You may have heard that Katy Perry was booted off “Sesame Street” for a bustier deemed too bawdy for children. But this imbroglio isn’t what piques our interest. What we’re curious about is the famous name of the show. Does it have anything to do with the “sesame” that gives us the tiny seeds?
The Emmy award winning show began as an experiment in 1969 in which the creators were trying to discover ways to use television as a teaching tool for preschoolers.
The show’s name has nothing to do with Sesamum indicum, a tropical, herbaceous plant whose small, edible seeds are used to make oil. But we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the wonderful ancestor of “sesame,” from the ancient Akkadian language: shamashshammū. Now that should be the name of a character on “Sesame Street!”
On the topic of magic, the muppet character Mr. Snuffleupagus — who incidentally loves cabbage and spaghetti — resembles a wooly mammoth and lives in a cave off of Sesame Street. Few people know that his full name is Aloysius Snuffleupagus. Aloysius is of Old German origin and means “famous warrior.”
OMG ANYTHING TO MAKE SOMEONE LOOK BAD
Anyone else think that Snuffleupagus exhibits behaviour uncannily similar to that of a heroin addict?
I also thought that I had read somewhere that the title was originally supposed to be something along the lines of “123 Avenue B” or something like that. And someone thought that it made the show’s setting sound too New York-centric (although that sounds kind of silly, seeing as that everything else about the show–even the opening song/sequence in the ’90s had Big Bird leading kids down a path with the twin towers and NYC skyline in clear view behind them–seems to indicate that Sesame Street is in NYC). Anyway, I thought that was the other reason for switching the title to ’sesame street’. Maybe I have that wrong…?
I thought Muppet was a portmanteau of man+puppet, especially after seeing the Swedish Chef on The Muppet Show with his human hands.
Maybe “Muppet” comes from a synthesis of “moppet” (a small child) and puppet. Just a thought. . .
Huh, this is an incredibly interesting article here. I also want to add that I can call the Katy Perry fiasco utterly ridiculous and I’m not even a huge fan of hers.
It was actually a dirty joke initially. Sex-with-me Street.
thats amazing, i always wondered why it was ever called Sesame Street for my whole life. i even asked people and they had, and still have, no clue. i feel so much smarter now! of coarse now reading this article causes more questions, but its currently unanswered questions that keep everybody interested.
somebody click on my name, its an interview with my favorite monster.
More likely a zone-familiarity extrapolated to an exclusionary niche–
The Muppets are highly characterised by odd-rather-than-extreme behavior and distinct from puppets by plumpness characteristic of small children.
POPPIT: (child’s toy) “a usually plastic bead that can be connected to or detached from others of the same kind without hooks or clasps, used to form necklaces, bracelets, etc.”
POPPET: “2. British Dialect. a term of endearment for a girl or child.”
PUPPET: “an artificial figure representing a human being or an animal, manipulated by the hand, rods, wires, etc., as on a miniature stage. Compare hand puppet, marionette … whose actions are prompted and controlled by another or others … a small doll.”
cf PUPPY: “a young dog, esp. one less than a year old.” “4. a presuming, conceited, or empty-headed young man.” “2. informal, derogatory a brash or conceited young man… [C15 popi, from Old French popée doll; compare puppet]”
MOPPET: “a young child. Origin: 1900–05; obs. mop rag doll, baby…” “1601, endearing term for a baby, a girl, etc., from M.E. moppe little child, baby doll (c.1440) + -et, dim. suffix. The M.E. word also meant simpleton, fool, and may have been cognate with Low Ger. mop simpleton. Or, if baby doll, is the original sense in M.E., perhaps from L. mappa napkin, tablecloth, hence rag doll.”
MUPPET, the selected article niche, is more by what it isn’t than what it is….
As for shamash-shammu:
SHAMASH was the Sumerian sunlight-god who was so scared of the dark that he took a torch with him and ran up the mountain crevice East each night and waited till very-late next morning before peeking over the ledge of the Persian mountain range… (The other gods and later Gilgamesh walked slower in the absolute-blackout of that crevice, taking 12-double-hours, whereas Shamash did it in 6 by running with his torch).
[This is the implicit 'truth' unretold in the last 5-thousand-years....]
SHAMMU SHAMMW (not found) may be related more obviously as SH-AMMU where AMMU pertains to the primordial sea; NAMMU, YAMM, lived in that crevice.
hay she be fine no matter what ppl say
P.S. Possibly this is where the Hawaiians get the notion that, rain, is “liquid sunshine”– the original ‘liquid sunshine’ may have been oil and sesame seed oil being the abundant and clean-burning choice…?
