[Ads-l] Motto: Never blame the booster for what the sucker does, May 15, 1939, Damon Runyon

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Tue Mar 22 12:02:09 UTC 2022

I received a request to trace the saying in the subject line, and I
found evidence that Damon Runyon coined the expression in 1939. Here
is a link to the Quote Investigator article:


Runyon credited the words to a fictional character called "our old man".

[ref] 1939 May 15, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Damon Runyon
Says: Never Blame the Booster, Quote Page 14, Column 2, Rochester, New
York. (Newspapers_com) [/ref]

[Begin excerpt]
Our old man used to have a motto that he had printed out himself in
big letters pasted on the wall of his bedroom. It read: NEVER BLAME
THE BOOSTER FOR WHAT THE SUCKER DOES. It was one of his favorite
sayings, too.

He said it meant that you should never hold a fellow responsible for
the consequences of an effort to do you a nice turn. He said many of
his own troubles in life had come from getting the blame from friends
he was only trying to help …
[End excerpt]

While researching this topic I explored the slang term "booster". A
sperate article about this will soon be sent to the ADS list.

Garson O'Toole

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

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