Dewey Cheatham and Howe (UNCLASSIFIED)

Tue Aug 31 16:30:32 UTC 2010

        Dewey, Cheatum & Howe, Inc. was a real company.  It was not a
law firm, however, but instead owned one or more apartment buildings.
The corporation was chartered in 1967, and its charter was revoked in
1982.  There are several reported cases from the mid-1970s, mostly
involving what appears to have been hard-fought litigation with Turnkey
Constructors, Inc.  These dates suggest that the name was chosen because
of the use by the Three Stooges and other comedians.  I'm not sure why
someone would give their business a gag name that is intended to imply

John Baker

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf
Of Mullins, Bill AMRDEC
Sent: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 11:52 AM
Subject: Dewey Cheatham and Howe (UNCLASSIFIED)

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

Barry Popik's web page has an entry for the fictitious law/accounting
firm of "Dewey Cheatham and Howe" (regular listeners of NPR's "Car Talk"
are probably familiar with the firm):

There apparently was a real firm by that name.

The New Orleans _Times Picayune_ for 9/27/1975 lists a writ granted in
this case: Turnkey Constructors Inc. vs. Dewey, Cheatum & Howe, Inc., et
al (Lafayette Parish).

Howard Jacobs, a columnist in the paper, mentions the legal action a
couple of times.  He also mentions a brokerage firm called McCann, Hertz
and Howe.

The American Dialect Society -

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