What’s in a name?

Everyone’s doing it (and I am nothing if not derivative), so I thought I would post an ‘about me’ entry for the benefit of the interested, stalkers and interested stalkers. This is by no means The Definitive Guide to Me, but it does contain all-new information. To test your faith, I am burying this one in the archives (it was actually posted on the 28th of July 2005) – so if you found it, you passed the test. Well done. You may now tattoo yourself with the Kanji character for ‘north’ that I use as my blog ID image.

Perhaps I should start there. Why north in particular? I could be fatuous and say, “Why not?”, but I won’t, because Japanese-speaking South Africans or Afrikaans-speaking Japanese would have an inkling of the real reason (and that wouldn’t be fair on the rest of you, would it?). You see, Kyknoord* comes from an old Afrikaans army expression: “Kyk noord en fok voort”. This translates directly as “Look north and fuck onwards”, but the saying actually means something more like “Grit your teeth and persevere”, although this lacks the poetry and lyricism of the original. It’s an outlook on life that I identify with quite strongly. So now you know where the whole ‘north’ thing fits in.

Why Kanji? That’s an easy one: Let’s face it, a great big Roman N wouldn’t be a very interesting blog ID pic and since I am very fond of manga, it made sense. To me, at any rate.

* The correct pronunciation isn’t all that important. Obviously nobody calls me that, so however you pronounce it in your head is just fine by me. If you absolutely, positively have to know, this is an approximate guide: CAKE NOO-hrt (the first part is pronounced like the thing with the all icing, calories and guilt. The last part is all squished into one syllable with the emphasis at the beginning) If this doesn’t make any sense, then I would suggest contacting your nearest South African consulate, where they may or may not be glad to help you.


15 thoughts on “What’s in a name?

  1. You are a sneaky boy; I like that. I have wondered about the name and symbol, but mostly the name. I like the literal translation yet it does seem a bit of a stretch from the actual meaning. My pronunciation was not too far off considering I have no knowledge of any language other than my own. Typical lazy American, eh? If worse comes to worst, I’ll just refer to you as Bob or something…


  2. Lucy McGN: I had a feeling it would be you 🙂 Welcome to the basement. When I started this blog on M-Web, I didn’t give much thought to the accessibility of my on-line name, since the majority of readers were either in, or from South Africa (so pronunciation wasn’t an issue). It was only after I migrated to Blogger, that the matter came up. You may, of course refer to me as Brother Sabre of Enlightened Compassion (my Unitarian Jihad name), but I rather like Bob, too.
    Yours faithfully,
    Bob K.N. Pepper


  3. So, does this make me ‘interested’, a ‘stalker’, or the all-encompassing ‘interested stalker’? The amazing Bob K.N. Pepper has now gone international…


  4. LiVEwiRe: I’m leaning towards ‘interested’, at the moment. I’ve found that potential Mad Scientists generally have other things to occupy their days than boiling bunnies and kidnapping.


  5. Did I pass the test? I am, however, merely second best it seems. But all you’ve done here is whet the ol’ appetite. Will I need a magnifying glass and decoder to find part 2?


  6. andrea: No magnifying glass required. Part 2 is still on the ‘to do’ list and remains a work in progress. “I tend to procrastinate” is as far as I’ve got thus far.


  7. And I thought, being on the other side of the mountain (flat in Kenilworth, I seem to remember), it was because you faced north towards where the real action is, in Johannesburg.

    No I didn’t really think that, and being an ex-Capetonian, I don’t think all the action is up here.

    I have always wondered about the name though.


  8. hey- i found you! can i be a stalker please?
    golly gee whizzikers- does having me on your list mean you like me! or do you really, really like me!?!
    love your work!


  9. angel: By all means, stalk away and of course I like you. I can’t tell you whether I really, really like you, because I need to maintain some modicum of mystery about me.


  10. waaaaaaaahahahahahaha… i just saw the “shortcut” to this post on the side of your screen… how dof was i yesterday! i think i’ll blame spookie!


  11. Ooh…I like that your name sounds like the only lie I’ll tolerate.
    I also like that I totally drew the “north” out of “noord” wholly because of the Nords in Oblivion.

    And I like Afrikaans. Cuz it’s a cool language.


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