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Bimbo
Bimbo
Bimbo is a term that emerged in popular English language usage in the early 20th century to describe an often physically attractive, unintelligent woman. Use of this term began in the United States as early as 1919. The 1929 silent film Desert Nights describes a wealthy female crook as a bimbo. In The Broadway Melody, the winner of Best Picture for the same year, an angry Bessie Love calls a chorus girl a bimbo. This word derives from the Italian bimbo, derived from bambino (Italian for child), a masculine-gender term that means (male) baby or very young (male) child (its feminine equivalent is bimba).

The 1950s song "Bimbo", about a toddler, was one of the early hits for the popular American singer Jim Reeves. Its first usage in English was for stupid men; it now is understood to mean a woman unless modified as male bimbo, himbo, or mimbo. Some still prefer the explicitly female variant, bimbette, which has also entered The American Heritage Dictionary. Others use bimbette for a younger bimbo, because the suffix -ette signifies a smaller version, as in French.

The archetype of a bimbo with sex appeal is much used as a stock character in comedies with sexual humor, an example being Christina Applegate's character, Kelly Bundy, in Married... with Children.

A beauty contest game called Miss Bimbo is an online game in which players, of a large range of ages, including grandparents, can purchase operations such as facelifts and breast implants in order to impress virtual boys, with proper warning of the dangers it may cause in reality. The game has received condemnation from parents, especially in the British region.

An older comedy archetype of perhaps more direct resemblance to the bimbo is the dumb blonde—for example, the giggling, naïve characters portrayed by such sultry actresses as Marilyn Monroe and, as she appeared on Laugh-In, Goldie Hawn.

Like so many words the meaning of 'bimbo' changed over time. According to the book Flappers 2 Rappers by Tom Dalzell, "bimbo" meant "great person" in the 1920s'. It wasn't until the 30s' that it was even associated with females. Often times songs like "My Little Bimbo Down on the Bamboo Isle" (1920) are characterized as being blatantly sexist when in reality the listener is simply ignorant of the original meaning of the words used in the lyrics.

Real life bimbos, although it may seem derogatory to refer to them as such, often aren't that stupid at all, merely acting as the part of 'dumb blonde' to get male attention. In this context, they tend to dress in girly, revealing but not slutty, valley-girl esque clothes. They listen mostly to pop music.

Image from Deviantart, info from wikipedia, last parapgraph, however, is by me.



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