Where did the saying "Crap on a crutch" originate? My mother used to use it a lot and I find myself using it also.
I agree with @Randolf Richardson's comment. It looks like just a slightly sanitised version of shit on a stick. Which originally I think just meant "useless", but is probably often used as a somewhat meaningless expression of exasperation, simply because of the memorable alliteration.
Both these expressions may owe something to mistletoe, which some think derives from words meaning "shit on a stick" (though others are less certain about the etymology). I really don't know, but I'd quite like to think it's a colourful scatalogical metaphor.
It's a doubly bowdlerized version of "Christ on the cross".
You will sometimes hear "Christ on a crutch" used as an expression of annoyance and frustration.
I suppose your mother was reluctant to use God's name in vain and bowdlerized it further.
The earliest USENET references are both on 22nd December 1998 in alt.tv.simpsons, by different people. One by user The WAV King in response to someone with a problem downloading a Homer Simpson sound clip:
crap on a crutch! Forgive-a-ness please. Done and done.
And the other by user Sweepings confirming it as a Homer Simpson quote:
Can anyone tell me what Homer says when he sees the rats on the milking
machines? It reminded me of a similar quote, something like "Sweet merciful
crap on a crutch
And indeed, this is a quote from the Mayored to the Mob episode that first aired on 20th December 1998:
Crap on a Crutch
An expression of surprise or disgust; used by Homer in "Mayored to the Mob".
Homer: Crap on a crutch, they're milking rats! Milking rats!!!
protected by RegDwigнt♦ Aug 9 '11 at 18:27
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