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:
“What’s the slowest soup a chef can prepare?"/"Turtle soup.” (7/27)
“Power is the great aphrodisiac” ("Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac") (7/27)
“Do you want to hear a construction joke?"/"I’m working on it.” (7/27)
“Women go to the theatre and men are brought there” (theatre adage) (7/26)
“The best fertilizer is the gardener’s shadow” (7/26)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Entry from March 08, 2009
“Soup’s on (the table)!”

"Soup’s on!” is the timeless call that means that dinner’s ready and everyone should come to the table. The longer phrase --"soup’s on the table” ("soup’s on the stove” wouldn’t make any sense)—dates from at least the 1840s.

The shortened “Soup’s on!” appears to have been popularized by the nationally syndicated comic strip “The Gumps” in 1928, when the phrase was used often.  The phrase “Soup’s on!” then began appearing frequently in newspaper headlines. The phrase is still used, although the call to the family meal isn’t heard as often today (when the family often eats at different times, rather than all together).


Wikipedia: Soup
Soup’s on is a common term used to say, “Dinner’s ready.”

Wikipedia: The Gumps
The Gumps, a popular comic strip about a middle-class family, was created by Sidney Smith in 1917, launching a 42-year run in newspapers from February 12, 1917 until October 17, 1959.

The Gumps were utterly ordinary: chinless, bombastic blowhard Andy who is intimidated by his wife, Min (short for Minerva), their son Chester, rich Uncle Bim and their annoying maid Tilda. They had a cat called Hope and a dog called Buck. The idea was envisioned by Captain Joseph M. Patterson, editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune, who was important in the early histories of Little Orphan Annie and other long-run comic strips. Patterson referred to the masses as “gumps” and thought a strip about the domestic lives of ordinary people and their ordinary happenings would appeal to the “gumps.” He hired Smith to write and draw the strip, and it was Smith who breathed life into the characters.

Google Books
August 1842, Dublin University Magazine, pg. 145, col. 1:
“Your reverence has a minute and a-half yet; but the soup’s on the table.”

Google Books
The Makings of a Big Leaguer
By Burt L. Standish
New York, NY: Barse & Hopkins
1915
Pg. 157:
“Now the soup’s on the tablecloth!” he thought, as he slid into his coat and moved rapidly away.

Google Books
Shoestrings
By Maximilian Foster
Illustrated by Frederic Rodrigo Gruger
New York, NY: D. Appleton and Company
1917
Pg. 58:
“Soup’s on!” said Minnie tersely;...

Google Books
The Man on Horseback
By Achmed Abdullah
New York, NY: TheJames A. McCann Company
1919
Pg. 20:
“The soup’s on the table!”

10 September 1928, Salt Lake Tribune (Salt Lake City, UT), The Gumps (comic), “Soup’s on Again,” pg. 18:
SOUP’S ON
(Said by a person in the last panel—ed.)

8 October 1928, Salt Lake Tribune, “The Gumps” (comic), “Soup’s On!”, pg. 19:
SOUP’S ON!
(Said by a person in the second panel—ed.)
SOUP’S ON!
(Screamed by that same person in the third panel—ed.)

8 November 1928, Newark (OH) Advocate, “The Gumps” (comic), “Soup’s On!”, pg. 15:
SOUP’S ON!
(Shouted by a person in the third panel—ed.)

16 April 1930, Los Angeles (CA) Times, pg. 4:
SOUP’S ON, AND IT’S HOT! NOW HE’S ON—DOWNY COT

21 May 1930, Los Angeles (CA) Times, pg. 12:
“OH, HENRE-E-E. SOUP’S ON!”
Fresno and Kings Counties Plan Contest for Best Husband-Callers

Google Books
Woman about Town:
A Novel

By Allis McKay
New York, NY: Macmillan
1938
Pg. 79:
... departed and left them alone in the twilight-filling room, and Skip, with an apron around his massive waist, appeared in the door and said, “Soup’s on.”

Google Books
Flesh is Not Life
By Hilary Leighton Barth
Published by The Bruce Publishing Company
1938
Pg. 234:
“She says soup’s on — and insisting as usual that we shouldn’t wait. Shall we talk vicious circle over our buffalo?”

Google Books
Outdoor Cooking
By Cora Lovisa Brackett Brown, Rose Johnston Brown, Bob Brown, Robert Carlton Brown
Published by The Greystone Press
1940
Pg. 290:
SOUP’S ON!

13 December 1949, Dallas (TX) Morning News, section 3, pg. 4:
Soup’s On
If you are one of those fortunate souls who stroll on December evenings, and whose olfactories are in order, no doubt you know it is soup season.

Google Books
Soup’s On!
By Karin Kelly
Illustrated by George Overlie
Published by Lerner Pubns Co (L)
1974

Google Books
Soup’s on
By Nancy Baggett, Glick Baggett, Ruth Glick
New York, NY: Macmillan
1985

Google Books
Soup’s On!:
Sixty Hearty Soups You Can Stand Your Spoon In

By Janet Lembke, William (PHT) Nash, Adrian C. (PHT) Stanley
Published by Lyons Press
2001

Google Books
Soup’s On!:
Soul-Satisfying Recipes from Your Favorite Cookbook Authors and Chefs

By Leslie Jonath
Photographs by Frankie Frankeny
Published by Chronicle Books
2007

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (0) Comments • Sunday, March 08, 2009 • Permalink