Does “KISS” stand for anything? And what does the Holocaust have to do with it?

The hard rock band KISS, known for their wild stage makeup and intense pyrotechnics, will not be inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame this year (for the 11th year in a row.)

Fans insist this is a major diss, but critics who consider KISS a gimmick band (despite their 24 gold albums) think that they have no place among the 288 inductees.

Hype around the KISS snub inspired curiousity about the band’s name. Surely it can’t simply refer to the wholesome act of smooching? Is it an acronym?

Rumors would have you believe that KISS is an acronym for “Knights In Satan’s Service” or “Keep It Simple Stupid.”

But a more accepted story says that in 1973, band co-founders Paul Stanley and drummer Peter Criss were driving in New York City when Criss mentioned that he’d been in a band called Lips. This inspired Stanley, and he came up with the name KISS.

A logo was drawn up in which the “SS” resembled lightning bolts, and then the name was handwritten over the band’s name at the time — Wicked Lester — on a poster outside of a club.

The stylization of the “SS” resembled the insignia of the Nazi SS, which is illegal to display in Germany. So, the logo was eventually modified to look like a “ZZ” on band merchandise sold in Germany.

This point carries special significance because band leader Gene Simmons’ mother is a Holocaust survivor.

Simmons was born in Israel as Chaim Witz. He immigrated to the U.S. as a child, where he took the name Eugene Klein and eventually went by Gene. His mother’s maiden name is Klein.

In the 1960s, he changed his name yet again. This time he chose Gene Simmons to honor rockabilly performer Jumpin’ Gene Simmons. Jumpin’ Gene was born in Mississippi and at one point performed as an opening act for Elvis Presley.

Lady Gaga’s name also honors a legendary rock star. Do you know who it is? Here’s the answer.

Danger signs; LETTERS. here symptoms of meningitis

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales) July 23, 2009 SIR – We at the Meningitis Trust are urging everybody not to mistake the signs and symptoms of meningitis with those of swine flu.

While they can both start out with common flu-like symptoms, differentiating them can be potentially life-saving as meningitis can strike in minutes and kill within hours.

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We produce and distribute free credit card-sized symptoms cards for people to keep in their wallets and purses. To request one, call our freephone 24-hour nurse-led helpline on 0800 028 18 28 or visit our website at www.meningitis-trust.org We are urging everyone to trust their instincts – if people are concerned about their own, or someone else’s health, they must seek medical attention immediately. go to site symptoms of meningitis

NHS Direct has an online symptoms checker to help differentiate meningitis and swine flu. It is to be found at www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk BRIDIE TAYLOR Services and Education Director, Meningitis Trust


  1. Fanofmusic -  July 12, 2015 - 2:06 am

    I’m not a KISS fan, but they deserved to finally be inducted into the R&R Hall of Fame. Amazing performance they put on. But this Gene Simmons Family Jewels is just more narcissism putting on a show for the camera. Gene is an excellent business man by using his Reality show and merchandise for propaganda. That’s his bread, butter and ego. However, I say, enough already…He had his heyday and made millions. It’s like having Nightmare on Elm Street 1-99, except Gene is taking it beyond that, IMO. Go out while you still have interest and respect.

  2. Michael -  April 23, 2014 - 9:51 am

    A shame you commentators have to be so retarded. Not one capable of creating one simple intelligent sentence…

  3. wolf tamer and tree puncher -  November 26, 2013 - 4:43 am

    Maybe KISS stands for Kill Irritating Severus Snape.

  4. Mike Hunt -  August 18, 2013 - 6:27 am

    I like turtles

  5. bradley copley -  July 13, 2013 - 2:34 pm

    music is the the reason killings are happening specially with guns. KISS lyrics has never said anything about killing someone.

    • Henry Hill -  December 30, 2014 - 2:43 pm

      Sure blame the music, while you’re at it, blame free speech& free will. I bet you wish the government could take free will away, people like you could make that happen. #GetALifeLoser

  6. sweetpea -  October 8, 2010 - 5:41 pm

    I ahte KISS and their music. They are purely satanic.

