Bringing Back Bandit

Bandit is a word that still fires me up. Could it be ready for a new life?

Last week was particularly bandit for me. It involved frantic packing in Austin, a cross country drive with my husband and dog, tornados in Louisiana, and squeaking into Greenville minutes before we were scheduled to close on our new home. Bandit was the extra push that kept me going through the miles. This is not a word I see often, but one that was brought back to my attention recently in 2 ways:

(1) Re-viewing the 1986 classic Top Gun on the big screen courtesy of Austin’s Sinus Show. There is an oft-overlooked notice across the pegboard improbably located in the locker room shower that reads ‘Have a Bandit Day‘. I only noticed it after the 20th or so time of seeing the movie, but I started wondering what it meant and wanting to have one myself.

(2) Finding one of my husband’s burned CDs in my car during the 20 hour drive and hearing Jerry ‘Snowman’ Rice sing the theme to the 1977 Smokey and the Bandit (lyrics) ” potentially the greatest long distance driving song ever – for the first time in many years.

Evidently, I am not alone in thinking that bandit has desirable connotations because is has been used for all sorts of brands including fishing lures, motorcycles, wood-chippers, and a record company. The dictionary definition of bandit is limiting, but the emotional lure is powerful so I’d like to share the old definition, propose a new one, and suggest we bring it back.

ban·dit (bndt)

Current: n.

  1. A robber, especially one who robs at gunpoint.
  2. An outlaw; a gangster.
  3. One who cheats or exploits others.
  4. Slang. A hostile aircraft, especially a fighter aircraft.

Proposed: n., v., adj.,

  1. To push boundaries of what is acceptable – a lovable pusher of boundaries
  2. One who lives by his own rules, questioning societal norms
  3. Slang. Challenging, exciting task, requiring one to creatively rise to the occasion

So, bring it back! Do something bandit this week and tell us about it or let us know what word puts fire in your engine.

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