Date: Mon, 4 Dec 1995 21:06:55 -0700


Subject: Bubblehead

I'll support Laurie Bowman's recollection of "bubblehead" = "airhead".

Memory is one of the advantages (or disadvantages) of long experience: the

term arose in the early 60s (when I first experienced it at UT-Austin, though

it may have started earlier while I was out out the country) for the young

college females, mostly sorority types still following the genderized pursuit

of an MRS. degree (this was before the flower children took over, remember,

and Woodstock was not in the national vocabulary), who wore "bouffant" hair-

dos, which is obviously also the source of the transfer to fishing lures.

At least in Texas, the wearers of these large, rounded, puffed-up hairdos,

which resembled a bubble, were predominantly blonde, at least on the surface.

I have spent many hours lecturing to classrooms full of such hairdos, and

can confirm that most of their wearers were not committed to a life of the

intellect, alas. Thus the pejorative term that arose, which might have had

a touch of class conflict or envy attached to it. It is conceivable that it

arose from a disdainful professoriate, but since when has this group ever

contributed a term to popular usage?

Rudy Troike (counting the days until I cease to be English Dept. head)