What would you call me?

I’ve got this book off at my publisher, and we’re still arguing over the title. Everything else looks good, but we can’t agree on this one rather big thing: my editor definitely wants it to be something personal and about me, of all people. So I have an exercise for everyone. Imagine an infidel like me with a book that skewers religion and triumphantly praises the godless way of life. Imagine the cover. There, in big bold print it says…

The __________ Atheist

Fill in the blank. Remember, it’s got to be provocative but positive, catchy and descriptive. I know you’re all thinking “Poopyhead”, but I’m gonna squelch that one right now. No scatology or obscenity, ’cause while it would be fine to be banned for the content, it’s so petty and superficial to be banned for the cover. It should be something that makes you want to reach out and buy it, too.

Oh, and no, you don’t get a cut for suggesting one adjective.


  1. says

    I already thought of “The Fucking Atheist”, which would just fly off the shelves, but I don’t think the NY Times would let it appear on their list.

  2. Peej says

    The Ragged-Trousered Atheist

    “Clearly frustrated at the refusal of his contemporaries to recognise the inequity and iniquity of society, Tressell’s cast of hypocritical Christians, exploitative capitalists and corrupt councillors provide a backdrop for his main target — the workers who think that a better life is “not for the likes of them” “

  3. Kareth says

    These are what pop to mind immediately:
    The Unapologetic Atheist
    The Atheist They Warned You About
    and, of course,
    The Bearded Atheist

  4. Aleph says

    “Squamous”? It has the tentacled, scaly feel… ^_^’

    Either that or “tentacular”, I suppose. Which also sounds like “spectacular”, which is fitting.

  5. says

    “Unaccommodating,” “inveterate,” and “tentacled” come to mind–after the banned “poopyhead,” of course. “Uncompromising” might work, but then one might just say “scientific,” too, since your angle is pretty much “give us some evidence.” “Evidence-based,” then, might also be ok, while “empirical” would probably be a bit much.

    Glen Davidson

  6. Dar Krum says

    I have heard the name “Teddy Bear” from Jen and others on the net as they describe you. Though with all that facial fur you might be a “Prickly” teddy bear. Or atheist.

  7. raven says

    I already thought of “The Fucking Atheist”, which would just fly off the shelves, but I don’t think the NY Times would let it appear on their list.

    No problem. Have you thought about “The F**king Atheist”? The NYT will never figure it out.

  8. Zinc Avenger says

    I’d go with “good”, as it is accurate, succinct, easy to spell, it would make fundogelicals’ heads explode if “You can be good without god” is an inflammatory statement. It also references the “Good Samaritan” for the biblically-minded – traditionally an enemy but here to help anyway.

  9. VLJ says

    I like ‘The Assertive Atheist’ but that may require getting permissions…

    Assertive is a kinder/gentler word for your style.

    I also like ‘The Assertive Anti-theist’


    simply: ‘God-Bashing’

  10. Dave K says


    I think this works in a multitude of ways:

    1. intrusive or presumptuous, as persons or their actions; insolently rude; uncivil: a brash, impertinent youth.
    Considering the accusations from the “be polite” skeptical crowd…

    2. not pertinent or relevant; irrelevant: an impertinent detail.
    Self-deprecatingly ironic.

    3. Archaic . inappropriate, incongruous, or absurd.
    A little of 1&2.

    4. Obsolete . (of persons) trivial, silly, or absurd.
    A little of 1&2.

  11. pHred says

    Informed … erudite = opposite of sales, so what is the opposite of ivory tower ? Can’t use in the trenches… hum

    The au fait atheist ?

    The Natural Atheist

    How about The Buck Naked Atheist?

    Okay, that clearly isn’t right!

  12. required says

    I kind of like the idea of the blank space _____ staying, because no single word can encapsulate you (or some fluffy shit like that). Let the reader of your book fill it in in his own mind.

    Or failing that, The Flying Atheist.

  13. A Bad Idea (♀) says

    I absolutely love Kareth’s suggestion of “The Atheist They Warned You About”

    But to stick to the form.. “The American Atheist”

  14. Izzy says

    “The ______ Atheist” is a pretty good title by itslef. I’d pick up a book with that title and curiously flip through it.

  15. Gaebolga says

    I’d second The Expelled Atheist, except that it gives the movie an undeserved place or prominence in the narrative of PZ’s public life.

  16. A Bad Idea (♀) says

    I think I got swallowed by the filter… my suggestion was American

    but I also love Kareth’s “The Atheist They Warned You About,” even if it deviates from the formula.

  17. D says

    Well, since someone already got the “cuddly”…







  18. Catherine says

    forthright.. But I also like “the good atheist”. It will confound the religious and entice those seeking something other than the usual on Sunday.how to be good without god???

  19. Fear Uncertainty Doubt says

    The Energetic Atheist
    The Always-On Atheist
    The Give ’em Hell Atheist
    The Indefatigable Atheist
    The Tireless Atheist
    The Persistent Atheist

  20. says

    I’d suggest the “Scathing” Atheist, but I have an ulterior motive since I write a blog called the “Scathing Atheist” and could use the random traffic that would generate.

    That being said, I still think it would be a pretty descriptive title.

  21. GregFromCos says

    My favorite of those mentioned is “The Evolved Atheist”

    I’d put forward:

    The Thoughtful Atheist


    The Faithless Atheist

  22. says


    You’ll doubtless be accused of it anyway so you might as well (as Sir Humphrey would say) put it in the title where it’ll do far less damage than in the text -.o;

  23. Obijohn says

    “The Militant Atheist” It both pokes fun at the absurdity of the term, and fits your no compromise attitude.

  24. Molly says

    Knitters are familiar with Elizabeth Zimmerman’s classic “The Opinionated Knitter.”

    How about “The Opinionated Atheist”?

