Date: Mon, 4 Dec 1995 21:06:55 -0700
From: Rudy Troike RTROIKE[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]CCIT.ARIZONA.EDU
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)