Keeping up with the Joneses

Posted by ESC on September 04, 2005

In Reply to: Keeping up with the Joneses posted by Smokey Stover on September 04, 2005

: : Hi, I'm 12 yrs old and doing an English assignment. Could you tell me the origin of the phrase 'keeping up with the Joneses'?

: Hi, Joanna. On the page where your question is shown (not this page but just back up one page), there is a box, right at the top, which says "Google," then a box, then "Search." Type "keeping up with the Joneses" in the box, and click on search. You will find the correct answer there. SS

Ever helpful, I paste in:

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 Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997).