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You are watching: Where does the term holy cow come from

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CategoriesNooks and also cranniesYesteryearSemantic enigmasThe body beautifulRed tape, white liesSpeculative scienceThis sceptred isleRoot of every evilEthical conundrumsThis sporting lifeStage and also screenBirds and the bees SEMANTIC ENIGMASWhere walk the expression "Holy Mackerel" come from? divine MACKEREL is surely an additional instance of taking the very first sound of an unacceptable expletive and transforming it into something much more innocuous. For instance "God" i do not care gosh or goodness, "Christ" crikey or crumbs while "Jesus" has produced many options ranging indigenous gee come jumping Jehosophat. Divine mackerel replace instead replace the renowned "Holy Moses." pole Burnham, St Paul"s Cray, Kent. ISN"T "Holy mackerel" a euphemism for "Holy Mary" or "Holy Madonna"? Gayle Wade, ask St Edmunds, Suffolk. Batman? Harry, Bristol, Britain one more google search lead me to the following, however thanks because that making me smile:holy mackerel - exclamation of surprise - A blasphemous oath indigenous the very same "family" as goddam and darn it, etc. Holy Mackerel dates ago at least 200 years and also is one of an extremely many blasphemous oaths with the divine prefix. Divine Mackerel was nearly certainly a reference to Catholics eating fish ~ above Fridays (rather like holy Cow is a reference to Hindus, and Holy exhilaration is a jibe at incense burning and also funeral pyres; likewise Holy Moses - shortened to the rhyming holy Moley or holy Moly - the means that the words trip of the tongue is very far-reaching in exactly how these expressions become widely used and also adopted, and also Holy Mackerel does have a specific ring to it, in a means that holy Skate, or divine Cod perform not... ). As well as being a popularly consumed fish of the times (affordable by Catholics on minimal budgets - the insulting term "mackerel snatchers" was also used for Catholics in the 19th century), words Mackerel has historically been a strong fish symbol and also fish stereotype (the French indigenous maquereau is slang for "pimp", as result of its habit supposedly that leading other fish to their mates). The term divine Mackerel would likewise have offered as a euphemistic instead of for divine Mary or holy Mother the God, i beg your pardon is why words beginning with M feature commonly in this expressions. Emily, Richmond, NSW, Australia Uk, now! add your answer


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