Meaning of the phrase “Johnny on the spot”


Len Rome's Daily Feature of Little Known Facts

(WYTV)- Johnny on the spot is always available, always ready to help, always there when you need him.

Who is Johnny and what spot is he on?

Why do we say this?

We can trace the expression back to April, 1896 and a writer for the newspaper, the New York Sun.
He wrote an article talking about a popular expression everyone was using in New York, his article was syndicated and it appeared in the Steubenville Daily Herald.

The writer said ‘Johnny on the spot’ is a shortened version of Johnny is always on the spot when wanted.
And why did anyone start saying this?

We don’t know. Johnny is a general name for any young male and doesn’t refer to a real person.
The writer was wrong, though, when he predicted the expression would most likely go out of popularity soon.

Since 1970, a portable toilet company has called itself “Johnny on the Spot.”

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