So it turns out that Chewbacca was named after the Russian, or Ukrainian, word for dog. Did you know that? And did you know that Russian and Ukranian are the same language? Because I didn't know either of those things until I used all the investigative powers*
*clicking on links
at my disposal to track down that valuable information that will no doubt brighten your day, help you convince your boss to get a raise, maybe make your wife not leave you, and convince that guy in the parking lot to quit giving you noogies every afternoon.
He's kind of a jerk, that guy.
Here's the story behind the story. First, I became aware of this:
That's Chew-Bacco, which needs no explanation but I get paid by the word**
So I'll point out that it's a Chewbacca, made out of chewing tobacco?
*** I do.
I saw that on Geekologie, but being the curious sort of guy I am, I thought to myself, there's got to be some story behind that, right? Because who just one day gets up and sculpts a miniature Chewbacca and gets it on the web? I figured it was some kind of protest against man's inhumanity to man, so I clicked the link and got to "Technabob," or I think that's what it's called because they use logo-y letters and it's hard for old guys like me to read. There, I saw this:
Despite being named after the Russian/Ukranian word for “dog”, I’ve always thought that Chewbacca’s name sounded like a hurried version of “chewing tobacco.” Apparently artist Terry Border thinks the same, so he made this literal interpretation to share with the world.
And there's that picture again. So then I clicked the link that Technabob, which sounds like a bad robot name, provided to prove the veracity of that audacious Russian/Ukrainian word claim, and got to a Wikipedia page *4
*4 of course. That was pre-ordained. Any Star Wars reference is never more than three clicks away from a Wikipedia link backing it up. Wikipedia and Star Wars are the kissin' cousins of geekery.
that featured this word:
That, according to the pronunciation on the page, is pronounced something like so-bock-uh, and the Wikipedia page says the word is actually Iranic in origin, which means I'm now on a terrorist watch list, and the page also contains this helpful phrase, written in the original Russian/Ukrainian/Iranian
собака на сене
That means, dog in the manger, and if you're language has an idiom for dog in the manger you are raising your children, or your dogs or both, wrong.
Anyway, that Wikipedia page also says that the Ukrainians use the same word for dog, which doesn't surprise me because all languages just steal from English, a fact I can prove by noting that the French had to pass a law to get people to stop calling it an iPod and start calling it le baladeur, so let's finish this up by noting that "artist Terry Border," as he's respectfully known at Technabob, was featured on Smithsonian.com for anthropomorphizing foods, like this work titled "We Were Made For Each Other":
Which means that what began as a Star Wars Reference has now devolved into pointing out that you can be treated as a serious artist if you just steal ideas from Kramer.