In 2002, Billy Flynn said “Give ’em the old razzle dazzle” in the musical Chicago.
Where’d this phrase come from?
“On the razzle” is what sailors said in the 1890s. They’d come back on the supply ships from North America after consuming large amounts of alcohol on land. It signified a state of confusion of what reality is.
I have felt this feeling and I miss it and that is where the dazzle comes in. The rocking feeling gets normalized, once you are on land. It feels like a daze. Confusion is hard to resist, especially with adult beverages thrown into the mix.
In 1966, a candy that was seemingly fake came into the picture. You get your bang for your buck because it’s two-in-one. First, it is hard candy and then it turns into chewing gum. Razzles capture the whole taste sensations. It’s almost like a mood that feels fictional created with its original razzleberry flavor. The only choice you had. Take it or leave it.
Perhaps that is where the dazzle came into the phrase. It means to be magical. Dazzling is like Cinderella walking down the stairs at the ball. She greatly impressed and surprised everyone. What an exciting sight.
Razzle + Dazzle = a vibe that feels too good to be true. When reality feels like it is peaking at our potential.
Razzle Dazzle interprets it as confusing, colorful, and gaudy action. I argue that we all need more of it. It is a mood that throws us into a state of feeling like a performer. Someone who is fully present as if acting out improv.
“Learning isn’t a way of reaching one’s potential but rather a way of developing it. We can create our own potential.” said Anders Ericcson. Let’s create our own potential by sprinkling some razzle dazzle into the mix.