6
votes
1answer
2k views

I have questions coming out the yin-yang about yin-yang phrases!

Yin Yang is the Chinese philosophy of Light and Shadow, often signifying the need for balance or that everything exists in balance. But the (reasonably enjoyable to use) phrase Up the Ying Yang ...
7
votes
2answers
6k views

Meaning of “bejesus” in the idiomatic expression “… the bejesus out of …”

According to multiple online dictionaries, bejesus is a quite common mild expletive used to express surprise and/or dismay and is derived from by Jesus. But what does it mean? The phrase “you scared ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

What does the expression “for crying out loud” mean? [closed]

What does the expression "for crying out loud" mean and where does it come from?
4
votes
0answers
531 views

What is the origin of “bite me”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Meaning and usage of “bite me” Here’s the dilemma: What body part does the oft-used expression, “Bite me!” refer to? All the males (man on the street) I’ve ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

“My goodness!” Mine? Goodness?

Why do we say my goodness? It doesn't sound appropriate for the contexts in which it is used. Both the my and the goodness don’t seem to bear on a surprising or startling situation. When was it ...
8
votes
1answer
6k views

Where did the phrase “diddly-squat” come from?

It sounds like something Ned Flanders would say. I believe it just means "nothing at all". But what are the origins of the phrase? Is it common in the US as well as the UK?
9
votes
2answers
9k views

Origin of “man!”, “(oh) boy!”, and “oh brother”

Where did these interjections: man! (oh) boy! oh brother come from, and why are they all male? If you don’t know their current meanings as interjections, it sounds very strange to say Man! when ...
3
votes
1answer
195 views

Is “what in hejudas?” a common idiom or phrase?

I noticed the following phrase used in another question: Is this a common idiom? If so, what in hejudas inspired such a phrasing? Obviously, this is similar to the phrases “what in hell” or ...
7
votes
4answers
5k views

Where did the term “doggone it” come from?

Where did the term "doggone it" come from?
5
votes
3answers
680 views

How, or where, did “Ye God” become “egad”?

Looking up the etymology of 'egad' I saw that it is an archaic, euphemistic form of 'O God' or 'Ye God.' I assume this was a one off evolution, and the 'how' was some idiosyncratic shift in the ...
4
votes
6answers
9k views

Where does the phrase “holy crap on a cracker” come from?

Where does the phrase "holy crap on a cracker" come from?
18
votes
5answers
11k views

What is the origin of “holy smoke”?

What is the origin of holy smoke? To what is holy smoke referring?