Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Wed Nov 5 19:14:59 UTC 2003

On Wednesday, November 5, 2003, at 10:30 AM, Baker, John wrote:

>         From the Patent and Trademark Office website:
> Goods and Services IC 020. US 050. G & S: Novelty Item-Namely, a Head
> Band with Springs Carrying Ornaments. FIRST USE: 19811204. FIRST USE
> IN COMMERCE: 19811204<<
>         I'm pretty sure I heard dealybob (= thing) before the first
> use of this trademark in 1981.

me too.  "dealybob" (or however you spell it) from, i think, at least
thirty years back, for the 'miscellaneous thing' sense.  then "deely
bobbers" (or however you spell it) from at least the early days of
Saturday Night Live, which featured these bobbing antenna-like jobbies.
  meanwhile, "bobbleheads" appeared, i'm not sure when; these are
figures, usually of people (someone is now creating bobblehead supreme
court justices!), with heads on an internal spring, so that the heads
bob (or bobble, if you will) when jarred.  (their favored place for
display is on an automobile dashboard.)

it would be easy to get the three expressions confused.

arnold (zwicky at

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