[Ads-l] Archetypal Advertisement: Eat at Joe's

Baker, John JBAKER at STRADLEY.COM
Wed Feb 1 18:23:05 EST 2017


Of course, "Joe sent me" is entirely different from "Eat at Joe's."  "Joe sent me" is an indication that the patron is a friend of an existing customer of a speakeasy, and not a police officer, while "Eat at Joe's" is an advertisement for a diner.  Still, like Joe Sixpack, Joe Blow, and Joe Average, they use "Joe" as an archetypal name.

The earliest example of "Joe sent me" that I see in this sense is in a newspaper article about establishments selling near beer during Prohibition.  Near beer was legal, but the sellers preferred to have their customers think they were drinking something stronger.  This is from The Daily Notes (Canonsburg, Pennsylvania) (Oct. 13, 1932) (Newspapers.com) and other newspapers:

"But the customers still walk through the alleys and into the dark doors of the speakeasies, telling the doorkeeper that "Joe sent me," for the privilege of buying glasses of amber liquid crowned with rich foam."


John Baker


-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Dan Goncharoff
Sent: Wednesday, February 1, 2017 6:10 PM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Subject: Re: Archetypal Advertisement: Eat at Joe's

"Just knock three times and whisper low
That you and I were sent by Joe
Then strike a match and you will know
You're in Hernando's Hideaway"

from Pajama Game, 1954

DanG

On Wed, Feb 1, 2017 at 5:55 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:

> Apropos of nothing:
>
> On the old radio show, "My Friend, Irma," 19447-1954,  the go-to guy of
> Irma's boyfriend, Al, was Joe:
>
> "Hello, _Joe_? Al. Got. a problem."
>
> Waiting for Godot: Tragicomedy in 2 Acts - Page 247
> https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0802141366
> Samuel Beckett - 1954 - ‎Preview - ‎More editions
> I'm stuffy, but sympathetic to multicultural concerns. What am I to do? I
> must be a victim somehow, that is the currency of acceptance, the knock on
> the door to all the cool places, the whispered "_Joe_ sent me" that allows
> one into the inner fold.
>
> Richard Pryor stand-up, ca. 1969:
>
> [knocks on door; door opens]
> a) Whutchu wont?
> b) _Joe_ sent me.
>
> On Wed, Feb 1, 2017 at 3:15 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole <
> adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com
> > wrote:
>
> > Barry Popik asked off list about the statement "Eat at Joe's" which
> > appears on signage. Here are the results of a quick search. Below is a
> > 1932 citation in which "Eat at Joe's Place" was employed as a
> > prototypical message on a
> > highway sign:
> >
> > [ref] 1932 November 25, Illinois State Journal, Regulating The Side
> > Lines, Quote Page 6, Column 1, Springfield, Illinois.
> > (GenealogyBank)[/ref]
> >
> > [Begin excerpt]
> > Another important regulation bans the use of flashing red lights or
> > "stop" signs erected on the highways to call attention to commercial
> > establishments. No more will Indiana allow a highway sign reading
> > "Stop" in large letters and then, in smaller letters, "Eat at Joe's
> > Place."
> > [End excerpt]
> >
> > Google Books has an interesting match that apparently occurs in a
> > 1931, but it should be verified with hardcopy. This usage is moving
> > towards the archetype, I think.
> >
> > Year: 1931 (Worldcat agrees with date; visible in snippet)
> > Title: Wide Open Town
> > Author: Myron Brinig
> > Publisher: Farrar & Rinehart, Incorporated, 1931
> > Database: Google Books snippet; data may be inaccurate and should be
> > verified with hardcopy; text partially visible in snippet
> >
> > [Begin extracted text]
> > Zola was whipped by the abrupt pathos of the signs the one in front
> > bearing the words, Whether It Snows or Whether the Sun Shines, Eat at
> > Joe's Place, 356 North Main Street. Delicious Food at the Lowest
> > Prices. Roddy did not see her until ..
> > [End extracted text]
> >
> > Below is a classified journal advertisement in 1923 with "EAT AT JOE'S
> > Restaurant". This seems to be a concrete non-generalized instance.
> >
> > Date: 1923 April
> > Periodical: The Nassau Literary Magazine
> > Volume: 78 (LXXVIII)
> > Page: Unnumbered Page in advertising section after page 291
> > Database: Google Books
> >
> > https://books.google.com/books?id=YN0mAQAAIAAJ&q=%22Eat+at%22#v=snippet&
> >
> > {Begin excerpt]
> > EAT AT JOE'S Restaurant
> > Opposite head of University Place
> > [End excerpt]
> >
> > Below is a classified ad from 1915 with "eat at Joe's Lunch Room".
> > This seems to be a concrete non-generalized instance.
> >
> > [ref] 1915 December 08, Evening World Herald (Omaha World Herald),
> > Help Wanted—Male: Miscellaneous (Classified Advertisement), Quote Page
> > 16, Column 6, Omaha, Nebraska. (GenealogyBank)[/ref]
> >
> > [Begin excerpt]
> > Wanted—Men to eat at Joe's Lunch Room at S.E. cor., 14th and Harney,
> > Open day and night.
> > [End excerpt]
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
>
>
>
> --
> -Wilson
> -----
> All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
> come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
> -Mark Twain
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>

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