ballroom blitz

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veracity

Senior Member
Hi,
While driving to work today I listened to an oldies station. It was Sweet Ballroom Blitz. The presenter translated the title as "báltermi villám", which is ballroom lightning. But I think blitz is of German origin and it means quick.
I think a ballroom brawl is closer to the content of the lyrics than ballroom lightning.
What do you think?
 
  • laurita5

    Senior Member
    USA- English
    Blitz has a number of definitions. The one that is closest is what my dictionary gives: "a sudden energetic and concerted effort typically on a specific task"

    So while a "brawl" may be a type of blitz it doesn't seem to fit in the context of ballroom.

    Lightening isn't too far off, it is sudden and very energetic.


    Hope this helps.
     

    Yôn

    Senior Member
    English
    According to my dictionary, 'blitz' is a shortening of the borrowed German word 'blitzkrieg'—'lightning war'—, which, according to this dictionary, entered the English language around the middle of the last century (1950's). They do not give a reason, but I would say that it would have been in large part due to the style of warfare developed by the Nazi government during WWII (a mid-20th c. event), which was coined to reflect the swiftness of the annihilation dealt out.

    This being the case, I can understand how the word can refer not only to something that is 'lightning fast', but also to something that is somewhat... 'brutal'. In fact, six of the eight variant definitions giving in my dictionary for 'blitz' relate the word to an attack of some sort, one even making it synonymous with 'blitzkrieg'. The two that do not are listed as (informal).

    I find this interesting in that I used to think the song was about a wild dance party (always thought 'blitz' just meant lightning), but in making this post, I suddenly am aware of what is really happening in the song :p.

    And they call me a native speaker :rolleyes:.




    Jon
     

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It is about a brawl. One of the lines is
    And the man at the back said 'Everyone attack'.
    I think that's pretty conclusive.

    I only know this because we had this record in the Sixth Form Common Room at school. Honest! :rolleyes:
     

    Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    According to this source:

    The song itself was written about the Grand Hall in Kilmarnock, Scotland, after the band were forced off stage by a barrage of bottles
    So, if this is true, then the word "blitz" does refer to warfare, rather than an energetic cleaning campaign ;). The word has virtually no association with the literal German meaning of "Blitz"; it's short for Blitzkreig, a direct reference to WWII attacks. "The Blitz" is the term used for the sustained bombing attacks on British cities during World War II, and virtually everyone would have known that and made the association.

    Sweet seemed to have a thing about the war, as they used a recording of air raid sirens on one of their other hits.

    The meaning of blitz as in a sustained and determined effort (e.g. cleaning, tidying up, finishing paperwork) came in the 50s I think.
     

    replicantkurtz

    New Member
    Spanish - Spain
    According to this source:

    So, if this is true, then the word "blitz" does refer to warfare, rather than an energetic cleaning campaign ;). The word has virtually no association with the literal German meaning of "Blitz"; it's short for Blitzkreig, a direct reference to WWII attacks. "The Blitz" is the term used for the sustained bombing attacks on British cities during World War II, and virtually everyone would have known that and made the association.

    Sweet seemed to have a thing about the war, as they used a recording of air raid sirens on one of their other hits.

    The meaning of blitz as in a sustained and determined effort (e.g. cleaning, tidying up, finishing paperwork) came in the 50s I think.

    Totally agree with you...to understand the meaning of the expression in the context you should have listened to Sweet's song first! Then, it's easier to grasp the meaning of the expression.
     
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