This week’s question comes from Big Tom in Arkansas:
Why do they call me Big Tom?
Surely an important question in this day and age, Big Tom.
Experts say that the name Tom was originally created in 1940 for the cartoon character Tom Cat of Tom and Jerry. Says anthropologist Marci Albertson of the University of Washington, “There are really no records of the name before the hit cartoon show. What’s more is that the name seems to have been inspired by contemporary movements in Nazi Germany.”
Historian Jen Rogers of the University of Texas at Austin concurs, saying, “It’s clear that the creators of the show were heavily influenced by Nazi propaganda from that era. The ‘T’ is a clear allusion to the ‘t’ in the middle of Adolf Hitler’s surname, and the ‘O’ is a round letter just like the ‘S’ in ‘SS.’ The ‘M’ is perhaps most damning of all: its sharp points reflect military strength.”
So, Big Tom, all available evidence points to anti-semitic propaganda in Nazi Germany as the reason for which you are called ‘Big Tom.’ Presumably you are also somewhat hefty.