phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Re: Heavens to Betsy...

Posted by E. on November 30, 1999

In Reply to: Heavens to Betsy... posted by Kara Melia on November 28, 1999

: Anyone know the origins of this phrase?

HEAVENS TO BETSY -- "Bottom lining" this, nobody knows. There's a long discussion of the phrase in "Heavens to Betsy" by Charles Earle Funk. (He titled at least two of his books using origin-unknown phrases.) The only thing he knew for certain is that it's an old phrase. He didn't think the phrase relates to the first Queen Elizabeth since she was never called "Betsy" and the phrase is virtually unknown in England, at least when he was writing the book in 1955. And he didn't think it related to Betsy Ross. Mr. Funk's theory was that "It was much more likely to have been derived in some way from the frontiersman's rifle or gun which, for unknown reason, he always fondly called Betsy."