    . . .or is that just all atheists?

  25. b00ger says

    I’m partial to “Bearded” or “Unapologetic”, although “Poopyhead” was the first thing that popped into my mind (before I read your preemptive dismissal).

    If you want to piss off some fundies, I suggest “Militant.” If you want to be repetitive you could be “Godless.”

  26. Hank Fox says


    Beloved / Popular








    Infectious (!!)




  27. brokenSoldier, OM says

    I’d say The Inclement Atheist – it fits not only in the context of being rough, stormy, and less-than-merciful, but also in the inherent denial of being a ‘fair-weather’ (re:accomodationist) atheist as well.

  28. Meg McG says

    If it has to describe you then I would go for Fearless. Because you are fearless about offending or being who you are you have pulled so many out of the shadows and into the light of truth. You’re the William Wallace of Atheism!

  29. Hairhead says

    Um, um, um . . . you can’t say something like “good”, or “principled” or some other compliment, because that would make people immediately think of the antonyms, ie, the “bad” atheist, the “unprincipled” atheist . . . it is a pickly indeed. To be sharp, clear, unambiguous, and nearly-impossible-to-interpret-negatively.

    Here are my suggestions:

    The Adult Atheist

    The Unwavering Atheist

    The Integrated Atheist

    The Authentic Atheist

    The Coherent Atheist

    The Mature Atheist

    The Honest Atheist

    The Patient Atheist

    (What is the adjectival form of “candor”? That would be my real choice. “Candor”, lovely word, meaning spontaneous and unflinching honesty.)

    The Artless Atheist

    The Open Atheist

    The Sincere Atheist

    The Frank Atheist

    The Forthright Atheist

    Upon consideration, the ones I like most are:

    THE OPEN ATHEIST (“open” as in: open to new ideas and ways of seeing, and also “open” as in out in public view)



    There’s my bit.

  30. Fedor says

    Well, obviously:

    The Awesome Atheist!


    All right, I will vote for “The Evolved Atheist”…

  31. SteveInMI says

    Noisy (loud and proud!)
    Hungry (homage to Eric Carle?)
    Fearless (inaccurate I imagine, but indicative)
    Feral (I like this one… It suggests you’ve gotten loose in the wild)

  32. Nemo says


    I really don’t like this title format, though. However it turns out will make for a less interesting title than “Pharyngula”.

  33. Dofang says

    Remember, it has to sell books!

    With that in mind, I liked the “Atheist’s Atheist” for being all around provocative.

    If a squid reference is preferred, how about “the Inky Atheist”? Or is that too close to “icky”?

    But my favorite comes right from my thesaurus: “The Evident Atheist.” Evident meaning “obvious,” while reminiscent of the evidence you insist upon.

  34. Mike Fuellbrandt says

    The Blasphemous Atheist (to raise the hackles…)
    The Absolutely Right Atheist (again, to raise the hackles…)
    The Warrior Atheist (to highlight your combative brand of Atheism)
    The Confrontational Atheist (as above)
    The Blankety Blank Blank Atheist (for lulz)

  35. prognemesiss says

    the DIVINE atheist
    the HOLY atheist

    the SANE atheist
    the EPIC atheist

    the HONEST atheist
    the KNOWLEDGABLE atheist

    the DELIGHTFULL atheist
    the HELPFULL atheist

  36. brokenSoldier, OM says

    I also wanted to throw in my love of the Bearded and Unapologetic suggestions as well!

  37. Doug Little says

    I like the Gnu(or New) Atheist personally, but it has already been suggested. So I’ll throw one that hasn’t been suggested into the ring.

    The GOATS-ON-FIRE Atheist

  38. maureen.brian says

    There’s a lot to be said for ‘cuddly’ but I’ll happily go for ‘plain spoken’ or ‘compleat’ as long as you can persuade the publishers to spell it that way!

  39. b00ger says

    Just read the suggestion for keeping the blank line. I’m going to have to throw my vote for that. “The ____ Atheist” is awesome. Would also make for a great introduction to your book about what can go in the blank.

  40. required says

    Harry Potter and the Atheist of Azkaban

    The Vampire Atheist

    The Dirty, Sexy Atheist

    Just trying to sell copies.

  41. Spontaneous Generation says

    The Neighborhood Atheist

    The Chosen Atheist

    The Non-Theist Seeking Atheist

    The Swooning Atheist

    The Family’s Atheist

    But really, it’s hard to beat “The Evolved Atheist”

  42. Otranreg says

    I also like the idea of leaving the blank space blank. Let every reader take a felt pen and put whatever epithet they find fitting.

    It is a way to inconspicuously smuggle in the dirty words (say, ‘fuck’ is on the top-10 most used words list, so ‘fucking’ will be coming to very many people’s minds first or second).

    It would be a great blog post topic: ‘What’ve you got on your “Atheist”?’

    It could also be a place to put autographs on.

    However, it could be too postmodern, for the book.

  43. Anri says


    (or maybe “Bio/logical”?)

    “Crusading”? (Nah.)


  44. NAL says

    The Reasonable Atheist
    The Thoughtful Atheist
    The Moral Atheist
    The Atheist
    The Atheist’s Advocate
    The Sensible Atheist
    The Reasoned Atheist
    The Essential Atheist
    The Extreme Atheist
    The Atheist From Hell
    The Provocative Atheist

  45. Sisu says

    something happy/merry cos they think atheists are very sad people with no meaning in life.

    I totally agree.

    Compleat (as someone suggested upthread)
    Proud is good, too.

  46. shoeguy says

    I favor dropping the blank and just calling it “The Atheist”. Failing that, “The God Damed Atheist”.


  47. sjefskjekkasen says

    ok short brainstorm..




    hmm, is the title supposed to apply to PZ personally or “any” atheist?

