[Ads-l] cheesecake (picture, pose)

Baker, John JBAKER at STRADLEY.COM
Thu Aug 1 17:05:38 EDT 2019


The drawings are pretty much what you would expect.  I think Hamgravy definitely is definitely being sarcastic in calling Olive Oyl "cheese-cake."  E.C. Segar, the cartoonist, seems to have thought of spinach as something very healthy but which children, at least, had to be cajoled to eat.  So Hamgravy is saying that Olive Oyl, in comparison to the woman he is addressing (actually Olive Oyl herself, but he doesn't know that), is more like the unpalatable spinach than the tasty cheesecake, and is just a flop.

So this is probably not the "cheesecake" that we know, but is something of a precursor.


John Baker



From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Stephen Goranson
Sent: Thursday 1 August 2019 8:27 AM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Subject: Re: cheesecake (picture, pose)

Interesting 1926 dialog. Though it may be temerarious to interpret it without the drawings, it may be that
Hamgravy, not recognizing the dressed-up lady, is actually bad-mouthing Olive Oyl--she's a "flop" and "like spinach to me" (here not a compliment, not spoken by popeye, but a veggie with a bad even if good for you rep).

Stephen
________________________________
From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Baker, John <JBAKER at STRADLEY.COM>
Sent: Wednesday, July 31, 2019 5:39 PM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Subject: Re: [ADS-L] cheesecake (picture, pose)

I'm skeptical of all of the pre-1929 examples of "cheesecake" in the current slang sense. Peter Reitan's examples of other meanings of the term in the 1916 - 1929 period are very interesting.

Here is a possible example of "cheesecake" in the attractive woman sense, although no photography is involved. This is from the comic strip Thimble Theatre, March 25, 1926 (three years before the introduction of the strip's best known character, Popeye); if it matters, I'm looking at the Buffalo Times for that day on Newspapers.com. "Cheesecake" is in panel four, and the reference to spinach in panel three may also be relevant.

Panel 1: Castor Oyl: Since Oliveoyl [sic] has been dressing up nobody knows her - Hamgravy thinks she's a stranger and has fallen in love with her. Ain't that hot!

Panel 2: Harold Hamgravy: Yoo-hoo - hello there! Yoo-hoo!

Panel 3: Olive Oyl: But I thought Oliveoyl was your sweety
Harold Hamgravy: She's spinach to me when you're around

Panel 4: Harold Hamgravy: Oliveoyl, ha! Ha! Some cheese-cake that baby! Just a flop!!

Panel 5: Olive Oyl: You don't know me when I'm dressed up, do you? Well - I'm Oliveoyl!

Panel 6: Harold Hamgravy: Never mind the dust pan, sweep me under the sink!


John Baker


From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Peter Reitan
Sent: Wednesday 31 July 2019 2:07 PM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Subject: Re: cheesecake (picture, pose)

When researching cheesecake earlier in the year, I ran across a very few, isolated examples of "cheese cake" used figuratively with meanings other than the photograph. All of them were from after 1915, when "cheesecake", the photograph, was said to have been coined, but years before its first appearances in print.

In The Moving Picture World, 1916, there was an advertisement for Universal films in which "cheese cake" was used as an analogy to feature films - it's so good that you keep ordering it, and then get tired of it and want something else. The point of the ad was to encourage theaters to show Universal films, which came with features mixed in with shorts and other bits, more like the familiar vaudeville or variety format, so that you won't get too much of a good thing.
https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__archive.org_stream_movingpicturewor27newy-23page_n5_mode_2up&d=DwIGaQ&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=uUVa-8oDL2EzfbuMuowoUadHHcJ7pjul6iFkS5Pd--8&m=GP4vJzJR93FgvYggDdXdBOAe3Qt-6zIF_1alWmiSPFs&s=Jju9kQ1M3-yn4UCpJz1o3pL0rXZB2MpAyA7izTvNcIk&e=<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__archive.org_stream_movingpicturewor27newy-23page_n5_mode_2up&d=DwIGaQ&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=uUVa-8oDL2EzfbuMuowoUadHHcJ7pjul6iFkS5Pd--8&m=GP4vJzJR93FgvYggDdXdBOAe3Qt-6zIF_1alWmiSPFs&s=Jju9kQ1M3-yn4UCpJz1o3pL0rXZB2MpAyA7izTvNcIk&e=> <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__archive.org_stream_movingpicturewor27newy-23page_n5_mode_2up&d=DwIGaQ&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=uUVa-8oDL2EzfbuMuowoUadHHcJ7pjul6iFkS5Pd--8&m=GP4vJzJR93FgvYggDdXdBOAe3Qt-6zIF_1alWmiSPFs&s=Jju9kQ1M3-yn4UCpJz1o3pL0rXZB2MpAyA7izTvNcIk&e=<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__archive.org_stream_movingpicturewor27newy-23page_n5_mode_2up&d=DwIGaQ&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=uUVa-8oDL2EzfbuMuowoUadHHcJ7pjul6iFkS5Pd--8&m=GP4vJzJR93FgvYggDdXdBOAe3Qt-6zIF_1alWmiSPFs&s=Jju9kQ1M3-yn4UCpJz1o3pL0rXZB2MpAyA7izTvNcIk&e=> >

