Curmudgeons Day is celebrated in honor of all the cranky and fussy people in our lives. Picture Oscar the Grouch, Mr. Mooney from the Lucy Show, the old lady at the cashier, or your grandfather sitting on his porch — and blow them a kiss on this fun and interesting holiday.
History of Curmudgeons Day
The word ‘curmudgeon’ is defined by the American Heritage Dictionary as an ill-tempered, disagreeable, and quarrelsome person. We disagree with the curmudgeons in our lives the entire year, right? We honor them on Curmudgeons Day.
Curmudgeons Day is celebrated on the birth anniversary of American actor, comedian, writer, and juggler, William Claude Dukenfield, better known as, W.C. Fields. Fields’ finessed the persona of a curmudgeon with his comic acts and became one of the best-known entertainers of his time. W.C. Fields portrayed cantankerous and antisocial characters throughout his life while maintaining his absolute affinity for alcohol and his disdain for dogs and children. His juggling acts became world-famous, as he toured all across America and the seven seas, making Queen Victoria one of his attendees. In his four decades as an entertainer, Fields acted in dozens of films and became a household name.
Fields died at age 66 and left behind one of the greatest legacies any entertainer ever has.
On Curmudgeons Day, you can either sit at home and be grouchy, or you can take a stroll around the neighborhood to greet all the grumpy people you can find. You can also take a quick scan of your social media and reach out to the ‘mean boys and girls’ of your high school. Better yet make a cup of tea for a co-worker who’d shed a limb before sharing a smile. Whatever you do, don’t let the grump slip away from you.
Curmudgeons Day timeline
William Claude Fields is born to working-class parents in Darby, Pennsylvania.
Fields joins the vaudeville theater and begins juggling for a living, soon mastering the art and becoming the ‘world’s greatest juggler.'
Fields makes his debut on Broadway and starts his comedy career that spans two decades.
Fields takes his final breath on Christmas Day and leaves behind a legacy unlike any other entertainer of his time.
Curmudgeons Day FAQs
Where did the term curmudgeon originate from?
‘Curmudgeon’ originates from the French phrase ‘Coeur merchant’, which translates as ‘evil heart’ in English.
Can a woman be a curmudgeon?
Any gender at any age can be a curmudgeon, as the word describes a unique kind of personality. It is not limited by the physical attributes of a person. Although there are feminine-adjacent words to describe grumpy old women such as ‘old spinster’, ‘battleax’ and ‘old biddy’.
Is curmudgeon a slur?
A curmudgeon is a bad-tempered, ill-mannered, and surly old man. It is not a slur or a bad word. The word is liberally used to describe grumpy old people who are easily irritated by people and situations.
Curmudgeons Day Activities
Watch a movie featuring a curmudgeon
Hollywood loves making movies based on grumpy old men with contempt for everyone. Some of the most popular curmudgeons-themed movies are "Dennis the Menace," "Up," and "Grumpy Old Men." You can also watch one of W.C. Fields’ comedies.
Greet a grumpy personality in your life
Thinking of an odd neighbor or a distinct relative who fits the bill? On January 29, greet the grumpiest person in your life. Shower them with love, cookies, and patience.
Host a picnic
Beyond his work as an actor and comedian, W.C. Fields was a prolific juggler. On the anniversary of his birth, host a picnic with fun activities like amateur juggling, stand-up comedy, and funny impersonations.
5 Ways To Describe The Curmudgeons In Your Life
A person who is always doubting and discouraging others.
A person with a blunt personality and no verbal filters.
A person with a dismissive and negative personality who always nitpicks the actions of others.
A cheap person with the personality of a miser.
A person who constantly whines and exhibits degenerate behavior.
Why We Love Curmudgeons Day
We love the grump
Grumpy characters are interesting and multidimensional. Oftentimes, they have the best redemption arcs. We love Oscar the Grouch, after all. If there’s one day to honor the grumpy old men and women in our lives, it is January 29.
We honor the legacy of W. C. Fields
Fields’ contribution to the Surrealists movement is unparalleled. He is counted among names such as Charlie Chaplin, Groucho, and Buster Keaton. On Curmudgeons Day, we honor the legend for his many contributions to the entertainment industry.
We celebrate authenticity
Curmudgeons understand their unlikeability, and they still stay true to themselves. Changing yourself to please others is overrated. This Curmudgeons Day, let’s raise a glass to our authentic selves.
Curmudgeons Day dates