The Straight Dope

"The Straight Dope" was a question-and-answer newspaper column written by Cecil Adams and illustrated by Slug Signorino,[3] first published in 1973 in the Chicago Reader as well as syndicated nationally in the United States.[4]

The Straight Dope
Type of site
Question and Answer
OwnerChicago Reader / Straight Dope Publishing
Created byCecil Adams
Alexa rank 4,651 (April 2014)[1]
RegistrationRequired only on forums
Current statusinactive[2]

Following the column of June 27, 2018, "Straight Dope" was placed on hiatus, with no decision made regarding its future.[2]

Name and tagline

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.

See also


  1. " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-04-01.
  2. Note from Cecil
  3. "The Straight Dope FAQ". Chicago Reader. Archived from the original on 2008-02-01. Retrieved 2008-01-27.
  4. Newspapers carrying The Straight Dope, 2013, fr/ The Straight Dope
  5. McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. P.652 © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc
  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.

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