The Goop Directory

18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:

Thursday, October 16, 1913:

10/13 – 10/17: Nothing worth writing about for these days. Don’t go any place or do anything of much importance.


Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

This is the fourth of five days that Grandma combined into one entry. Since she didn’t write anything specific for this date I’m sharing several pages from a fun children’s book published in 1913 that I found.

The book is called The Goop Directory and contains short scenarios of children who were naughty—or, using the terminology in the book, “Goops.”

title page
title page



The book that I have was well-loved—perhaps that isn’t exactly the right term—and some pages have coloring on them.

Other pages have remnants of names written in pencil that were later erased.  I can just picture a child going through the book and identifying which of their playmates were like each of the characters in the book. Obviously a Goop once owned this book!



21 thoughts on “The Goop Directory

  1. Does it have this one?
    ‘The Goops they lick their fingers,
    And the Goops they lick their knives;
    They spill their broth on the tablecloth –
    Oh, they lead disgusting lives!
    The Goops they talk while eating,
    And loud and fast they chew;
    And that is why I’m glad that I
    Am not a Goop – are you? ”

    I read that yesterday when I was looking through one of my old books called The Illustrated Treasury of Children’s Literature.

  2. Wow – I’ve never heard the word “Goop” used to describe naughty children. I agree with KerryCan, you find some interesting (and informative) material to fill the gaps in Grandma’s diary. Thank you!

  3. I had a copy of that book once – it came from my mother (born 1935) who got it from her mother (born 1907), the youngest of five girls. I remember my mother reading it to us as kids in the ’60s and ’70s. I don’t know what happened to our copy.

    Thanks for the memories!

  4. As my maiden name is Call, I am rather glad I didn’t know of the Goops growing up. I might have taken Mary C. C. Call to heart, and decided I was doomed to be that kind of Goop. Thankfully, the literature I loved was full of positive examples. Hmm. I wonder how my own poetry would be different if I had grown up on Goops?

    1. You sound like you were a very thoughtful child. I’m also glad that you didn’t see this when you were a kid. It might have really traumatized you.

  5. I finally had some time today to begin reading the diary from the beginning. I guess teenagers have always gone through the same thing. You have done a wonderful job adding to the diary and I will be working my way through it. My grandparents are a little older than yours, but probably had similar experiences. We are from that part of PA, just further up the road. My family’s ancestors settled in Blooming Grove and currently maintain a museum there. I am glad you found my blog!

    1. Thanks for taking a moment to write the kind note. It’s always wonderful to hear when someone enjoys this blog. Our ancestors must have grown up within 30 or 40 miles of each other. I’m not sure exactly where Blooming Grove is–but I know that it’s in Lycoming County. The museum sounds wonderful.

  6. That little rhyme about spilling your broth on the table cloth is just the one that came to mind when I saw this post! The book that one came from is called The Goops. My sister and I got it from the library when we were little and I bought a reissued copy in the 1980s for my kids.

  7. I mentioned the goops to my grandchildren the other day as I was trying to correct their manners. My mother used to read this book to us when we were children and it was very effective. I would love to get a copy of it! Do you know where I could get one?

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