Date: Sat, 27 Jul 1996 12:59:46 -0500


Subject: forwarded -- Holy Toledo

Date: Fri, 26 Jul 1996 16:08:27 -0700

From: serra[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] (Serra Research Center)

To: stumpers-l[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

Subj: ? Origin/history of exclamation ""Holy Toledo!""

Well, sorry about this but I need to say I've tried *everything*.

A search of over 30 dictionaries of slang and euphemisms (plus OED,

one of my favorites for this type of thing) has found only a single

mention of the phrase "Holy Toledo!"; two others mention Toledo as

reference to the blade. The exclamation entry only says"an oath and

an exclamation [from Toledo, Spain, 1900s or before] {Spears/Slang and

euphemism, p.193}. I think we could have figured the first part of

that out by ourselves.. And I think the current familiarity of the

phrase probably results from so many years of watching Jamie Farr on

"Mash" and "Mash"reruns.

I am prepared to give the patron some material on euphemisms in

exclamatory phrases, showing how frequently words have been

combined with "holy" to create a euphemistic combination in order to

avoid a more offensive exclamatory phrase. Any ideas, comments or

explanations would be welcome but don't waste your time searching

unless you have a brilliant idea where to look - I'm sure I've covered

them all! TIA

Dan Goodman


"The only peace is that interior in us."