Recently I have read, or re-read, a number of the old thrillers by Manning Coles. In the book With Intent to Deceive (1947—published in the United States as A Brother for Hugh), I ran into this bit of filler that puzzled me completely:
“Mr. Quint,” began Bagshott.
“Samuel Quint. Don’t know if my parents had a strong sense of humor or none at all.”
Bagshott smiled politely.
None of my dictionaries of books of slang have offered any hints as to why that name would be considered humorous, but I admit that I have never been good at word-play. English nicknames can range from subtle to silly, which doesn't help! Any ideas?