    As for the other suggestions, evolved is pretty good, and a little more serious sounding than my brain appearantly can muster

  48. GJames says

    “Pharyngulated” is the obvious word. But Dennis already suggested that. How ’bout no word. Just “The Atheist”?

  49. says

    The Quotable Atheist, since this book will be quote-mined from here to eternity.

    Or just take your favorite epithet that you’ve been called by an apologist and plug it in. That way, unthinking theists will pick it up thinking it a slam and you’ll get extra sales from the flock.

  50. Chris says

    The “Biologically Ejaculated” Atheist.

    Also, I kinda like leaving the blank in there.

    The ________ Atheist. Maybe a cover design with a bunch of scribbled out suggestions below the title, or a subtitle in smaller print that references Pharygula. Or both.

  51. Roger says

    The Unredacted Atheist
    The Absolute Atheist
    The Unillusioned Atheist
    The Imperative Atheist
    The Unmitigated Atheist
    The Necesssary Atheist
    The Atheist’s Atheist

  52. CanadianChick says

    Just remember – I’ll boycott the book if they use the publisher’s title – at least the one you told me about in Portland…

    DH suggests “flabbergasted”, “undaunted”, “rational”


  53. Hank Fox says


    Get someone to total up the suggestions, and put the top ten to a vote.

    Then name it something else entirely.

    Be the INDEPENDENT atheist. :D

  54. EvoMonkey says


    Or maybe Cheapsakate – “Oh, and no, you don’t get a cut for suggesting one adjective.”

    At least, throw a free book to the person who suggests the winning title.

  55. Hairhead says

    Here are a few more (and thanks for the vote for the Forthright Atheist)

    The Evenhanded Atheist

    The Genuine Atheist

    The Ordinary Atheist

    The Reputable Atheist

    The Self-Respecting Atheist

    The Straightforward Atheist

    The Trustworthy Atheist

    The Upright Atheist

    This is fun!

  56. Steve says

    I’m not an american so I don’t know how seriously you guys take that word. Is it like the n word or more like damned?

    THE Atheist?
    The cuddly atheist? (My wife’s suggestion)

  57. Classicc says

    I had something in my mind but it is way behind 165’s suggestion:
    The In Your Face Atheist

    It captures your rather “direct” tone.

  58. tark says

    Trying to find the most appropriate and descriptive ….

    I lean toward

    “The Adamant Atheist”

    but I think I like

    The Observable Atheist

    just a tad better.

    Or maybe….

    The Unrepentant Atheist

    works best of all.

    Tax Religion.

  59. Kieran says

    The Atheist’s Atheist
    The friendly atheist
    The Squidlike atheist
    A is for Atheist
    The last Atheist
    The first atheist
    The sober atheist
    The fishy atheist
    The pill popping atheist
    The short arse atheist
    The cuddly fuzzy teddy bear atheist
    The Omega Atheist
    The Ichthys Atheist
    The Zebra fish Atheist
    The Teaching Atheist
    The Blogging Atheist
    The slimline Atheist
    The iconclast Atheist
    The thinking persons atheist :)

  60. Ophelia Benson says

    It’s bloody difficult. Frankly they all sound boring, including the long list I came up with.

    Are they really set on The Adjective Atheist? It’s boring.

  61. bebe says

    “Wholly” was pretty clever. “Athier” made me laugh. Hard.
    But I really like the happy-go-lucky vibe, something like “frolicking” maybe. I also like “The Armed Atheist”, since it plays off the tentacled theme. Not that most casual book-shoppers would know that.

  62. cody says

    The Ostrobogulous Atheist.
    Though leaving the blank could be interesting, and RandomFactor’s suggestion The Atheist Agenda catches my attention a little—I can imagine religious conservatives mistaking it for some sort of insight into the origins of their [misplaced] perceived persecution.

  63. abeo says

    The Professing Atheist

    The Professor Atheist

    Seriously, it’s what makes you so great — you’re an esteemed professor and researcher, AND you’re a take-no-prisoners firebrand. :)

    Also ‘Professor’ is a nice play on words. :)

  64. Robert B. says

    I like “forthright” and “impertinent” but in the name of brainstorming:

    The Courageous Atheist

  65. Qwerty says

    Since you’ve called yourself a dickhead:

    The Dickheaded Atheist.

    But it’s probably too close to That Fucking Atheist.

    Or like the man’s man:

    The Atheist’s Atheist


    The Eucharistic Destroying Atheist?


    The Anti-Wafer Warrior Atheist.

  66. Me says

    My vote is:

    The Unrepentant Atheist

    Which has already been offered above. It has the best ring to it.

  67. abeo says

    The Professing Atheist


    The Professor Atheist

    Seriously, it’s what makes you so great — you’re an esteemed professor and researcher, AND you’re a take-no-prisoners firebrand. :)

    Also ‘Professor’ is a nice play on words. :)

  68. Brownian says

    How ’bout no word. Just “The Atheist”?

    Call it L’Athée and you’ll have every pretentious freshman in North America making sure his copy visibly peeks from his ever-so-casually-left-slightly-open schoolbag.

  69. Kieran says

    The citizen atheist
    The activist atheist
    The streetwalking atheist
    The dungeon keeping atheist
    The devlopmental atheist
    The straight atheist
    The questioning Atheist

  70. Jayvel says

    How about The Created Atheist”; who knows, it could increase sales by fundies buying it accidentally.

  71. wildstrawberry says

    Barbate: sounds a little like “barbed”, but means “bearded”.

    Bristly/Bristling: referencing both rhetoric and facial grooming

  72. tark says

    I seem to want to throw in ….

    The Forthright Atheist


    The Forwarding-Thinking Atheist

    as well.


