Posted by Masakim on May 01, 2003
In Reply to: Oh dear me - is it suds, sauce, suss or something else entirely? posted by Woodchuck on May 01, 2003
: When I was a very little girl, I used to exclaim "oh dear me suds" in imitation of my grandmother. My great-uncle chuckled and informed me the phrase was "dear me suss." (That's a phonetic spelling. He might have been saying "sauce.")
: Imagine my combined amusement and frustration when I tried to Google all three variants and found nothing for sauce or suss - but there's now a soap company in neighboring New Hampshire called "Dear Me Suds". (Do you think I should sue? )
: Does anyone know the correct phrase and/or have any information on the origin, please?
Robert Hendrickson, in Yankee Talk: New England Expression_, gives the fourth variant "suz":
dear me suz An exclamation. "Oh, dear me suz, I dunno what I am goin' to do." (Mary Wilkins Freeman, A New England Nun and Other Stories_, 1891) _Suz_ is said to be a curruption of _sire_, or the phrase may be a corruption of the French _Dieu mon suzerain_. The expression also has been recorded as _La suz_; _Suz_; _Dear suz_; _Suz_; Dear suzz_; _Suz a day_; and _Law suz_.