Wednesday, September 30, 2009

See Spotski Run

While quickly trying to research particular references in 1920s and 30s Britain to the Cheka (i.e., the Soviet secret police), I found an article in the Manchester Guardian reporting on the results of a contest the paper had run soliciting the best names for a dog owned by particular categories of people: a small child, a shepherd, a poacher, a parson, a Bolshevik, and a prime minister.

Among the article's comments:

One doubts how far a true Bolshevik would permit his dog to be called 'Lenin,' 'Nicholas,' 'Trot' (for Trotsky), 'Karl,' or 'Rosa,' but he could not boggle at 'Tovarish' (suggested by a nameless reader) or 'Polit.' As a Bolshevik, he would disapprove 'Anarchy,' and he would regard 'Spotski' and 'Rin-Tin-Tinski' as frivolous and 'Nep' as controversial. But whatever he thought of 'Red,' 'Rufus,' 'Comrade,' and 'Cheka,' he would, as we did, fall down in admiration before 'Pecci,' which is 'President of the Executive Committee of the Canine International.'

'Saturday Competition', Manchester Guardian, 27 February 1929, p. 20.

No comments: