|The following is an article from Uncle John's Triumphant 20th Anniversary Bathroom Reader
Who says that comic books don't contribute much to literature? Here's a few choice phrases, which origin can be traced back to comic strips:
child psychologist Richard Passman is given credit for identifying the
phenomenon of children habitually clutching or carrying a favorite toy
for comfort and security.
Charles Schulz first used the concept in June 1, 1954, Peanuts
comic strip by giving Linus a blanket to carry everywhere he went. Linus
called it his "security blanket." The term is now used by psychologists
to define a child's (or anyone's) excessive attachment to a particular
object. (Photo: Time
Magazine 1965 cover)
"We Have Met The Enemy And He Is Us"
Pogo Earth Day Poster by Walt Kelly (image via Wikipedia)
After winning the Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812, Commodore Oliver
Perry wrote in a dispatch to General William Henry Harrison, "We
have met the enemy, and he is ours." Walt Kelly, author of the comic
strip Pogo, reworded the phrase as "We have met the enemy
and he is us," in the foreword to his 1953 Pogo collection
The Pogo Papers. The meaning: Mankind's greatest threat is ...
mankind. The quote became better known when Kelly used it on a poster
he was hired to illustrate for the first Earth Day in 1970.
DeBeck coined the term in his hugely popular 1920s comic strip, Barney
Google and Snuffy Smith, about a community of backwoods hillbillies
and moonshiners. It first appeared in a 1923 strip where Barney tells
someone to "get that stupid look offa your pan. You gimme the heeby
jeebys!" It meant "a feeling of discomfort."
Other phrases coined by DeBeck: "horsefeathers," "hotsie-totsie,"
and "googly-eyed" (after Barney Google, who had huge, bulbous
eyes). The strip also gave us the nickname "Sparky," from the
name of Barney's horse, Sparkplug. (Many young comic-strip fans were given
the name "Sparky," among them, Peanuts creator Charles
Joe Palooka by Ham Fisher - via Wikipedia
It came from the main character of the 1920s strip Joe Palooka.
Joe Palooka was a boxer - likeable but dumb, a trait that probably came
from repeated blows to his head in the ring. Soon after the strip's debut,
any big, dumb guy might be called a palooka.
toast" was a simple dish (toast served in milk) frequently served
at soup kitchens in the 1920s. Harold Webster named the main character
in his late 1920s strip, The Timid Soul, Caspar Milquetoast.
Thanks to the comic strip, by the 1930s the word "milquetoast"
had become common slang to describe anybody who, like Milquetoast, was
weak and timid.
Sadie Hawkins Day
The First Sadie
Hawkins Day, by Al Capp
It's from Al Capp's L'il Abner. One day a year in the comic
strip's rural setting of Dogpatch, single women would chase the single
men around. If they caught one, they got to keep - er, marry
him. The day got its name from Sadie Hawkins, the first woman in Dogpatch
who caught a husband that way. High schools in the United States still
hold "Sadie Hawkins Dances," to which the girls invite the boys.
Alley Antiques - lots of neat vintage books there!)
In Bill Holman's 1930s strip Smokey Stover, the title character
rode around in a bizarre-looking two-wheeled fire engine (with a fire
hydrant attached to it) that Smokey called a "foo fighter."
The term was used by World War II pilots for any unidentified aircraft
(including UFOs). The phrase became popular again in the 1990s when it
was used as the name of the rock band Foo Fighters.