Hector the pup, Buck the calf

    Last week, I received an email from my sister regarding passé words and expressions. Besides making me feel just a tad older, it also got me thinking about a phrase I often use.
    Let me give you an example. Not long ago, a friend posed this question: “When was the last time you went to New York?” My reply: “Gee, not since Hector was a pup?”
    I’ve been using that expression since I was a pup. But that email got me thinking about the origin of the phrase. After a little research, I found the expression was being used by at least the late 19th century and Hector the pup began to pop up in American newspapers no later than the early 20th century. It soon spread to other English-speaking nations, or so my research concluded.


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