Article 2 - Nomenclature Confusion

February 26, 2009

In my extensive travels of the internet and experience with Littl' Bits-related products, I've seen SO many alternate spellings of nearly every name featured in the show. Some of these can be explained, either through origins in another language, or auditory confusion, but there's some stuff I don't think anyone understands.

That girl in the center of the banner!

This is probably the biggest kicker in the misspelling world. I originally hypothesized that this girl's name was spelled "Lillabit." It seemed to be present in the greatest number of reliable sources, and generally just the most widely accepted name. There's no end to the alternatives in this department though. You'll see Lillibits, Lilybits, Lillybits, and who knows what else. So the deep burning question on everyone's mind: How SHOULD it be spelled?

Short answer: Lillibit

Long answer: While Lillibit is the most phonetically correct for her English name, it can still cause confusion. Lillabit may in fact be more acceptable to use, because in many foreign languages, Lillibit is actually the name of her male counterpart (spelled in that exact way, often). People may not know if you're using the English name of the female character, or another language's name for the male character. All that we can be (mostly) sure of is that a name with a Y in it (Lilybit, Lillybit) is (probably) totally incorrect. I'd prefer to have everyone call her Belfy, as that was her original name, and the one used in most non-English countries, but I'll get to that in another article.

So what's my rationale for making Lillibit the most appropriate spelling? Well... Sometimes people in the show call her a name that sounds phonetically like Lillabit, yet they'll also often call her "Lily" for short. "Lillibit" satisfies both of these conditions. If said quickly enough, it can sound like "Lillabit" and it could also be abbreviated to "Lilli." That second condition is not met so well in spelling the name with an A. I supposed it COULD be abbreviated that way, but it's more of a stretch.

Willibit?

Well this one's not so confusing. Willibit is the pretty obvious choice for his name spelling, but I have seen a little inaccuracy in some places. The only things you need to keep in mind are that his name is Lillibit in several other countries, and not Belfy. The common warning here is that English-speakers are likely to see the names "Belfy & Lillibit" and think "Ah, well I always hear people call the girl Lillibit, so Belfy must be the boy's name." This is quite plainly not the case.

The squirrel and the doctor

I know this was on Wikipedia for a while, and so it may have spread itself to other locales, but the Littl' Bits have a flying squirrel friend, and for some reason, his name had been spread as "Snowfleet." Now... This name is cool and all, but it is not the character's name, and this misconception probably just came about due to a misinterpretation upon somebody speaking it in the show. Upon closer listening, one can hear that the real name is Snuffly, which is a bit more fitting, even if less cool.

So there's also Lillibit(Belfy)'s uncle's name, Dr. Snoozeabit. Now, I'm not too familiar with the grammatical validity of dropping an E from a word to add the suffix "-abit," but one would think it makes sense to drop the E from snooze and make the name "Snoozabit." The only contradictory evidence we have here is on the title screen of the second episode. It has clearly left the E in the name as "Snoozeabit." Interpret for yourself how grammatically valid it is. Honestly I lean more toward omitting the E, but either way is likely acceptable.

And the show itself?

I really wish I didn't have to write a whole paragraph about this particular bit of confusion, but the show's name has actually been spelled differently by some sources. Clearly the thing to do is spell it "The Littl' Bits." The apostrophe there (whose original purpose I can't really discern... I guess "Littl'" is cuter than "Little") is most obviously put where it is to replace the E at the end of Little. Simple, eh? Not simple enough for the folks at Video Treasures and sometimes Amazon.com. The three VHSes of this show that were released in the 90s spell the title "The Litt'l Bits," and it is spelled similarly in some parts of Amazon. Somebody must have really not been thinking for this to have happened, but keep in mind that sometimes when you're looking up this show (particularly if looking for videos and DVDs) that you may need to swap the apostrophe and the last L to get any results.