If you’re on this page, it means you’ve heard of or come across some bumper stickers promoting the name Fred, right? Well, the Fred bumper stickers are already notable in the United states, and they are usually attributed to an artist who aimed at honoring the name Fred.
On this page, you’ll learn all there’s to know about the Fred bumper stickers, how it originated, and about Fred himself.
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Here’s the Short Answer To What the FRED Bumper Stickers Mean:
The Fred Bumper sticker is an attempt by The Fred Society to change the societal impression about the various negativities that have been ascribed to the name Fred.
It begins with a certain Fred Daniel, and the ideas have been widely supported by other individuals who have some attachments to the name.
Who Is this FRED Guy on Bumper Stickers?
The Fred guy on bumper stickers could actually refer to anyone who bears the name Fred. The stickers emerged out of the creativity and activism of a man called Fred Daniel.
Fred is an artist who, out of the ugly experiences he had while growing up because he bears the name Fred, decided to start a movement to change people’s impression of the name.
The Fred bumper sticker is an attempt to reduce what Fred tagged ‘Fredophobia’.
According to Daniel, “no movie star has ever changed his name to Fred, and Elizabeth Taylor has never married a Fred”.
He believed that there’s been a certain negative ascription to the name, such that people attribute it to being dull.
“When I was very young, I can remember kids making fun of me and pronouncing my name in odd ways: ‘Hey, Fre-yud’…. The parents would ask their daughter, “You’re dating a Fred?”
It was with this experience that Fred Daniel thought of making this name popular by starting a movement against the anti-Fred belief.
So, the Fred guy you see on bumper stickers is just a fictitious character.
What Does the “WWFD – What Would Fred Do” Sticker Mean?
The WWFD bumper stickers emerged from the idea of the WWJD sticker that stands for “What Would Jesus Do?”.
Like the WWJD bumper sticker, the WWFD which stands for “What Would Fred Do?” is a way of instilling kindness, empathy, and compassion in people.
Although it’s related to the Fred Society, the WWFD bumper sticker is often used as a reference to the famous Fred Rogers. Rogers was not only notable for the children’s show – Mister Rogers – but also for its valuable and exemplary lifestyle.
Fred Rogers, popularly known as Mister Rogers, was a host of the popular TV series – Mister Rogers – a program notable from 1968 to 2001. He was known as a kindhearted and compassionate man.
Born in Latrobe, Pennsylvania on March 20, 1928, Fred died on February 27, 2003, in Pittsburgh, less than two months after he had a surgery to treat his stomach cancer.
A few hours after his death, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette featured his death on the Newspaper’s front page while dedicating a full section on his life, death, and impacts.
Several other memorials have been put in place to celebrate the life of Mr. Rogers, and one of those means is the use of the bumper sticker WWFD – What Would Fred Do?
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The idea behind this is to admonish people to emulate their life after Fred Rogers and show kindness, empathy, and compassion to others.
Aside from being a producer and TV host, Mister Rogers was also a Presbyterian minister. This pinpoints why people emulate his lifestyle.
What Does the “I’d Rather Be With Fred” Sticker Mean?
Fred Daniel and his Fred Society have introduced a series of bumper stickers aimed at promoting the name Fred. While some of these stickers just caption some positive notes about the name, several others are aimed at celebrating notable people with the name Fred.
The “I’d Rather Be With Fred” bumper sticker, for example, is used to refer to Fred Weasley, who was a beloved character from the Harry Potter book series.
Born on April 1, 1978, Fred Weasley and his twin brother, George Weasley, were popular students for their sense of humor, pranks, and invention. In fact, Fred Weasley was regarded as a born prankster whose company is always said to be humorous, lively, and interesting.
The “I’d Rather Be With Fred” sticker is, therefore, a humorous way of expressing one’s desire to be in the company of a jester who brings fun, joy, and laughter to one than being with someone else.
Mind you, the sticker could also be another attempt to promote the name Fred.
Why Are There So Many Bumper Stickers About “FRED”?
According to Fred Daniel, in his story published by L.A. Times, there’s been some forms of phobia towards the name Fred, such that people often avoid associating themselves with whoever bears the name or naming their child Fred.
So, in his bid to change people’s impression about this name, he thought of starting a movement towards promoting Fred, and he started an association called The Fred Society.
Fred Daniel, being an artist, started producing different wears and bumper stickers with a series of Fred captions on them. Some of such cations include: ‘Fred and Proud’, ‘I Brake for Fred’, ‘Better Fred than Dead’, and ‘When All Else Fails, Hug a Freddy’.
You might also want to check what bumper stickers really say about you here.
Because his aim was not only to promote the name ‘Fred’ but also to make some money and fame for himself, a series of Fred bumper stickers started being introduced into the sticker market.
While relating the story behind the Fred bumper stickers, L.A Times states that:
Daniel hopes to make some money with the Fred Society. But so far, he’s only breaking even financially, he said…. The Fred Society could have a serious side, but “the whole purpose is to make a few people smile.”
For the Fred bumper stickers to have become popular, it could be that the Fred Society eventually gained a few more customers or followers. This is because only a few friends and associates had patronized the stickers when they first emerged.
He said his rewards so far have come from the personal contacts he has made with Freds and friends of Freds who buy his products. His best customers are wives and girlfriends of Freds, he said.
Source: LA Times.
Where Did the FRED Bumper Stickers Symbol Originate From?
Bumper stickers have become so popular since the 1970s. So, there have been different representations of those stickers bearing Fred.
For example, the Fred Flintstone cartoon symbol was used to promote the animated comedy movie released in 1960. Similarly, there is the ‘Drop Dead Fred’ Symbol adhesive used to promote the comic movie released in 1991.
So, the Fred Bumper sticker symbol could have originated from either of these movies, unless there is another symbol introduced by the Fred Society.
Recall that Fred Daniel started a certain Fred Society in 1983. While the society is responsible for the production of various Fred bumper stickers, the Fred bumper sticker symbol could also have emerged from their creativity.
How Many People Use the FRED Bumper Sticker Today?
Since there’s been a different series of the Fred bumper stickers, we cannot give an exact figure on the number of people who use the sticker today.
Mind you, the popularity of the stickers largely depends on the messages they bear and their respective designs.
Another possibility is that some of the stickers are definitely commonly used than the others. So, we can’t give an exact figure of the number of people who use a Fred bumper sticker or another similar adhesive creation.
Is the FRED Bumper Stickers Gaining or Losing Popularity?
The popularity of the Fred Society and the Fred bumper stickers moved up ever since the Los Angeles Times published a story about Fred Daniel on Feb 5, 1986.
However, these stickers are not as popular today as they were in the 80s and early 1990s. Still, they are available in different stores that sell bumper stickers, like Zazzle and CafePress.
Make sure you also check if you can have bumper stickers on your car here.
The Fred bumper sticker could actually mean anything. But amongst all of its semantic possibilities, the notable ones involved the use of the stickers to promote the name Fred and other notable personalities who bear the name.
So, when next you come across any of these stickers, focus on the caption and relate it with either of these ideas; then you could get what they mean.