1961 article on teen slang

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Fri Sep 14 19:08:18 UTC 2007

On 9/14/07, Benjamin Zimmer <bgzimmer at babel.ling.upenn.edu> wrote:
> On 9/14/07, Arnold M. Zwicky <zwicky at csli.stanford.edu> wrote:
> >
> > i suppose the question is whether "Murgatroyd" had any currency as a
> > characteristically silly name before Snagglepuss made it famous.
> It certainly did. Perhaps most famously, vaudeville comedian Billy De
> Wolfe played a running character named Mrs. Murgatroyd, described in
> one article as "a middle-aged matron with tender feet and an armload
> of shopping bundles who drops into a cocktail bar to rest." It started
> as a pantomime character in 1939 in De Wolfe's nightclub act and
> became a national sensation when De Wolfe played the character in the
> 1947 film "Blue Skies".

1946, actually. And it starred Bing Crosby, which might explain why
Bing later used the  "Very good, Murgatroyd" line in "Road to Bali."

--Ben Zimmer

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

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