Posted by ESC on January 01, 2004
In Reply to: Gee whillikers posted by Pittsburgh Pat on January 01, 2004
: I was amused, after writing an email this morning, that my spell-checker didn't recognize the expression "Gee whillikers," which is used like "Gee whiz," but has more of an "old coot" flavor. It reminded me that young people don't know everything!
: Pittsburgh Pat
People have lost the ability to cuss creatively. Pity.
GOLLY GEE WHILLIKENS -- "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. Other sources have some variations: Jewillikin ; gee whiz ; gee whitaker . From "Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997).