Nugget of Knowledge: Keeping up with the Joneses

The expression was first used in a comic strip in 1913

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – “Keeping up with the Joneses” has come to mean trying to keep up with your neighbors, in terms of material possessions, at any cost.

The expression comes from the title of a comic strip that first ran in the “New York Globe,” and then other newspapers between 1913 and 1931. It dealt with the adventures of a newly-married man.

By September 1915, a cartoon film of the same name was touring U.S. cinemas.

You never saw the “Joneses” in the cartoon. Our hero just had to keep up with them.

The phrase “rise and shine” comes from a 1916 United States Marine Corps manual that instructed non-commissioned officers to enter the privates’ barracks in the early morning and use the phrase to wake the men.

While rise means “get up,” shine means “make sure your boots and brass are ready for inspection.”

When used in the British Army, “rise and shine” was, and still is, preceded by “wakey-wakey.”

Also in England, the Royal Navy wake up is “shake (or show) a leg.”

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