Use this forum to suggest Good Words for Professor Beard.
Senior Lexiterian
Posts: 959
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 5:28 pm


Postby KatyBr » Sat Mar 18, 2006 6:04 pm

Gilbert and Sullivan, the two Victorian
gentlemen famous for their enduringly popular light operas.

Pooh-Bah is a dignitary (supposedly Japanese) in the Mikado, one of
their best-known works. I can't find him actually called grand in the
original but he is described as Lord High Everything Else. Along with
the Lord High Executioner and the Mikado himself he provides a
caricature of grandiose pomposity for Gilbert and Sullivan to poke fun
at. You will find huge amounts of information - plot summary,
libretto, audio files, reviews and more - at:
http://math.boisestate.edu/gas/mikado/html/mikado.html .

I can't actually prove that Gilbert (who was in charge of words while
Sullivan composed the music) invented the name himself but I have
always believed this to be the case. Maybe this confirms your feeling
that there was a literary/musical comedy background (with a political
flavour?) to the name. Also, it fits with all the other made-up names
in the Mikado: Yum-Yum, Ko-Ko and Nanky-Poo for starters.

Another page at the same site:
will refer you to lots of information about Gilbert if you want to try
to establish that this was definitely the first-ever use of the name.

Let me know if this needs any follow-up.


When we were children, in true mondegreen fashion we misheard this and began calling each other Poo butts, nothing grand about it..
sorry for the minor scatology.


User avatar
Senior Lexiterian
Posts: 789
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 5:18 pm
Location: The Old North State

Postby tcward » Sat Mar 25, 2006 10:29 pm

HAHAHAHA!! :D I love how children turn things...

...I'll be using terunting till the day I die!

Return to “Good Word Suggestions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests