Goodness Gracious! What A Lot Of Ways Of Not Saying "God"!
June 15, 2002 4:10 PM   Subscribe

Goodness Gracious! What A Lot Of Ways Of Not Saying "God"! Jeez may be MetaFilter's genteel exclamation of choice, but crusty and trusty old William Safire of the New York Times[registration required]has the gracious goods on other ways of not(quite)invoking the name of the Lord in vain; whilst proving en route that Donald Rumsfeld isn't, after all, the wilting sissy or pseudo-Southern belle we all thought him to be...
posted by MiguelCardoso (20 comments total)
As a tasty chaser, here's by far the funniest thing I've read all month: Sex Tips From Donald Rumsfeld, written by Stephen Sherrill for the June issue of Esquire.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 4:30 PM on June 15, 2002

hmm... NYT doesn't seem to like mozilla too much. Guess I'll grab the newest build and try again.
posted by fnord_prefect at 4:56 PM on June 15, 2002

"...if she likes the rough stuff, "I'll tell you this, I am about to give you the business and I don't want to hear any guff about it." "

Proof that the D.O.D. has planted microphones in my bedroom.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:11 PM on June 15, 2002

I heard quite a lot of those phrases growing up as my mother was raised a devout Catholic, abhors swearing, yet has a bit of a temper -- botheration!

As a result, the curses that inevitably cross my lips when frustrated are the "blashphemous" ones, esp. Christ almighty!.
posted by nstop at 5:47 PM on June 15, 2002

god damn thats dumb
posted by Satapher at 6:35 PM on June 15, 2002

Jesus, Joseph and Mary!

By the blessed wounds!
posted by meep at 6:35 PM on June 15, 2002

I'm kind of a fan of euphemism myself, just cause of the sheer creativity involved. Now I admit to cussing like a sailor most of the time but the euphemisms tickle me to death. I remember reading this passage in Bill Bryson's history of American English Made In America:

"Because of social strictures against even the mildest swearing, America developed a particularly rich crop of euphemistic expletives-darn, durn, goldurn, goshdad, goshdang, goshawful, blast, consarn, confound, by Jove, by jingo, great guns, by the great horn spoon, jo-fired, jumping Jehosophat and others almost without number"

After I first read that for the next two months, I used the expression "Jumping Jehosophat" at every possible oppurtunity. I'm violently opposed to censorship of any kind, but I'll go on record as saying that someone who says "Jiminy Crickets" in this day and age, is often far more interesting than someone who says "Jesus Christ." Not to mention, that as a teenager, it tickled me to no end to hear my then pre-school sister passionately say "Fiddlesticks!" when she became frustrated.

That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it. If you don't like it your a dadgum galoot, confound it.
posted by jonmc at 6:49 PM on June 15, 2002

Gee whillakers that's annoying.
posted by m@ at 8:37 PM on June 15, 2002

For me, the champeens of non-cursing are Darren McGavin in A Christmas Story, who rained troughs of bile that blistered your ears and of course, Yosemite Sam (Great Horny Toads, yuh long-eared varmint!).
posted by nikzhowz at 9:01 PM on June 15, 2002

"Rummy began using my goodness gracious at New Treir High School in Winnetka, Ill., where he first met his wife, Joyce, and continues to use it in expostulations at home..."

Gypped! I also went to New Trier (not Treir -- shame on you, Safirean proofreader), but no one I met during my 4 years of incarceration there used the phrase "my goodness gracious." Chalk up another point for the decline of education in America.
posted by picopebbles at 9:49 PM on June 15, 2002

I tend to forget gracious, and go for my favorite: 'Sweet zombie jesus', a favorite of the professor on Futurama.
posted by troybob at 10:24 PM on June 15, 2002

At my first job, my nominal superior was this Filipino dude. A devout Catholic, he refused to swear, and his euphemisms were something to behold. "Jesus Christ" came out "Cheese and Rice" while "Goddamn it" somehow came out "God... bless America!" I must admit, I adopted the latter for my own use, it's such a beautiful twist.
posted by kindall at 11:05 PM on June 15, 2002

When I was a kid, we'd go every summer or so to Kansas for one reason or another and visit the relatives on my mother's side of the family. My mother wasn't that given to swearing--but then, next to my dad, she could have been swearing like a lifer chief petty officer and still seem mild--but when Jesus Christ! It's hotter than hell today! became Judas Priest! It's hotter than Hades today! in front of my aunts and uncles, we kids'd all roll our eyes and start mocking her by saying it to each other over and over, emphasis on the Hay-dees especially. Oh, we were terrible.
posted by y2karl at 12:33 AM on June 16, 2002

Jesus H. Christ!!!

I have tried to figure out the H. Was Jesus's middle name Homer?
posted by yertledaturtle at 1:07 AM on June 16, 2002

Jesus H Christ
posted by nikzhowz at 1:48 AM on June 16, 2002

My dad's variation, which I have been known to revert to under stress, was Jesus Fucking H Christ!

When I discovered somebody had trampled all my black hollyhocks in the flowerbeds out front a few years back, I frightened the neighbors with that one...
posted by y2karl at 7:35 AM on June 16, 2002

posted by homunculus at 9:46 AM on June 16, 2002

Actually he put a four syllable present participle with a dropped 'g' formed from a then rarely heard three syllable word for one who performs fellatio, that he learned in World War II, in between the Jesus and the H. He could be an X rated Vachel Lindsay when he got going.

--I am of the opinion, by the way, that when men and women of his generation swore, the words had more force, more juice, if you will, and their obscenities sounded dirtier than those of today. I am curious as to the opinion of the older 'Filterarians on this--

I couldn't bring myself to write the whole thing out, and I certainly didn't include it in my flower bed outburst.
posted by y2karl at 1:32 PM on June 16, 2002

My mother-in-law, also the devout Catholic, has but one single known expletive: gad! Not egad, not gadzooks, just plain old "gad". Obviously, it's a way of saying "God!" with a different vowel sound. Guess she hoping to get off on a technicality.

My grandma, on the other hand, could cuss like a sailor. She was so cool. During her visits, she'd sit down in the basement watching "The Edge of Night", smoking roll 'em yourself butts, drinking 16 oz Cokes by the case, a-burping and a-cussing. She was a buttload of fun.
posted by groundhog at 7:12 PM on June 16, 2002

thank you nikzhowz! The link is much appreciated.
posted by yertledaturtle at 12:34 AM on June 17, 2002

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