Heavens to...

Peter A. McGraw pmcgraw at LINFIELD.EDU
Tue Oct 31 19:08:04 UTC 2000

One of our secretaries just asked me if I knew where the expression
"Heavens to Murgatroyd" came from.  I hadn't a clue.  I guess I'd heard it
before, but certainly not often.  DARE has only the more familiar "Heavens
to Betsy," with "etym. unknown."

Have others heard the Murgatroyd version?  Anybody have a clue where the
construction comes from, even if DARE doesn't?  It sounds as if it ought to
be a euphemism, but I can't think for what, and the "Heavens to..."
construction is grammatically opaque to me.

Peter Mc.

                               Peter A. McGraw
                   Linfield College   *   McMinnville, OR
                            pmcgraw at linfield.edu

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