffoons and nincompoops?

To answer that, you have to look at another cartoon: Bugs Bunny. No, really.

In one of the Warner Bros. cartoon shorts, Bugs calls his perpetual antagonist – the hapless Elmer Fudd, a “poor little Nimrod”. Now, keep in mind that the creators of the Looney Toons characters were from New York City, and Jewish; early cartoons were not written for children, but for adults. Bugs was mocking the ineffectual Fudd, by comparing him to Nimrod – a “mighty hunter”. People mistook the meaning, and instead associated “nimrod” with words like schmuck, fool, idiot.

So, this wascally wabbit is responsible for the meaning of the word nimrod as we know it today. Which is a typically Bugs Bunny/trickster-like thing to do.

And exactly the reason why I kept the name.

I wanted a name that would act as a dichotomy to the intimidatingly large size of the character, and give him a reason beyond a gruff personality to become easily annoyed at others.  I thought about giving him a girlish name, but then the name Nimrod came to me and I thought: hmmm…

It works for me, on many levels – so I kept it.  Nimrod that I am 🙂