In Variety, May 1925, a review of a stage play noted that the first-nighters arrived expecting "cheese cake," but then really liked it. "Cheese cake" is not explained, but from the circumstances it appears to mean something the audience would sneer at. But the play also included a "sex punch, where the girl is brought onto the stage, her clothes mostly torn off her, unconscious, and being carried off by a huge gorilla for the second act curtain," so it's not impossible that that is what they were referring to, but since that description comes several paragraphs after the reference to "cheese cake," it seems unlikely to me.

"[Gorilla] opened April 28 to a typical first-night audience, seemingly all set for a cheese-cake feast. Those who come to sneer remained to cheer, for that is just what they did."
https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__archive.org_stream_variety78-2D1925-2D05-23page_n26_mode_2up_search_-2522cheese&d=DwIGaQ&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=uUVa-8oDL2EzfbuMuowoUadHHcJ7pjul6iFkS5Pd--8&m=GP4vJzJR93FgvYggDdXdBOAe3Qt-6zIF_1alWmiSPFs&s=ZjzJ12zslPeFkWQ1Uswi-RfykTCi5Gw2CXt7IrXtlL4&e=<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__archive.org_stream_variety78-2D1925-2D05-23page_n26_mode_2up_search_-2522cheese&d=DwIGaQ&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=uUVa-8oDL2EzfbuMuowoUadHHcJ7pjul6iFkS5Pd--8&m=GP4vJzJR93FgvYggDdXdBOAe3Qt-6zIF_1alWmiSPFs&s=ZjzJ12zslPeFkWQ1Uswi-RfykTCi5Gw2CXt7IrXtlL4&e=> cake"<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__archive.org_stream_variety78-2D1925-2D05-23page_n26_mode_2up_search_-2522cheese&d=DwIGaQ&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=uUVa-8oDL2EzfbuMuowoUadHHcJ7pjul6iFkS5Pd--8&m=GP4vJzJR93FgvYggDdXdBOAe3Qt-6zIF_1alWmiSPFs&s=ZjzJ12zslPeFkWQ1Uswi-RfykTCi5Gw2CXt7IrXtlL4&e=<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__archive.org_stream_variety78-2D1925-2D05-23page_n26_mode_2up_search_-2522cheese&d=DwIGaQ&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=uUVa-8oDL2EzfbuMuowoUadHHcJ7pjul6iFkS5Pd--8&m=GP4vJzJR93FgvYggDdXdBOAe3Qt-6zIF_1alWmiSPFs&s=ZjzJ12zslPeFkWQ1Uswi-RfykTCi5Gw2CXt7IrXtlL4&e=> cake">


A Hollywood gossip column in Motion Picture Classic, 1929, used "cheese cake" in a way suggesting it might refer to humor, or bad humor, like "cheesy"?

"The cheese-cake hounds in Henry's are giggling over that one about the wire sent from the home office to the supervisor of a comedy unit. The wire read: 'Use psychology in your next two-reeler,' the telegraph company inadvertenty using an upper case P on the eight-dollar word. The supervisor wired back: 'Can't get him for ten dollars a day. What'll I pay?'"


