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"Step up and pet the pony."

Posted by R. Berg on December 20, 2002

In Reply to: "Step up and pet the pony." posted by Charles George on December 19, 2002

: Anyone have any idea where this term came from? I think it was a carnival barker's enticement but can't find any thing. Thanks!

I haven't found an origin for it. It certainly sounds like a barker encouraging a reluctant small child. The closest catchphrase for which I've seen anything in print is "Step right up, ladies and gentlemen" (in Eric Partridge, Dictionary of Catch Phrases: American and British, from the Sixteenth Century to the Present Day, 1977).

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