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My stars and stockings

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on September 04, 2007

In Reply to: My stars and stockings posted by ESC on September 03, 2007

: : Whats the meaning of "My stars and Stockings!" and why it is been used?

: It is an expression of surprise. Like, "Oh, my goodness." But I've heard it this way: "My stars and garters!"

I think it started with the simple expression "My stars!" in which "stars" are used in the astrological sense, thus, roughly, "my fate/luck/destiny". This was expanded for a joke into "My stars and garters!" which is a reference to the regalia of the Order of the Garter,Britain's senior order of knighthood - knights of the Order wear a jewelled star on the breast and a gold-embroidered garter round one leg. "The Star and Garter" is a traditional British pub name, so the phrase would come easily to any British working-class person. "Stockings" is a logical change from "garters", with the advantage of providing alliteration. (That said, I've never heard it in Britain; on which side of the Atlantic did you encounter it? (VSD)