Nehama (med_cat) wrote in 1word1day,

Friday word: milquetoast

Milquetoast (n.)


: a timid, meek, or apologetic person

About the Word:

Comic strips may not seem like the most likely source to have provided English with new words, but they have actually been quite fertile in this regard.

Milquetoast is one such word: it comes from the name of Caspar Milquetoast, a character invented by cartoonist H. T. Webster in 1924 for his strip Timid Soul (it was based on milk toast, a dish of toast softened in milk). Comic strips have also given us the word dagwood (a comically large sandwich, named after Dagwood Bumstead, from the comic Blondie), and it is likely that goon (a thuggish man) was largely taken from the character Alice the Goon in the comic strip Thimble Theatre in the early 20th century.


"My employees tell me I am less crabby. I'm not sure this is a good thing. Will I become a milquetoast from meditation?" - Yogani, Advanced Yoga Practices, 2004

(Source: Merriam-Webster's A Who's Who of literary allusions: words that come from characters in books)

Tags: m, made-up, noun, wordsmith: med_cat

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