Before my son turned two, he had a hard time saying, “messed up” so he came up with the word “mup.” Shortly thereafter, my husband and I decided that the terms muppets must mean “messed up puppets.”
P.S. #2. The name SHAMASH is also related as SHA-MASHU where MT. MASHU was the twin-peaks in front of that same crevice…. (I do not know why Josh Gates hasn’t refound either yet: I suggested it to his Destination Truth.)
Furthermore, integrating that, Together, Mt. Mashu the twin mountain peaks before the crevice the crack in the mountain, represented to Gilgamesh the possibility of rebirth and path to immortality, so there he went in search of Utnapishtim (Zius; Noah Eloah Eloi the “living god”): whom the gods had made immortal … Gilgamesh was hoping to learn immortality but instead he learned more of the gods’ playful silliness….
The term, Shamash-shammw, probably originally meant Shamash-of-[SH]Ammu, who used oil lamps, and became sesame seed by assumption not originally.
Wow. The producers of Seaseme Street didn’t let Katy Perry on the show. Now that is a bigger shocker. Sarcastic.
[...] SESAME” sounds like some old black magic from the Bread and Puppet Theater — though the Muppet is a [...]
katy perry is an idol for songs not childrens tv shows lol!!
Mr. Raymond Kenneth Petry: Please for crying out loud: GET A LIFE!!” I am not trying to make you feel bad, but all of that knowledge is not going with you when you leave this earth. You just need to have some fun. Maybe you could redefine fun. I know you are correcting all of the mistakes in my writing as you are reading this. That is not real fun. That is overcompensating for a really low self esteem. Take care.
Me thinks Ray has too much time on his hands. LMAO
Ok well when I was growing up we never liked it because we thought it was weird to sit down and listen to thins so called talking puppets talk. I mean yeah I love Elmo but really?
How many 3 or 4 year olds think like an adult to feel what Katy was wearing was inappropriate? I’m sure none of them had the slightest thought of it being sexual. America, Land of the offended!
What did that just say? I hardly understood the paragraph. Then again, this is dictionary.com!!!!!!!!!
correction. the thief leader did not say sesame when he opened the cave of wonders. the password was “open says me” but was mistaken by ali baba for the word sesame. anyone familiar with the tale would know that ali baba’s brother in law went into the cave and forgot the password therefore naming off other types of seeds when the password ironically wasn’t that of a seed at all.
Andrea…you mock Ray for not having fun…some peoples fun is found in knowledge…it is people that have knowledge that allow simpletons to have fun…I am mocking you a little I realize…I found his expounding theorys’ on word origins enlightening and wish he had a book in which to produce further knowledge in the manner in which he writes…knowledge is power, not fun is power…and just because you read in a magazine that you can’t take it with you…do you really believe we were given a brain that produces the power it has and not have that knowledge carried over…not taking it with you is a reference to possesions…not knowledge. Ray…keep doing what you do…some appreciate it.
Before you declare Sesame Street to have absolutely *no* connection whatsoever to the sesame seed, maybe you should research where the “sesame” came from in “open sesame”.
‘Ahem’. My sense of fun is Professors’ Spring Break trilogy which I wrote in screenplay format ca 1997-99 … Modern science is like digging in mud which when thoroughly examined turns up interesting artifacts and truths. Currently I have been researching the relation of Biblical 4th-millennium Adam and Eve to the archaic Sumerians and Egyptians and proving that they are all the same family and that the information is so solid that one can read the very thoughts of the gods as they played their own lives… This too is web-published.
I admit it was challenging to read all those archaic stories in the process of research: because their mindset was so-phallic as to be gross.
If the archaic stories are true, they are worth knowing, If myth, they are worth integrating (as I’ve done: I’m a mathematician and Scientist).
I have long-touted to Dictionary.com that they should include etymological references to Egyptian and Sumerian, since these are so insightful … Herein I’ve share bits and pieces of the same….
Someone who gave us “I Kissed a Girl” and “California Girls” doesn’t fit in with my idea of a character ‘Sesame Street’ somehow…
Am I really the only one who thinks this?
PS: I’m NOT bringing Ms.Perry down. I’m just wondering how she fits in in the cast…
GO BIG BIRD!!!
Oscar the grouch was the best
Elmo – get real, he is one of the most annoying POS ever to disgrace children’s TV
I have often thought that the magic words “Open Seasame” from “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves” was a little more phonetic. “Open Says-a-me”.
