Discussion in 'English Only' started by chrysion, Nov 21, 2005.

  1. chrysion New Member

    What is the meaning of the word "Babalu"? I could not find it in any online dictionary. This is the only explanation that I found (in Wikipedia):

    "Babalu is a reference to a word used in Latin dance clubs, such as seen with the character of Ricky Ricardo on the classic TV comedy series I Love Lucy."

    but I don't understand it because I did not see the aforementioned series .
  2. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Babalu - a rather pleasant euphonic word.
    Used by restaurants, hairdressers, pole-dancers, clubs, holiday apartments and others who like the sound.

    Also used with rather more serious intent by the Yoruba, for whom Babalu is the Father Lord of the World.

    Oh yes, it's not listed in the OED either.
  3. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    Not in the OED!

    Ricky Ricardo, the character played by Desi Arnaz in I Love Lucy, was what we'd call a "one-hit wonder" nowadays. Babalu was, simply, the name of his one hit song, the theme song he'd launch into during his nightclub act, to spark some applause out of a lethargic audience. He had an early Perez-Prado-type combo off-camera, and he stood whaling away on a conga drum, crowing the tag line-- Ba-ba-loooo....

    It was represented as a craze, a little like the Macarena, and it was getting a little shopworn. That's part of the premise that generated the comic storylines. Ricky was genial and comfortable with his modest place in show biz, but his handlers were always hot to find some new thing, the next Babalu. And of course Lucy, unhappy as a stay-at-home housefrow with her hair up in curlers, was always trying to "break into show biz." That was what the show spoofed, the Hollywood dream-- in large part because it was the first big sitcom to be set in California.

    Swimming stars....
  4. Krisssta New Member

    Riga, Latvia
    It's also a cuban dance, isn't it?
  5. Cypherpunk Senior Member

    Springdale, AR
    US, English
    Actually, it is also slang for 'baby I love you'.
    You may also want to search for 'babaloo' (The deity that Panj mentions is also known as Babalu Aye or Babaloo Aiye).

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