Last modified on 29 March 2009, at 23:20

Talk:holy mackerel

could a native English speaking person decide whether this merits deletion? Or whether it can be turned into a real entry. Polyglot 08:39, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I couldn't tell if it was a joke or a clue for a cryptic crossword!
Could you fix it? Otherwise I feel compelled to take it out. Polyglot 09:54, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

It's valid, but humorous, so it needs to stay in. There are variety of these, such as "holy cow" and "holy smoke". -- Paul G 10:54, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I've reformatted it and removed some of the less legitimate synonyms. -- Paul G 10:57, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)


Can we get serious about the etymology for a second? There are no citations given for this entry. It is also factually incorrect. AFAIK there are no cites of this phrase before 1899. Eric Partridge has said that "holy mackerel is euphemistic for holy Michael, perhaps perpetuated as a jab against 'mackerel snappers', Catholics in the U.S. who ate fish on Fridays." While no one can know for sure the exact origin of the phrase, if anyone were to come close it would be him. 23:20, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Return to "holy mackerel" page.