Pete's sake

Posted by ESC on April 20, 2000

In Reply to: Pete's sake posted by Frankie on April 20, 2000

: : : : : How did the saying "For Pete's Sake" come from?
: : : : Biblical origins. Think of St Peter. Think of the omnipresent medieval church and think of hitting your thumb with a hammer. You can't swear, else the local priests will have you up before the Bishop and the Lord alone knows what the outcome of that will be, so you exclaim, in appropriate tone of voice, "For Saint Peter's sake" and carry on erecting the shelves. This phrase was amended to "For Pete's Sake" in later, less religiously oppressive, times.

: : : This is called a "Minced oath," a substitution of a less offensive word.

: : Not by me it's not; I just consider it a mild swearword to be used in polite company to express irritation at some other person's action or, more likely, inaction. Never ever think of it as a 'minced oath' which conjures up visions of mooing cattle, butchers in white aprons and the awful grinding sound of meat being extruded.

: : Relax, please. No one should ever have such a passion for a phrase.

Let me try this again. A "minced oath" means when a person starts to let go with a really bad swear -- like God damn -- realizes he/she shouldn't say it and substitutes a harmless phrase like "Godfrey Daniel." And along the same line, a person starts to say "For God's Sake" and says "For Pete's Sake" instead. Or starts to say the F-word and says instead, "For goodness sake."