29 October 2012

Bimbo bread is "bambino bread"

A chance encounter with "Bimbo Bread" prompted Laura Payne to explore the history of the word (and the bread):
It wasn't until I turned the loaf over that I realized the brand's first vowel is meant to be pronounced as /i:/ and not /I/.
A paragraph on the back of the bread packaging explains that "Bimbo Bread (pronounced 'Beembo') has been bringing families together for four generations..."

The parent company is Bimbo Bakeries USA, part of Grupo Bimbo, based in Mexico.  But they have chosen for their brand name a word with Italian heritage and connotations...
"Bimbo" is a common nice word, used as a diminutive of (male) child. 
Child = Bambino = Bimbo.
It's interesting that the word evolved in this country to mean a foolish person/woman - presumably implying a child-like mental status.

Photo (cropped from the original) and text from A Walk in the Words.


  1. Bimbo bread sponsors Philadelphia Union soccer team. The players have the word 'Bimbo' on their shirts, and this amuses me.

  2. Bimbo has kinda been a mainstay of Latino markets, smaller markets and corner groceries here in Chicago forever. I would have never thought it came from Italy though, I always thought this was a Mexican company.

  3. The word "bimbo" may have Italian origins but the Bimbo corporation is based in Mexico.

    1. You're quite correct:

      Although many of its brands can trace their histories back to the late 1800s or early 1900s, Bimbo Bakeries USA’s origins as a company began in 1994 when Grupo Bimbo, its parent company, purchased La Hacienda, a tortilla company in California. Bimbo Bakeries USA then entered the U.S. bread market in 1997 with the acquisition of Pacific Pride Bakeries of San Diego.


  4. In Britain "bimbo" means a woman who is pretty but not very clever.

  5. In North Texas, Bimbo Bakeries bought out Mrs. Baird's Bread, a noted company.


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