Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Thu Mar 27 13:19:26 UTC 2008

Larry, needless to say, I, too, am old enough to remember when a
"masseuse" was merely a female masseur and "happy ending" was used
primarily in reference to books and movies.


On Wed, Mar 26, 2008 at 11:27 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
>  Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>  Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
>  Subject:      "bromance"
>  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>  My daughter writes:
>  =================
>  New word alert**
>  I'm watching "Top Chef," an elimination reality show on Bravo, and
>  there was just a commercial for a show, "Make Me A Supermodel," where
>  there was speculation over a potential romance between two men on the
>  show- a "bromance"! I thought you would get a kick out of it if you
>  haven't heard it before, but I just googled it and it looked pretty
>  popular (41,000 hits), so I'm probably too late.
>  ================
>  In checking the first few of these 41,000 I find myself directed to
>  urbandictionary.com, where the thumbs-up contributors make it clear
>  that for them, the blend denotes not a *romance* romance, but the
>  'complicated love and affection shared by two straight males'.
>  According to one contributor:
>  ===============
>  Provenance/Origin: "Bromance" is a portmanteau of the two words
>  "brother" and "romance". Originally coined by author/editor Dave
>  Carnie in "Big Brother Magazine." Big Brother was a sort of R rated
>  skateboarding/skate culture magazine that was eventually purchased by
>  Larry Flynt's Hustler conglomerate and consequently taken out of
>  circulation due to unsatisfactory sales performance. Carnie used the
>  word on several occasions to describe relationships between
>  skate-buddies who spent a lot of time together and/or shared hotel
>  rooms on every tour/skate road ===============
>  I have no idea whether the skateboarder derivation is accurate, and
>  in any case I assume "bro" + "romance" is a plausible source, since
>  the guys (dudes?) involved probably call each other "bro".  Posters
>  to urbandictionary who claim "bromance" can be used for actual
>  romances or sexual relationships (as in "Brokeback Mountain is the
>  best bromance movie of all time") get mostly thumbs down from the
>  judges.  (Maybe whoever posted the above thought that the "bro" in
>  bromance was from Brokeback rather than from...bro?)
>  When I was trying to think of other blends/portmanteaux we've
>  discussed here that combine the 'man' with a stem, or possibly a
>  'bro-' as in the current case, or (I'm sure there are a bunch of
>  these) just an initial 'm-', all I could remember was "manzeer"
>  (a.k.a. "bro", for a male brassiere, from the Seinfeld episode).  I
>  know there are a bunch of other cases, especially for cases in which
>  the male protagonist is somehow marked, like 'male nurse/prostitute'
>  or the more recent 'male masseuse' [sic], only involving just the m-
>  of man/male instead of the full phrase or compound.  Can anyone help
>  fill in my blank?
>  LH
>  ------------------------------------------------------------
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