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Jumping Jehosaphat

 
 
Equus
 
Reply Fri 13 Jun, 2003 09:48 am
A colorful, if archaic expression. Why Jehosaphat? I know he was a King of (Judea? Israel?), but why 'jumping'? I don't recall him jumping in the Bible. Why not Jumping Josiah or Jumping Jeroboam?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 3 • Views: 21,427 • Replies: 29
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Jun, 2003 10:12 am
Well, I was gonna say alliteration but you already pre-empted that.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Jun, 2003 10:19 am
Why not Jehosophat? It has a nice flow to it. Better for exclaiming than Josiah or Jerobeam, especially with the fricatives.
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Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Fri 13 Jun, 2003 10:38 am
I ain't never tried to say none a them words while eatin' a fricasee . . . sides, it's rude to talk with yer mouth full . . .
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bobsmyth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Jun, 2003 10:46 am
In the old Superman tv series Perry White the Daily Planet editor was always using that exclamation. If it's good enough for Superman it's good enough for me.
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Noddy24
 
  2  
Reply Fri 13 Jun, 2003 02:14 pm
Rather than alliteration, consider mimicry and shock value. "Je" is the first sound in "Jesus" whose name is frequently taken in vain for proper cussing.
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Equus
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Jun, 2003 02:15 pm
I think Perry White of the Daily Planet always said "Great Caesar's Ghost!".

My question came up because I saw a Gabby Hayes movie last weekend and he was saying 'Jumping Jehosaphat' a lot.
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Craven de Kere
 
  2  
Reply Fri 13 Jun, 2003 02:17 pm
http://www.quinion.com/words/qa/qa-jum2.htm wrote:
From Tom Harris: "Is there an origin to the phrase: Jumping Jehoshaphat? Is it possible that it has nothing to do with the biblical Jehoshaphat? The pastor at a local church challenged the congregation to find the origin of the phrase. I remembered your Web site."

Support your local pastor. On consulting the Oxford English Dictionary and the Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, it seems clear that the name of the king of Judah (which also occurs in several other spellings, most commonly Jehosaphat) was used in the United States around the middle of the nineteenth century as a mild oath, a euphemism for Jehovah or Jesus. The phrase Jumping Jehoshaphat is first recorded from Mayne Reid's Headless Horseman of 1866, but is probably older. It seems to have been in the tradition of exotic imprecations that Americans of that period were so fond of, with the repeated initial sound greatly helping its acceptance.
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CodeBorg
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Jun, 2003 03:03 pm
Well, that was too easy. What about Murgatroid?
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Noddy24
 
  2  
Reply Fri 13 Jun, 2003 03:25 pm
I'd guess that "Murgatroid" is a stand-in for "Mother of God".

Years ago I read that Catholic oaths tend to the blasphemous while Protestant swearing tends to be scatalogical.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Fri 13 Jun, 2003 03:42 pm
From the Slang Dictionary:

Quote:
Heavens to Murgatroid: From the old Snagglepuss cartoon. Nobody knows what a Murgatroid is exactly, but use is simmilar to Heavens to Betsy, or Great Ceasars ghost.
Example: Heavens to Murgatroid, I can't believe you want to watch Dawson's Creek tonight. That's it ... exit, stage left!



Noddy, what's the difference (in words) between a Catholic and a Protestant oath?
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Equus
 
  2  
Reply Fri 13 Jun, 2003 03:44 pm
"Heavens to Murgatroyd" is a corruption of a line from Shakespeare's Hamlet, "By Heaven and thy mother Gertrude!", spoken by Hamlet's mother, Gertrude in frustration as she realizes Hamlet has stabbed Polonius (falsely thinking it was Claudius) behind a tapestry in her bedchamber.

Not really- I made it all up, but it makes for a nifty story, doesn't it?
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CodeBorg
 
  2  
Reply Fri 13 Jun, 2003 04:37 pm
You are a dangerous man, Equus.

Beware the tides of marsh.
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Noddy24
 
  2  
Reply Fri 13 Jun, 2003 06:34 pm
Walter--

I'm not an authority on solomn oaths, but for just cussin' according to the article I read a Catholic would blaspheme:

"Jesus-fukkin'-H.-Christ

While a Protestant would roar:

You s-eating creep, take a flying fuk on a whateveryoulike.

Euphemisms, in order to be mildly shocking, have to be transparent enough to be related to the original cussing.

Example: Jimminy Cricket, Jeepers Creepers, etc.

I can't come up with any "protestant" euphemisms. Evidently bodily fluids and suchlike can't throw thunderbolts.
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aepstein
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jun, 2007 10:42 am
origin of the expression jumpin jehosephat
I think I know the origin of this expression. My explanation is based on midrashic commentary. According to midrash most of the Kings of Judea and Israel were pretty rotten and evil (practiced idolatry and so forth). Jehosephat was an exception and is praised as being one of the few Kings of Judea who was close to Hashem. One of the ways this was illustrated was (according to midrash) when he would see or encounter a great Torah scholar or sage he would "jump" off his throne to greet and honor the wise man. Ergo--- Jumpin Jehosephat
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jun, 2007 02:31 am
In my experience the overwhelming majority of anecdotes that aspire to be etymological origin are merely urban legends. That one's more than a bit of a stretch IMO.

I think it makes sense that Jehoshaphat being used as a swear word (as a euphemism for "Jesus!") is the real origin with "Jumping" added as an alliterative intensifier.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jun, 2007 02:46 am
Jehosaphat sounds more like it comes from Jehovah than Jesus to me.


Did I mention I am in love with Snagglepuss? But something tells me he is gay.


Heavens to Murgatroyd and Hamlet just sounds like plain quatsch! But it is, indeed, very nifty.

Like, deep man.....
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jun, 2007 02:50 am
As far as I can recall it did, but using "Jesus" to swear is something most can more easily relate to.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jun, 2007 02:52 am
Craven de Kere wrote:
As far as I can recall it did, but using "Jesus" to swear is something most can more easily relate to.




Except Jews and such.



I'm old fashioned and I prefer Yahweh.


Or the asterisks already.


WHO spells "Murgatroyd" with an "i"?
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jun, 2007 02:55 am
bobsmyth wrote:
In the old Superman tv series Perry White the Daily Planet editor was always using that exclamation. If it's good enough for Superman it's good enough for me.


I thought he always said: "Great Caesar's ghost!"

Until said ghost appeared.
0 Replies
 
 

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