Tag Archives: Etymology

The “New” Led Zeppelin

The Name Game Continues

While New Zealand may have outlawed some names, the USA, with the exception of what a judge may find to be a frivolous name, (Your Majesty; Copyright; Superman) still allows people to name themselves or their offspring pretty much whatever they want.

So when George Blackburn, 64, of Bethalto, IL recently got divorced, he wanted a fresh start and legally renamed himself Led Zeppelin II. According to an article in the St. Louis Post Dispatch the newly named Zeppelin said: Continue reading

Stupid Baby Names Outlawed in New Zealand

New Zealand’s Birth Registrar bans “Lucifer” “Messiah” “General” and “*”  as Names

As reported in the West Australian newspaper on July 19 the New Zealand  registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages have compiled a list of 102 names (so far) of names they will not allow parents to name their bundles of joy.

It might seem an arbitrary list, as they allowed one set of parents to name their child “Violence.”

Wouldn’t it be easier to just change your own name rather than embarassing your offspring with your own idea of a unique name?

This is probably a case of the government overstepping their boundries, but I am astounded by the number of stupid names American parents give their babies.

In New York City, a teacher I know who taught in the lower income South Bronx, actually encountered two children (from different families) with incredibly unique names.  Continue reading

The “B” Girl

The “B” Girl.  A Saying You Won’t Hear Today

I had vaguely heard the term B-girl mentioned in the past. Whether it was from some early film noir cinema or pulp fiction I cannot recall.  The 1940 Pulitzer Prize winning William Saroyan play The Time of Your Life was made into a film in 1948 and was recently shown on Turner Classic Movies and I watched it for the odd turn of tough guy Jimmy Cagney playing a philosophical bar patron. It is an uneven movie, but what was interesting was Jeanne Cagney’s  (yes – Jimmy’s sister) portrayal of Kitty Duval and the referral of her character as possibly being a B-girl.

So what exactly is a B-Girl?

1948 Production Still

First thought – Hays code vernacular for a bar prostitute.

Looking the term up in Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary it is slang for a ‘bar girl’ –  a woman who entertains bar patrons and encourages them to spend freely. Online other meanings emerged – it could also mean a prostitute that hangs around in bars. Either way it was not a compliment.