phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Holy Moley

Posted by ESC on May 20, 2005

In Reply to: Holy Moly posted by Karl Bowers on May 20, 2005

: Looking for the source of Holy Moly.

The Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, Volume 2, H-O by J.E. Lighter, Random House, New York, 1994, has this entry:

"moley n. (pop. As a characteristic exclamation of 'Captain Marvel,' hero of a series of comic books begun 1940, first written by C.C. Beck; perh. reflecting 'moly' 'magic herb in Greek mythology', in allusion to the invocation of mythological figures as a source of the character's powers; perh. euphem. and rhyming alt. of 'holy Moses.' In phrase: 'holy moley' (used as an exclamation of surprise). 1949 'Capt. Marvel Adventures, in Barrier & Williams 'Book of Comics' 87: Holey Moley! He got away."

© 1997 – 2024 All rights reserved.