Tom and Jerry -- Pairing of names from Pierce Egan's Life in London, or Days and Nights of Jerry Hawthorne and his elegant friend Corinthian Tom. Egan was a noted chronicler of London low life of the Regency Period (1810-1820), when the rich young bucks of London like Tom and Jerry were notorious for roistering in the streets, breaking windows, and assaulting passers-by.
A Tom and Jerry shop was a low beer hall in the 19th century, a name derived both from Egan's work and from the older name Jerry shop that predated Egan.
The verb to Tom and Jerry means "to engage in riotous behavior."
The name Tom and Jerry was also used for a British mixed drink and for an American punch: an egg nog spiked with brandy and rum and served hot, usually in a mug. An early bartender's guide How to Mix Drinks (1862) was credited to "Jerry Thomas".
Animated cat (Tom) and mouse (Jerry) team who formed the basis of a massively successful series of cartoons made by animators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, first for MGM's Fred Quimby from the 1940s to the 1960s, then again, for their own company in the mid-1970s. The plot usually consists of Tom's frustrated attempts to eat Jerry and Tuffy, his young mouse friend, and ensuing mayhem. Also comic books.
Jerry appeared without Tom in the film Anchors Away (1945), in which he performed a dance routine with Gene Kelly.
The music for all the Tom and Jerry cartoons up to 1958 was written by Scott Bradley.
Tom and Jerry was the original stage name used by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel in 1957. They had a hit with the song "Hey Schoolgirl". Garfunkel was Tom, and Simon was Jerry. They toured for eighteen months before retiring to become college students and then reforming in 1963 as Simon and Garfunkel.
One last appearance under the old name came in Buffalo, NY, in 1967, when they opened for Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. They did a short set as Tom and Jerry, performing only their old numbers. This was followed by the usual chaotic Mothers show. Then they came back out for an encore, still in the guise of Tom and Jerry, and sang "Sounds of Silence" to a suddenly comprehending audience.