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. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from December 28, 2005
Dumb Dora
"Dumb Dora" is defined by the Historical Dictionary of American Slang as "a stupid or silly woman." Paul Fong and Jack Lait made it the title of their newspaper cartoon.

The origin is not known, but O. O. McIntyre used it in his New York newspaper stories in 1922.

30 January 1922, Atlanta Constitution, "Bits of N. Y. Life" by O. O. McIntyre, pg. 4:
"Snap out of it! Be yourself! Laugh it off! Do you think I'm busting a half century note just to show off Dumb Dora's new dress?"

31 March 1922, Atlanta Constitution, "Bits of New York Life" by O. O. McIntyre, pg. 4:
Floor walkers -- pardon, aisle managers -- going to work in frock suits. A natty crew. There's a Dumb Dora!

23 April 1922, New York Times, "'Argo' of the Shifters," pg. 89:
Dud -- Flapper who can't keep in the swim.
(...)
Dumb Dora -- Same as dud.
Posted by Barry Popik
Workers/People • Wednesday, December 28, 2005 • Permalink


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