Bradley (48) claims that the word has at least 37 meanings in Japanese, depending on how it is pronounced. MacPhail (194) and I, however, have independently concluded that Gilbert probably intended no meaning, but might well have taken inspiration from what was then a widely advertised hair tonic. Von Eckhardt (297) shows a photograph of a London horse-drawn wagon embellished with bold signs reading "Koko for the Hair." Contemporary advertising claimed the tonic would keep hair from turning gray or falling out. Stanley DeOrsey (260) adds that the tonic was made by the Koko-Maricopas Company of London. There are other suggested sources as well. Aurora (15) nominates the character Ko-ko-ri-ko in Offenbach's operetta Ba-ta-clan. Walters (303) suggests another candidate: Ko-kil-ko, a shopkeeper in Thompson and Hervé's Aladdin. The subject is now declared beaten to death.