Posted by: Tobias | September 10, 2008


Here I was, overly amused by the fact that one of John McCains senior policy advisors carries the lovely name Nancy Pfotenhauer (literally “paw smacker” in German), only to find out via Andrew Hammel of German Joys that the name has a far more boring origin:

The name Pfotenhauer does not, in fact, derive from a medieval guild which traveled the villages of Northern Europe, smacking the paws of cats and dogs in return for a few morsels of pheasant gizzard. In fact, it’s just an traditional name for a carpenter, derived from the name for a kind of roof beam.

Thank God, the Republicans are otherwise keeping the entertainment factor high by insisting not only on a literal reading of Holy Scripture, but also on a literal reading of obvious literary devices.


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