Well, I'll be! Guess I've been reading the wrong history books. Thanks for the fascinating info on Crassus, Mike. I have to say, though, the derivations of "crass" and "pompous" you cite do look suspiciously like folk etymology. "Crassus" is a standard Latin word meaning "thick", "fat", etc.; it's possible that the word derives ultimately from a family name, but the reverse seems more likely. "Pomp" and its derivatives, however, come to us via Latin from a Greek term for a solemn procession.