Keeping up with the Joneses
Means striving to match the neighbours in spending and social standing, an Americanism that has spread to much of the English-speaking world. It dates from 1913, after a comic strip called Keep up with the Joneses by Arthur Momand that ran in The New York Globe. The comic strip was very popular and ran in various American newspapers for the next 26 years. The Joneses themselves were never featured in the comic strip but they soon became generic for ‘the neighbours’.