21 Comments

  1. I googled it:
    First, Tucker is the transferred use of an English surname which originated as an occupational name. In old England, a tucker was the same thing as a fuller, or a cloth-softener. … Another possible origin is that the English surname Tucker originated as a nickname from the French “tout-coeur” meaning ‘all heart.’

    I was thinking along the lines of ‘tuckered out’ myself. Which doesn’t really worked without the ‘ed’.

  2. Possibly Grandpa and the boy are on the same wavelength and he meant exactly what the kid meant; he tucks his shirts in. We don’t see the Grandpa wincing or doing a slow burn….

    …. but then… isnt being a tucker the norm and wearing the shirts “out” being kind of casual? Or am I missing something about “wearing shirts out”? Is a tucker someone who somehow avoids fraying shirts? How exactly.

  3. I think maybe grampa and grandson are just on the same wavelength, and what Joe thought is exactly what he thought — silly, childish even, but when you get past a certain age, the cynical world-wise pose gets old, and you can let your inner child flourish and not worry what the cool kids think.

  4. “I can think of a NSFW interpretation involving a portion of the male anatomy.”

    I can’t.

    I can try. And I can wink and put my voice into a basso voce and leer, but when you ask what I mean…. well, I have to admit I have nothing.

  5. He was asking if Tucker was Australian:

    Down came a jumbuck to drink at the billabong, 

    Up jumped the swagman and grabbed him with glee,
    
he sang as he shoved that jumbuck in his tucker bag,
    
you’ll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me

  6. Git out the way for ol’ Dan Tucker
    Too late to catch his supper
    Supper’s done and dinner’s cookin
    And ol’ Dan Tucker jist stands there lookin

  7. woozy — tucking shirts in has been seen as old and fuddy-duddy for about ten years now. If you’re not wearing a tie or jacket, you wear your shirt untucked. Some of the more fashion-forward young folks wear their shirts untucked even then.

    They’re tailored differently — while our shirts have longer fronts and backs for tucking in, modern button-up shirts have a straight-across bottom.

    For the record, as an old fuddy-duddy, I wear my shirts tucked in.

  8. One of the recurring jokes is that an adult says something, then one of the kids misinterprets what was said and replies to that. It’s not much of a joke if Grandpa actually meant that.

  9. So…. it’s not a joke unless it follows an expected and predictable formula? I’m not saying that the cartoonist had a standard and predictable mean for “Tucker” but… considering the grandfather would be well aware that “Tucker” is just a name and there is no reason to assume just because a boy is named “Tucker” means he would be a tucker (whatever is meant by that) and that it’s hard to think of what the Grandfather did mean. I think it’d be cuter if the Grandpa and the boy are just shooting the breeze and making the same joke to each other. It upsets the expectation but…. it works on a different level.

  10. Considering the three possible meanings of “tucker”, only one of them fits precisely with the grammar in Joe’s grandfather’s dialog balloon:
    1) If he really did intend “one who tucks” (his shirt in), then I think he would have asked “Is he one?”, meaning “Is he A ‘tucker’?
    2) As noted above, the “tired” meaning would need an “ed” suffix to form the past participle.
    3) The solution is in the sense of “tucker bag”: Joe’s grandfather is asking “Is he tucker?”, meaning “Is he ‘food’?

  11. So…. it’s not a joke unless it follows an expected and predictable formula?

    Well, when you have a running joke in a strip, yeah you expect them to stick to the usual. Maybe not in this case. Comments didn’t come up with much either.

  12. It’s a strange thing Anthropologically.

    You have a fictional story the purpose of which is to provide humor. In it, a question is asked and an answer is given. All the details of the story are are there– a question is asked and an answer is given. And somehow the entire tribe assumes that somehow the question had to be misunderstood yet nowhere in the story is there any indication that the question would be misunderstood.

    That’s very odd when you think about it, isn’t it?

  13. If there had been 20 previous stories that featured a misunderstood question, the people might well be justified in wondering if this one is following that pattern.

  14. woozy: I don’t actually think it’s anthropologically strange that people have conventions for telling jokes or other stories. Seems pretty normal.

  15. I don’t think it’s “strange”. I think it is interesting in that given that exchange nearly all of us, myself included, assume the grandfather meant something else and the kid misunderstood, even though based solely on the conversation alone there is utterly no reason to assume so.

    What I think is interesting is that I do believe that was the cartoonists intention but for the life of me I can’t conceive of what the cartoonist thought it would be. But cartoons are seldom consistent and very frequently the cartoonist will have an internal monologue that *just* is incomprehensible to the outside world (B.C, Mother Goose and Grim, Pardon my Planet, and F- have this 90 percent of the time, Others like Rhymes with Orange and Frazz have it only 80 percent of the time.) But this actually makes a certain amount of sense and is almost charming, if we assume that both the grandfather and grandson meant the same thing and the joke is the reveal.

  16. ianosmond – where do find the shirts made not to be tucked in? I had suggested them to Robert and only found one of them when we went looking – then he won’t have to constantly deal with his shirt becoming untucked and needing to be tucked in again.

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