Followup Batman Question

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Tue Jan 25 03:13:35 UTC 2011

I never quite got to sent my original response, as most of the issues I
had were already mentioned. But there are two remaining peripheral
questions that have not been brought up.

Not quite linguistic, but clearly semiotically relevant--the projected
bat-signal has become a visual icon, especially in TV commercials.

I was wondering if there is any connection between the Bat-cave and the
man-cave. I've spotted no "man-cave" references prior to 2003, although
there are a number of "men's cave" occurrences, including in at least
three (!) books by John Gray (Mars and Venus series (1996, 2002); How to
get what you want at work (2002)). Prior to that, the caves are quite
literal. MTV surely had a lot to do with it, so I have no idea when and
how the expression originated.


On 1/24/2011 9:23 PM, Shapiro, Fred wrote:
> Thanks for the excellent responses to my query about Batman's linguistic contributions.  I am hoping some comics mavens can help with me with a followup question.
> The Batman TV show of the 1960s was famous for its fight-scene onomatopoeic words like biff, bam, and pow.  Were these words taken from usage in the specific Batman comic books, or were they general comic-book expressions employed by the Batman TV writers for their campiness?
> Fred Shapiro

The American Dialect Society -

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