A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from January 18, 2009
“Desserts” is “stressed” spelled backward

"Desserts” is “stressed” spelled backward. While this always has been the case, this headline in the Los Angeles (CA) Times food section on July 30, 1992 helped to popularize the saying. Two books published in 1997 and 1999 included the phrase in their titles. The phrase has also been on T-shirts.

The saying has been used by both those selling desserts and by dieters shunning desserts. Those selling desserts claim that “desserts” are the direct reverse of “stressed.” Dieters claim that this proves that stress and eating desserts go together.


Google Books
Playing with Words
By Joseph Twadell Shipley
Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall
1960
Pg. 37:
...desserts— stressed;...

New York (NY) Times
ON LANGUAGE; Pen Palindromes
By WILLIAM SAFIRE
Published: March 19, 1989
WE RECENTLY dipped into the palindromes offered by the surname of John H. Sununu, the White House chief of staff. (Headline about a supposed order to an unnecessarily weight-conscious chef at the White House mess: “Dessert!” Sununu Stressed.)

30 July 1992, Los Angeles (CA) Times, food section, pg. H10:
Great Home Cooks:
“Desserts” Is “Stressed” Spelled Backward

By Charles Perry

Google Groups: rec.guns
Newsgroups: rec.guns
From: (Ben Sansing)
Date: 2 Apr 93 04:08:55 GMT
Local: Thurs, Apr 1 1993 10:08 pm
Subject: Shooting Report 30 Mar 93

STRESSED spelled backwards is DESSERTS.

16 April 1993, Chicago (IL) Daily Herald, “She helps others get trim” by Janet K. Perry, section 5, pg. 3, col. 1:
When the group discusses food cravings she (Lucy Pagels of the Women’s Club of Rolling Meadows—ed.) reminds people that “desserts” spells “stressed” backwards.

Google Groups: rec.humor
Newsgroups: rec.humor
From: (Two More Ron’s Don’t Make A Wright)
Date: 29 Jul 94 11:24:20 GMT
Local: Fri, Jul 29 1994 5:24 am
Subject: Canonical List Of Food and Waiter Humor 1/1

Caption once seen printed on the front of an apron:

I know about Stressed…
It’s Desserts spelled backwards!!!

6 February 1995, Chicago (IL) Daily Herald, “Bad spellers ‘untie’ and other musings” by Roger Simon, section 1, pg. 2, col. 2:
OK, so I saw it on a T-shirt, but it’s still true: Stressed is desserts spelled backward.

OCLC WorldCat record
Stressed is just desserts spelled backwards : a collection of great American desserts
by Sheryl Meddin; Bennett Frisch
Type:  Book; English
Publisher: Atlanta, Ga. : Longstreet Press, Inc., ©1997.

28 November 1997, Daily Sitka Sentinel (Sitka, AK), “Holiday Diet Tips,” pg. 3A, col. 2:
STRESSED is just DESSERTS spelled backward.

28 December 1998, Chicago (IL) Daily Herald, section 5, pg. 1, col. 5:
Do you prefer stress or cookies? Thank you to Adolph Link School pincipal for reminding people who may be stressed out during the holidays about a very important fact: Stressed spelled backwards is desserts.

OCLC WorldCat record
Stressed is desserts spelled backwards : rising above life’s challenges with humor, hope, and courage
by Brian Luke Seaward
Type:  Book; English
Publisher: Berkeley, Calif. : Conari Press, ©1999. 

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New York CityFood/Drink • (0) Comments • Sunday, January 18, 2009 • Permalink


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