Saturday, August 27, 2011

The true origin of "Bow Chicka Wow Wow"

The phrase didn't start with this guy, if that's what you were thinking.

"Bow chicka wow wow."

That little bit of onomatopoeia has slowly infiltrated the English language over the course of 20 years. Urban Dictionary defines it as (among other things) a "verbal means of referencing a sexual encounter" or "a poor imitation of pornographic like music." So the term BCWW can refer to sex itself or to the bass-heavy music heard in pornographic films, particularly those of the 1970s. The term has become so commonplace that there is even a song about it -- "Bow Chicka Wow Wow" by Mike Posner featuring Lil Wayne. 

But where did the phrase originate? Who came up with the idea of verbally mimicking the music from 1970s porno flicks? I distinctly remember the phrase first being used as part of a stand-up comedy routine in either the late 1980s or early 1990s. With a little "Google fu," I think I have tracked down the creator of this concept: a stand-up comedian named Jordan Brady. He performed this routine on an early 1990s stand-up show called The A-List. 

Jordan Brady doing his famous "bow chicka wow wow" bit.

This comedy routine was widely seen in the '90s, and kids started imitating it at school pretty quickly. But, somehow, Brady's name is no longer attached to this famous catchphrase. Hopefully, this article sets a few people straight.