Sunday, June 5, 2011


Earlier today, I was remembering a dog that lived with us when I was a kid. The dog, a dachshund, was named Nudnik. And remembering that dog and the name it was given, I was forced to recognize my own, half-spoken superstitions ... superstitions I imagine everyone has one way or another.

"Nudnik" is a slang word and means "an obtuse, boring, or bothersome person; a pest." Not an uplifting moniker for anyone. A put-down. An insult. A way of demeaning someone.

And my superstition is this ... never name your kids or animals with negative names they may live up to. They are likely to acquire the negative characteristics they have been saddled with. I always feel a twinge of dis-ease, for example, when I run into people named "Pandora." And, beyond the negative, there are assumptions that whisper when I meet a "Christopher" or an "Alexander." Heathers and Ashleys and other au-courant girls' names bring with them air-head associations that I have to rein in sharply. And people who name their kids "Jesus" or "Mohammad" ... why have I never met anyone named "God" or "Allah?"

I don't lay a lot of emphasis on my superstitious fancies, but I have to admit they are there.

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