Say you are visiting ancient Rome. A bunch of men come up to you, and one of them says:
"Hi. I'm Stick. These are my friends Pretty-Boy, Piggy, Chickpea, Buzzard, Baldy, Big-Lips, Warty, Lefty, Curly, Gimpy, Hairy, Fatty, Squinty, Animal, Red, Stutters, and Dumb-Ass."
So who are these guys? The cast of the Roman production of West Side Story? Actors who failed in their audition for the Seven Dwarfs?
No. They're aristicrats from Rome's best families, and they're dressed in the red-striped toga of the Senatorial class.
The speaker is Scipio. His friends are Pulcher, Verres, Cicero, Buteo, Calvus, Labeo, Verrucosus, Scaevola, Cincinnatus, Crassipes, Caesar, Crassus, Strabo, Bestia, Rufus, Balbus, and Brutus. You see these names all through Roman history.
(And interesting, isn't it, that Caesar's last words can be translated as "You too, dumb-ass?")
These names are all cognomina, which is to say nicknames that got attached to branches of prominent families. Most Romans made do with two names, like Marcus Antonius ("Mark Antony"), but some got a third name attached. Sometimes the name was dignified, like Macedonicus, "Conqueror of Macedon," but most often it wasn't, and it was often intended to be insulting. (Ahala, say, meaning "armpit.")
So we have whole generations of rich, privileged people growing up full in the knowledge that they're from the Dumb-Ass branch of the Junius family. No wonder young Marcus decided to whack his mom's boyfriend--- or, as his friends doubtless called him, "Mister Hairy."
All those statues of solemn people in togas take on a new dimension when you start thinking of them as Gimpy, Warty, and Chickpea. It shows, I think that dignity came late to the Romans. They started as a bunch of cattle-raiders and escaped slaves camped on a hill above the Tiber, and however dignified they got and however much of the world they conquered, their origins followed them in their names.