  73. Longtimelurker says

    I have to agree with these two:

    The Atheist They Warned You About

    Or just leave it blank, and as another has said, let the people fill it in; it would generate popularity due to the very unique title, and also open an avenue to many interesting threads on what people named theirs.

    Also, why not anti-theist over atheist? Obviously you’re more of the former; is it more of a sales thing? Has the public now equated atheist to mean anti-theist?

  74. Bill Gleason says

    So many good suggestions. You will still be in a quandary deciding.

    I haven’t seen it yet, so I will add:



    Your colleague, Bill

    Whaddya think of the new guy?

  75. mechanoid says

    I would like to suggest a portmanteau of the words “abominable” and “indomitable”.

    Indomitable – Impossible to subdue or defeat.
    Abominable – 1. Worthy of or causing disgust or hatred : detestable | 2. Quite disagreeable or unpleasant.

    I think it nicely encapsulates some truths and misconceptions of atheism in one word.

    The Indominable Atheist

  76. required says

    The Visible Atheist (with dissections of you)

    The Uncaused Atheist

    The Poor Man’s Atheist

  77. says

    I think “The ______ Atheist” leaves the conversation open- as in the whole ‘dictionary’ definition debate- which PZ is very passionate about. I like the the ‘blank’ because it may attract those who otherwise wouldn’t pick up the book, to read it. As a literary device, I think it is clever. It makes the reader check their notions at the door, and actively engage with the text, if the author is a strong enough writer (which PZ is, no doubt).

    So, I agree with everyone who likes it.

  78. Randomfactor says

    The Descent of the Atheist
    The Viking Atheist

    Or just

    Atheist. (The shorter the title, the bigger the font size.)

  79. says

    May I (poolitely) suggest “The bioLogical Atheist”?

    Yes,the second word is capItalized in the middle…

    After all, you ARE a biologist, and you are supremely Logical (most – well, at least some – of the time…)

  80. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Oh, I got another one: The Striking Atheist
    (because of the double meaning : attract attention and from the verb to strike – which I think would be appropriate and descriptive)

  81. Hairhead says

    And a last few, on a recurring theme which nobody seems to have thought of yet . . .

    The Uncensored Atheist
    The Unexpurgated Atheist
    The Uninhibited Atheist
    The Unabridged Atheist
    The Whole Atheist
    The Instinctive Atheist
    The Natural Atheist (That’s how we’re all born, after all!)
    The Unreserved Atheist
    The Unsuppressed Atheist
    The Mundane Atheist.

    Whew! That’s all. For now.

    And thank, you PZ, for allowing us to participate in your conspiracy!

  82. GregFromCanada says

    Actually “The _________ Atheist” is a pretty good title, especially if the cover is printed glossy with a matt finish over the “______” part (so readers can fill in their own name for you).
    It’s provocative because it allows the reader to have both a pre-conceved idea about the author (you), that may change after they read the book, or no idea, giving them an opportunity to decide later.
    It could also be amusing to see what people do write in the blank spot when seeing the book in used book stores…

  83. Thorne says

    My first thought was, “Unapologetic”.

    Then I saw, “Evolved” and was going to vote for that one. Very catchy and throws another slap into the face of Creationists.

    Then I thought, that sounds like you’ve completed your evolution, which doesn’t seem right.

    So I vote for, “The Evolving Atheist”.

  84. Matthew says

    The God-Fearing Atheist

    The No Holds Barred Atheist

    The Spineless Atheist

    The Cephalopodian Atheist

    The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Atheist

    The A in Atheist

  85. Brownian says

    I can’t believe a post titled “What would you call me?” hasn’t been trolled to death.

    Given that, have you considered yourself the serendipitous atheist?

  86. Kieran says

    The wise man atheist
    The trophy atheist
    The scholar atheist
    The viking atheist
    The gopher atheist go gopher’s!
    The fifth atheist( thief of time TP)reference to the fourhorsemen?

  87. Ryan Cunningham says


    (Doesn’t sound great, but you should put your unapologetic blasphemy right up front in the title!)

  88. says

    I agree with Ophelia and others… as fun as this little exercise is, the format seems completely unimaginative…

    I understand the reasoning for the 3-word, quick hit title… provocative, easy to remember, simple… meant to sell… I get it. But still… it’s just so… blech…

    I’d much prefer something more… YOU… like:
    “Accomodate THIS: a progressive guide to Gnu Atheism”
    “Poll Crashing and Frakkin Crackers: a modern Atheist’s view”

  89. steve oberski says

    The Atheist Next Door.

    The Accidental Atheist.

    The Unexpected Atheist.

    The Atheist and the Sea.

    The Zombie Atheist.

    The Happy Atheist.

    The Lord of the Atheists.

    The Atheist in the Rye.

    Angels and Atheists.

    Atheists and Demons.

    The Atheist Conspiracy.

    Waiting for Atheist.

    Brave New Atheist.

  90. Kevin Anthoney says

    It’d have to be a pretty spectacular adjective to make that title stand out. I’d look for something else.

  91. Molly says

    Seems like lots of us are throwing out “unrepentent” and “unapologetic.” If it came down to a choice between thoes two, which are essential synonyms, I’d go with “unapologetic.”

  92. Algernon says

    Count me in with the folks who really like the blank space.

    Then the cover could have a little poll beneath, like:

    The ________ Atheist

    a) Bearded
    b) Evil
    c) Humanist
    d) Internet’s Most Hated

    People have such wildly conflicting opinions of you.

  93. Reed says

    The Unleavened Atheist

    Because you’re not “lightened or softened”. Plus there was something about a cracker…

  94. TV200 says


    Though, I remember a while back, there was an interview where you jokingly threw out “Well, that about wraps it up for god”. A title I would love to see in real life.

