A worry wart is a person who frets or worries excessively. The expression originated in America and its usage is still chiefly American, although it is sometimes heard in other English-speaking countries. It originates from an American cartoon strip called Out of Our Way, authored by J.R. Williams, which was syndicated to mainly small-town newspapers and ran from 1922 to 1977. The cartoon strip depicted American rural life and featured a juvenile male character called Worry Wart who caused worry and anxiety in others rather than for himself, but, by the 1930s, the expression had taken on its current meaning. It derives, of course, from the allusion to warts being worrying skin afflictions.