1. Iis this a reference to “mock turtle”? Does the cartoonist know that that is reference to the phrase “mock turtle soup“? Is a reader supposed to have associations with the phrase “mock turtle”? Can anyone have an association that is not about “Alice in Wonderland”?


  2. No, woozy, both “mock turtle soup” and “mock turtleneck [shirt]” have been around for a good long time, and essentially independent. I don’t know what the actual contents of mock turtle sooup are, but I trust they are something else fashioned in imitation of turtle meat. A turtle neck or turtleneck pullover shirt (or sweater or top) has a long extended neck section that goes well up onto one’s throat if not rolled down or folded down; it can be worn covering high for warmth (or concealment), but typically is worn rolled down or folded down. A mock turtle neck or mock turtleneck on a pullover shirt or other top is made so it appears like a turtleneck that has already been folded down once. So it rises only partway on one’s throat always, and does not have the option of being unfolded to extend further.

    In this cartoon, the guy’s shirt is first of all in the mock turtleneck style as just described. But in addition, it is indeed, as Bill’s headline asks, mocking the wearer. (And it does not really connect to mock turtle soup.)

  3. “mock turtle” is an ordinary thing. Mock turtleneck is a shirt that mocks the wearer. That pun is the whole joke.

  4. A reply to woozy is in moderation, about how mock turtle soup and mock turtleneck collar are unrelated.)
    I didn’t pick up on the point about the Mock Turtle in Alice. As your question suggests, certainly Carroll’s fictional character is designated that way as a joke reference to mock turtle soup. But neither is invoked in this cartoon, only the mock turtleneck colla

  5. No. A mock turtleneck is a style of garment that resembles a turtleneck. The neck does not come up as high as on a true turtleneck and does not fold over, as it does on a turtleneck. It’s had to be sure, but it looks like what he is wearing is a turtleneck, not a mock turtleneck.

    Except it is! Because it is the other sense of “mock”. The sweater is making fun of him because he’s fat! But the joke would not work it were captioned fat-shaming turtleneck.

  6. Mock turtle soup was made with calf’s head, calf’s feet, brains and other organ meats. That’s why the Mock Turtle in the original Tenniel illustrations looks like a calf with a turtle shell.

  7. I didn’t think the shirt was mocking him. I thought he was mocking others by pretending to be pregnant. Presumably being pregnant is a good excuse for being fat.

  8. Mitch4

    Some of your comments *don’t* go to moderation? How did you manage that? Every single comment of mine for the last four months goes to moderation. I’m sure there is a moderation file with my domain name in it.

    Somehow I had forgotten that there was a thing called Mock Turtleneck although I’m pretty sure I have heard of it.

    (I wish that there was no such thing as a real turtleneck…. I can’t conceive of how anyone can possibly tolerate ever wearing one.)

  9. “Is it because I have a WordPress account and always post using it?”

    No. I have a WordPress account, always use it, and *always* get moderated. Every. Single. Time.

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