Let George Do It

Thu Mar 22 23:07:58 UTC 2007

        Fred's antedating is to the comic strip "Let George Do It," by
George McManus, better known for the long-running "Bringing Up Father."
That's probably the origin.  There seem to be a lot of hits from around
1910, shortly after the strip appeared, and I don't see any confirmed
hits before that.  An alternative theory is that it refers to Pullman
porters, all nicknamed "George" after George Pullman, see Barry's post

        I haven't seen the comic, so for all I know it is about Pullman

John Baker

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf
Of Fred Shapiro
Sent: Thursday, March 22, 2007 6:27 PM
Subject: Re: Let George Do It

On Thu, 22 Mar 2007, Jesse Sheidlower wrote:

> On Thu, Mar 22, 2007 at 10:04:02AM -0400, Baker, John wrote:
>>         IMDB lists movies named "Let George Do It" from 1938 and
>> 1940, both starring comedians named George (George Wallace and George

>> Formby, respectively).  I don't know if the better-known 1940 movie,
>> from England, drew the inspiration for its name from the 1938
>> Australian movie, or if it was already a catch-phrase.  However, a
>> 1938 date would seem to preclude a WWII origin.
> As would the 1910 example in the Dictionary of Americanisms, and the
> two additional 1910's cites in HDAS.

Note that I have previously posted an antedating from 1909.

Fred Shapiro

Fred R. Shapiro                             Editor
Associate Librarian for Collections and     YALE BOOK OF QUOTATIONS
   Access and Lecturer in Legal Research     Yale University Press
Yale Law School                             ISBN 0300107986
e-mail: fred.shapiro at yale.edu

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

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

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