Downtown 1958

Downtown 1958

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Vigilant Motorcycle Officer

It seemed kind of a stretch using a motorcycle cop to sell bread wrappers, but Menasha Products eventually gets its message across in this trade ad.   It used a phrase in its copy I wasn't familiar with:  "Bread protected by Super Seal stands the gaff-...." 
Stands the gaff?   My friends at Merriam-Webster tell me it is an Americanism from 1895-1900 meaning "to weather hardship or strain; endure patiently."   Okay, then.  But for my money, it sounded like some of that "hard-boiled" slang from 1930s and 40s movies, the ones with Jimmy Cagney as a gangster or Humphrey Bogart as a private eye.

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