The Straight Dope

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"The Straight Dope" was a question-and-answer newspaper column written under a pseudonym of Cecil Adams and illustrated (also pseudonymously) by Slug Signorino,[2] first published in 1973 in the Chicago Reader as well as syndicated nationally in the United States[3] and a website by the same name.

The Straight Dope
The Straight Dope.png
Type of site
Question and Answer
OwnerChicago Reader / Straight Dope Publishing
Created byCecil Adams (pseudonym)
Alexa rankPositive decrease 4,651 (April 2014)[1]
RegistrationRequired only on forums
Current statusactive

Following the column of June 27, 2018, the "Straight Dope" column was placed on hiatus, with no decision made regarding its future.[4] The website and associated forum continues to be active.

The last website update was June 24, 2020.

Name and taglineEdit

The column derives its name from the American idiom meaning roughly "the true information; the full story"[5] and covers many subjects, including history, science, old wives' tales, urban legends, and inventions. The column appeared under the tagline: "Fighting ignorance since 1973 (It's taking longer than we thought.”


Five collections of columns have been published, sometimes referred to as the Straight Dope Cyclopedia of Human Knowledge:

  • The Straight Dope (1984)
  • More of the Straight Dope (1988)
  • Return of the Straight Dope (1994)
  • The Straight Dope Tells All (1998)
  • Triumph of the Straight Dope (1999)

In addition, the 1993 collection Know It All was published for younger audiences by Cecil's "assistant" Ed Zotti.[6]


In 1996, the A&E Network briefly aired a show based on the column called The Straight Dope, hosted and co-written by comedian Mike Lukas.[7] A podcast has also been released sporadically.[citation needed]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-04-01.
  2. ^ "The Straight Dope FAQ". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2020-03-06.
  3. ^ "Newspapers carrying The Straight Dope". The Straight Dope. 2013-06-16. Archived from the original on 2017-10-03.
  4. ^ Adams, Cecil. "A note from Cecil Adams about The Straight Dope". The Straight Dope. Archived from the original on 2018-06-28.
  5. ^ Spears, Richard A. (2005). McGraw-Hill's dictionary of American idioms and phrasal verbs. Chicago: McGraw-Hill. p. 652. ISBN 0-07-143578-6. OCLC 61399219.
  6. ^ "The Straight Dope Books". The Chicago Reader. Archived from the original on 12 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-27.
  7. ^ "Mike Lukas". Deja Vu Comedy Club. Archived from the original on 2008-02-06. Retrieved 2008-01-27.

External linksEdit