In Reply to: Flipping heck posted by R. Berg on August 11, 2009 at 16:00:
: : What is origin of the English term 'flipping heck?'
: It's a minced oath--a deliberately mild version of something stronger that it sounds like. The two initials remained the same through this transformation. No doubt, you can figure out the original. ~rb
And it's one of those phrases that is kept alive largely by the media I think: the stronger version can't be used before the 'watershed' (9pm) and would be rare even then. Not many programmes on British television would use it even now, though they do exist.
Outside of television and so on I can't imagine many people would actually say 'flipping heck' nowadays. Even if they would draw the line at the phrase beginning with the letters 'FH', there are plenty of others that could be used instead that are stronger.
Or maybe it's just the circles I move in...