How dumb am I?

No, I mean it. How dumb AM I?

All my life. All my 41 years of life, I have sporadically heard the term “milquetoast.” I have heard this term and somehow never seen it; never known where it originated; never looked it up.

And yet, I knew what it meant. Because so often I am the milquetoastiest of the milquetoasty. I know that it means to be “weak and ineffectual” or “plain and unadventurous.” I know it means you have given in before you got good and started.

But although I knew what it meant, I had no idea where it came from or what it LITERALLY meant. I was picturing a soggy piece of toast.

Milk toast.

Because who wants milk toast, right? Who wants the piece of toast that the glass of milk turned over on, rendering it soggy and cold and clammy and useless? No one wants that. It made perfect sense to me that it would be milk toast, because I hate milk and it sounded like a perfectly awful thing to do to toast and it worked fine with the metaphors in my head.

Except that it isn’t milk toast at all. There’s no milk within 5 miles of this term.

It’s this dude. Caspar Milquetoast. A wishy washy, mamby pamby.

Huh. I feel pretty dumb right now. Especially since I have a degree in talking and writing properly.

So, what I want to know is? Is there anyone else out there that didn’t know this? Or am I the only one hiding under some milk toast?