Squirmin' Herman

Posted by Smokey Stover on October 09, 2005

In Reply to: Squirming like Herman posted by Nicole on October 07, 2005

: What is "squirming like Herman"? Where does that phrase come from?

I'm guessing it gets applied to a lot of men named Herman from time to time. The first squirmin' Herman I was able to find is Herman Wedemeyer (1924-1999), a native Hawaiian but best-known, at least in the 1940s, as halfback on a California football team. His squirmin' refers to his agility when carrying the ball (as well as rhyming with Herman). He was chosen for the All-American team more than once and won the Heisman Trophy before eventually returning to Hawaii. He's best known to later American audiences as "Duke" on Hawaii Five-O. The nickname caught on as useful for a variety of Hermans, and also for at least one "squirmin'" creature, namely, Squirmin' Herman the Worm, known to at least the current generation of schoolchildren. I haven't yet pinned down who introduced this cuddly earthworm to society, but I think it was someone who had heard of Squirmin' Herman Wedemeyer. SS