"My own name, Shawmut, had obviously been tampered with. The tampering was done long years before my father landed in America by his brother Pinye, the one who wore pince-nez and was a music copyist for Sholom Secunds. The family must have been called Shamus or, even more degrading, Untershamus. The untershamus, lowest of the low in the Old World synagogue, was a quasi-unemployable incompetent and hanger-on, tangle-bearded and cursed with comic ailments like a large hernia or scrofula, a pauper's pauper. 'Orm,' as my father would say, 'auf steiffleivent.' Stieffleivent was the stiff linen-and-horsehair fabric that tailors would put into the lining of a jacket to give it shape. There was nothing cheaper. 'He was so poor that he dressed in dummy cloth.' Cheaper than a shroud. But in America Shawmut turns out to be the name of a chain of banks in Massachusetts." (16)

Bellow, Saul. "Him With His Foot in His Mouth", from Him With His Foot in His Mouth and Other Stories. New York: Viking Penguin Inc., 1984 (1974).