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The Lady Gagas Of History

It’s harder than you think to come up with a thoroughly original name these days. Lady Gaga may (or may not) be surprised that she is not the first to bear her moniker. According to an awesome article over at Slate.com, there were actually three Lady Gagas before Stefani Germanotta came along. In the sixth century B.C. a Babylonian woman bearing the name Gaga had a cuneiform tablet sent to her father. In 1817, an Irish woman became Madame de Gaga when she married a frenchman, the Chevalier de Gaga. And in 1929, Punch Magazine created a fictional character named Lady Gaga. In a satire meant to poke fun at flapperdom, Lady Gaga was a socialite party girl who attended themed soirees like the Second Childhood Party, the Wild West Party, and the Circus Party. Sound familiar?In Punch, all Lady Gaga wanted was to be famous. As she said in this story, “There’s Bobby de Bootlace; he’s ‘Mask’ of The Morning Headline. And there’s Dodo d’Organdie; she’s ‘Flâneuse’ of The Evening Eavesdropper. That’s Bunloafe she’s talking to; he does that priceless page every week in The Sunday Shocker! How glorious! They’re sure to put us in!”

Interestingly, in later issues, Lady Gaga becomes a movie star. And in her final appearance, she says, “I was inundated with letters of congratulation from millions of my public. This sort of thing is always upsetting to a girl of temperament.” Her solution? She joined a convent.

I bet Lady Gaga will be thrilled to hear this history of her name. And maybe she can get some new costume ideas from back issues of Punch Magazine? Wild West Gaga coming right up.

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[Slate]

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