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 August 17, 2019
Poor, Hungry and Determined ("Ph.D.” backronym)

"Poor, hungry and determined” is a jocular backronym (back acronym) for “Ph.D.” “Poor, hungry and determined (PHD)” was printed in The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY) on April 27, 1969. “PHD (poor, hungry & determined)” was printed in the Sacramento (CA) Bee on March 25, 1981.

Other Ph.D. backronyms include “Papa Has Dough,” “Permanent Head Damage,” “Piled Higher and Deeper,” “Pizza Hut Deliveryman,” “Poor, Hungry Doctor,” “Poor, Hungry and Driven” and “Pretty Huge Debt.”

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree is sometimes called “Bachelor of Fuck All.” The Bachelor of Science degree is frequently called B.S. ("bull shit") and the Master of Science degree is called M.S. ("more shit” or “more of the same"), with both referenced in print since at least 1932.

Popular backronyms for the M.B.A. (Master of Business Administration) degree include “Massive Bank Account,” “Master Bullshit Artist,” “Mediocre But Aggressive” and “Mediocre But Arrogant.” M.D. (Doctor of Medicine) degree backronyms include “Money Doctor” and “Much Deeper.”


27 April 1969, The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY), “West End Club Opposes Increase In Bus Fares,” pg. B-9, col. 1:
“Under Head Start they can have my degree—poor, hungry and determined (PHD),” she (Vernice Hunter—ed.) said.

25 March 1981, Sacramento (CA) Bee, pg. D8 classified ad:
If you have a PHD (poor, hungry & determined) call for confid. interview.
(CareerMakers Agency.—ed.)

22 March 1982, Vancouver (BC) , pg. C17, col. 6 classified ad:
HAVE YOU GOT A P.H.D.
(Poor, Hungry,Determined)

18 December 1987, Asian Week (San Francisco, CA), “Business Services” by Gerrye Wong, pg. 25:
In 1969 Lawrence Chu decided to open his own restaurant. Chef Chu’s of Los Altos; but that takeout restaurant bears little resemblance to his restaurant today. Operating on a shoestring budget in little more than a hole-in-the-wall, Chu served only 12 items to hungry Peninsula patrons. Soon to be wife, Ruth quit school to join him in his new business which Chu irreverently calls their PhD days—poor, hungry and determined!

Google Groups: rec.sport.basketball.college
UK crowned team of the ‘90s..
Timmy Benge
4/2/98
(...)
Blue chip talent aside, where are we going to find players with the heart of an Edwards, Mills, or a Sheppard - as Coach Pitino calls them “P.H.D.” players “poor, hungry, and determined.”?

Google Books
Changing the Field of Practice:
A Reflexive Pedagogy for Student- Athletes

By Anthony Martin Smith
Thesis (Ph. D. in Education)
University of California, Berkeley
Fall 2002
Pg. IV:
... had a Ph.D. : I was Poor, Hungry, and Determined.

Twitter
Abraham Jean
@ABMOE
PhD. Poor hungry Determined
3:29 AM · Mar 4, 2010·Twitter Web Client

Twitter
Luz Sellers
@blsellers
If you are a PHD--poor, hungry & determined this business might be for you.-Chad Bailey
11:15 PM · Mar 16, 2010·Echofon

Twitter
Christopher Stacks
@itsChrisStacks
“#PHD” = poor hungry & determined (@xandermahar) #focused
9:51 AM · Apr 3, 2011·Twitter for BlackBerry®

Twitter
bekaaa
@heeydoll
PHD. I’m Poor. Hungry & Determined. Why they hatin on me? #GameOver -
@FrontlynazInc
2:47 PM · Apr 13, 2011·Twitter Web Client

Google Books
The Street Smart MBA:
10 Proven Strategies for Driving Business Success

By James Mangraviti and Steven Babitsky
New York, NY: Apress Media
2013
Pg. 215:
Poor, hungry, and determined (PHD) candidates, 145

Inc.
May 18, 2018
This CEO Says He Only Hires PhDs, But Not the PhDs You’re Thinking Of
ONE Championship founder, chairman, and CEO Chatri Sityodtong says he wants employees who are hungry and humble.

By Darren HeitnerFounder, Heitner Legal@DarrenHeitner
What if you only let PhD’s into your organization? It would severely limit your pool of candidates to choose from if you were strictly consumed with hiring individuals who have obtained a doctorate degree.

But what if PhD had a different meaning?

The PhD that matters: Poor, hungry and determined in attitude.

Facebook
CNBC
May 19, 2019 ·
“I have a PhD of being poor, hungry and determined,” the janitor-turned-inventor-turned-executive.

Twitter
Laurie Delk
@lauriedelk
“I only work w people w PHDs.
Poor, Hungry, Determined”
Tommy Mello
4:58 PM · Aug 8, 2019·Facebook

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityEducation/Schools • Saturday, August 17, 2019 • Permalink