Alphonse and Gaston


Al·​phonse and Gas·​ton
ˈalˌfänz … ˈgastən,
plural Alphonses and Gastons
: a pair of persons exhibiting an excessive usually exaggerated politeness or deference to each other especially about not taking precedence

Word History


after Alphonse and Gaston, characters displaying excessive politeness and often uttering the phrases "after you, my dear Gaston" and "after you, my dear Alphonse" that appeared in the comic strip Alphonse and Gaston by Frederick B. Opper †1937 American illustrator and cartoonist

First Known Use

1902, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Alphonse and Gaston was in 1902

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Cite this Entry

“Alphonse and Gaston.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jun. 2024.

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