Tom Pepper’s etymology

The title of this blog comes from a line in Charles F. Briggs’s novel The Trippings of Tom Pepper. Over at, Mitch Gould has figured out why the hero of has the name he does. “Tom Pepper” seems to have been a character in folklore, “who, according to nautical tradition, was kicked out of hell for being a bigger liar than His Satanic Majesty.” The innocent-seeming lies of Briggs’s hero are the novel’s inciting force, so the reference to folklore must be the motive behind his name.