Word Origin

kfpastore at JUNO.COM kfpastore at JUNO.COM
Tue Jan 2 22:31:13 UTC 2001

To Whom It May Ring A Bell,
I enjoyed reading about your society and Barry Popik in today's Wall
Street Journal, and I hope someone can help me with a word origin and
meaning question that has hounded me for years.
In the 1930s movie "You Can't Cheat an Honest Man" starring W C Fields
and written by him, the word "tar-tupple" (this is the phonetic spelling)
is used by a high society person whose wedding party Fields had just
crashed. The word is repeated several times, pejoratively I believe. I
have researched dictionaries, including Oxford, at the New York Public
Library and I have sent e-mails to Yale, Harvard and to others for the
meaning and origin of the word to no avail. The closest word to it in the
dictionary is "Tartuffe". Does anyone have a better answer?
Gratefully Yours,
Fred Pastore (kfpastore at juno.com)

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