[Ads-l] Bozo as pejorative use of a PN?

Peter Reitan pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Dec 21 11:17:42 EST 2020


I've written about Bozo a couple times.

https://esnpc.blogspot.com/2015/11/hobos-gazabos-tramps-and-great-bozo.html<https://esnpc.blogspot.com/2015/11/hobos-gazabos-tramps-and-great-bozo.html?m=1>

(This link links to an earlier piece too.)

The name appears to have been a character in a comedy skit.  The person who developed the character recalled two decades later, that he misspoke when saying "Hobo" and people laughed, and he kept it.
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From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Stephen Goranson <goranson at DUKE.EDU>
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Subject: Bozo as pejorative use of a PN?

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Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
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Subject:      Bozo as pejorative use of a PN?
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Charlie Chaplin performed in "The New Janitor" in 1914.
In 1916 a play with the same title, the lead character is Bozo.
Since the word bozo, afaik, it attested only later, might this be an unfrie=
ndly borrowing of an eastern european PN?

Stephen G.

https://infoweb.newsbank.com/apps/readex/doc?p=3DEANX&sort=3DYMD_date%3AA&f=
ld-base-0=3Dalltext&val-base-0=3D%22bozo%20the%20janitor%22&val-database-0=
=3D&fld-database-0=3Ddatabase&fld-nav-0=3DYMD_date&val-nav-0=3D&docref=3Dim=
age/v2%3A110C9BFA1F116650%40EANX-115C629FA449FA60%402421012-115C62A75730EB9=
0%4062-115C62BE638640E8%40An%2BOriginal%2BCharacter&firsthit=3Dyes

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