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Don't be confused (as some have been) by a simple confusion.

  • Pope is a surname.
    • Students of literature should come across the great English Augustan poet Alexander Pope (1688-1744), author among others of satires like The Dunciad and The Rape of the Lock; philosophy in verse like An Essay on Criticism and An Essay on Man, and much more - he was the first poet in England "to achieve financial independence from the sale of his works" (Keith, Jennifer, 'Pope, Alexander' in Kastan (2006). He translated Homer's Iliad and Odyssey into English heroic couplets. He also edited Shakespeare's works.
      • A less 'literary' writer is Dudley Pope (1925-1997), whose series of 18 historical novels about a Royal Navy officer called Ramage during the French revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars has been popular.
  • The Pope is the head of the Roman Catholic church. The word can be used figuratively to mean 'a person in supreme authority', or sometimes in a more pejorative way to mean 'a pompous person who gives himself airs, and expects to be treated as a supreme authority'. AWE has an alphabetical list of all the Popes of Rome, divided for practical reasons of size into Popes (alphabetical list A-L) and Popes (alphabetical list - M-Z); there is also a chronological list, divided into Popes (chronological List - to 1000) and Popes (chronological List - 1000 to now). Some others who bear the name title include
    • Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, the Primate of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria
    • The Chalcedonian (Greek Orthodox) Patriarch of Alexandria, the Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria
    • A parish priest of the Eastern Orthodox Church.
    • Historically, many bishops of the early Christian Church were called 'Pope'.
  • Various animals have been named 'pope', including:
    • The ruffe, Gymnocephalus cernua, a small Eurasian freshwater fish.
    • The grain weevil, Sitophilus granarius, which is a common pest of stored grain.
    • The Atlantic puffin, Fratercula arctica.
    • Any of several passerine birds with reddish plumage on the breast or back.