phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Re: By the Lord Harry

Posted by RRC on January 16, 2010 at 16:40

In Reply to: By the Lord Harry posted by Terry on January 16, 2010 at 10:55:

: I would like to know if anyone can provide some background on the phrase "by the Lord Harry" and if it is in reference to an historical person, to whom? I have seen it used in text originating as far back as the 1700s (notably the play "The Old Bachelor") and it was often an expletive of my father's.

Lord Harry and Old Harry are yet more veiled reference to Satan. Sources are split over whether it's a corruption of Hairy (from satyr-like depictions) or from the same root as harry and harrow in their torment, ravage, pillage, ... senses.