Why Did Samuel Clemens Call Himself Mark Twain and What Does the Name Mark Twain Mean?

One big reason why Samuel Clemens called himself Mark Twain is that Clemens once wanted nothing more in life than to be a riverboat captain.

Having someone measuring and calling out depth in a river was a must for any riverboat captain trying to navigate the Mississippi.

The call mark twain means “two fathoms,” or 12 feet deep.

“Mark twain” was just barely deep enough for a boat to navigate, indicating somewhat unsafe waters, suggestive enough to suit humorist and satirist Samuel L. Clemens just fine.