Tuesday, September 26, 2006

My Nana

Q. I was watching a Dracula film the other night (guilty pleasures!) and for the first time it struck me that when Count Dracula introduced himself as Alucard, he was disguising his name by saying it backwards. Does this practice have a name?

A. The first time I heard of this, it involved two aging college roommates greeting each other sorority fashion⎯Enaid and Nasus. Innocent bystander though I was, my designation became Ekim. I found out a few years later that ananym is the term for this strange practice.

In addition to being a form of disguise, a pseudonym, it is sometimes used by authors who love wordplay. Samuel Butler's Erewhon (1871) was Nowhere under cover.

Oprah’s production company is named Harpo.

And a very curious ananym came into the language through jailbirds. They would refer to a neves stretch, meaning a seven-year sentence. (A Dictionary of the Underworld, by Eric Partridge)

Check out Mike's latest book here: http://arbutuspress.com/
at Amazon.com

Visit the Senior Corner at http://seniors.tcnet.org

(substitute @ for AT above)


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Dona Sheehan's prints