The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #68478 Message #2599894
Posted By: Jim Dixon
29-Mar-09 - 01:28 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Bocephus
Subject: RE: Origins: Bocephus
Wikipedia confirms the above story about Rod Brasfield of the Grand Ole Opry, who had a ventriloquist's dummy called Bocephus.
There is a formerly well-known comical song BOHUNKUS a.k.a. BOHUNKUS AND JOSEPHUS, about two brothers with those names. I suppose Brasfield invented "Bocephus" by combining "Bohunkus" and "Josephus."
So where did "Bohunkus" and "Josephus" come from?
Josephus was an important Roman-Jewish historian from the 1st century A.D. (Of course there have been other people with that name, but the historian is the most famous.)
"Bohunkus" is probably a made-up name invented by whoever wrote the song. It is probably based on "bohunk," a pejorative slang term probably formed from "Bohemian" and "Hungarian" and formerly applied to immigrants of Eastern European origin.