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Re: By gum.

Posted by Brian from Shawnee on November 15, 2006

In Reply to: By gum. posted by Bob on November 14, 2006

: : : : : My grandfather in northern Missouri uses a lot of colorful phrases. One of the funniest is "by cracky", used in place of "by golly". For example, "It's a hot one today, by cracky!"

: : : : : Does anyone know the origin of this phrase?

: : : : Jumpin' Jehosophat, you have sure found one funny-sounding phrase. In his day your grandfather was just one of many who used that euphemism, "by cracky," without thinking twice, as a natural way of being emphatic without directly naming Christ (which would be blasphemy).
: : : : SS
: : : - which of course, is just as true of "by golly" or "by gosh", both of which are euphemisms for "by God". (VSD)

: I think one could create a useful index of evolved civilizations by charting how likely you are to be punished for words you speak. What may be mildly offensive in one society at one point in time becomes a common phrase in another, removed by distance or time. How likely are you to be ostracized, jailed, or even assassinated for professing some belief? It could probably be quantified. I suspect Canada would rank at or near the top, and at the other itty-bitty point of the bell curve, downtown Bagdhad.

Canada, yes. The Republique du Quebec, non!