  95. abeo says


    The Unfazed Atheist

    The Affirmed Atheist

    The Affirmative Atheist

    The Assured Atheist

    The Fearless Atheist

    The Audacious Atheist

    The Purposeful Atheist

    The Abiding Atheist

    The Arthropod’s Atheist

    Not Yo’ Grandma’s Atheist

  96. Ray Fowler says

    The Christ-like Atheist

    (strategy: book sales soar as Christians buy the books just to burn them).

  97. pinkboi says

    How about being part ironic, part true –

    The Kind Atheist

    See, it’s unkind to let stupidity and lies destroy lives. So you are the kindest atheist of all.

  98. Multicellular says

    The Chocolate Atheist

    Or in your case The White Chocolate Atheist

    Because everybody loves chocolate.

  99. luketunmer says

    How abort “The Busy Atheist”. I am always amazed at the sheer number and length of posts on this blog.

  100. Ophelia Benson says

    The Vertebrate Atheist is good because it’s not boring. It doesn’t make sense, so it gives that little jolt that prevents boredom. Then of course it stands for having a backbone. Plus it sounds faintly sciency but in kind of a sarcastic way.

  101. EvoMonkey says

    That Blankety-blank Atheist

    The Damned Atheist or The Damnable Atheist

    A Blog Warmed Up in Hell

  102. DavidK44 says

    Why not double-down on it, and make it plain to everyone where you stand:

    The Godless Atheist

  103. Michael Swanson says

    The ______ Atheist looks great in print, with a “let ’em figure it for themselves” attitude. That’s good. But! It will run into serious trouble when people talk about the book. You know they’ll end up calling it “The Blank Atheist” (with a handful calling it “The Underscore Atheist”) and I don’t think either of those are positive titles.

  104. says

    I suggested this over at Ophelia’s place, but you may like it here:

    The Contented Atheist.

    Nothing is more irritating to people who would have you burning in Hell for eternity than a life of quiet joy. That, more than anything, suggests you don’t need their pablum or their nostrums.

  105. Kieran says

    The Internet Atheist
    The grandfather of the internet atheist
    the gandmaster atheist
    The Doyenne atheist
    The Pzed code atheist
    The conscientious atheist
    The kegger atheist
    The Ale Atheist
    The hale atheist
    The Minnesota chainsaw atheist

  106. classicc says

    Are religion-related words good for that purpose? If the title contains something about apologetics/faith/evangelism/holyness then it would just open the door to the silly “that’s the atheist’s bible” crap.

    I would suggest to go with something that hints that you’re cynical, also, if the book is aiming for the NYT list the adjective shouldn’t be that complex…

  107. HP says

    Another vote for The Compleat Athiest. The Isaak Walton snowclone makes it memorable, and the notion of “completeness” refutes the suggestion of some God-botherers that atheists have some kind of hole in their heart where the Jesus goes. You are complete without God.

  108. dnarnaptn says

    The consummate atheist

    “Consummate” (Adjective): Showing a high degree of skill and flair, sometimes with a beard.

  109. TrineBM says

    I vote for:
    The sniny atheist
    The curious atheist
    The questioning atheist
    The insisting atheist
    The well-rounded atheist
    The argumentative atheist
    The everyday Atheist

  110. tark says

    The Abiding and Unbowed Atheist

    The Concerned Atheist

    The Spirited Atheist

    The Free-range Atheist

    Tax Religion.

  111. Jenny Wren says

    I like The Atheist’s Atheist.
    My favorite suggestion so far though is The Atheist’s Agenda. (Yes, with the plural form. Sounds more personal that way.) But it needs a little shopping-list thingy underneath to show that we just we are just regular people who maybe expect a little more critical thinking from ourselves and each other.

    Or Your Friendly Neighborhood Atheist. It would remind people that atheists are everywhere and fairly ordinary, really.

    Or, conversely, The Atheist in Your Closet, if you want to be scary. ;)

  112. paulmc says

    The Logical Atheist
    The Rational Atheist
    The Biologic Atheist
    The One True Atheist
    The Mythical Atheist
    The Wadjameanyourenotan Atheist
    The Wholly Atheist
    The Happy Atheist

  113. Erp says

    Slight change in word order:

    The Atheist Errant

    The Atheist Crusader
    or if you really want to stir things up
    The Atheist Jihadi
    (Jihad means striving)

    More seriously
    The Atheist Advocate

  114. Brownian says

    The Floccinaucinihilipilificating Atheist?

    (Just trying to stand out.)

    I don’t think I’ve ever known PZ to floccinaucinihilipilificate.

  115. Hairhead says

    Okay everyone, I’ve got it, I’ve got the title which will make the godbot’s heads explode AND which encapsulates much of what PZ has written on atheism . . . .

    The Loving Atheist

    Ha ha!

    Any votes?

  116. satan augustine says

    My preferences out of those already suggested:

    -The F**king Atheist. This one is hard to top.

    -The ______ Atheist.

    -The Atheist Atheist.

    I initially liked all of the following: The (Good/Evolved/Atheist’s) Atheist, but decided they all sound too pompous, in the same way that the Brights sounds pompous: The Good Atheist suggests all other atheists are bad, The Evolved Atheist suggests all other atheists are unevolved, and The Atheist’s Atheist just sounds over-the-top pompous.

  117. Ant Allan says

    What was it you called yourself on that Canadian atheists’ video? A raging atheist? There’s your title!


  118. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    What about The Free Atheist?
    It’s short and simple, has a positive ring to it and sort of hints to the freedom from religion.

    (Even though I still think The Striking Atheist is a brilliant suggestion ;) )

  119. Pineapplejuice says

    The Horrible Atheist

    On the Cover should be a picture of you with a squid on your head. I think its funny and people would think “What is supposed to be so horrible about this guy?” and then they will open the book…

  120. MoonShark says

    “Forthright” was among the first in my mind. It sounds direct and constructive, without the possible smarmy connotations of calling yourself “honest”.

