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You are watching: Where did holy mackerel come from

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CategoriesNooks and cranniesYesteryearSemantic enigmasThe body beautifulRed tape, white liesSpeculative scienceThis sceptred isleRoot of every evilEthical conundrumsThis sporting lifeStage and screenBirds and the bees SEMANTIC ENIGMASWhere does the expression \"Holy Mackerel\" come from? divine MACKEREL is surely another instance of taking the first sound the an unacceptable expletive and transforming it into something more innocuous. For example \"God\" becomes gosh or goodness, \"Christ\" crikey or crumbs if \"Jesus\" has developed many alternatives ranging native gee come jumping Jehosophat. Holy mackerel replace instead replace the famous \"Holy Moses.\" rod Burnham, St Paul\"s Cray, Kent. ISN\"T \"Holy mackerel\" a euphemism because that \"Holy Mary\" or \"Holy Madonna\"? Gayle Wade, ask St Edmunds, Suffolk. Batman? Harry, Bristol, Britain an additional google search lead me come the following, however thanks because that making me smile:holy mackerel - exclamation of surprised - A blasphemous oath from the very same \"family\" as goddam and also darn it, etc. Holy Mackerel dates ago at least 200 years and is one of really many blasphemous oaths with the divine prefix. Holy Mackerel was practically certainly a referral to Catholics eating fish on Fridays (rather like holy Cow is a reference to Hindus, and Holy acting is a jibe at incense burning and funeral pyres; likewise Holy Moses - shortened to the rhyming holy Moley or holy Moly - the way that the words expedition of the tongue is very far-reaching in exactly how these expressions end up being widely used and also adopted, and also Holy Mackerel does have a details ring to it, in a way that holy Skate, or divine Cod perform not... ). And also being a popularly consumed fish the the time (affordable by Catholics on limited budgets - the violation term \"mackerel snatchers\" was also used because that Catholics in the 19th century), the word Mackerel has historically been a solid fish symbol and fish stereotype (the French word maquereau is slang because that \"pimp\", as result of its habit supposedly the leading various other fish to their mates). The term divine Mackerel would also have offered as a euphemistic substitute for divine Mary or holy Mother of God, i m sorry is why words beginning with M feature frequently in these expressions. Emily, Richmond, NSW, Australia Uk, now! add your answer


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