Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Wed Oct 5 15:45:44 UTC 2005

On Oct 5, 2005, at 7:04 AM, Alison Murie wrote:

> Frank Deford (sp?) in his sports commentary on NPR this morning,
> referring
> to a general perception of the big league team owners,  used
> "Beezlebubs."
> This is a common error among children  (well, probably not *common*
> anymore), but is it well established elsewhere?

in context, Deford seemed to be using the word to mean something like
'bumbling geezers', not anything like 'devils' or 'satanic creatures'.

a google web search gives *thousands* of occurrences of "Beezlebub",
a large number of them devil-related and some of them apparently
chosen deliberately.  there's even a pairing of "Beezlebub" and

"Beezlebub" would be likely to occur both as a phonological reshaping
of the odd "Beelzebub" and also as a typo.  still, it seems to have
something of a life of its own.

don't yet know how widespread Deford's usage is, though.


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