What’s in a Name


Recently I read No Blog Intended‘s post about why her blog is named as it is. The impetus for such a post came from The Daily Post about choosing the perfect blog name. This article was done by Ben Huberman and highlights Katie Hoffman of Sass & Balderdash. No Blog  Intended then asked how others came up with their blog name.

The name of my blog does have a bit of meaning and intent behind it. But I thought it might take more than the space of a comment to really get into it. Thus you get today’s post out of all of this.

To understand the naming of my blog I have to explain it in two parts. First there is the website url: themathmaster.wordpress.com. Then there is the actual title The Hungry Dog’s Lair.

The url portion themathmaster comes from my email address. themathmaster [at] gmail [dot] com. Many years ago in my undergrad days (this will date me just a bit) email and gmail were still relatively new things. I needed an email address that would set me apart from the rest. I needed something easily remembered but that also said a little bit about me. In short I needed something that looked good on a resume`. An acquaintance of mine was using the address theenergyexpert [at] gmail [dot] com. She did this because she wrote newspaper articles on energy issues. I thought, how perfect is that? It sums her up quite neatly, and it’s really easy to remember, and it has an almost alliterative quality to it. What more could a person ask for. I pondered what I knew best. Some of you may know that my undergrad degree is in mathematics. Well if you didn’t know, now you know. From there it was a short leap to themathmaster.

When setting up this blog it just made sense to have the url be similar to my email address. I now know the common practice is to have the title of your blog and url match. I didn’t know that when I was first setting up this blog. I also didn’t think themathmaster was very good title for this blog. I didn’t want it to be about math specifically, although I thought at some point some of the posts would involve math (that has yet to happen). I suppose if I ever go in for the upgraded url I will probably change it to mirror the blog name, The Hungry Dog’s Lair. The “Lair” part is easy enough to extrapolate. By definition a lair is a wild animal’s resting place, especially one that is well hidden. I’ve always thought of the Hungry Dog as a wild animal and writing here gives me a bit of repose. I also thought that no one would read this stuff and that it would remain relatively well hidden among the rest of the internet.

But who or what is the Hungry Dog? I am the Hungry Dog. But to understand that we have to go all the way back to high school. A time before email and the internet (really dating myself now). My school mascot was a pointer, a specific breed of dog used for hunting. It was in those early days that I learned to love running. I was a part of the Track and Field team every spring and in the fall I was on the Cross Country team. It just so happened that in my senior year I was getting really good at racing. Early in the Cross Country season I won my first race. During that race I was getting very close to the lead runner before passing him and a lot of stuff was going through my mind. I was running out of fuel and mentally I was just trying to hang on to this guy ahead of me. My coach was shouting at me and at some point along the course my mental faculties finally snapped and I started barking (like a pointer) at the competitor in front of me (I wish I were making this up). Fortunately for me it worked. I scarred the hell out of the runner in front of me and I ended up winning the race.

Athletes in general are a superstitious lot. We tend to bleed the line between correlation and causation every chance we get. So in my second race I started barking again, and low and behold I won again. For the rest of the season I would bark for the last mile of every race, and I was winning many of those races. It really became a trademark of mine and got me noticed by a lot of people, e.g. spectators, coaches, competitors. At the end of the season, after a very successful attempt at the state championships, we had our award ceremony. We always held it at the Old Spaghetti Factory, a really great restaurant in the San Diego area. First all the varsity and junior varsity awards were given out, then the most improved awards, and a couple other things were given out. Then our coach announced a special award. One he had just created that year. One that represented not necessarily the fastest person on the team, but the person that had the most spirit, the most recognizable person on the team, the person that inspired everyone to do their best in every race. He called this award the Hungry Dog award, to mean the dog (pointer) who was hungriest, to the athlete who wanted it the most. I was the first recipient of this award. From then on I was the Hungry Dog.

What was this post about again, oh yeah, the name of this blog. So I got to thinking, what did I want this space to be about? What did I want my blog to represent. Who am I and what does this blog say about me? Well, I thought back to those early formative years and what defined me. Hungry Dog seemed to fit, at least for nostalgia’s sake. So I slapped on the title of The Hungry Dog’s Lair. In the end that’s what this blog has sort of become about. I’m not the best writer, but I do get noticed. I want this to be good writing, but more importantly I want it to be a space where the animal in my head can get some rest from all the thoughts swirling in my head.

So there you have it. The title of my blog, as best as I can describe it. What about your blogs, what’s the story behind their titles? You can let me know below.

pointer

Above is a pointer breed for reference

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7 comments

  1. Maybe you’re hitting two birds with one stone: you like math and dogs, right? So now I know that much more about you. Also, that dog is a GSP (as you probably know) which is a cousin to my two dogs, the Vizslas. So, in essence, we are now best friends.

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    1. Yeeeeeaaaaahhhhh a new bestie. I do love math, at least enough to get my BA in it. And dogs are just wonderful, although I take issue with really small ones. I didn’t know they were cousins but I did notice how similar they looked. Maybe if I ever get a dog again I’ll look for a Vizslas.

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  2. That’s very interesting, thanks for dedicating an entire post to this! Necessarily it seems. Interesting to see your winning method. I might steel that ;).

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    1. Steal away. I always found it fun. Thank you for reading and stopping by. I don’t know if I NEEDED a whole post for this, but I certainly enjoyed writing about it. Thank you for the idea.

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  3. 🙂 Love it – and I’m a fan of big dogs from the ‘hunting breeds’ (although I am not a hunter).

    I wrote my first post about my name:

    https://themercenaryresearcher.wordpress.com/2012/07/10/whatsinaname/

    The Rutabaga comes from Frank Zappa’s ‘Call Any Vegetable’ song and it’s my alter ego and my pool playing name!

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    1. Awesome, I love that we named both of our posts the same thing.

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      1. Great minds bark at people, I mean think a like.

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