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Live and Let Evolve: The James Bond Titles


Edward Biddulph


The titles of the James Bond books and films are well-established in the cultural milieu. In some cases, they have become as much a part of popular idiom as the phrases from which they themselves have derived (e.g. Live and Let Die). Such is their appeal and familiarity that the titles are commonly employed in contexts away from the world of James Bond. This article examines the use of the Bond titles in four spheres: company names, newspaper headlines, books, and children’s television series. Analysing data collected from these categories using statistical methods, the article identifies which titles are the most popular and which are least used. It reveals that the selection of titles varies depending on context; titles that are suitable as company names may be less suitable as newspaper headlines. The article assesses why and how the titles have been chosen, placing the selection of titles within the theoretical framework of evolution. The article demonstrates that the titles and other Bond-related phrases are products of “descent with modification” and that their fitness within the prevailing cultural environment is critical to their chances of being selected and replicated.

How to Cite: Biddulph, E. (2021). Live and Let Evolve: The James Bond Titles. International Journal of James Bond Studies, 4(1). DOI:
Published on 01 May 2021.
Peer Reviewed


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