In 1916, in what was likely just one of those interesting coincidences, a wanted mobster involved in a so-called "white slavery" ring was named, "Mr. Cheesecake." A column headline in New York Tribune, September 2, 1916, page 3: "Mysterious 'Mr. Cheesecake,' Important Vice Broker, Eludes Pursuers." In the text of the article, it just says that "Mr. Cheesecake" is the only name by which this character is known to police.
https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.newspapers.com_clip_34429745_newyork-5Ftribune_&d=DwIGaQ&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=uUVa-8oDL2EzfbuMuowoUadHHcJ7pjul6iFkS5Pd--8&m=GP4vJzJR93FgvYggDdXdBOAe3Qt-6zIF_1alWmiSPFs&s=sFbmpHgBlgjjUJkH7i1wlLzgvyJPvlgudNa6aoKKk98&e=<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.newspapers.com_clip_34429745_newyork-5Ftribune_&d=DwIGaQ&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=uUVa-8oDL2EzfbuMuowoUadHHcJ7pjul6iFkS5Pd--8&m=GP4vJzJR93FgvYggDdXdBOAe3Qt-6zIF_1alWmiSPFs&s=sFbmpHgBlgjjUJkH7i1wlLzgvyJPvlgudNa6aoKKk98&e=> <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.newspapers.com_clip_34429745_newyork-5Ftribune_&d=DwIGaQ&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=uUVa-8oDL2EzfbuMuowoUadHHcJ7pjul6iFkS5Pd--8&m=GP4vJzJR93FgvYggDdXdBOAe3Qt-6zIF_1alWmiSPFs&s=sFbmpHgBlgjjUJkH7i1wlLzgvyJPvlgudNa6aoKKk98&e=<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.newspapers.com_clip_34429745_newyork-5Ftribune_&d=DwIGaQ&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=uUVa-8oDL2EzfbuMuowoUadHHcJ7pjul6iFkS5Pd--8&m=GP4vJzJR93FgvYggDdXdBOAe3Qt-6zIF_1alWmiSPFs&s=sFbmpHgBlgjjUJkH7i1wlLzgvyJPvlgudNa6aoKKk98&e=> >

------ Original Message ------
From: "Stephen Goranson" <goranson at duke.edu>
To: ADS-L at listserv.uga.edu
Sent: 7/31/2019 4:09:59 AM
Subject: cheesecake (picture, pose)

---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Poster: Stephen Goranson <goranson at DUKE.EDU>
Subject: cheesecake (picture, pose)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

OED n (2) has 1929; HDAS, 1934. Green's DoS offers (before a 1934) a 1913:
T.A. Dorgan Daffydils<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__greensdictofslang.com_sources_9522&d=DwIGaQ&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=uUVa-8oDL2EzfbuMuowoUadHHcJ7pjul6iFkS5Pd--8&m=GP4vJzJR93FgvYggDdXdBOAe3Qt-6zIF_1alWmiSPFs&s=hAHsSlBTSastDakrnhT7nfGjykZoN2ElLJGhNrkDNys&e=<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__greensdictofslang.com_sources_9522&d=DwIGaQ&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=uUVa-8oDL2EzfbuMuowoUadHHcJ7pjul6iFkS5Pd--8&m=GP4vJzJR93FgvYggDdXdBOAe3Qt-6zIF_1alWmiSPFs&s=hAHsSlBTSastDakrnhT7nfGjykZoN2ElLJGhNrkDNys&e=> <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__greensdictofslang.com_sources_9522&d=DwIGaQ&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=uUVa-8oDL2EzfbuMuowoUadHHcJ7pjul6iFkS5Pd--8&m=GP4vJzJR93FgvYggDdXdBOAe3Qt-6zIF_1alWmiSPFs&s=hAHsSlBTSastDakrnhT7nfGjykZoN2ElLJGhNrkDNys&e=<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__greensdictofslang.com_sources_9522&d=DwIGaQ&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=uUVa-8oDL2EzfbuMuowoUadHHcJ7pjul6iFkS5Pd--8&m=GP4vJzJR93FgvYggDdXdBOAe3Qt-6zIF_1alWmiSPFs&s=hAHsSlBTSastDakrnhT7nfGjykZoN2ElLJGhNrkDNys&e=> >> 15 Jan. [=
synd. cartoon strip] We present Mlle Cheesecake, the Maid of Mystery.

I haven't seen that cartoon, so it isn't clear whether this might call for =
square brackets or not, e.g., if the "maid of mystery" is a fortune-teller =
or exotic or such.

Maybe (or not) compare a (demeaning) description of a Mrs. Cheesecake in US=
newspapers in 1896, sarcastically titled "Intellectual."
"Mrs. Cheesecake, is your son doing well at college?"
"Well he can kick a football 40 yards."

