Little did I ever consider the origins of the phrase “Goody Two-Shoes.” An 1888 edition of a children’s book titled Goody Two-Shoes can be found on the internet archive which includes pictures to embellish the tale. My first question upon this discovery was whether Goody Two-Shoes, the common phrase, originated before or after the publication of this book. In 1765 in London Goody Two-Shoes was published which gave way to the commonly used phrase in modern English.
To learn that Goody Two-Shoes became popular as a phrase following the popularity of this short children’s story allowed me to understand the power of chance. In the history of literature there are no
doubt millions of short phrases or thoughts that have the ability to develop into something more common. What about the use of one combination of words during one period of time allows for it to be carried on for generations? What sayings have been lost in history that could have had the qualities needed for lingual popularity?
Another interesting factor involves the publication of this short children’s story in London; at some point in history this phrase was carried into American English. This could have happened from European migration to America, however, it is surprising that “Goody Two-Shoes” has sustained itself as a regularly understood saying in the modern blend of American English.
“The History of Little Goody Two-Shoes.” Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia. N.p., 13 Sept. 2015. Web. 20 Sept. 2015. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_History_of_Little_Goody_Two-Shoes>.
“Goody Two-Shoes.” N.p., 1765. Internet Archive. Web. 20 Sept. 2015. <https://archive.org/details/goodytwoshoes00newyiala>.