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Cowabunga Man

Cowabunga Man Ice Breakers Button Museum
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Cowabunga Man Ice Breakers Button Museum
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Black background with hot pink text

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The term "Cowabunga" was a creation by the writer of the Howdy Doody Show, Eddie Kean. Kean came up with the exclamation during his tenure on the show, which was between 1947 and 1954. Howdy Doody was a western-themed children’s TV show featuring a puppet named Howdy Doody. On the show there was also a Native American character named Chief Thunderthud. Kean originally made up a greeting for this character — kawagoopa. Kean couldn’t use the more familiar “how” because he didn’t want anything too closely resembling real Native Americans. He then invented the term cowabunga for the Chief to use whenever he got mad or frustrated. The phrase continued to be popular for decades after that due to TV shows such as GidgetTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and The Simpsons which had main characters using the phrase. However, instead of being used during times of frustration it turned into a term that was used to express delight or satisfaction. 

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