No, “Google Buns” isn’t the long-awaited follow-up to the justly famous “Studmuffins of Science” calendar. (By the way, Dr. September bore the caption “Buns. Biceps. Bunsen Burners.”)
Like most, I’d always believed that the word Google originated with the mis-spelling of Googol by the company’s founders. Googol refers to the number represented by the digit one followed by a hundred zeros. I know this because I once read a Richie Rich comic where Richie identifies the enemy, who goes by the code name Googol, as their associate who’d once been followed during war time by a hundred Japanese planes; these planes were called Zeros. Of course I recall all this perfectly but always forget my ATM pin.
I finally arrive at the meat of this post: the British author Enid Blyton seems to have coined the word Google waaaaaay back. I recently (re)read The Magic Faraway Tree (first published in 1943) and came across this passage:
“Come on,” said Moon-Face. “Come and eat a Google Bun and see what you think of it.”
Soon they were all sitting on the broad branches outside Moon-Face’s house, eating Pop Biscuits and Google Buns. The buns were most peculiar. They each had a very large currant in the middle, and this was filled with sherbet. So when you got to the currant and bit it the sherbet frothed out and filled your mouth with fine bubbles that tasted delicious. The children got a real surprise when they bit their currants, and Moon-Face almost fell off the branch with laughing.
I don’t know if anyone else has discovered the Blyton-Brin connection, but for now–I AM THE ONE.