When attempting to use interop syntax with symbols which aren't legal Java names (such as deleted?), the names are mangled a bit. That's necessary, of course, and the method of munging can be internal to the compiler. However, the behavior when munging changed a little between 1.3 and 1.4 beta1. Obviously the specifics of munging are something I should avoid relying on, but the way it changed looks like an accident or a bug even so.
The use-case I ran into is that defrecords contain a field named __meta for tracking their metadata. In both 1.3 and 1.4 you can get at that field with (. record __meta), which avoids munging. But on 1.3 (. record --meta) also accesses it (translating each - to a _), while on 1.4 (. record -meta) works and (. record --meta) doesn't.
Actually, looking at line 883 of Compiler.java, it looks like this may be related to the (. foo -property) syntax ported from CLJS, and indeed (. record ---meta) works, I guess by reducing to an "old style" (. record --meta). So that clears up why --meta fails: it's looking for __meta. I'm still not clear on why (. record -meta) works, though.
So it looks like the - prefix for properties is not 100% backwards-compatible like it seemed to be. Is this an issue we need to fix, or is the recommendation simply to never have fields that start with - or _?