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Ready for Freddy

Sarah from Haddonfield, New Jersey, wonders about the phrase Are you ready for Freddy? It’s a catchphrase that was part of a running gag in Al Capp’s long-running “Li’l Abner” comic strip, which ran in newspapers in the...

Light Bulbs Mean Ideas

In comic strips, a bright idea is symbolized by a light bulb over a character’s head. This association between an incandescent bulb and inspiration was popularized in the early 20th century by the cartoon character Felix the Cat, but the...

By Jingo!

If your friend says she’s coming to town Sunday week, exactly when should you expect to see her? What do you call those typographical symbols cartoonists use in place of profanity? Plus grass widows, the linguistic phenomenon called creaky...