Broke as a joke

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Sat Aug 20 00:00:16 UTC 2005

On Fri, 19 Aug 2005 17:34:33 -0400, bapopik at AOL.COM wrote:

>BROKE AS A JOKE--4,900 Google hits, 224 Google Groups hits
>I've been asking for campaign donations. "I'm broke as a joke," said one
>person at work. That's how it's been.

This expression shows up frequently in the writings of the black lesbian
author Red Jordan Arobateau. Reprints of her work from the '70s are
searchable on Amazon.

_The Great Heart Bank Robbery_, Red Jordan Arobateau (1975, 1993), p. 128
Yea man, you and me both. I'm broke as a joke.

_Ho Stroll_, Red Jordan Arobateau (1975, 1994), p. 237
Tippie came in & sat down. "I'm broke as a joke." Said she.

_Suzie-Q_, Red Jordan Arobateau (1977, 1993), p. 217
She was embarassed. Broke as a joke.

--Ben Zimmer

More information about the Ads-l mailing list