bimbo

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bimbo

Post by Archived Topic » Tue Oct 19, 2004 9:08 pm

How did the meaning of the word--"bimbo"--evolve from its Italian origin--"bambino"--meaning "baby"?
Submitted by Almarie Lumbad (Chicago - U.S.A.)
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Post by Archived Reply » Tue Oct 19, 2004 9:22 pm

Almarie, It appears that lexicographers love this one and a great deal has been written about it.
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BIMBO noun: 1) a foolish, inept, stupid, inconsequential, or contemptible fellow; a bozo (especially a tough guy with meager brains); or (‘broadly’) just a fellow or chap, or a fellow who is unimportant or undistinguished. <1918: ‘Price of Honor’ by Rossano, page 99: “She flop! An ‘il bimbo he break the boni.”> <1919: “American Magazine, page 69: “Nothing but the most heroic measures will save the poor bimbo> 2) a young women, especially one who is promiscuous or unintelligent and is viewed as just a sex object; floozy <1920: ‘Burlesque’ by Zeidman, page 126: “This Dix bimbo is a dangerous women… a sassy girl with…more than a figure—a physique.><’Variety,’ Feb. 18, page 11: “He scarcely met this bimbo, when he wants to know if there are any more like her.>

The exact derivation of ‘bimbo’ has never been established, but the word is believed to come from an abbreviation ‘bimbo’ for the Italian word for ‘baby,’ ‘bambino.’ And perhaps it acquired its current meaning in much the same way that the English word ‘baby’ developed its meaning of ‘girlfriend’ or ‘woman’ and later simply ‘person’: First baby, then on to fellow and types of fellows, then transfer to women and types of woman (e.g. easy, floozy, prostitute). ‘Bimbo’ for a promiscuous women did not really catch on in popular usage until the advent of the 1930s detective novel. In the 1980s it became something of a vogue word with public figures (e.g. Senator Gary Hart / Donna Rice scandal) having their careers destroyed by having indiscreet romantic affairs. In one such 1987 incident, “I Am Not a Bimbo” became the headline in many newspapers and a photograph of the lady involved appeared with that title on the cover of ‘People Magazine.’

Today, ‘bimbo’ is largely applied to women (occasionally to beefy men with loose morals), but you still hear it used for men in the earlier ‘bozo-type’ sense. In a 1980 magazine article describing ‘The Toughest job in sports Jay Stuller wrote: “ Likewise, a catcher must spend time positioning fielders and telling a thickheaded pitcher that the bimbo at the plate hasn’t hit a curve in three seasons.” Also in the 1980s, ‘bimbette’ entered the vocabulary to describe a young ‘adolescent bimbo.’

(Merriam-Webster New Book of Word Histories, Facts on File Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins, Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang)
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Ken G – January 16, 2004
Reply from Ken Greenwald (Fort Collins, CO - U.S.A.)
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bimbo

Post by Archived Reply » Tue Oct 19, 2004 9:37 pm

Wasn't she one of the Marx Sisters?
Reply from Edwin Ashworth (Oldham - England)
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Post by gilly » Mon Oct 22, 2007 9:06 pm

SOME OF THE BLONDS I`V MET DO COME OVER AS BEING CHILD LIKE THE BAMBINO
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Post by RegMonkey » Tue Oct 23, 2007 9:10 am

Ah! But how many of those were real blondes, Gilly?
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Post by gilly » Tue Oct 23, 2007 8:29 pm

ALL BUT 1 I WAS;NT TO SURE NEVER GOT TO FIND OUT



RegMonkey wrote: Ah! But how many of those were real blondes, Gilly?
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