Is anyone familiar with, or know the origin of, the use of "guy" as an interjection at the beginning of a sentence, as a substitute for "gosh!" or "golly!" (or "God"?) ?

For example:

I had never encountered this usage before, so I consulted a half-dozen standard dictionaries of the English language; two slang dictionaries (including the most recent edition of Partridge); two books on word origins; and two books specifically on interjections.

  • These examples are from between 1965–1971; to me, this implies some sort of period slang, which may only have had a brief vogue.

  • The fact that major production companies were involved in making the material suggests that the writers employed language that they felt was common enough that it would be recognized by most of their intended audience — which in all cases consisted of native English-speaking Americans.

  • That neither I, nor several other Americans I've asked can remember ever encountering this particular usage before suggests that the popularity of this usage was short-lived, and possibly also regional.

  • 6
    Gee, Homer....not guy. – Lambie Sep 20 '16 at 22:21
  • 3
    Are you sure you're not just mishearing the word golly said with a very weak or elided /l/? – Janus Bahs Jacquet Sep 20 '16 at 23:06
  • What @JanusBahsJacquet said. – Drew Sep 20 '16 at 23:07
  • There's also "gol", a shortened form of "golly". – Hot Licks Sep 20 '16 at 23:19
  • 2
    I'm wondering if the OP knows that in the English "guy" the vowel sounds like "eye", while the French name "Guy" has a long "eeee" vowel. That gives some credence to @Lambie 's "gee" confusion theory. – Ernest Friedman-Hill Sep 21 '16 at 2:03

The only instance of this usage that I had ever known of until I watched the clips posted by the OP was a series of young adult books by Kin Platt (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kin_Platt), Chloris and the Creeps (1973), Chloris and the Freaks (1975), and Chloris and the Weirdos (1978). These stories were set in southern California, and the use of "guy" as an interjection by one of the characters is pointed out in at least one of the books as a fad or affectation.

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