Squid Pro Quo

This Non Sequitur cartoon by Wiley Miller:


squid / quid. And squid as a source of ink, squid as food. .

Hat tips to Chris Hansen and Josh Simon. On the cartoon, see this Page.

Two crucial pieces of background, from NOAD2:

noun quid pro quo: a favor or advantage granted or expected in return for something: the pardon was a quid pro quo for their help in releasing hostages. ORIGIN mid 16th century (denoting a medicine substituted for another): Latin, ‘something for something.’

noun calamari (also calamares): squid served as food. ORIGIN Italian, plural of calamaro, from medieval Latin calamarium ‘pen case,’ from Greek kalamos ‘pen’ (with reference to the squid’s long tapering internal shell and its ink). The variant calamares is Spanish.

(Grammatical note: the English noun calamari can be either (SG) M (this calamari is) or PL (C) (these calamari are). The M treatment seems to be more common, but both are well attested.)

The pun squid pro quo has been exploited by one cartoonist after another. Three more, from Rhymes With Orange, a cartoon regularly featured here; from Courtoons: daily legal cartoons by David Mills; and from Marcus Connor’s Brainless Tales (which I’ll take up in another posting):





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