I ought to be in everybody’s mouth

Every one is familiar with the change in meaning that the word “gay” has undergone over the years. This leads to amusingly sexualized phrases like “to have a gay time”.

Here is another one of those silly word games that only Time (not the magazine, this was from the Literary Digest) can play.

From July 8, 1898 we have this advertizement on the back page, lower left:


The Pro-phy-lac-tic!

Thoughtfully hyphenated for pronunciation, we get a come-on from a company making tooth brushes called “Prophylactics”. Strictly speaking, a prophylactic is a preventative of some sort. In this case, they are trying to prevent tooth decay. Evidently the company stuck with the name when they branched out into hair brushes.

1 thought on “I ought to be in everybody’s mouth

  1. Pingback: MORE licentious ads | FlowCoef

Leaving a reply is incouraged [sic]:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.