Posted by Lewis A-M on November 11, 2004
In Reply to: Alpha male and alpha female posted by Lotg on November 10, 2004
: : The Goddess chastised us in the thread below about alpha male behavior over the concept vacuum. As usual, she's right, and we were both alpha male and obsessive scientist in some of the nitpicking.
: : But when was the first use of alpha male as a category? Did it apply first to gorillas and wild primates, or was it in general use applied to human behavior in the past?
: : Third question --- are word geeks really alpha males? Wow.
: Haha. Dunno about the Word Geek theory, but I reckon Alpha Males were invented around barbies!!! Which I'm pretty sure is pre-primate.
The expression 'Alpha male' comes from the behavioural sciences - it came into common usage from the study of primates - the head honcho of a pack of apes is dubbed 'the alpha male'.
This simple designation is also used in star classification in astronomy - the brightest star in a constellation is alpha, then they go down the Greek alphabet, beta, gamma, delta etc.
So the no.1 gorilla is the alpha of the pack. It would also apply to other community-dwelling animals.
It has widened from the study of apes to human behaviour through nature programmes and used to describe a person that is aggressively competitive - the alpha of a pack has to challenge for that role and fend off challenges.
This alpha-maleness is epitomised by The Darkness in "Keep your hands off my woman, mother-fkr!"