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Research Publications:

"The Origin of the name "GORDO" by Vinjo Vonjo

In my 1998 thesis "Member lexicon and its Implications in Grammatical Trends in Western Syntax," I investigated how and why, Brent Alpern received the name "Gordo." First, as we might have assumed, and previous researchers did, "GORDO" does not come from the Spanish word for "FAT." This stunned our study group and raised a bit of intrigue among the International Linguistic Member Study Group as well. As it turned out, we traced the route that the original name had taken from its first written use in Tokyo in 1964 in the book "Missionary Tales and Members." That is when our research really became interesting and deep into the words origins.

Mr. Alpern was traveling with the Yokomoto Plate Spinners through mainland Japan and several coastal Islands. Alpern at the time, had left the U.S. and impending draft to spin plates....yes, on his member. An international hit in Japan, Alpern lived there for several years. On arrival on one of the small islands, Gujomi, the Plate Spinners noticed that the natives (Flomos) lived a sustained agricultural economy. They grew many unique, native vegetables. One such vegetable, the Takimi, was a member of the pumpkin family. The Flomos had no word for pumpkin, but early settlers and botanical experts considered the long, tan fruit an edible gourd.

The story goes on. Two missionary woman, Anna and Flecka Squeezastones, may have had a relationship with Gordo while he was on Gujomi. The head minister of the mission, a native Takimian called "Doc Ratyi," was suspicious of the tempestuous liaisons. One day, he chose to spy on Alpern on his nightly urination walks into the jungle. That is when he caught site of Alpern's member as he removed the protective native ceremonial sheath to urinate. There it was. Giving up his hiding place in a coconut palm, Doc Ratyi so stunned at what he saw, yelled out "GORDO!!!!!" Apparently thinking he was viewing a huge gourd protruding from Alpern's belly. The entire village was awakened by the harrowing scream. Within a day all villagers were calling Alpern "GORDO."

From there it made it into mainland Japan, across the Eurasian borders, into Europe by 1972, and into the U.S. by 1980. A time line of the migration patterns of the term can be read in its entirety in my new novel based on the thesis work entitled "Cultural Names of Members," by Johnson Bros. Press.