Birthday ‘Bash’ … why?

The first time I encountered the word bash was when Birthday celebrations were called as Birthday Bash. I wonder if by the way the word was introduced to me, I can re-frame the sentence to – “The first time I was bashed with the word bash was on a Birthday Bash.”

And yes that sentence makes sense; which brings me to the topic of discussion – ‘Bash’. I want to write about it not because I have done some extensive research on the word or because it like ‘Alright‘ is one of the words which are close to my heart. I wanted to write about it because just today when I was talking with a friend about celebrating another friend’s birthday, I realized and I said, “We don’t use bash anymore. Like, we no more have a birthday bash, it’s Birthday Party now, or Birthday Celebrations. I wonder why Bash is lost all of a sudden.” And therefore this post where I would write, in brief, about bash, like an ode to it.

Okay being an IT professional, let me first introduce you to what bash means in computer jargon. Bash is the name of a UNIX shell, written by Brian Fox, in replacement to Bourne shell. Okay, to people who don’t know what shell means, it is just like this platform that allows your other applications on the computer to run on. For those who still did not get what it is, even remotely, forget that you had ever read this paragraph (or you can always google).

Now coming to what bash means for the normal public. It means to strike someone or something violently. You might have heard lines like

I’m just gonna bash your brains in
-The Shining (Movie)

and many more violent street lines which use the word bash not in a way which means Birthdays, celebrations and happiness. Which makes me wonder, why will someone think of using bash to describe Birthday parties? Why call it ‘Birthday Bash’, when he could have kept it at ‘party’?

Is it because that guy who came up with this phrase never liked birthdays, or did the time when the phrase “Birthday Bash” was used coincided with some gore event of bashing and killing people on their birthdays?
There is this episode in the biggest mythological epic of India – Mahabharata – where an evil king kills any child his sister gave birth to, by smashing him on to the wall of the prison where he had imprisoned his sister and her husband because some forecasting voice from the skies had predicted that one of the child of his sister is going to kill him. I wonder if this is where the concept of Birthday Bashing started.

Anyway, though that was just a random wild thought, I seriously would want this phrase to have a rich history. I know that maybe bash was used just figuratively as a synonym for wild partying, but hey, it would not be less interesting to know that there was some actually bashing involved.


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