You may have heard that Katy Perry was booted off “Sesame Street” for a bustier deemed too bawdy for children. But this imbroglio isn’t what piques our interest. What we’re curious about is the famous name of the show. Does it have anything to do with the “sesame” that gives us the tiny seeds?
The Emmy award winning show began as an experiment in 1969 in which the creators were trying to discover ways to use television as a teaching tool for preschoolers.
The show’s name has nothing to do with Sesamum indicum, a tropical, herbaceous plant whose small, edible seeds are used to make oil. But we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the wonderful ancestor of “sesame,” from the ancient Akkadian language: shamashshammū. Now that should be the name of a character on “Sesame Street!”
Back to the title of show: One of the show’s writers suggested that the word “sesame” would be a fitting allusion to the magical word “Open sesame!”
On the topic of magic, the muppet character Mr. Snuffleupagus — who incidentally loves cabbage and spaghetti — resembles a wooly mammoth and lives in a cave off of Sesame Street. Few people know that his full name is Aloysius Snuffleupagus. Aloysius is of Old German origin and means “famous warrior.”