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

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Mar 26 19:16:35 UTC 2021

> On Mar 26, 2021, at 11:40 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> Not sure why someone would produce fake Kilroy buttons for War Bonds and
> subtly backdating them to 1943.  To fool us perhaps? Of course, nothing is
> impossible.
> I don't see why the restorers would create a fake "Kilroy IS here" name for
> the C-47. Maybe the Museum possesses a 1944 photo.
> As for the frequency of KIlroy's appearance during the war, I will add that
> I cannot recall many (or perhaps any) refs. to it in published wartime
> letters or memoirs.
> It would probably take only two sightings in distant places to convince a
> person that Kilroy signs were "everywhere" in WW2.
> Just as a data point: I checked with my wife about Gene Ahern's "Nov shmoz
> ka pop," and - without prompting from me - she immediately associated it
> with a cartoon of "a little man with a big nose looking over a fence."  I
> associate the phrase only with the "little hitch-hiker" in Ahern's
> "Squirrel Cage" strip.

The big nose makes it seem as though “shmoz” somehow derives from “shnoz”—maybe someone trying to say “shnoz” with a stuffed nose, or perhaps “Nov shnoz” dissimilated to “Nov shmoz”.
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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