Peticure? Pawdicure?

In modern times there are several cutesy invented terms for trimming the claws and otherwise taking care of the paws of our pets. But even now, as in the depicted early 20th Century, a “manicure parlor” is presumed to handle only human clients. The question is, Why would the reception be any different at a Chiropodist’s office?


  1. I think the joke might be that Ignatz’s claws in such disarray that they’re beyond the abilities of a manicurist and he should be seeking more serious treatment. (‘How dare you come into my parlor with claws like that! Get thee to a chiropodist!’)

    The manicurist seems to be pointing in that direction, so I don’t think it’s a human/animal issue, especially since he’s a dog himself.

  2. Manicure = Hands
    Chiropody = Feet

    Ignatz has paws/feet, not hands. Except they are all drawn with hands, even the dog pointing across the street. shrug

  3. Thanks , Targuman.
    I thought chiropodist meant both hands and feet (since both roots are visible), but a check in dictionaries shows it had narrowed to just feet.

    Here is the entry from showing that original dual application. (Also interesting is their entry on Podiatrist saying it was a conscious substitution as part of professionalisation)

    chiropodist (n.)
    “one who treats diseases or malformations of the hands or feet,” 1785, from chiro- “hand” + pod-, stem of Greek pous “foot” (from PIE root *ped- “foot”) + -ist. Probably coined by Canadian-born U.S. healer Daniel Palmer (1845-1913); originally they treated both hands and feet. A much-maligned word among classicists, who point out it could mean “having chapped feet” but probably doesn’t, and in that case it is an etymological garble and no one can say for sure what it is meant to signify. Related: Chiropody.

  4. What’s Ignatz looking at in the second panel?

    A dictionary!

    And maybe an old enough one that it mentions hands and feet both.

  5. I said: And maybe an old enough one that it mentions hands and feet both.

    But that would be in regard to chiropodist, as in previous discussion here, and not relevant as of the second panel.

    So the answer to What’s Ignatz looking at in the second panel? could still be “a dictionary”, but in order to look up manicure.

    Or maybe something like a business directory, if they had such a thing then.

  6. I think Stan has it in the first comment. Sure the sign indicates manicures, which is hands, but I have never heard of a nail salon that does manicures but not pedicures. Check the definition that Mitch4 supplied. Ignatz’s feet are in such rough shape he needs more help.

  7. Also, since it’s a dog running the manicure parlor presumably for the other animals in the area (Krazy Kat, Officer Pup, etc.) ALL of their ‘hands’ would be ‘feet’…he’d be used to that. The forepaws would be treated as hands for all of his customers.

  8. Targuman has it. In the second panel, Ignatz is looking at his forepaws, which could use the services of a manicurist, he thinks.

  9. I think the joke is if Ignatz needs to look a work “manicure” up in a dictionary, the universe in comic retribution is going to respond with obsessive pedantry (pun?? unintended??). The manicurist is going to kick him out claiming “those are your FEET; not your hands

    (Presumably Ignatz and the shop owner are either fully anthropomorphized or this is a further surreal world were the joke is animals don’t have hands at all.)

  10. @Brian in STL … Yes! It paradoxically has something to do with the irregular wordspacing apparently growing. But I was seeing it too.

    I’m sure there are many possible associations for “MANTICORE” but my main one would be the novel with that title by Robertson Davies.

  11. There’s the Kingdom of Manticore from the Honor Harrington space opera series and Tiny Manticore from Adventure Time.

  12. CIDU, where “C” in this case stands for “Comment” — is Dr. Swati Mohan posting here?

  13. I’m assuming Mitch is referring to “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me: the NPR News Quiz”; the last guest on that show was the person I referred to. But maybe he is referring to one of the nearly anonymous phone-in contestants? Or maybe I’m completely off base? (I do have to admit I haven’t actually had a chance to actually listen to this week’s show yet…)

  14. Correct, larK, I thought I recognized the full name and professional description of one of the call-in contestants as a CIDU frequent commenter and mail-in contributor. Who comments with a pseudonym, so I hesitated that I might be being indiscreet if he cared about maintaining pseudonymity and I was identifying him because of editorial email exchanges. But on reflection, his Gravatar is clickable and the bio there gives the same name and professional description, so it’s not a deep secret.

    Ironically, I got distracted during the Saturday broadcast (well, by verifying my hunch and posting that comment); then during the Sunday repeat, I got on the phone to help a friend with a tech issue. And thus don’t know how he did on the quiz! Maybe I’ll join you in listening to it later from online repository.

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