“I am the eggman! (Whoo!) They are the eggmen! (Whoo!) I AM THE WALRUS! GOO GOO G’JOOB!” The refrain from 1967’s “I Am the Walrus” is one that every Beatles fan knows by heart — perhaps even one that you yourself have shouted aloud at one point or another. Yet beneath the walrus’ mask lies a mystery. Don’t we all wonder sometimes what John Lennon meant by those strange words?
“It’s just psychedelic nonsense,” you might say. And you would probably be right. The fearless lexicographers at the Visual Thesaurus, however, have refused to settle for that answer, instead launching a formal investigation into the etymological origins of the phrase “goo goo g’joob” (which they spell “goo goo goo joob” for some reason). Some of the related phrases they’ve unearthed include “googoo goosth” (from James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake), “coo coo ca-choo” (from Simon and Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson”), and “boop-oop-a-doop” (from Betty Boop).
While the Visual Thesaurus doesn’t come to any definitive conclusions, their piece makes for a fun 9/9/09 read. Click over to peruse the full report, or watch the Beatles’ “I Am the Walrus” below to re-acquaint yourself with the source of this puzzle. Then grab a semolina pilchard, let your face grow long, and tell us: What do you think “goo goo g’joob” means?
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