Being concerned with having cars, gadgets, and clothes that are as cool as those of your mythical neighbor, the Jonses. A social arms race, if you will.

A syndicated comic strip by cartoonist Arthur R. Momand which ran in American newspapers from 1913 to 1931. Originally, the title was to be "Keeping up with the Smiths", but Momand decided to change the name to "Joneses" just before first publication, giving us the cliché we still use today to describe neighborly competition.

Several sources list this as the true source of the phrase. I've heard of at least three other possible sources, mostly wealthy 19th century individuals named "Jones", but they all seem aprocryphal in comparison to the evidence supporting this source.

Actually, in regards to Anark's post about junkies 'keeping up with the Jonses', it's actually the other way around. They'd be 'keeping away from the Joneses', 'keeping ahead of the Joneses or 'keeping the Joneses at bay'...

The Joneses is a slang title given to The Sick, The Ill, aka withdrawl. As in 'I've got these Joneses killing my boneses', a term used by addicts when they're hurting for a fix. Instead of considering the Joneses to be an ideal life type or style, junkies consider it the enemy.The perfect drug would be one that didn't induce withdrawl effects.

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