Friday, May 30, 2014

Body Impressive, Brain Optional

Because of last week's post about Bimbo Bakeries supplying baked goods to the local high school, I felt the need to do a little research. (Whenever I do research, it's always as little as possible.)

First, about the word bimbo itself, this comes to us from
a silly, empty-headed or frivolous woman. This is the sense of the word in vogue since the late 1980s. The origin is almost certainly a variant of bambino, Italian for baby. In the early 1900s a bimbo, in American colloquial use, was a man, especially a big, unintelligent and aggressive man or a clumsy dupe. By the 1920s bimbo was being applied to women, especially by popular crime-fiction writers, and it is this use that was revived in the 1980s with the return to fashion of glamorous but not over-cerebral celebrities.

Not Over-Cerebral: Politically correct terminology for "as intellectually agile as a small soap dish."

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Okay, this all makes sense...except for why in the name of all that is right and good would a bakery give itself this name?!!?

And so, with a few more clicks of the mouse, the World Wide Wackfest informed me about how Bimbo Bakeries is actually the largest baking company in the USA:
Although many of its brands can trace their histories back to the late 1800s or early 1900s, Bimbo Bakeries USA’s story begins in 1994, when Grupo Bimbo – Mexico’s largest baking company with operations in 19 countries – purchased La Hacienda, a California-based tortilla company.

A series of subsequent purchases is what turned Bimbo into the baking powerhouse it is today, with brands including Thomas' English Muffins, Entenmann's, and Boboli.

But why BIMBO???

Well, the word on the street (i.e., Wikipedia) is that bimbo (pronounced BEEMbo) is a nonsense word (in Spanish, it has no definition) formed by mixing the words bingo and Bambi.  (Kinda fits for the American meaning, eh?) But still, because the word DOES have a meaning, and a negative one, at that, in the U.S.A., their choice to retain that company name when entering the U.S. market would be like opening Chi-Chis franchises in Mexico. (Considering that, in Spanish, chi chis is a slightly vulgar slang term for the part of the female anatomy found in the top of a bikini.)

Wait, mean like...Hooters?

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