You may have noticed from our emails that we have a new middle name: Ichneumon! Neither of us really wanted to change our last name, so we’ve decided to have a common middle name. If we have kids, Ichneumon will be their last name.
We got to “Ichneumon” through the etymology of our existing last names which both trace back to the German “Brun”. We thought “Gregory Brun Brown” sounded funny, so we went with Ichneumon which is an offshoot of Brun. It is another small brown animal: the Egyptian mongoose.
But what sold it to us is this description:
“To medieval Europeans, however, the ichneumon was the dragon’s worst enemy, using a combination of camouflage and cunning to kill that scaly, winged beast. Given mongooses’ adversarial relationships with snakes, the ichneumon’s story might have had some basis in reality.”
Also: “When it sees a dragon, the ichneumon covers itself with mud, and closing its nostrils with its tail, attacks and kills the dragon.”
Ichneumon also comes from the greek root “ichnos” meaning “searcher” which seemed a fairly apt description of us.