Followup Batman Question (UNCLASSIFIED)

Mullins, Bill AMRDEC Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL
Tue Jan 25 17:03:30 UTC 2011

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

The "new look" Batman started in May 1964 (Detective Comics #327), which
rebooted the character (the first appearance of the yellow ellipse on
Batman's chest, new editor with contemporary story ideas, new design for
the Batmobile, etc. -- see the Wikipedia article on Batman).  The TV
show started in Jan 1966, and was so successful it was an influence on
the comic book. (The Wikipedia articles on the character Batman and the
TV show Batman are both reasonably good).

The "biff, bam, pow" words were originated in the TV show, and didn't
come from the Batman comics, or any specific comic at all -- they were
originated in the TV show.

Add to your Batman words list:

"stately Wayne manor"
"To the batpoles/batcave!"

A previous post offered "the boy wonder" as a linguistic contribution
from Batman, but the phrase "boy wonder" was prominent before the comic
character was invented.  I'm pretty sure the same applies to "utility
belt", but I can't figure out when it entered the Batman canon, or
determine if Batman made the phrase more popular.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On
Behalf Of
> Shapiro, Fred
> Sent: Monday, January 24, 2011 8:24 PM
> Subject: Followup Batman Question
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Shapiro, Fred" <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Followup Batman Question
> -
> Thanks for the excellent responses to my query about Batman's
> 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
> words like biff, bam, and pow.  Were these words taken from usage in
> specific Batman comic books, or were they general comic-book
> employed by the Batman TV writers for their campiness?
> Fred Shapiro
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

The American Dialect Society -

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