Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The Derivation of Osbasso

What exactly is Osbasso? Well, it's sort of an invented word (actually two words--I usually separate them: os basso) made up of two Latin words. Definitions below:
  • os n. pl. os•sa
    A bone. (think osteoporosis or osteoarthritis)

  • bas•so n. pl. bas•sos or bas•si
    An instrumental part written for a bass instrument.

So, literally, bone bass. Those of you who have bothered to check out my profile, you'll see that I play the bass trombone, or, using hip jazz lingo, the bass bone. And keeping my 9th grade Spanish in mind, I seemed to recall that in almost every language but English, the noun comes first, then the adjective. Therefore, bone bass, or in Latin, os basso.

I've used the term since the mid-80s as a password (sorry--I don't do THAT anymore!), on my license plates, as a username, and all sorts of other things. Only twice in 20 years have people figured it out on their own. Both were musicians, both were also medically inclined. Explaining the origins of it have never gotten me out of a speeding ticket, but the highway patrolmen generally just shake their heads as they're writing it. In that "Man, that's so sad. Go get a life." sort of way. Actually, if I explain it to just about anyone, I get that head shake. Sort of like how you're doing it right at this moment.....

2 comments:

Moosekahl said...

Wasn't I one of those people that figured it out? That was back when you had it on the license plate of the mini van that got broken into. Man...years ago :) At least "osbasso" is easier to explain than "moosekiss". At least in MN I can use more letters than I could in MT so my plates read MOOSKIS instead of MUSKIS. Still miss my Carroll plates though. Anyway...I'm wasting time waiting for my patients to get here. Beautiful day out so no reason they should be running late. Annoying!

Lizabeth said...

Thanks for the visit! I will continue to read your post, don't you worry. That is really interesting about Osbasso. I figured it had something to do with playing the bass trombone and thought the rest was just an old nickname or something. Ya learn something new everyday! I'll be the lunatic now if I ever see that license plate. If you ever see a strange girl peering at you, you'll know who it is. And actually, I didn't shake my head till the last line, haha!