  121. Kieran says

    The pontifical atheist
    The singular atheist
    The expelled atheist has alot going for it plenty of fodder on the web and you just know the DI won’t be able to keep quite

  122. Ophelia Benson says

    I initially liked all of the following: The (Good/Evolved/Atheist’s) Atheist, but decided they all sound too pompous, in the same way that the Brights sounds pompous: The Good Atheist suggests all other atheists are bad, The Evolved Atheist suggests all other atheists are unevolved, and The Atheist’s Atheist just sounds over-the-top pompous.

    Crucial point! Well spotted. Avoid anything reminiscent of The Brights at all costs.

  123. Physicalist says

    Knee-jerk responses (before looking at anyone else’s comment): “Proud” or “Unappologetic.”

    But neither sounds very good. “Apoplectic” sounds good, but doesn’t carry quite the correct connotation.

    It could just be “New,” but that would take the book in definite direction.

    OK, here’s my vote (for the moment): “The Snarky Atheist.

  124. Brownian says

    I don’t think I’ve ever known PZ to floccinaucinihilipilificate.

    Actually, I suppose It’s a frackin’ cracker counts.

    I third “cromulent” – I don’t suppose they’d go for it though.

    Easy peezee: then go for The Embiggening Atheist.

  125. tark says

    The Modern Atheist

    The Mainstream Atheist

    The Protagonist Atheist

    The Unmitigated Atheist

    The Stalwart Atheist

    Sorry, I am having too much fun with this ….

  126. cag says

    To go completely off track, how about

    “The Religion Hunter”,
    “God’s next enemy”,
    “Goodbye, god”,
    “Religion is for dummies”,
    “Challenge your assumptions”.
    “The Delusion destroyer”

    Having atheist in the title will be a turn-off for a large part of the population.

  127. Sreepad says

    Choose anything that starts with the letter ‘A’, so that we have an alliteration. ‘Adamant’ and ‘Arrogant’ seem appropriate, based on your blog persona.

  128. Kevin nyc says

    The Happy Atheist?

    The UnFlinching Atheist

    The Unforgiving Atheist!

    The Hirsute Atheist – that’s the best

  129. sjefskjekkasen says

    The Alpha Atheist
    The World Atheist

    I think the suggestions which doesn’t borrow religious terms are better..

  130. moonkitty says

    The Insolent Atheist. Has a nice ring to it.

    (I’m probably not the first to suggest it, but I just don’t have the time right now to scroll through 300+ comments.)

  131. Brendan Davis says

    The American Atheist
    The Inquisitive Atheist
    The Relentless Atheist
    The True Atheist
    The Righteous Atheist
    The Splendid Atheist
    The Evolved Atheist
    The Godless Atheist
    The Friendly Atheist

  132. Larry Clapp says

    The True Atheist. (From your primary question about religions: Is it true?, and alludes to “no true Scotsman”.)

    The Fact-based Atheist.

    The Evidence-based Atheist.

    The Evidentiary Atheist.

    The Pharyngulated Atheist.

    Tentacled. Cthuloid.

    The Flying Spaghetti Atheist. Give the old “I was touched by His noodly appendage” a whole new meaning. :)

    The Proven Atheist.

    The Unrefuted/Unrepentant/Unrequited Atheist.

    The Outspoken Atheist.

    And finally … The Loud Atheist. ;)

  133. says

    my concern, were I PZ, would be that whatever name is given this book, using this format, might become a permanent moniker… especially with the media that you might use to publish the book.

    You will likely end up becoming “The Uncompromising Atheist” (for example), by name. Are you good with that, PZ?

  134. Hairhead says

    Remember, “The Loving Atheist” is simply a variation of “The Fucking Atheist”

    And of all my suggestions, The Forthright Atheist keeps coming up. Cool!

  135. Blondin says

    The Hirsute Atheist

    The Atheist from the Black Lagoon

    The Little Atheist Who Could

    The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to Atheism

    The Atheist’s Guide to the Universe

    The Little Atheist on the Prairie

    Dude! Where’s My God?

    Frankly, My Dear, I Don’t Give a Damn!

  136. Dennis says

    I think “The Reasonable Atheist” as it implies that you are being reasonable not angry and that you can be reasoned with. I’m not sure that the loons would understand it as we do though but they’re going to switch off on the mention of atheist and probably aren’t your largest audience?

  137. Kieran says

    The evolved atheist
    The creationists nightmare, the cuddly atheist
    The Cthulhu Atheist
    The Cunning Atheist (Blackadderalso another TP quote)
    The reducible atheist
    The Firebrand atheist
    The charasmatic Atheist

  138. Ron David says

    I can’t believe the obvious hasn’t been offered:

    “The Angry Atheist”

    Embrace the slur. Spin it about.

  139. Epinephrine says

    I might suggest:
    The Agonistic Atheist (NOT agnostic)

    To be agonistic is to try to overcome in argument, or in general, being combative. As well (in pharmacology), an agonist triggers the response that a receptor normally would have*, so that an agonist generally increases the response (since you can have the endogenous agoniist as well as the exogenous agonist present) – an agonist or agonistic atheist might then be someone that promotes or stimulates atheists.

    *excluding those annoying inverse agonists.

  140. NAL says

    The Unladen Atheist
    The Intentional Atheist
    The Universal Atheist
    The Almighty Atheist
    The Atheist From God
    The God Damn Atheist
    The Atheist Who Damned God

  141. DukeTG says

    Unrepentant came immediately to mind, but I’m not sure I like it on further reflection.

    Why do you need an adjective at all?

    Can you just be “The Atheist?”

