"There was a woman named Mary Frisbie who made pies in Connecticut," Marciano tells Renee Montagne. "Students would throw around her pie plates after they had finished her pies, and kind of like you would say, 'Incoming!' they would say, 'Frisbie!' just to give people the heads-up that there was something spinning and flying coming at their head.
Meanwhile, the Wham-O corporation, producer of the hula hoop, was having trouble selling its own flying disk, awkwardly named "The Pluto Platter".
They went around to college campuses, knowing that this was where trends started," Marciano says. "To their surprise, in the Northeast, people were already throwing flying disks, and they had this name 'Frisbie' for it.
For trademark purposes, "Frisbie" became "Frisbee," and a sensation was born.'
--On-air interview by NPR of John Bemelmans Marciano about his book Anonyponymous: The Forgotten People Behind Everyday Words