phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Heavens to Betsy.

Posted by ESC on January 17, 2003

In Reply to: Heaven's too Betsy. posted by James Briggs on January 17, 2003

: : I was just wondering if anyone knows the origin of this phrase. My roommate and I were pondering this, ourselves. We guess it has something to do with a prayer, but have no back up for it. So anyone's help is GREATLY appreciated! Thanks

: Type betsy in the search box at the top for previous discussions.

HEAVENS TO BETSY -- "Bottom lining" this, nobody knows. There's a long discussion of the phrase in "Heavens to Betsy" by Charles Earle Funk. (He titled at least two of his books using origin-unknown phrases.) The only thing he knew for certain is that it's an old phrase. He didn't think the phrase relates to the first Queen Elizabeth since she was never called "Betsy" and the phrase is virtually unknown in England, at least when he was writing the book in 1955. And he didn't think it related to Betsy Ross. Mr. Funk's theory was that "It was much more likely to have been derived in some way from the frontiersman's rifle or gun which, for unknown reason, he always fondly called Betsy."