[Ads-l] Antedating (?) Joe Soap

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sun Sep 4 15:41:06 EDT 2016


Here are two citations supporting the anonymous/everyman sense of "Joe
Soap". In 1907 an individual who does not wish to identify himself
uses the moniker "Joe Soap". In 1920 an anonymous letter published in
a newspaper used the name "Joe Soap" as a signature. Please
double-check for errors.

Date: April 13, 1907
Newspaper: The Chepstow Weekly Advertiser
Newspaper Location: Gwent, Wales
Article: Chepstow Petty Sessions: Riotous Behaviour
Quote Page 4, Column 4
Database: britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

[Begin excerpt]
Witness then went across the road to him and told him to be quiet, and
defendant who was using very bad language, put on his coat and got
into his trap. Witness then asked him him his name and he said "Joe
Soap, that will do for you."
[End excerpt]


Date: December 9, 1920
Newspaper: Yorkshire Telegraph and Star (Sheffield Evening Telegraph)
Newspaper Location: South Yorkshire, England
Section: Other People's Views (Letters to the Editor)
Letter Title: Lower Prices--Lower Wages
Quote Page 4, Column 6
Database: britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

[Begin excerpt]
If he will do some shopping on a Saturday afternoon perhaps he won't
be so ignorant
.— Yours, etc..  "JOE SOAP."
Sheffield. December 6th, 1920.
[End excerpt]

Garson

On Sun, Sep 4, 2016 at 3:00 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> Here is an instance in England of "Joe Soap" in 1878 employed as a
> pseudonym or handle for a person whose real name was unknown.
>
> Date: September 21, 1878
> Newspaper: The Leeds Times
> Newspaper Location: West Yorkshire, England
> Article: Local & District: Huddersfield
> Quote Page 5, Column 3
> Database: britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk
>
> [Begin excerpt]
> A man whose real name is unknown, but who is known in the district as
> "Joe Soap," had on Tuesday evening crossed a field near Meltham, to
> get to Bingley Quarry, but in the dusk, mistaking his position, he
> fell into the quarry, and was killed.
> [End excerpt]
>
> Garson
>
>
> On Sun, Sep 4, 2016 at 2:44 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> The revue "Oh, What a Lovely War!" (1963) included improvised songs sung by
>> British troops in WW1. And, supposedly, only such songs.
>>
>> One of these is "Forward, Joe Soap's Army," easily findable online.  To the
>> obvious hymn tune.
>>
>> I can't find an earlier appearance of the song.  (Decades ago I was able to
>> find the sources of - IIRC - every other song in the show.)
>>
>> JL
>>
>>
>>
>> On Sun, Sep 4, 2016 at 12:28 PM, Michael Quinion <
>> michael.quinion at worldwidewords.org> wrote:
>>
>>> On 04/09/2016 16:09, Peter Morris wrote:
>>>
>>> "Joe Soap"
>>>> World Wide Words has 1943 as thye earliest citation.
>>>>
>>>> http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-joe2.htm
>>>>
>>>> Here's one that appears to be from 1934.
>>>>
>>>> http://tinyurl.com/jlwhwuk
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Disclaimers about Google dating apply, but it appears right in this case.
>>>> Searching 1934 in the text shows a date for publication.
>>>>
>>>> http://tinyurl.com/hqsuty8
>>>>
>>>
>>> Thank you. Another piece that now needs updating! I do wonder about a
>>> possible derivation of /Joe Soap/ from /no soap/. My piece mentions a
>>> possible connection with /dope/.
>>>
>>> --
>>> Michael Quinion, World Wide Words
>>> http://www.worldwidewords.org
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>>
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


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