Sesame street is for kids. It is a show you should be fully dressed.
LMAO!! I agree with Raymie but I also agree with Andrea! Ray needs to get a life but other than that the info is enlightening. Katy Perry is bad to be put on a kids show like that but if everyone is offended including Katy Perry why doesn’t Katy put on a age appropriate dress and refilm it? HUH? HUH?
Who cares where the name came from? Besides the name has no important significance after reading you article. I’m just glad they booted her out. She has no place in sesame street. Sesame street is already filled with rowdy characters now – less education. Glad she’s out.
I thought it was “Open Sez ME!”
Saf, yeah, Dave Chapelle did. Get your own jokes.
these comments are so funny, let me let you in on a secret, all this article is intended to do is increase traffic for this website. notice how the ‘author’ goes completely off topic numerous times and links a million things throughout the website? SEO people
Wow I didn’t know Katy Perry was kicked off SS!!! (thats all I really got from this article)
Agreed, AvidReader. First she releases gospel music and can’t make any money, then she releases the totally exploitative “I Kissed a Girl” (then admits she had never, in fact, done so) and makes tons of money, and then she wants to be on a kids’ show? Sorry, can’t have it both ways. And her music sucks.
I just cant believe the controversy
I happened to see who I thought was either the CEO or ‘Sesame Street’s” Producer on ‘Good Morning America’ this morning (Friday 23/10). She spoke of Katy showing too much cleavage on the kids show. Although thinking back wasn’t Cher on the show in her time? And how many others before and after Cher have shown cleavage?
If I’m correct you can’t tape with a program like Sesame Street w/o being invited the scrutinized by a producer and or a director, or can you? Ha maybe I’ll try I’m an old short fat long haired ball guy, maybe it could work, what do you think Elmo? Ah heck Elmo, your right I’d probably show too much cleavage…
sesame street rock!
I have never seen the whole show but only a couple minutes when zapping.
ok!!! let’s talk about gossip girl…
i love katy perry!!!
I love Katy Perry,but she should know that she is on a very popular little kids show and should dress right.I am a teen but come on!
Sesame Street has always had celebrity guests as well as musical artists from all genres. The artist’s current song is tailored to fit the theme of the day at Sesame Street.
What’s wrong with this picture is not Katy Perry, but the fact that her wardrobe and other such decisions weren’t vetted before the filming of the segment.
This seems a little ridiculous and staged. The producers know well in advance who they are going to have as guests, they are aware of what the guests do, how they perform, what they wear, what the public persona is…if KP’s clothing was such an issue, why not suggest a change during filming? It’s not like it happened in 10 minutes and the entire crew disappeared! Why produce the segment at all then?
Was KP pulled b/c of SS or b/c parents complained? My money is on the parents. Sesame Street had already hired Perry/filmed/produced the segment. This takes time and planning and $$.
I seriously doubt she was wearing anything worse than what is seen daily on the streets & schools in any town in the US. Unless of course these parents that are complaining never take their kids out in public unless it’s to a conservative christian church.
The west African slaves brought their sesame which they called benne seeds.
When you are next in the Holy City of Charleston you will be introduced to the wonderful benne cookies.
Rob Willis is right. The Open Sesame is truly the phoenetic for “Says A Me”. (And a mis-translation, over all.)
The second paragraph here under the “Story” section shows that the original wording is “Open, Simsim”
THERE WAS NOTHING WRONG WITH THE SONG OR HER OUTFIT!! THAT’S HOW TODAY’S SOCIETY DRESSES!! SCREW TO WHOEVER CALLED THE COMPANY AND TOLD THEM TO CANCEL THE VIDEO!!
Before Sesame Street, Henson did short industrial clips to be used as lead-ins to presentations or coffee breaks.
IBM for one used to use them. They were hysterically funny at maybe 5 minutes each.
He was also on the Ed Sullivan Show more than once.
Wait…why was Katy Perry on Sesame Street in the first place?
I agree with you AvidReader, I now understand why she was kicked off of the cast.
“Katy Perry was booted off “Sesame Street””
woah wait what? Katy Perry was on sesame street?
@Kim: Agreed. Sesame Street has changed so much since I was three. First they put Cookie Monster on a diet and now they let in some blue haired woman who’s showing so much skin she might as well be giving Elmo a lap dance? Unbelievable, I say!
i agree with kim
I consider myself decidedly conservative and I thought the piece was cute and appropriate for Sesame Street.
