Holy cow (expression)

Holy cowHoly cow!
"Holy cow!" (and similar) is an exclamation of surprise used mostly in the United States, Canada, Australia, and England and is a minced oath or euphemism for "Holy Christ!" The expression dates to at least 1905, and its earliest known appearance was in a tongue-in-cheek letter to the editor: "A lover of the cow writes to this column to protest against a certain variety of Hindu oath having to do with the vain use of the name of the milk producer. There is the profane exclamations, "holy cow!wikipedia
27 Related Articles

Halsey Hall

The phrase may have originated with reporter and broadcaster Halsey Hall who worked in Minneapolis, Minnesota from 1919 until his death in 1977.
Hall originated "Holy cow!"

Phil Rizzuto

Phil RizuttoPhil "Scooter" RizzutoPhil Rizzutto
New York Yankees shortstop and announcer Phil Rizzuto was also well known for the phrase; when the Yankees honored him following his retirement, the ceremony included a real cow with a halo prop on its head.
He was well known for his trademark expression "holy cow!"

Harry Caray

Harry
Harry Caray was the broadcaster for the St. Louis Cardinals (1945–1969), Oakland Athletics (1970), Chicago White Sox (1971–1981), and Chicago Cubs (1982–1997), and he began using it early in his career in order to prevent himself from lapsing into vulgarity.
He was also famous for his frequently exclaimed catchphrase "Holy Cow!" when his team hit a home run or turned a difficult play on field; he trained himself to use this expression to avoid any chance of accidentally using profanity on the air.

Earl Gillespie

1950s Milwaukee Braves broadcaster Earl Gillespie was also known for this expression.
Gillespie was partnered with Blaine Walsh on WTMJ Radio and known for his dramatic, extroverted style of play-by-play and his use of the phrase "Holy cow!" during moments of great excitement (an on-air catchphrase he shared with fellow baseball announcers Harry Caray and Phil Rizzuto).

Minced oath

mincedminced oathsfictional version
"Holy cow!" (and similar) is an exclamation of surprise used mostly in the United States, Canada, Australia, and England and is a minced oath or euphemism for "Holy Christ!"

Jesus

Jesus ChristChristJesus of Nazareth
"Holy cow!" (and similar) is an exclamation of surprise used mostly in the United States, Canada, Australia, and England and is a minced oath or euphemism for "Holy Christ!"

Eric Partridge

Partridge, EricUsage and AbusageCorrie Denison
Paul Beale, however, revised Eric Partridge's A Dictionary of Catch Phrase and cites a different origin:

Minneapolis

Minneapolis, MinnesotaMinneapolis, MNCity of Minneapolis
The phrase may have originated with reporter and broadcaster Halsey Hall who worked in Minneapolis, Minnesota from 1919 until his death in 1977.

Paul Dickson (writer)

Paul Dickson
According to Paul Dickson, New Orleans radio announcer Jack Holiday also used the phrase on broadcasts of the minor-league New Orleans Pelicans in the 1930s.

New Orleans Pelicans (baseball)

New Orleans PelicansNew OrleansPelicans
According to Paul Dickson, New Orleans radio announcer Jack Holiday also used the phrase on broadcasts of the minor-league New Orleans Pelicans in the 1930s.

St. Louis Cardinals

St. Louis BrownsCardinalsSt. Louis
Harry Caray was the broadcaster for the St. Louis Cardinals (1945–1969), Oakland Athletics (1970), Chicago White Sox (1971–1981), and Chicago Cubs (1982–1997), and he began using it early in his career in order to prevent himself from lapsing into vulgarity.

Oakland Athletics

Oakland AAthleticsPhiladelphia Athletics
Harry Caray was the broadcaster for the St. Louis Cardinals (1945–1969), Oakland Athletics (1970), Chicago White Sox (1971–1981), and Chicago Cubs (1982–1997), and he began using it early in his career in order to prevent himself from lapsing into vulgarity.

Chicago White Sox

White SoxChicago White StockingsChicago
Harry Caray was the broadcaster for the St. Louis Cardinals (1945–1969), Oakland Athletics (1970), Chicago White Sox (1971–1981), and Chicago Cubs (1982–1997), and he began using it early in his career in order to prevent himself from lapsing into vulgarity.

Chicago Cubs

CubsChicago OrphansCHC
Harry Caray was the broadcaster for the St. Louis Cardinals (1945–1969), Oakland Athletics (1970), Chicago White Sox (1971–1981), and Chicago Cubs (1982–1997), and he began using it early in his career in order to prevent himself from lapsing into vulgarity.

New York Yankees

YankeesNew York HighlandersNew York Yankee
New York Yankees shortstop and announcer Phil Rizzuto was also well known for the phrase; when the Yankees honored him following his retirement, the ceremony included a real cow with a halo prop on its head.

Atlanta Braves

Milwaukee BravesBravesAtlanta
1950s Milwaukee Braves broadcaster Earl Gillespie was also known for this expression.

Common Grounds

Characters
The comic book series Common Grounds was based on the mini-comic Holey Crullers, named after its setting in a coffee and doughnut shop called Holey Crullers.

Cattle in religion and mythology

Cattle in religioncattlecow slaughter
*Cattle in religion

Meet Corliss Archer

A Kiss for Corlissa popular radio showCorliss Archer
Clumsy, nerdy Dexter, a sweet but constant bungler with a nasal voice, is best remembered for his trademark phrase, "Holy cow!"

Befudiom

These expressions, such as "holy cow" and "kick the bucket" carry meanings and cultural implications that only a native speaker would understand.

Holy Cow Casino and Brewery

Holy Cow BreweryHoly Cow/Foxy's Firehouse
At one point, Harry Caray, the announcer of the Chicago Cubs who was known for his saying "Holy cow!" during broadcasts, visited the Holy Cow Casino and Brewery and autographed a wall of the club with his signature saying.