Friday, May 20, 2011

Big Bertha Phrase

Big Bertha was the nickname for a long-range gun used by the Germans in WWI.  The nickname came from an actual person, Frau Bertha Krupp von Bohlen und Halback (whew),  who owned the Krupp steel works where they made the cannon.  What do you bet she was thinking 'I have all these names and which do they pick?  Bertha'. Even the plain old word 'gun' comes from a woman's name.  Gun is short for the Old Norse moniker Gunnhildr. Why?  Are guns like ships? In 1330 there was a catapult named Dame Gunnidda.  At least that sounds better than Big Bertha.  My dad had a golf club with the trade name Big Bertha.  I hear the golf club was named for the WWI howitzer. Is it just me, or is that stretching it?

Source:  I Hear America Talking page 403

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