  142. anteoo says

    I like both The evolved Atheist as well as The created Atheist but I would vote for The good Atheist since it is one ‘o’ more than “god”. Also “oo” can be seen as eternity so it would be like The forever Atheist.

    Or maybe for something completely different: The evolved Pharyngula’s creating Atheist? Nah.

  143. Ray, rude-ass yankee says

    How about:

    The Excellent Atheist,

    The Militant Atheist, or

    The Freakin’ A Atheist (with the middle “A” as the red atheist A, of course)

    Cheers & Happy Monkey,

    Ray, rude-ass yankee

  144. Gord O'Mitey says

    The Anti-theistic Atheist
    The American Atheist
    The Apollonian Atheist
    The Asseverating Atheist
    The Atticistic Atheist
    The Unapologetic Atheist

  145. Kieran says

    The Justin Bieber Atheist!
    I can’t believe
    The journeyman atheist
    The unforgiven atheist
    The hardest working atheist
    The luachmhara atheist

  146. Android B says

    I like either “Furious” or “Devout.” In a perfect world, however, it would clearly be “BadAssMuthaFuckin.'”

  147. minusRusty says

    Hank Fox above said Kick-Ass, which is what I thought of when I first read the post, but maybe Kick-*ss would get it by the censors.


  148. Douglas Pew says

    The first thing that came to mind is your expression when debating or being interviewed by creationist.

    The Exasperated Atheist.

    Why? Because it’s irritating and exhausting to have to constantly debate the same faulty logic over and over.

  149. AER says

    The Fighting Atheist

    As a central voice in the Good Fight, I think you’ve earned this title.

    Keep in mind that choosing a self-descriptive title like this is dangerous. Make absolutely sure that whatever you go with is something you’re willing to be referred to as for the rest of your life.

    Imagine Colbert or John Stewart introducing you to a national audience as: “Professor. PZ Myers, The ____ Atheist!” Make sure it’s not something you are going to cringe at or feel apologetic for in 10 years.

  150. God says

    The Creative Atheist.

    P.S. I like The Good Atheist, but the fundamentalists will feel cheated when they realize you’re still alive.

  151. greylocks says

    The problem with The __________ Atheist, although I like the spirit of it, is that there’s pretty much no way to do that on the cover of a book. The ______ will look like a dividing line if you do this


    which is what the cover artist will want to do. The alternative is to put it all on one line but that makes the print smaller. Either way, on the spine the underscore will probably look odd.

    I like possibilities such as “The Happy Atheist” or “The Contented Atheist”.

    I don’t think there’s any marketing upside into using words like “Unrepentant”, “Scientific”, “Rational”, etc as these strike me as (a) assumed if not outright redundant and (b) preaching to the choir [sic].

  152. EvoMonkey says

    The Terrestrial Eukaryotic Homeothermic Vertebrate Bipedal Atheist

    or just

    The Telluric Evolved Atheist

  153. says

    The Purpose-Driven Atheist.

    It accurately describes you, the way you live your life, the way you shape your advocacy, the behavior of much of the Horde, and has the added advantage of recognizably echoing someone who will be annoyed at you for doing so :-)

  154. trilobyte says

    The Tenacious Atheist

    From the dictionary it seems as if it is written for something with many tentacles:
    1. holding fast; characterized by keeping a firm hold (often followed by of ): a tenacious grip on my arm; tenacious of old habits.
    2. highly retentive: a tenacious memory.
    3. pertinacious, persistent, stubborn, or obstinate.
    4. adhesive or sticky; viscous or glutinous.
    5. holding together; cohesive; not easily pulled asunder; tough.

  155. Kieran says

    I like the expelled atheist, the evolved atheist, the atheist, the good atheist has a certain ring to it. The god dman atheist is also a keeper. The little atheist on the praire, nice!

  156. Kevin Anthoney says

    The construction “_____ of a _____ atheist” might be worth playing around with. Or something like “Random Ejaculations from an Unrepentant Atheist”.

  157. Epzen says

    The Mischievious Atheist

    The Little Atheist That Could

    The Misbehaved Atheist (or Misbehaving)

    The Likely Atheist

    and so on…

  158. alara says

    How about “The Righteous Atheist?” Although, I’ve become partial to “The Bearded Atheist.”

  159. eric says

    The Hirsute Atheist.

    You get the folks who would buy “The bearded Athiest,” plus all the folks who don’t know what hirsute means.

  160. Ray, rude-ass yankee says

    How about GNU? That’s used a lot on this blog, was it coined here?

    Cheers & Happy Monkey,
    Ray, rude-ass yankee

  161. Physicalist says

    If you heed the calls of those telling you to drop the adjective altogether, I suggest taking it a step further and dropping the article as well:

    Atheist, by P.Z. Myers.

    I like the blank idea, but perhaps it’s too difficult to enter into catalogs/databases? “The Atheist” sounds too third-person-y.

    My favorites from the thread: “Scientist” “Evolved” “Smug” “Impertinent”

  162. Therrin says

    I can’t believe a post titled “What would you call me?” hasn’t been trolled to death.

    It’s heading for locked status faster than the trolls take notice.

    Imagine Colbert or John Stewart introducing you to a national audience as: “Professor. PZ Myers, The ____ Atheist!”

    Ohhhh good thinking, do get on that circuit!



  163. csmiller says

    If it is, as you’ve said, like Dawkins, but more forceful, then you could subtitle it Dawkins’ Bulldog.

  164. KG says

    It’s obvious this should be settled by that infallible scientific method: the internet poll. PZ, pick out 10 suggestions at random and let everyone vote, as many times as they like and using any method they like! May the best bot win!

    My suggestion: how about “The Travellin’ Atheist”. That has the advantage of being accurate, and a nice down-home aw-shucks feel to pull in the rubes ;-) Or “The Wondering Atheist” – in that you wonder how anyone could possibly believe what the religious do.

