Posted by ESC on October 10, 2003
In Reply to: Gee Willikers posted by sharlie on October 10, 2003
: I know it's probably american and I know that gee was supposedly a kid's reference to god but does anyone know where "willikers" came from and when the phrase was first used?
Here's part of the answer:
"Golly" dates back to 1743 in England. "Gee whillikens" back to 1857. "I Hear America Talking" by Stuart Berg Flexner (Von Nostrand Reinhold Co., New York, 1976). This substitution of a G-word for God follows ".the old Hebraic and Middle English tradition of avoiding the sacred words, such as God, by substituting words with the same initial letter." A Minced oath.