Naming the characters after members of his own family, Homer was named after Groening's father Homer Groening, who himself had been named after ancient Greek poet Homer. Very little else of Homer's character was based on him, and to prove that the meaning behind Homer's name was not significant, Groening later named his own son Homer. According to Groening, "Homer originated with my goal to both amuse my real father, and just annoy him a little bit. My father was an athletic, creative, intelligent filmmaker and writer, and the only thing he had in common with Homer was a love of donuts. " Although Groening has stated in several interviews that Homer was named after his father, he also claimed in several 1990 interviews that a character in the 1939 Nathanael West novel The Day of the Locust was the inspiration for naming Homer. Homer's middle initial "J", which stands for "Jay", is a "tribute" to animated characters such as Bullwinkle J. Moose and Rocket J. Squirrel from The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, who got their middle initial from Jay Ward.