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Ward, C.H. (1962). Kilroy was Here—A Reflection of History in Some Language Fads. Psychoanal Q., 31:80-91.

(1962). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 31:80-91

Kilroy was Here—A Reflection of History in Some Language Fads

Clyde H. Ward, M.D.


Exhaustive search shows that the phrase 'Kilroy was here' first appeared at the time of demobilization from World War II. Kilroy suggests regicide, the revolt against tyrants. The phrase was probably associated with demobilization because it served as a reassurance to the soldier at a particularly difficult time. Other similar wartime or postwar characters reflect, like Kilroy, the history of the times.

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