Thersites was a Greek soldier in the Trojan War who was given to mocking the Greek leaders, especially Achilles and Odysseus, to make his audience laugh. In spite of this characteristic, which eventually cost him his life (Achilles killed him for his ridicule), his name means simply 'courageous', from tharsos, 'courage', 'boldness'. This must have been a propitious name that never quite worked out.