Stranger Danger

Meanings of “Stranger Danger”

The phrase “stranger danger” means all strangers can possibly be dangerous and not to be trusted. It is rather a slogan that intends to warn children and women about the risks posed by the strangers.

Origin of “Stranger Danger”

The phrase, “stranger danger” is said to have its initial traces in the 1960s when various campaigns actively ran in the United States regarding children’s safety. However, its early citation was traced in, The Austin Daily Herald, published in 1963, where it is stated as; “The annual policemen’s ball, held to raise funds for the Austin Police Benefit Association, will be held Thursday, Feb. 21, at the Terp ballroom. Funds from the ticket sale will be used to help finance association activities including a baseball team… and the Stranger Danger picture.” Since then, it has been used in various ways by many writers.

Examples in Literature

Example #1

Stranger Danger by Carter Murphy

Stranger Danger!
Stranger Danger!
Please, someone!
Stranger Danger!
I don’t know who i am!
Who is that person in the mirror!
Stranger Danger!
Stranger Danger!
Please, can anyone even hear?
Is anyone even there?
Stranger Danger!
Stranger Danger!
Am i voiceless?
Am i am i alone here in this mess?
Stranger Danger!
Stranger Danger!
I’m in deep with my inner being!
I can’t even understand!
Stranger Danger!
Stranger Danger!
I think i see a life-changer!
Over here!
Your coming!!
Your coming!
You heard the voice of my screaming heart!
You heard my voiceless cry!
Your coming!
Your here now to save me
And change me.
I believe in hope, faith, love and joy.
I believe it all now!

This poem describes the fear of the speaker. He finds himself a stranger in the mirror. His inner being forces him to think whether he sees himself in the mirror, or whether there is another person. Later, in the poem, the poet starts recognizing the person he sees in front of him, thinking that he is a savior. He believes that the person is going to change his life forever. Thus, leaving his fears and agony behind, the speaker accepts the real state of his life. The phrase has been used as a rhetorical device, the repetition, in the poem as the poet has repeated the phrase throughout the poem.

Example #2

Stranger Danger by Roger W Hancock

Strangers may be danger,
even though they seem nice,
Stay away from strangers,
when you do not know them.
When a stranger says, “Do not yell.”
yell real loud and run to tell.
When a stranger asks you to come,
yell !  Run !  Go tell mommy and daddy!

The short poem speaks about the safety of the children. He advises them to avoid strangers. Don’t believe them as they deceive the children in the name of love. The poet gives some useful tips to avoid the risk of being caught in a problem, saying that if a stranger calls you or asks you to stay quiet, do not follow his commands. Instead, raise your voice and report to your parents about these unusual happenings. Since the speaker provides tips for children’s safety, the phrase has been shown used as an extended metaphor of safety.

Example #3

Never Talk to Strangers by Irma Joyce and illustrated by S.D. Schindler

Irma Joyce illustrates the situations children face when a stranger approaches them. Keeping the children’s safety in mind, the writer has wonderfully highlighted certain situations in this book like what should a child do when they are alone at home and a stranger arrives, or if someone approaches them outside while playing. To equip them with useful tips, the writer has presented them with “psychedelic” artwork and witty rhymes relevant to the situations they usually face in life. The book explains the meaning of the phrase that strangers pose an ultimate danger to innocent children.

Example #4

Fairytales Gone Wrong: Who’s Bad and Who’s Good, Little Red Riding Hood? A Story About Stranger Danger by Steve Smallman and illustrated by Neil Price

This graphic novel presents us with a story of a red-cloaked innocent girl who sets off with a basket full of delicious cakes for her grandma. While leaving the house, her mother advises her to be gentle and beware of strangers. Further, she says that if a stranger tries to approach you, instead of listening, yell, and run. Thus, she departs happily, while on the way, she meets an adorable bunny and a weird wolf. The book nicely describes her experiences with both creatures and the useful discovery about good and bad strangers. However, this discovery has been referred to with this phrase.

Example in Sentences

Example #1: “While talking about stranger danger, the teacher explained that some strangers are good and can be trusted too. However, it is better to avoid them if they are not sure.”

Example #2: “In olden times, a child’s safety was not a prominent subject, however, teaching stranger danger is a common practice nowadays to protect children from trafficking.”

Example #3: “Like many other students, Jim also produced a good piece of writing on the topic, stranger danger, and his ideas were praised by the whole class.”

Example #4: “Leena gave her children a lot of examples while warning them about the stranger danger before she allowed them to go on Halloween night.”

Example #5: “I still remember the horrible night when a stranger tried to approach my friend on a spooky night. Keeping stranger danger in her mind, she started yelling and saved herself.”