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The Inspiration Behind "Dude Looks Like a Lady"

According to one story, Aerosmith’s hit song “Dude Looks Like a Lady” was simply inspired by an evening when the band hung out with the guys from Motley Crue, and left rolling their eyes at how every sentence the Crue guys said started with “Dude.”

But Desmond Child, who co-wrote the song along with Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, says the moment of inspiration went a little bit differently.

Child, who also wrote Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” and “Bad Medicine,” among other hits, was brought in to work with Aerosmith. Though the band hadn’t worked with an outside songwriter before, Steven Tyler showed him some of the lyrics he had been working on. One of them was called “Cruisin’ for the Ladies,” which Child immediately denounced as dull and already done.

Tyler reluctantly agreed, and said that “Cruisin’ for the Ladies” was actually an alternative title. The first title, he said, was inspired by a moment that happened at a bar not too long before. While imbibing a few drinks, Tyler said, the band spotted what they thought was an attractive girl with teased, bleach-blonde hair. When the girl eventually turned around, they realized that it wasn’t a girl at all—it was Vince Neil from Motley Crue, who did indeed have a pretty luscious mane of hair. “That dude looks like a lady,” one of them apparently said, and then continued to repeat the catchy little phrase all night.

Once Tyler told Child the real story behind the song, Child knew immediately that “Dude Looks Like a Lady” had to be the title. “I talked them into the whole scenario of a guy that walks into a strip joint and falls in love with the stripper on stage, goes backstage and finds out it's a guy. But … he's gonna go with it.”

Child says he later let Vince Neil in on the joke: “He had a good laugh.” The incident is acknowledged in Neil’s autobiography, so he must not have any hard feelings.

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26 Facts About LEGO Bricks

Since it first added plastic, interlocking bricks to its lineup, the Danish toy company LEGO (from the words Leg Godt for “play well”) has inspired builders of all ages to bring their most imaginative designs to life. Sets have ranged in size from scenes that can be assembled in a few minutes to 5000-piece behemoths depicting famous landmarks. And tinkerers aren’t limited to the sets they find in stores. One of the largest LEGO creations was a life-sized home in the UK that required 3.2 million tiny bricks to construct.

In this episode of the List Show, John Green lays out 26 playful facts about one of the world’s most beloved toy brands. To hear about the LEGO black market, the vault containing every LEGO set ever released, and more, check out the video above then subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up-to-date with the latest flossy content.

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Of Buckeyes and Butternuts: 29 States With Weird Nicknames for Their Residents
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Tracing a word’s origin and evolution can yield fascinating historical insights—and the weird nicknames used in some states to describe their residents are no exception. In the Mental Floss video above, host John Green explains the probable etymologies of 29 monikers that describe inhabitants of certain states across the country.

Some of these nicknames, like “Hoosiers” and “Arkies” (which denote residents of Indiana and Arkansas, respectively) may have slightly offensive connotations, while others—including "Buckeyes," "Jayhawks," "Butternuts," and "Tar Heels"—evoke the military histories of Ohio, Kansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina. And a few, like “Muskrats” and “Sourdoughs,” are even inspired by early foods eaten in Delaware and Alaska. ("Goober-grabber" sounds goofier, but it at least refers to peanuts, which are a common crop in Georgia, as well as North Carolina and Arkansas.)

Learn more fascinating facts about states' nicknames for their residents by watching the video above.

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