What's the provenance of the stylized S from school?

Styx probably drew this in school, too. I recall drawing it in class at least as far back as 1972.


It’s the logo for Stussy, a clothing brand.


I was drawing this S (with a rounded top and bottom) in, probably, fourth grade—'75. In suburban DC. Data point!


Stussy dates from 1980, but my S-drawing brethren and sistren were doodling it years before that.


Last time I saw an article about this, it was surmised that given a sheet of lined notebook paper someone who was just doodling would probably stumble upon this particular shape.
I myself drew them all the time when I was a kid in the 90s, and I don’t remember anyone teaching me how. I admit I may have see one already drawn and just copied the idea, I just don’t remember doing so. As mentioned above I was also drawing 3d boxes and other geometrical shapes at the time, the lined paper just made it easy.

As a kid I often played a version of this on the playground that involved not touching the gravel that all the wooden equipment was set into. I remember distinctly referring to this game as ‘Playing Mario’ as Super Mario World was full of deadly lava.


Oh, wow man. That is undoubtedly the source material but the melody is a little different, the tempo is lowered into a chant, and only one line remains intact. The rest of the lyrics had been perverted, over probably many generations of hilarious and delinquent minds mutated it into the following

Here now are the lyrics as I remember them being belted out by the sweet naïfs of G.P. (girl pioneer), Fishman, Sherruth, and Berman villages (ages 9-12, I think) at the top of their god-damned lungs:

Many a night was spent with Minnie the Mermaid
down at the bottom of the sea.
Underneath the corals
Minnie lost her morals
Oh, but she was good to me.

A man never knows what a good girl he’s got
until he’s got ‘er down
Well you can easily see she’s not my mother
’cause my mother’s past fourty-nine
And you can easily see she’s not my sister
’cause my sister is so refined
And you can easily see she’s not my sweetheart
’cause my sweetheart never showed me such a hell of a good time.
She’s just an innocent kid
she didn’t know what she did
she’s a personal friend of mine
[roll over Minnie]
It’s better on the other side
[And there was Granny]
Swingin’ from the outhouse door
[without her nightie]
Grampa’s yellin’ “More, more, more!”
[He’s over ninety]
“Harold cut your toenails, you’re ripping the sheets to shreds!”

I may be forgetting a verse but I think that’s it. I mean, I never really thought about it until later, it seemed innocent enough coming from the mouths of young girls (and i was pretty oblivious as a kid) but for the early eighties, I’m not so sure a song could get radio play with “Roll over, it’s better on the other side,” and getting her down on the cot as a litmus test. I mean, “Like a virgin, touched for the very first time” was scandalous back then, and this song was firmly established camp lore well before all that.

Of course, we were privately telling each other the dirtiest of jokes back then, too, but it just knocks me out that the Minnie song seemed to be officially sanctioned.


You know how I know you didn’t read the article?

@roomwithaview not really, see just above


If you want to know something that will really bake your toaster strudel, I’ve seen this at least a few times in environments (classrooms) entirely occupied by Arab schoolkids who only spoke as much English as they learned from TV and second-language classes.

I have no idea how it made it that far.


I love how this thread has allowed me to fill in my database of when you all graduated highschool.

This thing is going to be a goldmine when I sell it to the marketers.


You only know when I was in fourth grade. No one said I ever graduated! Joke’s on you!


Well I think you remembered quite enough!

I can never look Jo Ann Castle in the face again.

1 Like

I remember doing this (in New Zealand!) when I was a kid. I can’t remember if I copied someone or if I was just doodling though. Drawing it is easy, 2 sets of 3 vertical parallel lines, one above the other, then its easy to join them together into an S by trying to join them up.

Did these easy-to-draw dogs appear all over notebooks in other places? Mostly girls’ notebooks? I know it wasn’t only my school, but I’m not sure how widespread they were.

That’s not quite it, but it’s as close as I can remember.



Saw this often in middle school (late 80s). It was popular with the metalhead and stoner kids. I always thought it meant ‘stoner’.


I did a lot of this in the margins in the 80’s


Must be one of those songs with endless verses accumulating each generation. Thanks for sharing though! :slight_smile:

1 Like

I’ve seen it used in graffiti in the late 1970s, though (east coast).

Growing up, I was more interested in making hexaflexagons and drawing platonic solids; in spite of the fact that “S” is my first initial, this form held little appeal for me. I preferred a more swoopy cursive for my own name.

I made this comic about its origins - [Super S] (http://payload271.cargocollective.com/1/2/78859/7736722/Stussy_580.jpg)

Its from a series I created called GrayScales


I blame Dave Matthews.