Notary Sojac

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Notary Sojac

Post by pokoma » Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:32 pm

"Notary Sojac." Anyone old enough to remember the Smokey Stover comic strip (1950s and thereabouts) saw this tucked in a corner of most or all episodes. Supposedly it means "Merry Christmas" in some Celtic language, approximated for English pronunciation. Can anyone confirm this?
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Re: Notary Sojac

Post by zmjezhd » Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:41 pm

Notary Sojac

The Straight Dope opines.
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Post by puddie78 » Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:27 am

I remember the Smokey Stover comic strip. I love it.
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Post by julieth11 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 1:34 pm

Notary Sojac appeared in the pun laiden strip "Smokey Stover" by Bill Holman. According to an interview I read ages ago if memory serves, notary sojac was a phonetic spelling of an old english or gaulic merry christmas greeting. Holman said it was his way of saying merry christmas to his readers year round. He also had "FOO" and "1313 NIX NIX" disbursed in his strip. I forget what FOO is, 1313 NIX NIX refered to the New York apartment number of a fellow cartoonist (I don't remember who) who had a reputation with the ladies and was Holman's way of telling the ladies to steer clear of his friend. Smokey was a fireman, his wife, his son, his cat, and the firechief were the other regulars in the strip.
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Re: Notary Sojac

Post by pokoma » Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:33 pm

I wonder, if the comic strip were running today, if the anti-religion/anti-Christian crowd would kick up a fuss.
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Re: Notary Sojac

Post by pokoma » Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:47 pm

Wikipedia on Smokey Stover:
Jocular jargon and peculiar phrases
1946 strip as reprinted in issue 64 of the Smokey Stover comic book.Odd bits of philosophy and a running gag involving ubiquitous signs with strange, incongruous nonsense words and phrases—such as "foo", "notary sojac", "scram gravy ain't wavey" and "1506 nix nix"—were commonly featured in Smokey Stover. They appeared arbitrarily and often, in no particular place for no particular reason, and some became catchphrases. Holman defined "notary sojac" as Gaelic for "Merry Christmas" (Nodlaig Sodhach), and "1506 nix nix" was reportedly a private joke that included the hotel room number of Holman's friend, cartoonist Al Posen.[3] However, his most frequent nonsense word by far was "foo". Holman peppered his work with foo labels and puns.[4][5][6] The term emerged in popular culture during the 1930s and found usage in 1938-39 Warner Brothers cartoons, most notably by director Bob Clampett, including Porky in Wackyland.[7]

Smokey "often called himself a foo fighter when anyone else would have said firefighter", according to Don Markstein’s Toonopedia. "The word foo also turned up on signs, lists, menus, and the lips of various characters at random but frequent intervals." Foo may have been inspired by the French word for fire, feu (Smokey's catch phrase was "where there's foo, there's fire"), but Holman never gave a straight answer as to the origin. The history section on the Smokey Stover website claims that Holman "found this word engraved on the bottom of a jade statue in San Francisco’s Chinatown. The word foo means Good-Luck."[1][8]
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