Caspar Milquetoast

Caspar Milquetoast

Caspar Milquetoast was a comic strip character created by Harold Webster in 1924 for his comic strip The Timid Soul, published in the New York World. Webster continued to produce the comic strip until his death in 1952, after which his assistant Herb Roth carried it on for another year.

The name is a deliberate misspelling of the name of a bland and fairly inoffensive food, milk toast. Milk toast is light and easy to digest, therefore appropriate food for someone with a weak or "nervous" stomach, or an invalid.

From this character, the term "milquetoast" has come into general usage to mean "weak and ineffectual." When the term is used to describe a person, it typically indicates someone of an unusually meek or submissive nature, who may appear overly sensitive, timid, indecisive, or cowardly.

Further reading

  • H. T. Webster, Introduction by Ring Lardner, The Timid Soul, Simon and Schuster (1931)
  • The Best of H. T. Webster: A Memorial Collection, Simon and Schuster (1953), hardcover, 254 pages.

Sources

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