But all Katy Perry wanted to do was play dress-up, but Elmo just wanted to play tag, and was being very selfish( u can watch the clip on youtube). I blame Elmo. He’s super annoying and he looks like a psychopath. But this article was totally worthless….
Seriously, no offense? But I find this conversation amusingly ridiculous. I came to find a synanom for the word “empire,” and here I find…this.
Ha Ha Ha Ha
She deserved getting kicked off the show because of her lack of humor!!!
It was on CNN yesterday at 6:00 Mountain time
Katy Perry wasn’t booted off. Sesame Street actually was the one who picked the outfit for her, and I’m sure Katy could do another segment on Sesame Street at a later time. Still, I’ve seen muppets wear more revealing clothing, most of them run around naked. *lol* I wonder if those conservatives that complained ever brought their children to a beach with tons of women in bikinis.
Andrea, you have NO right to be saying Ray doesn’t have a life! Just because he’s super-smart AND super-awesome doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a life! (It’s not like any of us do anyways; I mean, this is dictionary.com) Keep up the good work, Ray!
i think that the dress is good.
omg i didnt even know katy perry was on Sesame street XD but i hate her music and Ray your awesome i luv your knowledge andrea mind your beeswax hes smart so what? eh bye
ps in the future look for Moon Callers series (im making books.)
no offense, Andrea, but pleeeez shut up. Ray has an interesting life already: Knowledge. That is your opinion if you think his life is boring. But its not! To him he has a very “fun” life. good day.
ps i agree that it should be open says me. I mean, sesame is just a seed!
Tecnically, if you say open sesame, your saying open seed.
@ Minnie.. wow, who killed you imagination and sense of fun at such a tender age?
no talent Katy Perry has had more pricks in her than a porcupine in heat
leave the shock slut in the world of 13 year old cultureless future McDonald’s shift managers where she belongs.
It is not “truly” the phonetic for “Says A Me” as your link shows. Sim-sim is an East African word for Sesame: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O39-sesame.html
For others: why would a “magic word” to open a door have to be pertinent to the situation? “Open Sesame” is no more “Open says me” than “Abracadabra” is “A rabbit will appear”.
I’m not sure why it left out the copied part above – I was replying to “Mousira” who said:
Rob Willis is right. The Open Sesame is truly the phoenetic for “Says A Me”. (And a mis-translation, over all.)
The second paragraph here under the “Story” section shows that the original wording is “Open Simsim”
Okay first of all yes you need to be fully dressed if you are going to be on that show or any show for matter of fact!!!!!! Our children of today are really being messed up by what/how people are doing and wearin g these days and we need to do something about it all!!!!!!! I’m a teenager and am like 5 to 8 years away from even thinking about kids. I think people should do what i’m doing. I’m only a jr. in high school, but all i need is 8 credits to get out and then it’s off to college with me. Then after college it’s time to get my own place and get a good paying job and support myself and I know I wouldn’t want my kids watching katy perry wearing that stuff. We are suppost to be protecting our children from harm not throughing them into it!!!!!!!!!!!!
WOW!!!! This blog was really dumb!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ok so Katy Perry was givin a chance to be on the show, and she took it. And then who’s the one to allow Katy Perry to be wearing clothes like that? Hmmmm, that would be the producers. So its not all Katy’s fault that she looked to “skanky” on a childrens show. Besides children need to be exposed to that just a little so they dont all become gay. Just think about it.
HAHAHA LOLZ Levi..but i agree with you you make some valid points!!!!!!
Yeah so i like how most of these word blogs i read end up having nothing to do with the ‘headline’ that caught my attention on the first place. :p
@Mr. Raymond Kenneth Petry I AM HAWAIIAN BLACK WHITE AND HISPANIC BUT I’M NOT REALLY SURE!!!! LOLXZ HAHAHAHA IM BORED JUST THOUGHT I’D SAY THAT!!!!!
TO EVERYONE!!!!! I JUST WANTED TO SAY SOMETHING IN FRENCH….BONJOUR DICTIONARY.COM gars et les filles! Je voulais juste dire ROCKS PERRY KATIE!!–> HELLO DICTIONARY.COM GUYS AND GIRLS!!! JUST WANTED TO SAY KATIE PERRY ROCKS!!!!
@name? doesnt matter.
noone really needs too know your future plans this is about sesame street and katy perry. Not your future issues!!!!!
I LOVE KATIE PERRY TOO
I acquired everything you mean , saved to bookmarks , good internet site .
ME LIKEY LOL