Adnominatio


Adnominatio (ad-no-mi-na’-ti-o): 1. A synonym for paronomasia[punning]. 2. A synonym for polyptoton. 3. Assigning to a proper name its literal or homophonic meaning.


My great-great grandfather, Rezbo Clocker, played ice hockey on ice left over from the Ice Age. Ha ha! Just kidding. My great grandmother used to say he was born wearing hockey skates with a hockey stick in his hands. I was only six, but I knew where babies came from. I would just think every time it was said, how much the skates must have hurt Rezbo’s mother. I would nearly cry. Then, I found out it meant he was born to play hockey, not wearing the equipment. It was a great relief, and relieved, I started saying it myself. It made me feel grown up, like swearing. And back then, a hockey stick and a pair of hockey skates was all you had—safety was almost a swear word among the players.

Rezbo played hockey all his life. He lived in a part of Canada where it was winter nearly year-round. He played for the Northwest Territories Assassins. Their logo was crossed hockey sticks with spear points, dripping blood. By today’s standards this logo would not be allowed. In fact, in 1970, the Assassins changed their name to the Wildflowers and replaced the pointed hockey sticks with hockey stick vases filled with assorted brightly colored wildflowers.

As a goalie with no protection, Rezbo’s front teeth were always in jeopardy. Nevertheless, his signature move was to catch incoming pucks with his front teeth. The fans loved it and he would end many games with bleeding gums and a bloodstained jersey. He had had his knocked out teeth replaced with dentures numerous times when he got a brilliant idea. He would become a spokesperson for a mail oder false teeth manufacturer in Yellowknife. He made millions touting their product on the radio, broadcasting from hockey games around Canada.

He was getting old, but he desperately wanted to keep playing hockey—icing his knees did’t work any more and he did not want to become addicted to pain medication. The team captain, Loki, told him about a Finnish Sámi, who was a Shaman who held sway over ice and snow as agents for healing the body. The shaman’s name was Magnus, and he was very, very old. Rezbo flew to Finland, and through an interpreter, told Magnus what he wanted. Magnus nodded his agreement and told Rezbo to strip naked and sit on the rock in the middle of the floor. Then, Magnus held up his hands and started yelling at Rezbo. Rezbo started shaking, looking cross-eyed, and turning ice-cold. Magnus clutched his own chest, cried out, and, in the middle of the spell, died of a heart attack. The spell went awry, and Rezbo was turned into a hockey puck. The former Rezbo was bagged and shipped back home to Canada. Every once in awhile I take Rezbo to the pond out back and give him a little workout on the ice with my friend Jasper. Sometimes, I think I hear him laughing when I smash him across the ice. As a hockey puck, his immortality is assured. As long as there are Clockers, Rezbo’s zip-loc shipping bag will shelter him on our mantle, specially painted the color of freshly Zabonied ice.


Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Bracketed text added by Gorgias.

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