January 23rd, 2004

diligent coiners of neologisms

Cartoonist Thomas Aloysius Dorgan, one of the "most fecund makers of American slang," gave the following terms and phrases to the English language:

  • Dumbbell - a stupid person
  • For crying out loud - exclamation of astonishment
  • The cat's meow (and the cat's pajamas) - superlatives
  • Drugstore cowboy - a loafer or ladies' man
  • Hot dog - a sausage served in a bun

    There are many others, some of which I was previously unaware of (ever call a stingy person a nickel-nurser?).

    He also penned the phrase "Yes, we have no bananas."

    (Source: Cigars and the Comics, Neil A. Grauer, publ. 1995 in Cigar Aficionado)