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:
“A jazz musician is someone that puts a $5,000 horn in a $500 car and drives 50 miles for $5 gig” (9/22)
“Coffee! Because crack isn’t allowed in the workplace!” (9/22)
“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly” (9/22)
“People are putting names on food in the company fridge” (joke) (9/21)
“This office will not tolerate redundancy in this office” (9/21)
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Entry from January 02, 2011
“Square meals make round people”

The term “square meal” has been cited in print since the 1850s; many nutritionists have encouraged people to eat three square meals a day. The saying “square meals make round people” was used by Mrs. August Belmont in 1920, but became popular in newspaper column beginning in 1954.

‘“Square meals make round people” is often credited to E. Joseph Cossman (see the 1984 citation below), but he was not the first to use it.


11 December 1920, New Orleans (LA) States, pg. 2, col. 1:
SQUARE MEALS
Mrs. August Belmont, apropos of the girls restaurant strike in New York, said, “I approve of the strike because it was justified. The inadequte luncheons,” concluded Mrs. Belmont, “these girls would look like different human beings. Square meals, you know, make round people.”

8 February 1954, El Paso (TX) Herald-Post, “Views on the News,” pg. 18, col. 7:
Sad fact of life—square meals make round people.

Google News Archive
22 April 1954, Le Progres du Richelieu (Quebec), “Connie’s Comments,” pg. 3, col. 2:
Sad fact of life—Square meals make round people!

Google News Archive
18 February 1955, St. Joseph (MO) News-Press, “Timely Observations,” pg. 4, col. 3: 
Fairfax Forum—One of the sad facts of life is that square meals make round people.

Google News Archive
11 January 1956, Loris (SC) Sentinel, “Barney Glazer’s Column,” pg. 7, col. 2:
Here’s a thought that will help you push yourself away from the table before it’s too late: “Square meals make round people.”

Google NewsArchive
30 January 1957, Charleston (SC) News and Courier, “Did you happen to see--?.” pg. 12A, col. 6:
Item in the Rotary Club bulletin: “Square meals make round people?”

Google Books
The New Speaker’s Treasury of Wit and Wisdom
By Herbert V. Prochnow
New York, NY: Harper
1958
Pg. 123:
Too many square meals make too many round people.

Google Books
How I Made $1,000,000 in Mail Order-and You Can Too!
By E. Joseph Cossman
New York, NY: Simon & Schuster
1984
Pg. 225:
“Square meals often make round people.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (0) Comments • Sunday, January 02, 2011 • Permalink