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.

Recent entries:
“Swimming isn’t a sport. Swimming is a way to keep from drowning” (10/22)
“Time kills all deals” (10/22)
“My friend drowned in a bowl of muesli. A strong currant pulled him in” (10/22)
“New York stabs you in the heart; Los Angeles stabs you in the back” (10/22)
“If the military wanted you to have a family, they’d have issued you one” (10/22)
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Entry from July 19, 2014
“I didn’t go to school just to eat my lunch”

Schools usually have a lunch break; some students qualify for free school lunches. “I didn’t go to school (just) to eat lunch” is a popular saying, meaning that the speaker went to school to learn a few things.

“Your father...didn’t go to school just to eat his lunch” was cited in print in 1950. Baseball manager Casey Stengel (1890-1975) used the saying in 1961. Baseball manager Leo Durocher (1905-1991) included the saying in his autobiography, Nice Guys Finish Last (1975).


Google Books
The Long Discovery:
A Novel

By John Burgan
New York, NY: Farrar, Straus
1950
Pg. 176:
“Your father,” he said, “didn’t go to school just to eat his lunch. He is always in there when it comes to driving a bargain.”

Google Books
The Rag Pickers
By H. Vernor Dixon
New York, NY: D. McKay Co.
1955
Pg. 13 and Pg. 299:
“I didn’t go to school just to eat lunch.”

17 October 1961, Salt Lake Tribune (Salt Lake City, UT), “Banker Stengel ‘No Dummy’” (AP), pg. 15, col. 7:
“No bank that’s growing that fast can have a dummy, for its vice president,” he told an interviewer. “Like I say, Charles Dillon Stengel—that’s me—didn’t go to school just to eat his lunch.”

Google Books
Nice Guys Finish Last
By Leo Durocher with Ed Linn
New York, NY: SImon and Schuster
1975
Pg. 217:
I may not be a student of the Bible, but I didn’t go to school just to eat my lunch either.

Twitter
Kate
‏@Habbibti
“I didn’t go to school just to eat my lunch”
Things my mom says when I thank her for good advice.
5:08 PM - 30 Oct 2013

Twitter
David E. Diaz
‏@davidintampa
“I didn’t go to school just to eat my lunch."-Leo Durocher-
Eddie Clarence Murray was one of the most feared and… http://fb.me/15PQ9HN0D
7:10 PM - 20 Feb 2014

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityEducation/Schools • Saturday, July 19, 2014 • Permalink