Note from Steve: The originally planned blog post for today, ‘Escalators or Stairs?’ will be published in the very near future … Bubba suddenly seemed more timely … and fun!
Did you watch any of the PGA Golf Championship this weekend? If you did, you undoubtedly heard the name Bubba Watson. Bubba finished tied for the lead after 72 holes but lost to Martin Kaymer in a 3-hole playoff. There was more drama involving Dustin Johnson but I’ll address that this coming Thursday’s under the blog title Rules are Rules!
As I watched the tournament come to an end on Sunday, it got me thinking about the name Bubba. Does Bubba Watson have a given name? If yes, what is it? After all, Forrest Gump’s best good friend Bubba’s given name was Benjamin Buford Blue.
Here is everything you ever wanted to know about the nickname Bubba and a few of the stereotypes and caricatures associated with it.
From Wikipedia, I learned that Bubba means:
- A relationship nickname formed from the word ‘brother’ and given to boys, especially the eldest male sibling.
- It could be used so frequently that it ends up replacing the given name.
- Used outside of the family as a term of affection.
- Because of its historic association with the southern part of the US, it has been used disparagingly to mean a person of low economic status and limited education.
- Often taken to mean ‘good ol’ boy’ which could have either a complimentary or pejorative meaning.
- In the US Army & Marines, bubba means a lay soldier, similar to grunt but with a connotation of endearment instead of derision.
- Often used affectionately (or potentially in an insulting manner) for an overweight or large framed man.
- In popular culture or prison slang, Bubba is the very large inmate who greets new prisoners and is NOT their new best good friend.
- When used as a proper noun, Bubba can describe someone who is especially lovable or adorable.
- In Australia, Bubba is used commonly to refer affectionately to a baby.
Bill Clinton was referred to as Bubba. Several baseball and football players were called Bubba including Franks, Paris, Smith, Trammel and Cosby. There is Bubba Sparxxx the southern rapper. And motor sports Bubbas include Shobert and James Stewart Jr.
Bubba Blue is probably the most famous fictional Bubba but many more television and movie Bubbas exist. Bubbas also populate books, games, music and popular culture.
So what is Bubba Watson’s given name? Gerry, just like his father! And he was born and raised in the South (Bagdad, FL ), played collegiate golf in both Alabama & Georgia. While a very tall man, Bubba Watson does have a very slender build that contradicts the name’s frequent connotation; he is also an educated man, as he recently received his degree from the University of Georgia, and to my knowledge he has not served in the army.
Escaping many of the unfortunate stereotypes attached to his endearing nickname, I suspect Gerry “Bubba” Watson, like Benjamin Buford Blue, is simply a Bubba because that is what his loving family started calling him at a young age, and now it’s as much a part of him as his given name.
Next Blog Title: Rules are Rules!
Next Blog Date: August 19, 2010