The trailer for “Burlesque,” starring Cher and Christina Aguilera, makes the film seem like cheesy fun. What the preview fails to do, however, is explain what actually defines burlesque. Is it strictly a type of dance performed in seedy venues, a fancy word for striptease? Luckily for word enthusiasts, “burlesque” derives from a rich tradition as well as a compelling meaning.
Traditionally, burlesque has been a type of variety show that is both provocative and comedic. It features a female chorus and solo dances, plus bawdy, slapstick skits and songs. And yes, it may feature striptease acts, but not necessarily.
“Burlesque“ comes from the Italian and means “mockery.” Historically, it was originally used to refer to an array of entertainment that used caricature, ridicule, and distortion. The word was first used in the 16th century by the Italian Francesco Berni who called his operas burleschi.
In the United States, stage burlesque, which was usually quite vulgar, began in the mid-1800s. These early shows often ended with either an exotic dancer or a boxing match. Many stars got their start in burlesque, including Mae West and Fannie Brice. In the 1920s, the term became synonymous with “strip-tease show,” and was even banned in New York City. Burlesque entertainment couldn’t compete with the rising popularity of movies and nightclubs; eventually, it fizzled out. However, it saw resurgence in major cities across the U.S. in the 1990s.
Cher plays a seasoned performer in “Burlesque.” But the early life of the 64-year-old diva may surprise you. Cher was born to a truck driver and an aspiring actress in California who named their daughter Cherilyn Sarkisian.
When Cher first began singing with Sonny Bono, the duo was known as “Caesar and Cleo.” And, even after she began using her real name, the actress and singer added an acute accent mark because Ed Sullivan mispronounced her name as “Chur.” She dropped the accent mark in 1974.
And in 1964, Ed Sullivan mistakenly introduced a British band named The Beagles as The Beetles. The name stuck.
wow!! i cant believe it!! thats waay weird!!
[...] STARR and an Earl “Huey” Long captured the cartoon of Burlesque — from New Orleans to Baltimore’s Block when Live musicians played at their drunken [...]
I always wondered what Cher’s real name was. Fun Facts!
burlesue!! i wanna see it
I believe that Cher is a good old broad, she’s a good entainer and cares about AIDS. I can’t afford to see her in her last few weeks in Vegas,but I’m going to see her movie.
who cares i think that movie will be the bomb even if there name means striptease i think it has a meaning i don’t know but again who cares
If you didn’t care, then why’d you click it?
Your foolishness amazes me.
Very good point of learning, where the more we learn about English word(s) the more we know about most of English words used today originated from Greece and Italy.
It’s very obvious when we refer to any English dictionary published in this world, when it noted the origin of the specific word (finally) mostly pointed out it belongs to Greek or Italian (Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, etc.)
Great research! I didn’t realize the movie didn’t really explain what Burlesque was. Great facts, can’t wait to see the movie!
American English is the richest language in the world because it keeps getting new words from every other language under the sun. It never stops. The only good dictionary is the on-line one, because it can add on new stuff every day.
First of all, that’s not how the Beatles got their name at all, though it was a timely/witty quip. (Some people actually believe the nonsense they read here.) They named themselves after “Beat Music”, the popular local R&B music of blacks and working class whites in England in the late 50s and early 60s. Secondly, the review says the trailer doesn’t explain the meaning of the word “burlesque”, not that the movie doesn’t. Reading is Fundamental.
The world is full of charades and I am only a secular person.
Yes, if people don’t care, why do they think it’s a good idea to “waste their time” reading this “boring” stuff in the first place? Honestly, some of these comments had to have come from 14 year-olds. Just because you have time to type something does not mean it’s worthwhile.
“And in 1964, Ed Sullivan mistakenly introduced a British band named The Beagles as The Beetles. The name stuck.”
Are you for real?? They’d already had three number one singles by the start of 1964 and it’s well known John Lennon picked the name because he was a fan of Buddy Holly and the Crickets.
Burlesque comes from the word, burla, which means to trick.
Bert Lahr was a burlesque comic and you can see a lot of that in his portrayal of the Cowardly Lion. He’s very different from the vaudeville comics like the Marx Bros, George Burns and Jack Benny.
I found the word origin interesting, in contrast to others. As for Cher, well…less so. What does one have to do with the other, for that matter?
The movie was exactly what I thought it would be; a musical with good songs, costumes and a predictable story line. I thought Cher, Stanley, and Christine did a great job and I would rent the DVD and watch again.
someone always want to be superior by burlesquing.haha
THIS IS DUMB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GO OUTSIDE PEOPLE AND ENJOY THE NICE DAY WHILE YOU CAN!!!!!!!!!!!!
Meh i’ve read better articles…
I kinda wanna see this movie. It reminds me of Chicago, which is my 3rd favorite musical behind Wicked(my second fave), and Les Miserables(THE best musical ever!).
These are pretty cool facts!
These are full of nonsense…easily one of the worst feature I’ve ever read in my two decades of my life.
“The Beatles” actually originally conceived the name “The Beetles” as a tribute to the bands Buddy Holly and The Crickets, changed it to “The Beatles” then eventually became “The Beatles”. I don’t know where you got the name “The Beagles” from.
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Today’s NY Times Xword asks for What Cher Bono, eg. goes by. Does anyone know the term for going by one name. For example, combined words like fog and smoke, ie. Smog, are known as portmanteaus.
BTW I find any sources on the internet that deal with work origins, how groups got their names, and all the other areas of the fascinating world of language to be very interesting. I only wish I didn’t have to plow through all the posts of those who do not enjoy such pursuits. I can’t figure out why, if they find it boring, they simply don’t let others haven with their pursuits, and go to a site they enjoy rather than wasting time dissing those of us who love language.
watch it man,you dont talk bad cher.I will find ya beat ya.
i have always wondered Cher’s real name!!!!!!!!!