Maybe this is part of the whole language barrier I encounter as a non-native speaker.

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Sun Feb 24 02:11:51 UTC 2008

I suppose that "holy cow!" is dodging "holy christ", not "holy shit".

  I recall the librarian at my grade school reproving a girl whom she'd heard say "jeepers" or something similar; the librarian saying "you know what that stands for".

Then there's W. C. Fields' exclamation "Godfrey Daniels", which the censors couldn't object to, even though they knew what Fields meant.


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much lately.

The American Dialect Society -

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