Mudcat Café message #2071084 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #102273   Message #2071084
Posted By: GUEST,meself
07-Jun-07 - 11:21 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Buddy Can you Spare a Dime - who was Al?
Subject: RE: Origins: Who was Al in Buddy Can you Spare a Dime
It's always been my impression that "Al" is one of those diminutives that in early 20th century American culture was for some reason associated both with 'type A' and hale-fellow-well-met personalities, the 'hands-on boss' type. I can't think of any other examples off the top of my head, but I think that's how it would have been understood in the '30's.

A boss named 'Rudy' or 'Bing' just wouldn't be that same gung-ho, back-slapping guy.

(By the way, I believe the lyric is, "IT was Al all the time" - in other words, he was in great demand).

(And they 'called [him] Al' because he was a regular guy made good; not some high-falutin' Allan or Alexander or Alphonse or Aloysius).