FROM the moment Odysseus awakens on the Ithakan shore until his final reunion with Laertes, the hero’s return home is an exercise in disguise and revelation, in the course of which he equips himself with a number of fictional biographies and, twice, with false names. Eperitos, the name by which Odysseus introduces himself to Laertes, has been long recognized as “significant” and various interpretations of it have been proposed. 1 The other false name, Aithon, has proved to be less fertile ground for interpretation, although it too has been seen as an intended nomen loquens. 2 The general expectation that false names in the mouth of crafty Odysseus should be somehow meaningful is bolstered by the rarity of the name, and the importance of the narrative point at which it occurs. It is as Aithon that Odysseus faces Penelope for the first time after his long absence. The name comes only after a long build-up, and is twice requested by Penelope of her reluctant guest. And yet, what is the significance of Odysseus’ κλυτòν ὄνoμα, chosen for the occasion? If it is a nomen loquens, its meaning remains obscure. 3 In this paper I will propose a tentative interpretation of Aithon in the Odyssey.