Posted by David FG on June 25, 2006
In Reply to: Re: Scare the jeepers out of me posted by Victoria S Dennis on June 24, 2006
: : : Hi ,
: : : would you tell me what does it meen "scare the jeepers out of me"?
: : : thank you
: : It simply means to give you a great fright. 'Jeepers' here is an arbitrary word which doesn't really mean anything and the phrase is frequently used with alternatives used in its place.
: : DFG
: "Jeepers" is a minced form of "Jesus". It occurs in the phrase "jeepers creepers" (="Jesus Christ"). A commoner form of your phrase is "scare the bejeezus/bejasus out of me". "Bejasus" (variously spelt) is a phonetic form of the Irish pronunciation of "By Jesus".
You are, of course, correct. But why "scaring the 'Jesus'" (in one or other minced form) should be a particularly advanced form of scaring is a mystery to this Irishman who thinks that 'bejasus' is used far more frequently by those attempting to imitate the Irish than by the genuine article.
We don't say (contrary to popular opinion) say 'begorrah' much, either.