Dear Abby

Dear Abby
Dear Abby Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame memorializing the Dear Abby radio show

Dear Abby is the name of the advice column founded in 1956 by Pauline Phillips under the pen name Abigail Van Buren and carried on today by her daughter, Jeanne Phillips, who now owns the legal rights to the pen name.

According to Pauline Phillips, she came up with the pen name, Abigail Van Buren, by combining the name of a Biblical figure, Abigail in the Book of Samuel, with the last name of former U.S. President Martin Van Buren.

The column was syndicated by McNaught Syndicate from 1956 until 1966, when it moved to Universal Press Syndicate. Dear Abby's current syndication company claims the column is known for its "uncommon common sense and youthful perspective".[1]

A similar column, Ask Ann Landers, was written from 1955 to 2002 by Pauline's twin sister Eppie Lederer.


In popular culture

  • The day after Lyndon Johnson's landslide victory in the 1964 U.S. Presidential election, nationally syndicated editorial cartoonist Bill Mauldin drew a cartoon captioned "Dear Abby..." in which he showed Johnson's defeated opponent Barry Goldwater writing a letter.
  • In 1964, Dear Abby was the subject of a pop song with the same title, sung by The Hearts.
  • Also in 1964, she appeared as herself in the Mister Ed episode "Ed Writes Dear Abby."
  • In 1974, John Prine recorded a song called "Dear Abby" on his Sweet Revenge album.
  • In 1986, the Californian punk group Dead Kennedys recorded "Dear Abby" for their album Bedtime for Democracy.
  • The original version of "The Chanukah Song", by Adam Sandler, contains the line "We got Ann Landers, and her sister Dear Abby", a reference to the Jewish heritage of the twins.
  • The song "Beauty School Dropout" from the musical Grease mentions Dear Abby.
  • An episode of The Brady Bunch involves an advice column called "Dear Libby", an obvious allusion to Dear Abby.
  • On the episode of Clarissa Explains It All titled "Take My Advice...Please," there is a reference in the first few minutes to both Dear Abby and Ask Ann Landers by Clarissa (Melissa Joan Hart.)
  • On the show Total Drama Island, in the episode "The Sucky Outdoors" when LeShawna is cornered by a bear, Owen shouts, "Dear Abby, she's going to die!"
  • On the show Dexter, in the episode "Slack Tide" Dexter thinks "Dear Abby, I'm a serial killer and need advice..."
  • In the Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris, various allusions are made to Dear Abby due to the fact that fictional character Pam reads her columns.
  • Cited by the Shasta character on the 3rd page of Thomas Pynchon's Inherent Vice novel, when talking to Doc.
  • In The Great Muppet Caper, after being asked which newspaper he would buy, Fozzie Bear says, "I read the one that has 'Dear Abby'."
  • Dear Abby is the subject of much fodder on the weekly Tell 'Em Steve Dave Podcast hosted by Bryan Johnson and Walter Flanagan.
  • In an episode of "Three's Company" called "A Black Letter Day", a question posed in Dear Abby causes for a misunderstanding among Jack, Janet, and Chrissy. The question was "Dear Abby, I am a single man sharing an apartment with two women. I'm having an affair with one of them. How can we get the other to move out?" In the same episode, another question is read mistakenly by all three roommates: "Dear Abby, I am a Siamese twin. I like to go out with boys. How can I stop my sister from tagging along?".


See also

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dear Abby — [Dear Abby] a regular newspaper column, appearing in several US newspapers, which answers readers’ questions about love and family problems. It began in 1956 and is written by Abigail Van Buren (real name Jeanne Phillips) and was started by her… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Dear Abby — Dear Ab|by [ ,dır æbi ] AMERICAN a newspaper COLUMN written by a woman who gives advice about people s problems. People sometimes say they feel like Dear Abby when other people ask them for advice …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Dear Abby — Dear Ab|by trademark a US newspaper ↑column by Abigail Van Buren, which prints letters from readers asking for advice and her answers to these letters …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Dear Abby — a regular newspaper column, appearing in several US newspapers, which answers readers’ questions about love and family problems. It began in 1956 and is written by Abigail Van Buren (real name Jeanne Phillips) and was started by her mother,… …   Universalium

  • Dear Abby — Abigail Van Buren (Pauline Esther Phillips) …   Eponyms, nicknames, and geographical games

  • Abby — is a shortened form of Abigail and may refer to:* Abby Dalton, an American actress * Abby Hoffman, a former Canadian track and field athlete. * Abby Kelley, an American abolitionist and radical social reformer. * Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, a… …   Wikipedia

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  • Pauline Phillips — Infobox writer name = Pauline Phillips caption = birthname = Pauline Esther Friedman birthdate = birth date and age|1918|7|4 birthplace = Sioux City, Iowa, United States occupation = Advice columnist Pauline Phillips (born July 4, 1918 as Pauline …   Wikipedia

  • Jeanne Phillips — writes the most widely read advice column in the world, Dear Abby. She is the daughter of Pauline Esther Friedman Phillips, who founded Dear Abby in 1956. In a Dear Abby column in Dec. 2000, Mrs. Phillips introduced Jeanne as co creator of Dear… …   Wikipedia

  • The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!) — Logo Music Eric Rockwell Lyrics Joanne Bogart …   Wikipedia

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