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Oh my gosh

Posted by Steve Eichner on February 01, 2005

In Reply to: Oh my gosh posted by ESC on January 31, 2005

: : does anybody here happen to know what the origins of this phrase came from? it would seem that it is a twist of "oh my god" but I cant find any pertinant information about it
: : thanks

: It's a "Minced oath." "Many of the milder oaths listed below follow the old Hebraic and Middle English tradition of avoiding the use of sacred words, such as God, by substituting words with the same initial letter. Thus for God the oaths substitute George, ginger, Godfrey, golly, gosh, gracious, gravy, grief, etc." From I Hear America Talking: An Illustrated History of American Words and Phrases by Stuart Berg Flexner (Von Nostrand Reinhold Co., New York, 1976).

It could have something to do with a very old and mostly mid-west US expression: "Land O'Goshen" which was used in an exclamatory fashion, e.g., "Land O'Goshen, just look at all that snow!" or "Land O' Goshen, just look at what you have done !" (to a child, perhaps). Maybe??

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