I saw something about Batman somewhere online, and for a very brief moment it crossed my mind that it sounds like 'bad man'. A fraction of a second later I noticed the bat logo. Bats are usually considered scary animals, so I came to wonder:

Is there a correlation between the animal bat and bad?

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    There's Vilmer's etymological answer, and then there's the philosophical answer which is off-topic here because it has to do with the creator's intentions, symbolism, etc. I guess you can say that Batman is a bad man - to criminals! :-) Nov 19, 2013 at 17:01

1 Answer 1


Here is the etymology of the word "bat":

flying mammal (order Chiroptera), 1570s, a dialectal alteration of Middle English bakke (early 14c.), which is probably related to Old Swedish natbakka, Old Danish nathbakkæ "night bat," and Old Norse leðrblaka "leather flapper," so original sense is likely "flapper." The shift from -k- to -t- may have come through confusion of bakke with Latin blatta "moth, nocturnal insect."

As you see, there is nothing in common between two words, they just sound a bit similar (and as you see above the word "bat" could even be something like "bak" today. I'm Bakman!)

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    Dude! Pacman and Bakman are back, man! That’s whack, man! Nov 19, 2013 at 22:43

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