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The meaning and origin of the expression: Keep up with the Joneses

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Keep up with the Joneses

Meaning

keep up with the jonsesStrive to match one's neighbours in spending and social standing.

Origin

This term is 20th century American. It originated with Arthur (Pop) Momand's Keep Up With The Joneses comic strip in the New York Globe. The strip was first published in 1913 and became popular quite quickly. By September 1915, a cartoon film of the same name was touring US cinemas.

The 'Joneses' in the cartoon weren't based on anyone in particular, and they weren't portrayed in the cartoon itself. Jones was a very common name and 'the Joneses' was merely a generic name for 'the neighbours'.