  7. Chaim Witz -  October 5, 2010 - 9:25 am

    Eugene Klein, simmons still looks like a “Eugene Klein”
    and you correct about his weight, he is a fat pig..

  8. GENE SIMMONS -  October 5, 2010 - 9:22 am


  9. A Modicum of Reason -  October 5, 2010 - 4:49 am

    Well, if nothing else, they sure seemed to have stirred something up with this blogpost – looking through the others, this has an inordinate number of comment posts.

    @ulrik – my previous point exactly. Rock and Roll is a specific kind of music originating in the 50′s having roots in R&B, gospel, and C&W. IMHO, if you can’t even find any semblance of those influences in a given musical style, then it by definition falls into a different musical category. Seems to me as though they have expended the definition of “Rock and Roll” to include “Rock and Roll and all other forms of music that ever came after it”

    Back to the point – Kiss should have been inducted long ago. Their influence on this genre was significant, whether you liked their music, or the clothes they wore, or the length of their hair, or Gene Simmons famous tongue, or their pyrotechnics, or any other specific thing about their *act*. Let’s keep in mind we’re talking about *entertainers*, and the show they put on *is* called an *act*.

    And they put on a great show. You may not have cared for their music, but the sheer volume of record sales indicates the general populace felt otherwise.

    @Brad Andersson and Dickie: If you’re going to criticize clothing, the list is long, and starts with Elvis. If you’re going to criticize behavior, the list is also very long, and I’m thinking biting the heads off of bats here. And if you’re going to criticize the makeup, I suggest you consider two points. First, it was an innovative and brilliant idea that reinforced the illusion they were shooting for in their *show*. Second, although indirect, it helped to address a huge issue for Rock Stars perhaps made most famous by the Beatles, and that was their loss of privacy (or in this incarnation, the maintainance of it!).

  10. ulrik -  October 4, 2010 - 3:27 pm

    Kiss should have been in the Hall of Fame a long time ago, but the same could be said for Alice Cooper. And why do they keep inductinig rap artists?

  11. rachel -  October 4, 2010 - 12:17 pm

    I cant believe how mean people have become over the years. Its a blog about the band, Kiss. I think it is awesome and interesting whether “documentarian” or it attains a level 1 rating of “propaganda”. Take it or Leave it but can we not continually spread negativity and straight meanness? It perpetuates itself and stress is quickly approaching the leading cause of death. SAVE YOURSELVES> Wow.

  12. mark V -  October 4, 2010 - 7:52 am

    Kangaroo infestations, super serious
    kicked in scrotum, squarely
    Kyak investements? sound solutions.

    Franky Jagamanjensen, I facepalm at you.

  13. JfromI -  October 4, 2010 - 7:41 am

    @ Franky Jagamanjensen: The post actually just said that the two lightning bolt shaped s’s at the end RESEMBLED the Nazi SS insignia. I don’t think the band purposely selected this design in order to show support for Nazis.

    Interesting post over all. I think if people get this email or blog post from Dictionary.com and they think the subject matter is boring, stupid, or offensive, I have a very simply solution: Just don’t read it.

  14. The all american girl-next-door!!! -  October 4, 2010 - 5:58 am

    Rumors would have you believe that KISS is an acronym for “Knights In Satan’s Service” or “Keep It Simple Stupid.” Wow I hope it doesn’t mean knights in satan’s service that’s scary!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. john -  October 3, 2010 - 3:24 pm

    @randy, ignorant rants like yours shouldn’t be allowed… Dictionary.com by discussing topics like these shows that they have an open mind. Good job dictionary.com

  16. Dickie -  October 3, 2010 - 12:59 pm

    If KISS is such a great band why do they have to attract concertgoers with distracting pyrotechnics and why do these 60-somethings still have to paint their faces? Sure, they made a lot of money, but maybe they’re just a little bit embarrassed having to do all those dopey songs.

