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February 08, 2011


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Ian Thal

Many fond childhood memories: I saw Star Wars, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and stood behind David Lynch at the premiere of Dune at the Uptown.

Weird usage of the term "bama": It generally meant somebody who had moved to the District from a rural area and never assimilated to city-life, sort of like "clown" in Elizabethan-era London or "zanni" in rennaissance Venice. It's derived from "Alabama." Has the meaning changed in the last twenty years?



Ian Thal

I guess my knowledge of District slang is frozen in the late 1980s-- at the time no one under the age of 50 would self-identify as a "bama."

Definition 3 is pretty close to the way I always heard the term. There was also a blues DJ on WPFW who used the moniker "The Bama" and definitely played the part of a country guy who now lived in the city. Sometimes I heard usage 5.

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