Jesus H Christ

by kenpodragon 13 Replies latest jw friends

  • kenpodragon

    Jesus H Christ

    When people say this, I have to ask ... what does the H stand for?

    Any clue?

    Just wondering


  • sunshineToo

    Jesus "H" Christ? Never heard of it.

  • heathen

    I'm thinking holy not sure though ,I never gave it much thought thought lol

  • professor

    There have been various theories, but the one that seems most plausible is that it comes from the Greek monogram for Jesus, IHS or IHC. This is formed from the first two letters plus the last letter of His name in Greek (the letters iota, eta, and sigma; in the second instance, the C is a Byzantine Greek form of sigma). The H is actually the capital letter form of eta, but churchgoers who were unfamiliar with Greek took it to be a Latin H.

    The oath does indeed seem to be American, first recorded in print at the end of the nineteenth century, although around 1910 Mark Twain wrote in his Autobiography that the expression had been in use about 1850 and was considered old even then. Its long survival must have a lot to do with its cadence, and the way that an especially strong emphasis can be placed on the H.

    Nineteenth-century Americans weren't the first to take the Greek letters to be Latin ones - since medieval times the monogram has often been expanded into Latin phrases, such as Iesus Hominum Salvator, Jesus Saviour of Men, In Hoc Signo (vinces), in this sign (thou shalt conquer), and In Hac Salus, in this (cross) is salvation.

  • kenpodragon

    Interesting! I always wondered ... I thought maybe it meant Holy or Honored or something like that.

  • heathen

    pretty good thought there professor ,never dawned on me that it could have to do with the ancient greek text.

  • Englishman

    I always assumed that the "H" was a kind of getout clause, to make the oath more palatable to listeners. One could always claim to have not meant LORD Jesus Christ, but some other fellow, the one with the "H" in the middle of his name.

    Similar UK expressions include:

    Gordon Bennett! = God damn it.

    Gor blimey! = God blind me.

    Cor! = Christ.


  • Zechariah

    I always am fascinated by the etymology of words. Theone given by the Professor on Jesus H Christ was just that.

    One of my favorite etymologies I've come to know from a Readers Digest the origin of the word crime. As I remember there was a old radio news reporter I believe who was Walter Winchell. He had the habit of saying about terrible things that happened "Its a crying shame". It became a oft imitated phrase which was eventuslly shortened to crime.
    I hope you have found this interesting.


  • 2SYN

    It means Harolds, of course!

  • butalbee

    I think it's just a meaningless letter, it is used to make a dramatic expression.

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