[Ads-l] "Who was Kilroy?" June 26, 1945 (in-print antedating?)

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Thu Apr 1 18:09:37 UTC 2021

Life (March 8, 1946) has a significant column by Elizabeth Reeves entitled,
"Wot! Chad's Here / Britain's war gremlin becomes a symbol of civilian
problems." The accompanying drawing shows the familiar nose looking over a
brick wall with a question mark over the bald dome, but with the unusual
detail of a plus sign in one eye and a minus in the other. There seems to
be a minus sign near the end of the nose as well.

"The history of Mr. Chad is blanketed in mystery. Like Topsy and...the
R.A.F. gremlins, it seems he just 'growed.'  Army and air force hotly
contend for the honor of having discovered him.  Both generally agree he
started to patronize the various armed forces about two years ago, although
his Cockney tag lines were common army currency long before."

But read all about it for yourself, starting on p. 17:



On Thu, Apr 1, 2021 at 1:50 PM ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com>

> Here are excerpts from three articles published in "The Daily Mirror"
> of London. The first two articles (from September 1945) presented some
> of the variant names for Mr. Chad that were circulating in the U.K.
> The third article (from January 1946) traced the "Mr. Chad" figure to
> the cartoonist Jack Greenall. The figure was unnamed initially. It is
> still not clear (to me) when the figure was given a name.
> Date: September 10, 1945
> Newspaper: The Daily Mirror
> Newspaper Location: London, England
> Article: How Mr. CHAD was born
> Quote Page 7, Column 3 to 6
> Database: British Newspaper Archive
> [Begin excerpt]
> About two years ago there was a minor sensation because it looked as
> if a rival to Chad was in the field. This was a similar—but
> inferior—specimen called "Mr. Choss." He hailed from the North of
> England, and had gremlin-like propensities for making everything go
> wrong.
> But he vanished in the chaos from which his name was derived, and the
> more restrained and dignified Chad survived alone
> . . .
> By the way, a bitter controversy rages between the RAF and the Army on
> the subject of Mr. Chad's  nickname, which is "Flywheel." The RAF
> claim that, long before he joined the Army, Chad and his sister
> "Pinwheel" were in the Air Force.
> [End excerpt]
> Date: September 24, 1945
> Newspaper: The Daily Mirror
> Newspaper Location: London, England
> Article: We've Had Chad!
> Quote Page 7, Column 2
> Database: British Newspaper Archive
> [Begin excerpt]
> Either Chad has a large number of relatives, or he goes under as many
> aliases as an ace burglar. Here are some of his other names: In the
> Army he is widely known as Clem, Private Snoops, and the Jeep. He has
> a commission in most of H.M. ships as The Watcher or Foo. The RAF, in
> addition to his nickname of Flywheel, call him Doomie and the Goon.
> [End excerpt]
> Date: January 30, 1946
> Newspaper: The Daily Mirror
> Newspaper Location: London, England
> Article: Mr. Chad Is 20 Years Old
> Quote Page 1, Column 1
> Database: British Newspaper Archive
> [Begin excerpt]
> Mr. Chad, Britain's mystery man-behind-the-wall, claimed by so many
> people as their creation, first came to life more than twenty years
> ago.
> He appeared on a comic postcard peering over a piece of broken
> ice—fingers, head and nose as usual. Artist was Mr. Jack Greenall,
> whose Useless Eustace cartoon delights "Daily Mirror" readers every
> day.
> The "Wot! No something?" came later, but Jack Greenall, teaching
> drawing in a technical school, used the lines of the figure as a
> simple illustration for his students.
> Again, during his work he brought Mr. Chad into his cartoons. One
> which appeared in the Daily Mirror in December, 1937, and which is
> reproduced below, shows Useless Eustace at the bank, and in the
> background the unmistakable figure of Mr Chad.
> Mr. Greenall said yesterday: "I remember drawing that comic postcard
> many years ago.
> "I used to draw a line and say, 'That's a wall.' Then a head and hands
> and nose and we had a man looking over the wall."
> Maybe this will end the great CHAD mystery maybe.
> [End excerpt]
> Garson
> On Thu, Apr 1, 2021 at 12:08 PM Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > Replying to a reader's letter concerning "Mr. Chad" as a British figure,
> > LIFE (Apr. 8, 1946), p. 6, notes that
> >
> > "Other LIFE readers insisted that Mr. Chad was an imposter really named
> > Smoe, Kilroy, Luke the Spook, The Womp, Finortin, Fanutin, Phenortin, The
> > Pookie, Garvey, Alice the Goon, Oogots, Snoopie, Curley, Joe Electron."
> >
> > Alice the Goon, of course, was from Popeye, and "The Pookie" may
> > conceivably be from "pooka."
> >
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

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

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