  17. Peter O'Connor -  October 3, 2010 - 11:09 am

    The content of the Word of the Day and the comments is getting lower and lower each week it seems.

  18. Tony -  October 3, 2010 - 10:28 am

    It seems that Dictionary.com is doing the job of pro-Zionist lobbists engaged in smoke screening Israeli war crimes and Human Rights violations. Something easy to be done (it seems) recalling the consciousness of poorly literate little Westerners.

  19. Rev Shad -  October 3, 2010 - 10:10 am

    I personally have no love or hate of the band but as far as the idea that KISS is not in the R&R Hall of fame is truly stupid in my thoughts they are one of the most known bands in the world. Now as for there name does it really have any true bearing on there rejection of induction? My guess would be no as there is no confirmation from the band as to if KISS stands for anything.
    Now randy you truly are misinformed about school shootings and music. So I’m going to have to reinform you about the truth, so I will use Columbine as my example. in that incident Eric and Dillen did listen to metal but that was a symptom of there depression and misguided thoughts not the cause, people find music that expresses the way that they feel and think, contrary to what you believe (that being: that the music people have forms them into who they are). Now to further destroy your idea there are many metal bands that have a message of encouragement and hope (Stratovarius, Skillet, Red, Disciple, Project 86) So please in the future consider what it is that you are saying so you don’t sound ignorant
    Love in Christ
    Rev Shad (no that is not my real name)

  20. DJ -  October 3, 2010 - 10:08 am

    I was very surprised to read this as I was at a KISS concert in August and Paul Stanley was bragging about the band being inducted into the R&R Hall of Fame. Not my favorite band but I saw them in the early 80′s and they put on a pretty good stage show. Now, however….let’s just say that it may be time to retire….

  21. MusicLover -  October 3, 2010 - 9:21 am

    I am not a HUGE fan of Kiss, but they are LEGEND in the Rock and Roll world. Are there any other reasons for them NOT getting into the R&R Hall of Fame?

  22. stone_demon1 -  October 3, 2010 - 8:44 am

    I thought KISS got inducted over 10 years ago.

  23. xkrotor -  October 3, 2010 - 8:27 am

    Kiss was a band created to make a big splash, and make a lot of money. Artistically, they aren’t worthy of the hall of fame, but if you like them, that’s your thing. It shows what kind of musical taste you have: And that’s why they make chocolate AND vanilla ice cream. Everone has a different taste.

  24. Dethanos -  October 3, 2010 - 6:48 am

    “Metal music should be banned from America. It’s bands like this that cause school shootings.”

    Okay, first, KISS is not metal. It’s not even debatable. KISS is a hard rock, beer ‘n b****es band. That’s not metal. The fact that you would connect that style of rock to school shootings makes me wonder if you have any kind of clue what you’re talking about.

    More importantly, music does not cause school shootings. If you want to place the blame on someone, take a look at the inattentive parents, the ineffective school faculty, the incompetent gun owners or the emotionally unstable children behind the triggers. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. People have already made failed attempts to blame books, movies, and games. Obviously, we have to throw some music in there, too.

    When I see comments like this, I am reminded of just how important the First Amendment truly is. Without it, fear and ignorance would have us all in chains.

  25. Ken -  October 3, 2010 - 6:29 am

    People who go to KISS concerts for the music, also read Playboy for the articles, and buy their groceries at the city dump; my dog could eat my MP3 player and crap out better songs.

  26. Brad Andersson -  October 3, 2010 - 6:27 am

    “everyone knows that the whole R&R “Hall of Fame” is nothing but a political-driven joke of clown-shoe caliber.”

    Then KISS ought to be right at home there, being the CLOWNS of R&R– right down to the mime-clown make-up and goofy costumes. Too bad they’re not SILENT like mime-clowns, since would be the only way to make their tracks less toxic.