I don't have access to early now-digital (?) Variety.
[Elvira Amazar 1915 and silk stockings hypotheses were previously mentioned=
in list archives.]

SG

{...cf. Zappa, Freak Out, Susie Creamcheese?}


------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.americandialect.org&d=DwIGaQ&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=uUVa-8oDL2EzfbuMuowoUadHHcJ7pjul6iFkS5Pd--8&m=GP4vJzJR93FgvYggDdXdBOAe3Qt-6zIF_1alWmiSPFs&s=7iR-6cwZ3RSwfDaECDr7NbXYYuYYAEmfC_bAnoMpSeM&e=<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.americandialect.org&d=DwIGaQ&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=uUVa-8oDL2EzfbuMuowoUadHHcJ7pjul6iFkS5Pd--8&m=GP4vJzJR93FgvYggDdXdBOAe3Qt-6zIF_1alWmiSPFs&s=7iR-6cwZ3RSwfDaECDr7NbXYYuYYAEmfC_bAnoMpSeM&e=> <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.americandialect.org&d=DwIGaQ&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=uUVa-8oDL2EzfbuMuowoUadHHcJ7pjul6iFkS5Pd--8&m=GP4vJzJR93FgvYggDdXdBOAe3Qt-6zIF_1alWmiSPFs&s=7iR-6cwZ3RSwfDaECDr7NbXYYuYYAEmfC_bAnoMpSeM&e=<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.americandialect.org&d=DwIGaQ&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=uUVa-8oDL2EzfbuMuowoUadHHcJ7pjul6iFkS5Pd--8&m=GP4vJzJR93FgvYggDdXdBOAe3Qt-6zIF_1alWmiSPFs&s=7iR-6cwZ3RSwfDaECDr7NbXYYuYYAEmfC_bAnoMpSeM&e=> >

------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.americandialect.org&d=DwIGaQ&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=uUVa-8oDL2EzfbuMuowoUadHHcJ7pjul6iFkS5Pd--8&m=GP4vJzJR93FgvYggDdXdBOAe3Qt-6zIF_1alWmiSPFs&s=7iR-6cwZ3RSwfDaECDr7NbXYYuYYAEmfC_bAnoMpSeM&e=<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.americandialect.org&d=DwIGaQ&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=uUVa-8oDL2EzfbuMuowoUadHHcJ7pjul6iFkS5Pd--8&m=GP4vJzJR93FgvYggDdXdBOAe3Qt-6zIF_1alWmiSPFs&s=7iR-6cwZ3RSwfDaECDr7NbXYYuYYAEmfC_bAnoMpSeM&e=> <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.americandialect.org&d=DwIGaQ&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=uUVa-8oDL2EzfbuMuowoUadHHcJ7pjul6iFkS5Pd--8&m=GP4vJzJR93FgvYggDdXdBOAe3Qt-6zIF_1alWmiSPFs&s=7iR-6cwZ3RSwfDaECDr7NbXYYuYYAEmfC_bAnoMpSeM&e=<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.americandialect.org&d=DwIGaQ&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=uUVa-8oDL2EzfbuMuowoUadHHcJ7pjul6iFkS5Pd--8&m=GP4vJzJR93FgvYggDdXdBOAe3Qt-6zIF_1alWmiSPFs&s=7iR-6cwZ3RSwfDaECDr7NbXYYuYYAEmfC_bAnoMpSeM&e=> >

------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.americandialect.org&d=DwIGaQ&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=uUVa-8oDL2EzfbuMuowoUadHHcJ7pjul6iFkS5Pd--8&m=GP4vJzJR93FgvYggDdXdBOAe3Qt-6zIF_1alWmiSPFs&s=7iR-6cwZ3RSwfDaECDr7NbXYYuYYAEmfC_bAnoMpSeM&e=<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.americandialect.org&d=DwIGaQ&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=uUVa-8oDL2EzfbuMuowoUadHHcJ7pjul6iFkS5Pd--8&m=GP4vJzJR93FgvYggDdXdBOAe3Qt-6zIF_1alWmiSPFs&s=7iR-6cwZ3RSwfDaECDr7NbXYYuYYAEmfC_bAnoMpSeM&e=>

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

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


More information about the Ads-l mailing list