Coolerator (was Re: Query: "$64,000 quesiton")

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Wed May 9 20:14:16 UTC 2007

On 5/9/07, Wilson Gray <hwgray at> wrote:
> When I was a child down in Texas, we had a General Electric-brand
> fridgidaire, said fridgidaire being occasionally referred to as an
> "icebox." When we first moved to Saint Louis, city life being somewhat
> more expensive than small-town life, we were, at first, able to afford
> only a "Coolerator"-brand icebox. (In those days, diversification was
> such that Coolerator also manufactured its own Coolerator-brand
> fridgidaire.)

Were Coolerators particularly popular in St. Louis? My only previous
knowledge of the brand name comes from the great St. Louis poet Chuck

"They furnished off an apartment with a two-room Roebuck sale
The Coolerator was crammed with TV dinners and ginger ale."
("You Never Can Tell," 1964)

Coolerators (not to mention Roebuck sales) are now long forgotten, to
the point that many people seem to think Berry coined the word
"coolerator" for the purposes of the song. See, e.g.:

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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