  27. CajunDan -  October 3, 2010 - 6:06 am

    Randy, please grow up! I’m a musician and I absolutely hate when someone singles out and blames a genre for anything. I can’t think of one KISS song that’s directed towards violence. To me, rap isn’t music, but I’ve never blamed rap lyrics for any crimes. Oh, and by the way, KISS isn’t metal music at all, it is basic (and classic) Rock & Roll. I’m not a KISS fan either, but I believe thay deserve their position in the Rock & Rool Hall of Fame, they’ve earned it.

  28. A Modicum of Reason -  October 3, 2010 - 5:46 am

    It is unfortunate that the process has devolved from the original intention – to recognize those individuals and groups that have made significant contributions to the style of music known as “Rock and Roll”. Big Band. Swing. Rap. Jazz. Classical. Disco. Motown. Hip Hop. All musical styles, and some even with large implications as to their influence on Rock and Roll, but *not* Rock and Roll. This isn’t supposed to be the “Music” Hall of Fame (even though that is apparently what it has become), it is the “Rock and Roll” Hall of Fame. Rock and Roll is a specific type of music just as Classical Music is a specific type of music. Madonna is NOT Rock and Roll. Boston, yes. AC/DC, yes. Aerosmith, yes. Zeppelin, yes. Clapton, yes. **KISS**, yes. Madonna, ummmm …. no. LL Cool J, no. Donna Summer, no. It is a travesty that the once hallowed walls now have The Beatles and the Stones sharing space with Madonna, Blondie and the Ronettes.

  29. namegoeshere -  October 3, 2010 - 2:45 am

    Troll harder, Randy. 0/10

  30. Moultrie D, -  October 2, 2010 - 8:17 pm

    Who cares????

  31. Pat From Tampa -  October 2, 2010 - 7:39 pm

    Having been around since before the beginning of KISS, since I’m an old fart, I recall one of the first national interviews the band gave. When asked about the band’s name, they said they wanted something short and catchy that everyone could relate to. They said they had to choose KISS because they could never get the record company to put F*CK in big letters on their album covers. :)

    True story.

  32. Lyme -  October 2, 2010 - 6:38 pm

    OMFG, are you effing serious, Randy? I suppose you also believe playing Dungeons and Dragons leads to Satan worship.

  33. taoist in Tokyo -  October 2, 2010 - 6:01 pm

    Simmons was on a educational TV program for English beginners as guest a couple years ago, sticking his tonge out suggestively to a young hostess of the show.

    Remembering him on the TV show in writing right now reminds me of a blond women of uncertain age like Angie Dickinson in Dress to Kill or Sally Kirkland. Who was the blond who got played prank on in the shower in Mash. Ellen Berkin is exception for some reason.

    Talking about Mash, Elliot Gould and Donald Southerland tried to replace the director Robert Altman because they thought he was so crazy that he would devastate their upcoming careers but it turned out they were very wrong.

  34. Grania -  October 2, 2010 - 4:34 pm

    Moody Blues isn’t nominated, yet again. A Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame of non-inductees could be almost as valid as the mess they’ve created, with inductees such as Madonna and Metallica.

  35. Randy -  October 2, 2010 - 2:45 pm

    Metal music should be banned from America. It’s bands like this that cause school shootings.

  36. Bob -  October 2, 2010 - 10:12 am

    I bet if Simmons was not a capitalist they would allow it.

  37. ditto -  October 2, 2010 - 10:01 am

    ya, if this is the trivia dribble we’re in for, word of the day will be just fine

  38. Scott -  October 2, 2010 - 9:39 am

    It’s funny, because EVERYONE I know or grew up with that “hated” or “capped on” KISS only actually knew of ONE song “R&R All Nite.” It is, by most fan’s opinions, one of their weakest songs. ALL bands have them. This one just happened to become a hit. These same people, after hearing such crushing tunes like “Parasite,” “She,” “Deuce,” “Love Gun,” etc…etc…(this list goes on & on) start to wake up & realize “Wow, these guys were/are really THAT great!” And every “non-KISS fan” I have taken along to a KISS concert…..well, let’s just say they are true fans of the band now. How can an industry of so-called “experts” deny a R&R band that has SO MANY gold & PLATINUM albums to their name? Meh, everyone knows that the whole R&R “Hall of Fame” is nothing but a political-driven joke of clown-shoe caliber.

