A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“I love reunions. They’re old school” (2/19)
“I never question myself. Why should I start now?” (2/18)
“Exercise bikes get you nowhere” (2/18)
“Did you hear about the angry gymnast? He just flipped” (2/18)
“I was given a leaflet the other day on anger management. I lost it” (2/18)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Entry from November 21, 2011
“Man is the only animal that can he skinned more than once”

"Man is the only animal that can he skinned more than once” is a joke that dates to at least 1920. The joke centers on the slang sense of “being skinned” (being financially taken).

Comedian Jimmy Durante (1893-1980) is often credited with originating the line, but it’s doubtful that he used it by 1920.


Google Books
29 May 1920, The American Artisan and Hardware Record, “Random Notes and Sketches” by Sidney Arnold, pg. 17, col. 1:
My friend Fred Biffar, the Chicago sporting goods man, says that man is the only animal that can be skinned more than once.

Google Books
5 June 1920, The Elgin Dairy Report, pg. 1, col. 1:
Man is the only animal that can be skinned more than once.

Google Books
September 1920, The Rotarian, pg. 138, col. 2:
“Man is the only animal that can be skinned more than once.”

14 September 1920, New Castle (PA) News, “Hints and Dints,” pg. 4, col. 3:
Man is the only animal that can skinned more than once.

Google Books
A Short Introduction to the History of Human Stupidity
By Walter Boughton Pitkin
New York, NY: Simon & Schuster
1932
Pg. 434:
As a sharpster wit once remarked, “The human being is the only animal that can be skinned more than once.”

Google News Archive
14 January 1940, Youngstown (OH) Vindicator, “I Spot Crooked Card Players” by Arthur B. Monroe (as told to Lucrece Hudgins), magazine section, pg. 3, col. 1:
That’s my private Monroe Doctrine, and I might add that man is the only animal that can be skinned more than once.

Google News Archive
21 July 1944, Pentwater (MI) News, “Gay Gadgets” by Nancy Pepper, pg. 6, col. 4:
MAN— The only animal that can be skinned more than once.

Google NewsArchive
18 November 1948, Sundance (WY) Times, “Frankly Speaking,” pg. 3, col. 2:
Man is the only animal that can he skinned more than once.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • (1) Comments • Monday, November 21, 2011 • Permalink


You have made a nice research on this quote. I hope that Jimmy Durante won’t feel offended smile

Posted by Mex from NC  on  11/27  at  12:29 PM

Man is the only animal that can he skinned more than once. Love to visit again.

Posted by rags6  on  05/22  at  11:24 PM

Page 1 of 1 pages