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:
“Futons are the sporks of the furniture world” (10/19)
“A microwave is an easy bake oven for adults” (10/19)
“What do you call a cat that eats lemons?"/"A sourpuss.” (10/19)
“Why was the road afraid of the bike lane?"/"Because it was a cycle path.” (10/19)
“Cheesecake is actually pie” (10/19)
More new entries...

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Entry from September 12, 2015
“I’m a graduate, so a thermometer is not the only thing that has degrees without brains”

Comparing a graduate with a thermometer is an old joke. “Thermometers are not the only things which are graduated and get degrees without brains” was cited in the Cornell Widow college humor magazine in February 1904. “The average technical graduate is no thermometer, graduated and given degrees without brains” was cited in April 1904.

“Thermometers are the only things that graduate and get degrees without brains” was cited in 1921. “The thermometer is not the only thing without brains that is sometimes graduated” was cited in 1941.

The saying became popular on Twitter in late 2014 and in 2015. “I’m a graduate So thermometer is not the only thing that has degrees without brains” was cited on Twitter on September 2, 2014.


Chronicling America
26 February 1904,Arizona Reublican (Phoenix, AZ), pg. 8, col. 5:
THERE ARE OTHERS.
Thermometers are not the only things which are graduated and get degrees without brains.—Cornell WIdow.

Google Books
April 1904, Journal of the Western Society of Engineers, pg. 310:
The average technical graduate is no thermometer, graduated and given degrees without brains.

Google Books
April and May 1921, The Mixer, pg. 8:
“Thermometers Are the Only Things That Graduate and Get Degrees Without Brains”

Google Books
Two Bells
Volume 4
1923
Pg. 44:
Thermometers are the only things that graduate and get degrees without brains.

Google Books
The Public Papers of Governor Keen Johnson, 1939-1943
Edited by Keen Johnson
Lexington, KY: The University Press of Kentucky
1982
Pg. 156 (June 4, 1941):
The thermometer is not the only thing without brains that is sometimes graduated.

Twitter
virenkhot
‏@virenkhot
thermometer is not the only thing which gets degrees without brains
11:57 PM - 12 Jul 2011

Twitter
Lazy 2.0
‏@LazyBat_Man
I’m a graduate So thermometer is not the only thing that has degrees without brains…
11:18 AM - 2 Sep 2014

Twitter
Tosh Mwas
‏@tosh_254
Wow now I’m a graduate…….Now thermometer is not the only thing that has degrees without brains
11:57 PM - 25 Nov 2014

Twitter
MANU
‏@Bengaloorumanu
On a graduation day...boys Wow I’m a graduate…….Now thermometer is not the only thing that has degrees without brains
10:06 AM - 7 Dec 2014

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityEducation/Schools • Saturday, September 12, 2015 • Permalink