[Ads-l] Question from family member

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Fri Dec 23 15:04:33 EST 2016

It evidently stems from a vaudeville-era joke making fun of someone
standing around, staring and doing nothing. When it appeared on the HBO
show "Boardwalk Empire," Angela Tung wrote about it on the Wordnik blog and
provided a cite from 1917 ("Tom Slade at Temple Camp").


On Fri, Dec 23, 2016 at 2:22 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>

> …that I had to admit I couldn’t answer, even with the help of my usual
> e-sources:
> What’s the origin of “pose for animal crackers”, as in [said to someone
> not doing anything in particular] “What are you (doing), posing for animal
> crackers?”  It’s not one I’d ever heard, but the cousin-in-law who asked me
> is from Wisconsin, if that’s relevant.  There are hits on the internet, but
> nothing that I saw provides the origin.

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