How The Meaning of BOB Morphs With Age

BOB_hairstyleBOB has somehow been a constant acronym in my life.

When I was a kid, a “bob” was a hairstyle. It was cut above your shoulders, all cute and sassy, and beloved by figure skaters and news anchors.

In college it was my life-changing boyfriend, a real-life “Bob.” He broke my heart, but remains one of the dearest men I’ve ever known.

Once I reached my late twenties and early thirties as a single woman, “BOB” stood for Battery-Operated-Boyfriend. He and I booked regular dates, and he kept me from dating so many loser men.

Hip-hop fans know Bobby Ray Simmons, Jr. as B.o.B. Here he is with Taylor Swift.

Then I married my survival-oriented hubby and found out that “BOB” was the acronym for Bug-Out-Bag. This is the backpack you grab when the natural disaster hits your house, or the world explodes. This bag has all the stuff you need to “Bug-Out” of your house and survive for the first 72 hours.

Apparently there’s a cartoon called “Bob, the Angry Flower.” In the following link, we see Bob and his pal Flatulence-Flame talk about gas. Since I’ve got the humor meter of a teenage boy, I had great appreciation for the way the artist depicted flatulence in the strip.

BOB_strollerWhen my daughter was born, my guy demanded that we get The BOB stroller.

This chi-chi thing’s got shocks and suspension and basically could go all-terrain with the kid barely feeling a bounce. It’s more than a little bit insane, but I’ve got to give him credit…it’s a ROCKIN’ stroller.

And now that I’m mom to a toddler, BOB has taken on a whole new meaning. Meet the new BOB, aka “the Bucket Of Barbies.”


I think Belle is buried at the bottom, but I see from L to R: Merida, Tinkerbell (front row), Ariel, Rapunzel, Cinderella, Tiana and Ballerina Barbie. It’s quite a load of plastic.

This bucket of magnificence was created last weekend, and is already a staple in my house. The Little Bean is carrying this thing everywhere.  I swear, I never imagined I’d have a kid so into Barbies.

Were you familiar with any of these “BOBs?” What does “BOB” mean in your life…is it code for anything cool? Enquiring minds always want to know these things here at More Cowbell!

~ Jenny

Photo credits:
Hairstyle ~ bonstance via photopin cc
Stroller ~ dolanh via photopin cc

About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm ( Write on!
This entry was posted in Humor, More Cowbell and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to How The Meaning of BOB Morphs With Age

  1. Jenny, for me, BOB is only the haircut and the battery operated boyfriend. (I’m often behind the times). I asked my early-twenties sons about the hip-hop artist, and that’s their B.o.B. My youngest made the mistake of asking me what BOB meant to me, then claimed I’d made his eardrums bleed.

    Ah, well. My daughters never had a bucket of Barbies, either. And although I’ve heard of the bug-out bag, I’d never heard it called BOB.

    Great post, Jenny!


  2. “Once I reached my late twenties and early thirties as a single woman, “BOB” stood for Battery-Operated-Boyfriend. He and I booked regular dates, and he kept me from dating so many loser men.”

    Never heard THAT referred to as THAT. You truly do learn something new everyday 😉


  3. susielindau says:

    Everything old is new again! I am wearing a variation of the bob hairstyle!


  4. Awww, jeez! My age is showing…I had no idea BOB stood for battery operated boyfriend! Wish I’d had more of that variety than the Real Life kinds. And now you’ve reminded me that I still have not created a Bug Out Bag.

    But for all eternity, Bob is my brother–16 years my senior I was born to be his worshiper–how could he not be my hero, he joined the Air Force at 17 and every time I saw him until I was in my twenties, he was wearing a spiffy uniform! He’s retired now, but still my hero.


    • amyskennedy says:

      Woopsies, er, that was me up there–I help my mom with a blog, and I forgot to sign out before commenting above. D’oh!


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Awwwwwww. i’m glad you’re brother is your hero. That’s so very sweet. And I’ll be following that link to go check out that blog, Amy.

      And YES, you need a Bug-out Bag. At least enough to keep you warm and fed and dry in the event of a crazy event.


  5. davidprosser says:

    Bring On Bacon, what ele could it stand for since they don’t do battery operated girlfriends (I assume) and my hair has receded for a bob cut.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx


  6. julipagemorgan says:

    I need to get out more, because ever since a friend told me that vibrators were called Battery Operated Boyfriends, that’s all I hear when someone says BOB. And I snicker. Someone says, “Oh, you should see her hair! She got the cutest little bob,” and I snicker. A sportscaster describes a boxer’s bob and weave move, and I snicker. And let’s just all hope I don’t attend a Halloween party where they expect us to bob for apples. It’s a good thing I don’t know any people called Bob. I’d never be able to greet them without a snicker.

    Thank you, Friend Who Introduced Me to This Acronym. Thanks a lot.


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Juli, I was out in the world today when this came in and I laughed and laughed. (And snickered on and off for about 20 minutes while I drove around running errands.) I’m delighted to have added this many giggles to your life.

      p.s. If there’s bobbing for apples on Halloween, I want a post about it!


  7. Sharla Rae says:

    I think there’s a lot of these type of acronyms that change. 🙂 Our Bug-out–bag is simply a quake pak but I like your term for it. 🙂


  8. The Regular Guy NYC says:

    The only BOB in my life hung out with me on many drinking adventures, as he still does.

    Beer Or Bourbon!


  9. viveka says:

    Didn’t know that there could be … so many BOB’s in a womans life *smile – a bit envy.


  10. K.B. Owen says:

    I love your “BOB”s…especially the bucket o’ Barbies. I can just picture your little one carting that around everywhere. This is the only BOB that springs to mind. Looks handy, especially if you’re not “bugging out”:


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Oh, your BOB is too cool, Kathy. I’ve got to show this to the hubs!! And yes, these barbies are killing me. It is the cutest thing to see how carefully she carries them, sets them in the bucket and then lines them up to play with them. (Over, and over, and over again.)


  11. John Holton says:

    Re “humor of a teenage boy”: Mary tells me that I’m twelve with 45 years’ experience. Stuff like that cartoon makes me want to laugh out a lung.


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      John, it gets embarrassing sometimes, doesn’t it? Hysterical, but a bit mortifying. Farts are so damn funny.


      • John Holton says:

        I don’t get embarrassed by it. Maybe I should at my advanced age… nah. Many years ago, I made the mistake of buying “The Prehistory of The Far Side” and bringing it back to work with me. Gary Larson had a whole page of fart cartoons, and I didn’t get any work done that afternoon. At one point someone came to my office and wanted to know if I was all right…


  12. Julie Glover says:

    Bob is our family’s imaginary friend. Seriously, for a while there, we’d all turn to a patch of empty space and say things like, “What about Bob? What does he think?” It was a running gag. And now that I see it written out publicly, not a very good one.

    I also think of the phrase, “Bob’s your uncle!” which is an English idiom meaning everything’s all right. Why, I have no idea. But it’s kind of fun to say.

    Love your bucket of Barbies! In my male-dominated household, those probably all would have been headless by Day Two. And then I’d find projectile doll heads littered around the house. LOL.


  13. I have no new Bob’s to add. But, I acquired my FIRST B.O.B. at the ripe old age of current age minus six months thanks to that August McLaughlin and her empowering Girl Boner series.

    Rock on!

    In a manner of speaking…


  14. Cate Russell-Cole says:

    A friend who has a teenager tells me, that BOB also stands for “Bitch of Bitches!” The title for any female who adequately annoys them.


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