see you in the funny pages

Discussion in 'English Only' started by coquita, Jul 25, 2006.

  1. coquita Senior Member

    Far, far away from home...
    Español (Argentina)
    Hi everybody,
    I came across the phrase “see you in the funny pages” and I’m wondering about its meaning. I guess it’s like saying “see you around” but why “in the funny pages”?.

    This is the context:
    A man is being held prisoner and somebody is taking blood from his arm with a syringe. When he’s done he says to the prisoner:
    “That's it; all done. See you in the funny pages “
    And then he leaves.

  2. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    You are correct about the meaning. It's a fairly old idiom, and I think it has an air of mild contempt. The "funny pages" are the comic strips in the newspaper. The characters therein are not usually intelligent, good looking, wise... I can see the expression being used by a prison guard or a kidnapper to her prisoner as a mild, routine insult.
  3. coquita Senior Member

    Far, far away from home...
    Español (Argentina)
    Thanks Nun-Translator! Now it makes more sense...

    Can you think of more phrases like this?

    I've heard these a couple of times (in different contexts, of course):
    "See you in another life"
    "See you in hell"

    Any others?

  4. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    Yes, exactly. And the ironic element of the expression is, that "I'll see you in the funny pagea/papers" provided that (counter to obvious reasonable expectations) you ever make something notable of your life. Something worth reporting, even in the least prestigious section of the paper.

    It's notable that people like Bugs Buny tended to use the expression, characters for whom a comedown from animated short-subjects would've been a sign of career turndaown-- so I'll see you in the funny papers if I ever sink so low.
  5. coconutpalm

    coconutpalm Senior Member

    Shanghai, China
    I'm sorry, Fox, but I can't understand you. Who's Bugs Buny? This name reminds me of that cunning rabbit (I love him!):confused:
    And what do you mean by the last sentence: so I'll see you in the funny papers if I ever sink so low?
  6. heidita Banned

    Madrid, Spain
    Germany (German, English, Spanish)
    Yes, Bugs Bunny is the character you are referring to.

    Bugs Bunny is an animated figure on TV or in films, so it would be a comedown for the funny rabbit to be "only" on paper as in a comic strip.
  7. coconutpalm

    coconutpalm Senior Member

    Shanghai, China
    Oh, I understand it! Now!
    Thank you, Heidita!
  8. bartleby75 Member

    I'm back to my translation from English and I came across this odd expression.

    I'll see you in the funny papers

    It's an old fashioned one and I need to find out more about it. As far as I know, it's a way to say 'goodbye', 'see you' but I'm not sure, I though it might have some relations with the chance of dying soon. It that so?
    Can someone help me? Thanks.
  9. xqby

    xqby Senior Member

    Oxnard, CA
    English (U.S.)
    That doesn't make much sense to me by itself. Can you provide context?
  10. Cagey post mod (English Only / Latin)

    English - US
    The "funny papers" is the section of a newspaper in which they print the comics. In this earlier thread on the same saying, they are called the "funny pages": see you in the funny pages.

    (The comment has nothing to do with dying. It is a joking way of saying good-bye. But you should read the thread for a full explanation.)

    Edit: This comment on the Phrase Finder dates it: "Yes, this was a common colloquial valedictory from the '20s (or so I've heard) perhaps through about the middle of World War II."
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2008
  11. bibliolept

    bibliolept Senior Member

    Northern California
    AE, Español
    It is indeed a valedictory phrase. "Funny pages/papers" refers, I believe, the comics pages in a newspaper.

    See also: see you in the funny pages
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2008
  12. bartleby75 Member

    Thanks! I knew the 'literal' meaning (funny papers included) so the other forum you've suggested really helped me out.
    My mistake: I was looking for idioms using just 'papers' as a key word ...:eek:

    Well, then 'I'll se you all in the funny pages'!
  13. LeroyStone New Member

    Good Day to All,
    Until this morning, it has been years since I have heard this phrase:

    "See You in the Funny Papers"

    Contrary to most of the posts above, the Quote above is a very derogatory way to say "Goodbye". It is a very deameaning way of stating that you will never amount to anything WORTH reviewing, and I want nothing more to do with you. I cite; For many, many years, the "Funny Pages/Paper" and "Obituaries" were published on the same page. In later years, the Funnies and Obituaries were accross from each other, still in the center of the section, sharing the same piece of paper but separated simply by the fold. However, the "Elderly" use this phrase in gest, as a Humorous way of saying "Goodbye" and referring to "Death" and "Old Age".

    Basic usage as a nice way of saying "I don't want to see you again until I read your obituary".

    I hope this helps!

    Sir Albert Leroy Stone III
  14. pob14 Senior Member

    Central Illinois
    American English
    Another example of a similar phrase: "See you [or "catch you"] on the flipside." The phrase refers to vinyl records, which we old folks recall as having music on two sides, and you had to "flip" them over to play the rest of the music. Again, it was a jocular way of saying "see you later."

    I disagree that the "funny papers" phrase is in any way derogatory.
  15. skim32 New Member

    While the phrase origin may have come from a derogatory phrase, I don' think that's how it's used anymore. Really I'm basing my definition of the phrase based on countless dialogues I've seen in movies and tv shows, but I think I have it down.

    Usually, the phrase "see you in the funny pages" is uttered when someone is about to do something very dangerous and there is a chance that they might not see each other for a long time. I think the funny pages, while it used to refer to the comic section of the newspaper, now means just the newspaper. So basically the person is saying, that he/she is either about to do something that might get him/herself killed or sent to prison and thus making the newspaper. Another derivation of this phrase that I've heard before is "See you on the 5'oclock news." Which essentially means the same thing.

    As pob14 mentions as well. See you on the flipside is a similar phrase. While it might have stemmed from vinyl records, I believe it more has the connotation of "See you in the afterlife." The flip side meaning the other side of life. Usually that phrase is also said when someone is about to do something dangerous as well.
  16. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    I don't think it has anything to do with death or the afterlife. I remember it very vaguely (I'm not sure I actually ever heard it said, except perhaps in some old movies) as something said by A to B when A really didn't ever expect to see B again—not because B would be dead, but simply because A was sure their paths would never cross again. (It might have been used when someone was leaving a boyfriend or girlfriend.) And I'm sure it was funny papers, not funny "pages".

Share This Page