  39. Nathan -  October 2, 2010 - 9:32 am

    I have always wondered that. I think choosing band names should be a proffesion or a job.

  40. Tori Holden -  October 2, 2010 - 9:27 am

    This is unbelievable! I was never a huge fan, but I did like their music, and isn’t it about THE MUSIC? Regardless, they made themselves a worldwide household name, they deserve to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. What a travesty.

  41. Harry Mann -  October 2, 2010 - 9:04 am

    Perhaps, when Paul Stanley was considering names, he neglected to choose the functional acronym-based that was more appropriate for the band’s sound: FART.

  42. Franky Jagamanjensen -  October 2, 2010 - 8:42 am


  43. Franky Jagamanjensen -  October 2, 2010 - 8:41 am

    This is really stupid. Gene is Jewish, do you think he’d really join a bound that’s acronym is supposedly directed toward the Holocaust? Seriously people, think.

  44. greenwasabe -  October 2, 2010 - 8:33 am

    There is no “STUPID” in K.I.S.S.
    It means “Keep It Short and Sweet” and is (was?) used in business circles as a reminder not to bore audiences.

  45. MikeF -  October 2, 2010 - 8:27 am

    Personally I didn’t think of the band when I clicked on the link…I was thinking of the acronym for Keep It Simple Stupid!

  46. AJ -  October 2, 2010 - 8:10 am

    What happened to the quote of the day? I loved to browse through the quotes! LOVE hot word. Have learned some very interesting things! Great job word of the day!

  47. KISS MY EYE | BLOGCHI@mayopia.com -  October 2, 2010 - 7:53 am

    [...] the problem? — What’s the question? — We got our EYE on you. — “KISS” the commercial entity could teach a thing or two. — We [...]

  48. Kristin -  October 2, 2010 - 6:56 am

    Lame blog. full of crap & hype that is completely untrue

  49. B Zoe -  October 2, 2010 - 6:22 am

    Possible Answer to “my name” dilemma above is: You probably just need to ‘unlike’ dictionary’s FaceBook (FB) page, or can X out postings on your FB page from them so that FB learns to suppress Dictionary.com’s FB updates. If you do want to get word of the day, you may enroll for it with your e-mail address at Dictionary.com. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s possible to get just ‘word of the day’ updates from them only on your FB page. It’s an ‘all or nothing’ proposition if you ‘like’ or ‘unlike’ Diction.com’s FB page. Good Luck

  50. CFD -  October 2, 2010 - 5:58 am

    Well, “my name”, defriend dictionary.com and have it sent to your email

    Lady Gaga: Freddie Mercury/Queen/ Radio Gaga

  51. name and M and M chocolate -  October 2, 2010 - 4:57 am

    I dont listen to rock.

  52. sensible -  October 2, 2010 - 12:58 am

    yeah.. all the right things are always nonsense for people..you know its all actually true…
    do you know that…that everything you see on TV and cinemas and songs, stuff like that, always have a third layer thats always got some link related to satanic cult? sometimes its evident sometimes its not..you have to look at it to understand it…open your mind..start thinking…

  53. Nakore -  October 2, 2010 - 12:54 am

    Also, I apologize for the missing “you” in my second sentence. I assume the grammar gods are burning with rage.

  54. WE GONNA ROK ONTO ELECTRIC AVE. -  October 1, 2010 - 9:52 pm


  55. Dil -  October 1, 2010 - 9:46 pm

    ok,.. : / (indifferent)

  56. my name -  October 1, 2010 - 9:37 pm

    Seriously, do i have to get these stupid blog posts on my facebook page… Is there any real possibility that dictionary.com could actually just send me the word of the day to facebook and skip the rest of their nonsense


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