where did the phrase, "holy moly" originate?

10 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    One possibility for its origin is from the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, which has Holy as being from Old English halig, meaning: "dedicated to a religious purpose, spiritually revered."

    Moly, as defined by Webster’s New World Dictionary, means either “a) in mythology, an herb of magic powers as in Homer’s Odyssey or, b) a wild, garlic like [sic] European plant (Alium moly) of the lily family.”

    Therefore, it is possible that by labeling this mythical herb (moly) with magical powers, people began calling it holy moly, and it later was used adjectivally to denote something extraordinary.

    Another possibility for its origin according to Words@ Random, the Maven's Word, is from the Captain Marvel comics in the early 1940's.

    "Holy moly was a exclamation of the character ‘Captain Marvel,’ (comic books first written by Bill Parker and C. C. Beck in 1940). Holy moly is a reduplicated rhyming compound (compare killer-diller, legal eagle, and others), probably intended as a euphemistic alternative to holy moses, used as an oath.”

    A New York Times reporter who once wrote, “... words like ‘holy moly,’ ‘holy moses,’ ‘horsefeathers …’ don't say ‘holy smoke!"

    Both of the above origins for holy moly are plausible, but as far as placing holy moly in our lexicon, Captain Marvel has done a marvelous job!

  • 4 years ago

    Holy Moly Origin

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Holy Moly Meaning

  • 5 years ago

    Mole pronounced moly is a type of sauce originating from Mexico. According to the Wikipedia entry on Mole Sauce "A common legend of its creation takes place at the Convent of Santa Rosa in Puebla early in the colonial period. Upon hearing that the archbishop was going to visit, the convent nuns went into a panic because they were poor and had almost nothing to prepare. The nuns prayed and brought together the little bits of what they did have, including chili peppers, spices, day-old bread, nuts, and a little chocolate. They killed an old turkey, cooked it and put the sauce on top; the archbishop loved it. When the nun was asked the name of the dish, she replied, "I made a mole." Mole was the ancient word for mix; now this word mostly refers to the dish, and is rarely used to signify other kinds of mixes in Spanish.[2][3]" I am sure many began to call it Holy Mole.

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  • 6 years ago

    It started in my young life in the 1940 s when we were interested in reading Captain Marvel Comics. Captain Marvel, a superhero of the 40 s and 50 s, used "Holy Moly" as an exclamation! So of course, that s where we picked up the saying. To hear someone today, using that exclamation, you would think it would be a person of my age (I m 77) I recently heard a person in their 30 s say "Holy Moly" and they were in New Zealand..

  • 5 years ago

    a Scottish golfer in 1788 was complaining about moles digging up the fairways . he said a prayer to the holy father. overheard by a brit. . when the day ended his caddy asked for his links score . unable to lie

    the scot replied . if it wasn't for the heavenly father and the moles I would have shot a 66. but tis a little off the mark today. it was a 77 and that sir is a holy moly for the day.

  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

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  • 5 years ago

    Molly is the short form for Mary. Moley/Moly sounds like Molly, holy Moley=Holy Molly=Holy Mary

  • holly
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Holy has been used as an intensifying word from 1837; used in expletives since 1880s (e.g. Holy smoke, 1889, holy mackerel, 1903, holy moly etc.), all euphemisms for holy Christ or Holy Moses.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site https://shorturl.im/Pe88y

    Well. the fact is that a lot of meats that most people aren't familiar with eating really do taste like chicken, and since chicken is a meat that most people have eaten, it was a good way to describe how the less eaten meats taste. For example, armadillo, frog, alligator and turtle really are similar to chicken. Hence, tastes like chicken. I agree, though, that it is used too much and about things that have nothing to with the phrase itself.

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