Toonerville Trolley

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From the 1908–1955 cartoon featuring a trolley.

Proper noun[edit]

Toonerville Trolley (plural Toonerville Trolleys)

  1. (informal) A trolley, especially one in need of modernization.
    • 1945, Hodgson, J. H., The Heavens Above and the Earth Beneath: A History of the Dominion Observatories[1], Geological Survey of Canada, page 66:
      Such a car was the feature of a comic strip of those days, "The Toonerville Trolley that Meets All the Trains", and the Farm cars were affectionately known as "The Toonerville Trolley".
    • 1995, Earley, Charity Adams, One Woman's Army: A Black Officer Remembers the WAC[2], Texas A&M University Press, page 118:
      [T]he two modes of transportation available were taxicab and the “Toonerville Trolley.” ... The name “Toonerville Trolley” was taken from a popular cartoon of the time because we thought the rock and roll of the streetcar and the uphill and downhill route seemed to be lifted from the cartoon.
    • 2002, Shaffer, Dale E., Salem, OH: A Quaker City History[3], Arcadia Publishing, page 93:
      The trolley on that route was referred to as “Old Dolly” and the “Toonerville Trolley” (from the comic strip)
    • 2007, “Vermont: Toonerville Trail”, in Rail-Trails: New England[4], Wilderness Press, page 205:
      The trolley, affectionately nicknamed the “Toonerville Trolley” after a popular cartoon strip that ran until 1947.
    • 2007, Davis, John H., What Do White Americans Want to Know about Black Americans But Are Afraid to Ask[5], Xlibris, page 86:
      During the period, the area became known as the Toonerville after a local factory. The Pacific electric red car tracks ran through the area, and the local trolley became known as the Toonerville trolley.
    • 2008, Hamm, Jr., Thomas L., A Lifetime Spent Doing What I Loved to Do!: An Autobiography[6], iUniverse, page 15:
      To travel that mile there was an honest-to-god Toonerville Trolley. A Toonerville Trolley was a very small, one railroad car, featured in a comic strip popular at the time, with one cartoon-type fellow who did all the driving; ....
    • 2009, Grider, Dorothy, “Just Like Paradise”, in Geri Delevich, Marilyn Cichowski, editors, Embraceable You: We're All Part of the Story - New Hope, Pennsylvania[7], iUniverse, page ??:
      I always loved the first leg of that trip that began with a walk over the bridge that led to Lambertville Station and then a hop on board the little one-coach train called the Toonerville Trolley.
  2. A noticeably inexpensive trip.
    • 1969, American Flyers Airline, advertisement, Life[8], volume 67, number 175, page 124:
      Our airline must be something out of the Toonerville Trolley.
    • 1983, King, Stephen, Pet Sematary[9], Doubleday:
      At that point Louis had gone into the dispensary and taken a Tuinal—what his first med school roommate had called Tooners. “Hop up on the Toonerville Trolley, Louis,” he'd say, “and I'll put on some Credence.”