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The meaning and origin of the expression: Gee whiz

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Gee whiz

Meaning

An interjection or exclamation of surprise.

Origin

This little term derived in the USA as a euphemistic shorthand for Jesus; in other words it is a minced oath. That original meaning is largely forgotten by those who use it now, who are in any account fewer than before, as it is now sounds rather old-fashioned. The further shortening of simple gee is still widely used in the USA, although neither version was ever common elsewhere.

Left quote
'Gee whiz' - it doesn't sound like a euphemism, but it is.
right quote
The first record of it appearing in print is from Cody and Arlington's Life on the Border, 1876:

"Gee-wees!...I'll bet one hundred dollars on that hand!"

The currently accepted spelling was used soon afterwards; for example, this piece of doggerel from the Pennsylvania newspaper The Warren Ledger, 1883:

When younger days have flown
And we are older grown,
We sit and muse -
We've got the blues.

Morning and night we fret,
And, cold or dry or wet.
In petulance pout -
We've got the gout.

We have accomplished naught,
Our fight was poorly fought -
Gee whiz,
The rheumatiz.