Monday, January 24, 2011

The Explanation

Number 4 of my repost series. Probably the most frequently asked question posed to me over the years is, "What does osbasso mean?" I invented it around in the early 80s, I believe. I definitely know I used it for my vanity plates as early as 1985. It's just something that's stuck for over a quarter of a century (wow!). Here's the post where I tried to explain it to an unsuspecting blogosphere...
The Derivation of Osbasso - 1/26/05

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.....

3 comments:

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Dude, I still remember reading your original explanation for "OsBasso." Thought it was so clever!

Nowadays it just makes me thing of half-naked girls.

KittyCat said...

Thats cool I had no idea. : )

Hey stranger

Meow

Anonymous said...

Osbasso vanity plates? Really now? Hmmmm ;)

-NoOneInParticular