  165. &drew says

    The demonic atheist.

    The Horned Atheist (perhaps too Wiccan?)

    The diabolic atheist

    The archfiend atheist

    The Naysaying atheist

    The Athel Atheist

  166. says

    * The Irascible Atheist

    * The Grand High Pooh Bah Atheist

    * The Naturally Selected Atheist

    * The Pharyngulated Atheist

    * Are You There Cthulhu? It’s Me, PZ.

    and my favorite:

    * The Obstreperous Atheist

    ob·strep·er·ous   [uhb-STREP-er-uhs]
    1. resisting control or restraint in a difficult manner; unruly.
    2. noisy, clamorous, or boisterous: obstreperous children.

  167. Blattafrax says

    “The _________ Atheist” with a cover-full of suggestions.


    “The sniny goats-on-fire Atheist”


    “The Pharyngula Atheist

    Because if the bananas were not still, then “fruit flies like a banana” wouldn’t be even slightly funny. If that’s not funny, then a sense of humour cannot distinguish humans from monkeys. If we can’t tell monkeys and humans apart, then we can’t have evolved very far from them.

    Does that help?

  168. tark says

    The Long, Dark, Teatime of the Soul Atheist

    Sorry, seemed to have strayed away there for a bit…

    The Beckoning Atheist

    The Triumphant Atheist

    The Unemcumbered Atheist

  169. MoonShark says

    The Selected Atheist?

    I also kind of like Kent’s suggestion of The Roaring Atheist.

    But overall I’m not a fan of the format. Maybe something different, like “Viking with a Microscope” or “The Gentle Berzerker” or “Kraken with a Keyboard”.

  170. Daffyd ap Morgen says

    “The Jolly Atheist”

    “The Bacchanalian Atheist”

    “The Saturnine Atheist”

    “The Self-Made Atheist”

    “The Cunning Atheist”

  171. meaderborn says

    The Undaunted (or Dauntless?) Atheist

    I also like The Indefatigable Atheist, because it describes you so well!

  172. Blondin says

    I, Atheist

    The Atheist Chronicles

    The Prairie Home Atheist Companion
    (might attract legal action from Garrison Keillor)

    Confessions of an Atheist

    The Atheist Supremacy

    My Sooper-Seekrit Plan for Godless World Domination

    Atheism for Dummies

    Religion for Dummies

  173. DonDueed says

    I offer these… sorry if there are any dupes, I didn’t notice them but I admit I skimmed some of the entries above mine.

    The Candid Atheist

    The Confessing Atheist

    The Naked Atheist

    Or, breaking the template,
    The Atheist Primer

    (Remember that’s pronounced “primmer”, not “prymer”.)

  174. M. says

    Unrepentant is pretty good.

    Also “Fortright,” or “Direct.” But Unrepentant is probably the best, IMHO, with the double-entendre included.

  175. DonDueed says

    And, just one more…

    The Affable Atheist

    Surely, it’s appropriate. I mean, you can be affed, right?

  176. Brain Hertz says

    “Tentacled” is what came to mind before looking at the comments, and it looks like a lot of other people were thinking the same thing.

  177. EvoMonkey says

    “On the Origin of an Atheist by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of a Favoured Blogger in the Struggle for Life”

    or just shorten that to “On the Origin of an Atheist”

  178. says

    Well, since Pharyngula is “Evolution, development, and random biological ejaculations from a godless liberal,” perhaps you should go with:

    The Ejaculating Atheist.

  179. Rob says

    How about The Argumentative Atheist. Doesn’t really roll of the tongue, but I should get extra points for the alliteration!

  180. Dean Buchanan says

    The Progressive Atheist!

    Might grab the attention of some left-wing woo-woo heads. Plus it captures science, positive emotions, and PZ’s political leanings.

  181. Cannon Angel says

    Something that’ll really twist the brains of creationists, especially evolution-denialists – “The Primate Atheist.”

    Plus the pun potential of the secondary and archaic definitions.

  182. Gaebolga says

    How about The Breaded Atheist?

    ‘Cause everyone loves fried stuff, and at this point, anything can be fried….

  183. Spero Melior says

    I would vote for “The Naked Atheist”. It evokes both “The Naked Ape” and “The Naked Civil Servant”. It also might help sell a few books (if you put someone else’s picture on the cover).

  184. Rich Woods says

    I’d have to go with gofang’s suggestion (#120) of The Evident Atheist.

    In addition to the reasons already stated, I reckon that title could also have the practical advantage of getting the attention of people who aren’t quite sure what the adjective might mean in that context. You could well have a chance to speak to a few thoughtful fence-sitters that way.

    @Celtic_Evolution (#325):

    317 posts in just over one hour… that’s gotta be a record…

    Yeah, but half of it’s being set by Ophelia alone!

  185. anters says

    Is it just me, or did PZ actually tell us what the title should be?

    The Provocative but Positive, Catchy and Descriptive Atheist. :)

  186. lexaequitas says

    Atheist Triumphant

    The Ejaculating Atheist (hey, it’s right there in the blog title!)

    The Living Atheist

    The Stalwart Atheist

    The Fifth Horseman, leader of the cavalry

  187. Rob says

    Didn’t see that the Argumentative Atheist was already suggested. How about “The Intractable Atheist”.

  188. marcia says

    The Persuasive Atheist

    A biologist rattles the religious while convincing the masses.


    from Latin persuādēre, from per- (intensive) + suādēre to urge, advise]

  189. Abelard says

    Sorry…I couldn’t help the monty python and the holy grail reference (#361) after hearing everyone offering their suggestions.

  190. SonOfSLJ says




    The HOOPY ATHEIST (subtitle: Who Really Knows Where His Towel Is)



    Yup. Looks good to me.