Gee whillikers

Posted by ESC on January 01, 2004

In Reply to: Gee whillikers posted by Pittsburgh Pat on January 01, 2004

: I was amused, after writing an email this morning, that my spell-checker didn't recognize the expression "Gee whillikers," which is used like "Gee whiz," but has more of an "old coot" flavor. It reminded me that young people don't know everything!

: Pittsburgh Pat

People have lost the ability to cuss creatively. Pity.

GOLLY GEE WHILLIKENS -- "Golly" dates back to 1743 in England. "Gee whillikens" back to 1857. I Hear America Talking: An Illustrated History of American Words and Phrases 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. Other sources have some variations: Jewillikin ; gee whiz ; gee whitaker . From Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997).