"The charged pion and antipion decay respectively into a muon plus antineutrino and an antimuon plus neutrino with an average lifetime of 2.603 x 10-8 seconds, the neutral pion decays into two photons with an average lifetime of about 0.8 x 10-16 seconds, and the muon and antimuon decay respectively into . . ." And so it runs on—and this from a book for the general reader by one of the (normally) most lucid of interpreters, Steven Weinberg.
In the 1960s, in an attempt to bring just a little simplicity to matters, the Caltech physicist Murray Gell-Mann invented a new class of particles, essentially, in the words of Steven Weinberg, "to restore some economy to the multitude of hadrons"—a collective term used by physicists for protons, neutrons, and other particles governed by the strong nuclear force.
Gell-Mann's theory was that all hadrons were made up of still smaller, even more fundamental particles. His colleague Richard Feynman wanted to call these new basic particles partons, as in Dolly, but was overruled. Instead they became known as quarks.
Gell-Mann took the name from a line in Finnegans Wake: "Three quarks for Muster Mark!" (Discriminating physicists rhyme the word with storks, not larks, even though the latter is almost certainly the pronunciation Joyce had in mind.) The fundamental simplicity of quarks was not long lived. As they became better understood it was necessary to introduce subdivisions.