Posted by ESC on April 23, 2001
In Reply to: Golly Gee Whillikers posted by R. Berg on April 21, 2001
: : I use this expression frequently to express suprise or even use it as a mild reproach. I have also seen this question posted on another site with no responses..yet.. I am curious as to its origin. I know that Gee Wizz is a Minced oath for 'Jesus' and am wondering if this is just a variation of Gee Wizz. Thanks
: The spellings begin "wh-." Webster's unabridged, 1934, has "gee whizz" with "gee whilikins" given as a variant, although nobody I know of says "whilikins." It doesn't give an origin. "Gee" by itself is a minced oath for "Jesus," so the "whiz(z)" and "whilli-whatever" still need an explanation.
"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.