Slang City Mail

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June 5, 2003

Slang of the Week: golly (exclamation)
a word used to show strong emotions, such as surprise, pleasure or fear.

Golly,” said Jim, as he fell out of the boat, “That’s a really big shark.”

Celebrity quote:
“I can't deny that Jerry Springer supposedly beating us didn't affect me. There was a point where I felt like, golly, you work so hard, you try so hard and the people say they want meaningful television--and then Jerry Springer ends up beating you. It was disturbing.”
-American talk show goddess Oprah Winfrey

One thing is certain. No one appearing on the Jerry Springer Show has ever used this week’s word. While guests on that talk show are regularly censored for strong language with a bleep sound, golly is an expression you could use in front of your grandmother. It goes back to the days (probably before anyone reading this email was born) when it was considered impolite to say “God!” even if you had just dropped a hammer on your foot.

Like golly and the more colorful Good golly, Miss Molly, gosh is also a more polite synonym for God. Other religious euphemisms include gee whiz, gee and geez for Jesus and darn for damn. These days, people still use those words (I personally say gosh at least once a day), but watch out - using them a lot can make you sound like Ned Flanders, the super-religious neighbor on The Simpsons.

What’s new at Slang City?
Need to find yourself a honey-bunny? Take a look at these real personal ads from the Boston Phoenix newspaper in REAL ENGLISH. We explain the slang, the romance is up to you!