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Thursday, August 21, 2014


Origins is an occasional post in which I delve into the history of a word or phrase. - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more
Today's words are: Golly, Gosh, Gee

Today they are mostly used as mild forms of surprise.

They are actually euphemisms, which is basically the opposite of being blasphemous.

Gosh, used instead of God, has been around since 1757.

Golly was also used instead of God and began life in 1775. Seeing has how it originated in Britain  I can hear certain people in the government saying things like, "By golly, we have to do something about those rebellious colonists in Boston."

Gee has several meanings:
1. Gee, as in to turn right, the opposite of haw. First known use about 1628.
2. Gee, as in the letter G.
3. Gee, as in a thousand dollars, came into use around 1818
4. And lastly, gee, as a euphemism, is used instead of Jesus. It originated in the United States and has only been in use since sometime between 1884 and 1895.

Other related mild oaths and euphemisms include: jeese, gee whiz, and jeepers, which all replace Jesus.

Gee willikers became popular in the mid-19th century. It is thought to be a substitution for saying, "Jerusalem!" or "Jee-roosalem!" as an expression of surprise.

You can read more about these words HERE.

A 1962 oldie by Sunny and the Sunliners from San Antonio, Texas.

Ten years later, The Stylistics. The words to this song are lovely.

Are you a gosh, golly, gee user? Are you familiar with either of the songs?


  1. How fun! So when I say, "Good gosh, golly gee whiz" I'm really saying a quick prayer? Cause I don't ever want to be confused with the blasphemy side of the word!

  2. Thanks for sharing the history of Golly, Gosh, and Gee.

  3. I didn't know "gosh" was that old. I use that one. I can't recall saying "gee" or "golly".

  4. Hi Bish - interesting to read .. my mother would have loved to have known: so often when I arrived to visit ... and started to yawn as you do when visiting the sick and collapsing in a heap from the travel or change of thought process ... I started to say Golly, Golly, Gosh (I didn't know about Gee!!!) ... and one day I said oh Gosh .. and my Mama said "what's happened to Golly" ... so I said he'd gone to the seaside .. and we both laughed ...

    I had to use Golly and Gosh thereafter - but would loved to have known about Gee ... fun to read up on - thank you ... Hilary

  5. What's amazing is that these haven't taken on a pejorative connotation like so many "mild forms" often do. I didn't know Gosh had been with us for such a long time.

  6. Hahaha… this was fun! What a clever idea for a post! :)

  7. Ditto, Alex.

    Elizabeth, that's a fabulous way of looking at it!

    You're welcome, Susan.

    Medeia, I didn't know gosh was that old either!

    Greatv story, Hilary!

    You're right, Lee. Good obsevation.

    Thanks, Morgan. I do't know if it's cleaver, an easy post, or an excuse for me to explore the history of words. :)

  8. I haven't heard either of the songs- but they do sound familiar.

    I had no idea about the origin of these words, except gosh. Thanks for the new knowledge. :)


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