"G'wan kid, ya bodda me!" - Origin?

Can anybody tell me the origin of the phrase, “G’wan kid, ya bodda me!” (Go on, kid, you bother me!)? I’ve heard/read the phrase a number of times, though the only specific instance I can recall was in a Spider-Man comic from the late '80s. Peter Parker was on a book-signing tour promoting his book of Spider-Man photos, and a young boy was peppering him with one question after another. Peter finally had enough and said to the boy, “G’wan kid, ya bodda me!”.

The phrase is usually said in some kind of affected New York City (or similar) accent, even when the speaker does not have such an accent normally, which leads me to believe that they’re quoting from a film.

W. C. Fields?

It sounds like something WC Fields would say, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was the origin of it, but I think that the reason it has still hung around is because Bugs Bunny would say it sometimes. That would account for the New York accent also.

“Go away kid, ya bother me” is the way I always heard it. As Maholoth and Manduck said, it was W.C. Fields, generally addressing his nemesis, Baby Leroy. At least, that’s the earliest use of it I know of. I vaguely remember reading in a Fields biography when I was young that Fields truly hated Baby Leroy in real life.

I think so too (or four, as the case may be.)

What New York accent?

It’s you people who have an accent.

“Go away kid, ya bother me.”

— W.C. Fields

(1880-1946), (William Claude Dukenfield) U.S. actor and comedian - classic line spoken to on-screen nemesis Baby Leroy; films include It’s a Gift (1934) and David Copperfield (1935).

Found Here

But I found other references that pretty much said the same thing.

However, if you are remembering an accent, perhaps you are recalling Bugs Bunny who has said it in a number of cartoons. (no site yet.)

Sounds like we have a consensus - thanks, all :slight_smile:

Could be - I watched a lot of Bugs Bunny as a kid. Also, when I’ve seen it in print it’s always been written in dialect that implies NYC (Bronx?)

Foghorn Leghorn used it.

While Fields certainly popularized it(and is the source of all modern memory of the quote by old-timers, such as myself–Bugs and others by whippersnappers :)), a perusal of writings before that period turns up a newspaper story from 1914


Now, whether this was from a bit in a vaudeville act, I don’t know(but wouldn’t be surprised). Fields had been around for a long time. He may still be the originator, but not much is new under the sun.

That’s why we keep you around, Sam. Me, when I start quoting stuff the the Teens and before, I come off as a poseur. You can lay claim to the whole “And you are there” schtick with validity because, God knows, you look it. :wink: