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Re: Keeping up with the Jones.

Posted by ESC on August 14, 2003

In Reply to: How many other cartoon phrase origins? posted by Bob on August 14, 2003

: : : If my memory serves me well, the phrase originated in a Punch cartoon in the late 1800's or early 1900's
: : : I seem to recall the image of a very sumissive Cleric being stared down by the Bishop!Regards

: :
: : CURATE'S EGG - "Something which is part good, part bad; a mixed bag. The expression comes from a 19th-century cartoon in the British humor magazine 'Punch': A nervous young curate (in Britain, a junior-grade clergyman who is usually an assistant to a more senior member of the clergy) is served a bad egg while a guest at his bishop's breakfast table. Asked whether the egg is to his liking, he stammers: 'Parts of it are excellent!" From "Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Allusions" by Elizabeth Webber and Mike Feinsilber (Merriam-Webster, Springfield, Mass., 1999).

: The only other example that springs to mind is Walt Kely's Pogo who declared "We have met the enemy, and he is us." Others?

Sounds like a book idea to me.

The first one I thought of was "Dogwood sandwich," but maybe that's because I'm hungry. Then there's:

KEEPING UP WITH THE JONES -- "According to his own account, cartoonist Arthur R. ("Pop") Momand lived in a community where many people tried to keep up with the Joneses. Momand and his wife resided in Cedarhurst, New York, one of Long Island's Five Towns, where the average income is still among America's highest. Living 'far beyond our means in our endeavor to keep up with the well-to-do class,' the Momands were wise enough to quit the scene and move to Manhattan, where they rented a cheap apartment and 'Pop' Momand used his Cedarhurst experience to create his once immensely popular 'Keeping Up with the Joneses' comic strip, launched in 1913. Momand first thought of calling the strip 'Keeping Up with the Smiths,' but 'finally decided on 'Keeping Up with the Joneses' as being more euphonious.' His creation ran in American newspapers for over 28 years and appeared in book, movie, and musical-comedy form, giving the expression 'keeping up with the Joneses' the wide currency that made it a part of everyday language." From "The Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997).