Holy cow (expression)

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For other uses, see Holy cow. Holy cow (expression)_sentence_0

"Holy cow!" Holy cow (expression)_sentence_1

(and other similar terms), an exclamation of surprise used mostly in Australia, Canada, England and United States, is a minced oath or euphemism for "Holy Christ!" Holy cow (expression)_sentence_2

The expression dates to at least 1905. Holy cow (expression)_sentence_3

Its earliest known appearance was in a tongue-in-cheek letter to the editor: "A lover of the cow writes to this column to protest against a certain variety of Hindu oath having to do with the vain use of the name of the milk producer. Holy cow (expression)_sentence_4

There is the profane exclamations, 'holy cow!' Holy cow (expression)_sentence_5

and, 'By the stomach of the eternal cow!'" Holy cow (expression)_sentence_6

The phrase appears to have been adopted as a means to avoid using obscene or indecent language and may have been based on a general awareness of the holiness of cows in some religious traditions. Holy cow (expression)_sentence_7

Definition Holy cow (expression)_section_0

From the Dictionary of American Slang (1960): Holy cow (expression)_sentence_8

Usage and variations Holy cow (expression)_section_1

Expressions such as "Holy buckets! Holy cow (expression)_sentence_9

", "Holy underwear! Holy cow (expression)_sentence_10

", etc. also employ a play-on-words, "holy" implying "riddled with holes". Holy cow (expression)_sentence_11

Paul Beale, however, revised Eric Partridge's A Dictionary of Catch Phrases and cites a different origin: Holy cow (expression)_sentence_12

The phrase "Holy cow!" Holy cow (expression)_sentence_13

was used by baseball players at least as early as 1913 and probably much earlier. Holy cow (expression)_sentence_14

It became associated with several American baseball broadcasters. Holy cow (expression)_sentence_15

The phrase may have originated with reporter and broadcaster Halsey Hall who worked in Minneapolis, Minnesota from 1919 until his death in 1977. Holy cow (expression)_sentence_16

According to Paul Dickson, New Orleans radio announcer Jack Holiday also used the phrase on broadcasts of the minor-league New Orleans Pelicans in the 1930s. Holy cow (expression)_sentence_17

Harry Caray was the broadcaster for the St. Holy cow (expression)_sentence_18 Louis Cardinals (1945–1969), Oakland Athletics (1970), Chicago White Sox (1971–1981), and Chicago Cubs (1982–1997), and he began using it early in his career in order to prevent himself from lapsing into vulgarity. Holy cow (expression)_sentence_19

New York Yankees shortstop and announcer Phil Rizzuto was also well known for the phrase; when the Yankees honored him following his retirement, the ceremony included a real cow with a halo prop on its head. Holy cow (expression)_sentence_20

1950s Milwaukee Braves broadcaster Earl Gillespie was also known for this expression. Holy cow (expression)_sentence_21

The comic book series Common Grounds was based on the mini-comic Holey Crullers, named after its setting in a coffee and doughnut shop called Holey Crullers. Holy cow (expression)_sentence_22

See also Holy cow (expression)_section_2

Holy cow (expression)_unordered_list_0


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy cow (expression).