Many people are aware of the influential roles that comic strips have played in society and popular culture. Yet it’s also interesting to consider how many catchphrases that are part of our lexicon originally came from the funny pages.
Here are some examples. Frederick Opper’s Alphonse and Gaston gave us “After you, my dear Alphonse!” Bud Fisher’s Mutt and Jeff included lines such as “For the love of Mike!” and the still-popular “Oowah!” Billy DeBeck’s Barney Google and Snuffy Smith introduced this phrase, “Time’s a’wastin!” Harold Gray’s Little Orphan Annie made people say “Leapin’ lizards!” for decades. The title of Milt Gross’ comic strip, Banana Oil, became a popular non sequitur, and Count Screwloose introduced the catchphrase, “Izzy, keep an eye on me!” Meanwhile, Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts always will be identified with “Good grief!” and “You blockhead!”
Then there is “Cushlamochree!” that comes from the old Irish phrase cuisle mo chroi, or the “beat of my heart.”