According to Wikipedia, "Histeridae was named by Leonard Gyllenhaal. Histeridae has two common names, the “Clown” beetle and the “Hister” beetle. There have been several theories explaining the origin of these common names. One theory for the “Hister” nickname comes from the work of Juvenal, a Roman poet. Juvenal used the word “hister” to mean a dirty, lowly being. Another theory for the origin of this beetle's name stems from the fact that in Latin, “hister” means actor. Many people believe the name is associated with the Hister beetles’ ability to imitate death when they are disturbed. Still, some believe this family of beetles was named for its physical characteristics. The Clown beetle has flattened legs, which can be compared to a clown’s flat shoes or loose-fitting pants."