Thursday, April 29, 2010
Just say "Beembo"
Say what? Well, the answer was easy enough to find. Bimbo Bakeries, a company founded in Mexico, is not only expanding in the US market but owns many old familiar brands, including Entenmann's, Thomas's, and Oroweat. According to Wikipedia, "Bimbo Bakeries USA is the American corporate arm of Mexico's Grupo Bimbo. It is the largest bakery company in the United States, owning six of the top twelve fresh bread brands in the United States."
And about the name: "The official version has it that the name Bimbo, coined in 1945 ... was chosen because the company thought it competed well with the existing Bambi and Dumbo brands in Mexico. In addition, the innocent, childlike name went well with the brand image they wanted to build."
The OED lists bimbo as equivalent to the Italian bambino, "child." It has cites for bimbo as a contemptuous word for "fellow" from 1919 to 1947 (in P.G. Wodehouse); for "a woman; esp. a whore" from 1929 to 1952; and for an attractive but dumb young woman ("now the usual sense") from 1927.
So, "say Beembo" … will that tagline help us all suppress the snicker reflex? Well, apparently our friends in the Southwest and West have been getting acquainted with Bimbo for a while now. Yeah, I know, the first time you hear it, you can't believe it will survive; the cupcake-honey bun jokes write themselves. But if you think you'll be smirking forever, I have two words for you, both hilarious not so long ago. One is Wii; the other is iPad.