Hitch your wagon to a star; some "pastrami"

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Sun Jun 27 08:17:47 UTC 1999


"Oh, I hitched my wagon to a star!"
--Jerry Seinfeld to George Costanza, after pitching a television show about

    Did Ralph Waldo Emerson say this?  When?
    This is from Gregory Titelman's RANDOM HOUSE DICTIONARY OF POPULAR

_Hitch your wagon to a star_.  Aim high; be ambitious.  Originated in the
United States by American essayist and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson (1870).
(...)  It is one of the 265 proverbs that every American needs to know,
according to E. D. Hirsch, Jr.
1870.  Hitch your wagon to a star.  Let us not fag in paltry works which
serve our pot and bag alone.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Society and Solitude."

     However, Emerson either said it in 1862 or it was said OF him in 1862.
     This (from the Making of America database) is from Moncare Daniel
Conway's THE GOLDEN HOUR (Boston, 1862), pg. 61, "How to hitch our wagon to a

     It is one of the signs of the times, that the revolution was strong
enough to take up bodily the Sage of Concord, and set him in the capital of
this nation to instruct our rulers.  The advice he gave them may be summed up
in the one sentence, _hitch your wagon to a star_!


    David Shulman told me today that he found a "pastromi" citation from
1927.  As everyone knows, "pastrami" is our greatest etymological mystery
since the Reuben sandwich and the Caesar salad.

More information about the Ads-l mailing list