-Z- (Z@Gundam.Com)
Tue, 14 Dec 1999 18:43:52 -0800


At 19:26 12/14/1999 -0500, you wrote:
>>Clara Bow - 30's Hollywood actress I think...
>>
>
>That's it! I specifically read in some anime magazine many, many years ago
>that Frau Bow's name came from her. Frau from German for woman, I think...

Except that her name is "Fra" -- from the title for an Italian monk or
friar in the Roman Catholic Church. The original inspiration for this was
Fra Mauro, the crater on the Moon that would've been the landing site for
Apollo 13 had all gone as planned. The crater, in turn, was named for a
Venetian monk and cartographer who produced a new map of the world in 1457
for Prince Henry the Navigator of Portugal, based on information from
voyages the prince had sponsored.

"Frau" is a title, like Mistress (Mrs.) or Madame (Ma'am), for a married
woman. It's the female equivalent of Herr. No one of German extraction
would dream of using it as a personal name. On the other hand, no one of
Italian extraction would dream of naming someone, especially a female,
"Brother" (which is what "Fra" means literally). In any case,
English-speaking fans were quick to Romanize her name as Frau because it
sounded more like a real name -- or, at least, a familiar word -- but if
you listen to the dialogue, it's clearly Fra Bow.

-Z-

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