Wednesday, August 18, 2010

February 26, 1953: Snoopy, dog about town


I can only assume that Charlie Brown's comment, about the dogfight, is a turn of phrase that has fallen out of favor in the 50+ years since the strip first saw print.

Question 1: Who dressed Snoopy up in that outfit? He still doesn't have an explicit owner, nor opposeable thumbs. Evidently it was someone who appreciates tartan.

Question 2: How did Schroeder know where Snoopy was going?

Snoopy's role here is subtly different from his original personality. Here, he is sort of an honorary kid. He can't talk, but Charlie Brown and Schroeder know he can understand them. The disconnect between his obvious nature (dog) and the kids' treatment of him (colleague) is what provides the joke.


  1. I want to say it's always seemed more or less understood, from Snoopy's earliest appearances, that he can understand everything the kids say.

    I was probably five or six when I began reading these old Peanuts comics, and this one has always perplexed me. Though, like you, I came to assume that it was a play on a common idiom of the time.

  2. The phrase "I wouldn't wear ____ to a dogfight" or "I wouldn't go to a dogfight with ___" are archaic phrases that I recall hearing as a child from older folks. Not sure what the origin is precisely (many Google searches have come up empty), but in the old days (as now), dogfighting was considered a low-brow activity and beneath the dignity of cultured, sophisticated people. Low-class people who would go to dogfights might be expected to wear outfits that were garish, tacky, sloppy or out of style -- hence the saying.

  3. Awesome njguy54! The mystery of the phrase is solved!

  4. Also, JoshM, that may be the case, but to actually make a derisive comment to Snoopy signifies a recognition of a human level of intellect within the furry exterior.