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In Elvis song "I got a stung" ...

Posted by ESC on April 06, 2006

In Reply to: In Elvis song "I got a stung" ... posted by Anders Eriksson on April 05, 2006

: In Elvis song "I got a stung" he sings "Holy smoke a land sakes alive". I have found the meaning of "a land sakes alive", but I can't understand where it comes from and how it's built. Can anyone explain?

There are several "land" phrases listed in "I Hear America Talking" by Stuart Berg Flexner (Von Nostrand Reinhold Co., New York, 1976) including Land ('s) sake! 1834 and Land o' Goshen! 1855.

Another book lists a theory about the source of Land o' Goshen and I'm wondering if all of the "land" phrases stem from that even though Mr. Flexner seems to think "land's sake" came first. Land o' Goshen comes from the Bible, Genesis 46:28 - "And they came to the Land of Goshen." It "became a popular exclamation of surprise.often mingled with delight," according to the "Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins" by William and Mary Morris (HarperCollins, New York, 1977, 1988).