Heavenly POP

It’s been about ten days since the last POP (phrasal overlap portmanteau) here — a 10/9/19 posting “Two old cartoon friends”, with doctors without border collies — so, on the theory that regular POPs are good for the mind and the spirit, today’s Wayno/Piraro Bizarro collabo, at the very gates of heaven:

pearly gates + gate-crasher

(If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 2 in this strip — see this Page.)

Appreciating the cartoon requires that you be familiar with the pop-culture story (whose source is the Christian Bible) of St. Peter at the pearly gates to heaven; that you be familiar with the belief (spread by an 1989 animated movie) that all dogs go to heaven; that you know the idiomatic synthetic compound gate-crasher; and that you know the idiomatic nouning plus-one. That’s a lot of cultural stuff.

The pearly gates. From Wikipedia:

Pearly gates is an informal name for the gateway to Heaven according to some Christian denominations. It is inspired by the description of the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:21: “The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate being made from a single pearl.”

The image of the gates in popular culture is a set of large gold, white or wrought-iron gates in the clouds, guarded by Saint Peter (the keeper of the “keys to the kingdom”). Those not fit to enter heaven are denied entrance at the gates, and descend into Hell. In some versions of this imagery, Peter looks up the deceased’s name in a book, before opening the gate.

So the story begins with a brief passage in Revelation, which is then fashioned over the years into a kind of Christian folktale that filters into popular culture.

All dogs go to heaven. The idea that dogs are more likely to go to heaven than people are seems to have a fairly long history in (at least) American culture, though it appears to lack biblical grounding. But with the release of the 1989 movie All Dogs Go to Heaven, the expression became proverbial. From Wikipedia:

All Dogs Go to Heaven is a 1989 animated musical fantasy comedy-drama film directed and produced by Don Bluth, and released by United Artists and Goldcrest Films.

So that’s the idea that gets this dog to the pearly gates — with her owner. Who gets to crash those gates as her plus-one.

gate-crasher. From OED2 on the noun gate-crasher (an agentive synthetic compound combining V and its direct object N: roughly, ‘someone who crashes a gate’, but now understood more specifically):

One who enters a sports ground or a private party, reception, entertainment, etc., without an invitation or ticket

[1st cite:] 1927 Daily News 28 June 5/3 ‘One-eyed Connolly’, the champion American ‘gate crasher’ (one who gains admittance to big sporting events without payment). [then widened in its application]

Note: then by back-formation, we get the derivative verb gate-crash:

intransitive and transitive to enter (a party, etc.) as a gatecrasher.

[1st OED2 cite:] 1931 E. Mannin Ragged Banners viii. 80 Geoffrey Hayes is giving a party to-night — shall we gate-crash?

s.o.’s plus-one. From NOAD:

noun plus-oneinformal a person’s guest at a social function.

This is a nouning of the PP plus one in an invitation to such a function — an invitation for someone plus one (that is, plus a companion of the invitee’s choice).



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