Origin of bizarre
Related formsbi·zarre·ly, adverbbi·zarre·ness, noun
Can be confusedbazaar bizarre
- "Good evening. I'm Mr. Mike, inviting you to come with me into a world where the bizarre is commonplace and the commonplace bizarre."-Michael O'Donoghue as Mr. Mike in the 1979 movie Mr. Mike's Mondo Video imdb.com (1979)
- "No matter how calmly you try to referee, parenting will eventually produce bizarre behavior, and I'm not talking about the kids. Their behavior is always normal."-Bill Cosby Fatherhood (1987)
For a long time, it was conjectured that bizarre is of Basque origin, coming from the word bizarra, meaning “beard.” This same word supposedly passed into Spanish and Portuguese as bizarro, with the meaning “handsome” or “brave” (one imagines in the belief that a man with a beard was endowed with those qualities). From there it was thought to have been adopted by the French, who liked the word but apparently did not attribute the same heroic qualities to the bearded man. In French, bizarre means “odd.”
Recently, a more likely etymology has gained ground—rather than from Spanish, the French word is thought to have come from bizarro, an Italian word meaning “angry, choleric,” and which originally meant “brave, soldier-like.” Now, this still means that we have to get from a word meaning “angry” to one meaning “odd,” but it is, perhaps, a less bizarre journey.
— Bizarre: A Canadian sketch comedy television series that aired from 1980–1985 in Canada, and in the U.S. on the cable channel Showtime.
—Bizarre Creations: A video game developer, based in Liverpool, England, and known for games like Blur (2010), James Bond 007: Blood Stone (2010), and the Project Gotham Racing series. The name Bizarre Creations came about in 1994 when the then nameless company needed a temporary name and chose “Weird Concepts.” A staff member later used Microsoft Word's Thesaurus on the name, which came up with “Bizarre Creations.”
— Mondo Bizarro: A 1966 faux travelogue that mixes often shocking documentary and mockumentary footage. The film is a successor to the 1963 film Mondo Cane, originator of the exploitation documentary genre.
— Mondo Bizarro: The name of the twelfth studio album by the New York punk band The Ramones. Released in 1992.
— Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern: A television travel show that follows host Andrew Zimmern around the world as he tastes unusual local food. First aired in 2007 on the Travel Channel.
Examples from the Web for bizarre
In a bizarre matchup, the Pirates of the Caribbean actor came for the 20-year-old singer this past July in Ibiza.
And likewise the Easter bunny, a bizarre pagan myth if ever one there was.
In a bizarre twist to proceedings, Miss Manners sought to have her £30 cab fare from her Kensington flat to court refunded.How A British Aristocrat Used Big Game Hunter’s Sperm To Get Pregnant Without His Permission|Tom Sykes|December 2, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The source added that the staffers “hated” the bizarre alleged practice.Bill Cosby’s Long List of Accusers (So Far): 18 Alleged Sexual Assault Victims Between 1965-2004|Marlow Stern|November 24, 2014|DAILY BEAST
“Bizarre imaginings by Mr. du Pont have also been recounted by athletes who trained with Team Foxcatcher,” wrote The Times.
Bizarre as this interpretation looks, we shall find some confirmation of such a possibility in our chapter on Possession.Human Personality and its Survival of Bodily Death|Frederick W. H. Myers
I will ask you whether it is not the bizarre, the grotesque in art, which to-day wins most favor.The Moving Finger|E. Phillips Oppenheim
As though coming out of a coma, it was raising its bizarre head and trying to get on its feet.Astounding Stories, April, 1931|Various
The effect is most restful to the eyes after examining some of the bizarre creations in the other windows.Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Gloucester [2nd ed.]|H. J. L. J. Mass
One small enclosure attracted my attention as at once the most bizarre and the most touching of all.Paris and the Parisians in 1835 (Vol. 1 of 2)|Frances Milton Trollope