Caspar Milquetoast

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Caspar Milquetoast

Caspar Milquetoast was a comic strip character created by the cartoonist Harold Tucker Webster (1885-1952) for the New York Herald Tribune and other newspapers in the late 1920s. The central figure in many of Webster's witty, urbane, and mildly satirical cartoons during the interwar years was frequently a middle-class professional man who was rather mild-mannered and retiring. The most notable and best known of these was Caspar Milquetoast, self-effacing, obedient to a fault, and, quite literally, scared of his own shadow—the personification of timidity. This character's manner and richly imagistic surname yielded the epithet "a milquetoast," still part of the American vernacular although it is unlikely that very many of those who currently use the epithet have any knowledge of its origin.

—John R. Deitrick

Further Reading:

Webster, H.T. Best of H.T. Webster. New York, Simon and Schuster, 1953.