Thursday, January 20, 2011

September 21, 1953: NOT FOR ONE MOMENT!


When I was a kid I checked out every Peanuts compilation in our elementary school's library. Some of the jokes I got; almost anything having to do with Snoopy is written pretty broadly. Sometimes I was left scratching my head.

One of the things I didn't get had to do with Lucy's proud claims to be a "fussbudget." Not having ever heard of the term (in fact I wasn't even sure if I was pronouncing it right), I had no way of knowing that Lucy was taking inadvertent pride in an insult. None of the compilations I had read published a strip in which it's revealed that Lucy's mother had called her that, or with a comment from Charlie Brown like the one here tipping off the word's meaning, so I had insufficient context for understanding the strip.

While reading strips like this one makes clear to me the point of these strips, it remains that I have never heard the term "fussbudget" applied in a non-Peanuts context.


  1. I remember my dad using "fussbudget" sometimes, usually to describe me. He grew up in St. Louis, so maybe it's more of a regional term? My mom's family is from Texas, so the same kind of behavior would lead them to call me a "pill."

  2. Also interesting here is the use of the catch-phrase "That's the way it goes." It's an early one that I thought would have disappeared by now, replaced by the more familiar "Good Grief!", "I can't stand it!" or the simple but evocative "*SIGH!*"

  3. There are two pronunciations of fussbugdet the way I see it, fuss-budjet and fussbucket.