Noun & verb. Late 16th century.
A1 noun. A full-size drawing made on stout paper as a design for a painting, tapestry, mosaic, etc. L16
A2 noun. An illustrative drawing (originally full-page or large) in a newspaper or magazine,
especially as a vehicle for political satire or humour;
an amusing drawing with or without a caption;
a sequence of these in a strip. M19
A2(b) noun. A film made by animating a series of drawings. E20
B1 verb intrans. Draw a cartoon or cartoons. Chiefly as cartooning verbal noun. M19
B2 verb trans. Represent in a cartoon; caricature in a cartoon. L19
cartoonery noun cartoons collectively; the making of cartoon M19
cartoonish adjective resembling (the style of) a cartoon (Sense 2);
showing simplication or exaggeration of some feature L20
cartoonishly adverb L20
cartoonishness noun L20
cartoonist noun a person who draws cartoons L19
cartoony adjective = CARTOONISH L20
My, my! What cartoonery is this? I have been simultaneously cartoonified and superheroficated! As soon as I read cartoon in the OED and had determined, yes, it is an interesting word, I knew exactly who I wanted to illustrate it - the bodaciously brilliant Belgian blogger Bibi, whose creative cartoonery has entertained me pretty much ever since I entered the blogosphere. So thank you, Bibi; all I had in mind to illustrate cartoon was, well, one of your lovely pictures, but instead you've not only rendered me cartoonishly chuffed by making me a superhero - Eddie Lexi: The Hero With the OED - but you've treated me and all of the other Lexicolaters to a very fine three-part cartoon as I do battle with the evil Dr Cacolex:
Now that Dr Cacolex's dastardly plan to spread txtspk to the world has been thwarted, you might very well be wondering about the origin of the word cartoon (one of those words that definitely starts to sound a bit weird if you say it more than twice). Without wanting to denigrate the art form of cartoons, it does seem rather surprising that cartoon originated with what one might consider fine art, as cartoons originally referred to full-sized preliminary drawings made by artists in the 16th century as they planned their paintings, stained glass, tapestries and frescoes. The Raphael Cartoons, for example, are seven large cartoons for tapestries, although by the modern definition there is obviously nothing remotely cartoonish about them - the use of cartoon as it's popularly used today only started in the 1840s, when one-plate satirical cartoons started to appear in newspapers. As can be seen from the OED's entry, cartoon has now come to represent several different art forms, from the original preparatory cartoon, the humorous or satirical cartoon, the amusing cartoon that may or may not be in a strip, to the animated cartoons we all grew up watching. Anyway, enough blogging - now that I'm a superhero, I'd better get out and start doing lexicologically heroic stuff; I may have won the battle with Dr Cacolex, but txtspk never sleeps ...
Thank you again to Bibi for such wonderful illustrations. If you'd like to see more of Bibi's work, you can do so at Bibi Blog, and may I especially recommend her short animated film How I Learned to Love My Body. Thank you Bibi!
Do you like cartoons?
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