The name 'Mortimer' is thought to originate from the French 'Morte Mer', meaning dead (or stagnant) sea (or lake). The shortened version of his name - Mort, or Morty - merely means 'death'. 'Cropper' is one who crops, or harvests, which could be an agricultural reference, or - more likely - could be an allusion to the Grim Reaper harvesting - or cropping - souls with his scythe. 'Cropper' - as in 'come a cropper' - means to fall, or fail disastrously. In this instance it could also refer to his work as an editor, literally cropping (cutting) text and words. His name, taken as a whole, perhaps reflects his obsession with things belonging to people who are long-dead.