Fwd: Eggcorn perfection: "Carrot on a stick"/"Carrot and stick"

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Sat Dec 11 20:13:45 UTC 2004

>anybody have further data or insights?

It seems to me that the "carrot and stick" = "reward and punishment"
metaphor is probably much older. [Please don't flaunt me for flouting my

I find this metaphor from 1876.

I find the other one ("carrot on a stick") from 1949.

In 1950, I find a cartoon showing a donkey -- with a carrot suspended
before him (with stick, and string) -- being flogged with a separate stick
... with a caption which uses the word "stick" to refer to the punishing
stick: <<The patient donkey, the elusive carrot and the merciless stick>>.

I can give full citations if necessary, but I reckon maybe somebody else
has much better information.

-- Doug Wilson

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