You are watching: Where did the saying holy mackerel come from

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CategoriesNooks and also cranniesYesteryearSemantic enigmasThe body beautifulRed tape, white liesSpeculative scienceThis sceptred isleRoot of all evilEthical conundrumsThis sporting lifeStage and also screenBirds and the bees SEMANTIC ENIGMASWhere go the expression "Holy Mackerel" come from? holy MACKEREL is surely an additional instance of taking the first sound that an unacceptable expletive and turning it right into something much more innocuous. For instance "God" becomes gosh or goodness, "Christ" crikey or crumbs if "Jesus" has produced many options ranging from gee come jumping Jehosophat. Divine mackerel replaces the renowned "Holy Moses." rod Burnham, St Paul"s Cray, Kent. ISN"T "Holy mackerel" a euphemism for "Holy Mary" or "Holy Madonna"? Gayle Wade, bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. Batman? Harry, Bristol, Britain an additional google search lead me to the following, however thanks for making me smile:holy mackerel - exclamation of surprise - A blasphemous oath native the same "family" as goddam and darn it, etc. Divine Mackerel dates back at the very least 200 years and is one of an extremely many blasphemous oaths through the holy prefix. Holy Mackerel was almost certainly a recommendation to Catholics eat fish top top Fridays (rather like holy Cow is a reference to Hindus, and also Holy acting is a jibe at incense burning and also funeral pyres; likewise Holy Moses - shortened come the rhyming divine Moley or divine Moly - the way that the words pilgrimage of the tongue is very significant in how these expressions come to be widely used and adopted, and also Holy Mackerel does have actually a particular ring come it, in a way that holy Skate, or holy Cod execute not... ). And also being a popularly consumed fish that the time (affordable by Catholics on limited budgets - the insulting term "mackerel snatchers" was likewise used because that Catholics in the 19th century), words Mackerel has historically been a solid fish symbol and also fish stereotype (the French native maquereau is slang because that "pimp", due to its habit supposedly that leading other fish to their mates). The term holy Mackerel would likewise have served as a euphemistic instead of for holy Mary or holy Mother the God, which is why words start with M feature frequently in these expressions. Emily, Richmond, NSW, Australia Uk, now! add your answer

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