Would you name your son Bimbo?
- 1956: unlisted
- 1955: unlisted
- 1954: 5 baby boys named Bimbo [debut]
- 1953: unlisted
- 1952: unlisted
These parents weren’t bestowing it with the slang term in mind, though. (Bimbo, originally a variant of bambino, Italian for “baby,” had become a synonym for “floozie” back in the 1920s.) They’d heard it in a country song about a little boy called Bimbo. Here’s the first verse:
Bimbo is a little boy who’s got million friends
and every time he passes by, they all invite him in
He’ll clap his hands, sing and dance, and talk his baby talk
With a hole in pants, and his knees stickin’ out, he’s just big enough to walk
“Bimbo,” written circa 1953 by Rod Morris, was recorded in 1953-1954 by various performers including Gene Autry*, Ruby Wright, Pee Wee King/Redd Stewart, Eddy Howard, Lawrence Welk, Polly Possum, and Brucie Weil.
But the most successful rendition was performed by Jim Reeves, whose “Bimbo,” released in late 1953, peaked at #2 on the list of Best Selling Country & Western Records for three weeks from late January to early February, 1954.
[T]he song became wildly popular, especially with families who had children. “People were even naming their little boys ‘Bimbo,’ after the song,” [Jim’s wife] Mary said in astonishment.
Here’s a video featuring the Jim Reeves recording:
What do you think of the name Bimbo?
*This was a few years after Gene’s rendition of “Frosty the Snowman” inspired a handful of parents to name their sons Frosty.
- Jordan, Larry. Jim Reeves: His Untold Story. N.p.: Page Turner Books International, 2011.
- Bimbo – Online Etymology Dictionary