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How Did Dilbert Get His Name? --- Dilbert the Pilot

RF Cafe University"Factoids," "Kirt's Cogitations," and "Tech Topics Smorgasbord" are all manifestations of my ranting on various subjects relevant (usually) to the overall RF Cafe theme. All may be accessed on these pages:

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How did Dilbert Get His Name? (Dilbert the Pilot) - RF CafeDo you know how engineering whipping boy Dilbert came to be called by that name? Per Scott Adams, while working at Pacific Bell he ran an informal name-the-comic-strip-engineer contest from his cubicle. A guy named Mike Goodwin suggested Dilbert. "I ended the contest immediately and declared Mike the winner," says Adams. It sounded perfect. Years after the comic strip had become syndicated, Mike commented that he believes the name idea might have come from seeing his father's old WWII aviator comics with "Dilbert the Pilot." DtP was a screw-up, invented by Navy artist Robert Osborn, whose purpose in life was to illustrate the wrong way of doing things so that real pilots wouldn't make the same mistakes. The name was funny then, as it is funny now. BTW, Dilbert is a variant of Delbert meaning nobly famous. During the War, "dilbert" became a synonym for "blunder" for Navy pilots. The Navy even produced an aviator safety film titled, "Don't Kill Your Friends," featuring Dilbert the Pilot. "Don't be a Dilbert!"


Dilbert the Pilot, by Robert Osborn, #1 - RF Cafe


Dilbert the Pilot, by Robert Osborn, #2 - RF Cafe


Dilbert the Pilot, by Robert Osborn, #3 - RF Cafe


Dilbert the Pilot, by Robert Osborn, #4 - RF Cafe


Dilbert the Pilot, by Robert Osborn, #5 - RF Cafe


Dilbert the Pilot, by Robert Osborn, #6 - RF Cafe


Dilbert the Pilot, by Robert Osborn, #7 - RF Cafe


RF Cafe Smorgasbord - Dilbert the Pilot, by Robert Osborn, #9


Dilbert the Pilot WWII Navy Training Video

Navy Training Film, "Don't Kill Your Friends"

...featuring Dilbert the Pilot

The AskACFI.com website has a huge collection of Dilbert the Pilot drawings as well as many others from Robert Osborn.



Posted March 26, 2020
(updated from original post on 1/20/2011)

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