August 18, 2011

Jimney Cricket

Someone just sat down and exclaimed "Jimney Cricket". I pondered for what that might be a euphemism or minced oath. Then it was obvious from the initials, J. C. that it is Jesus Christ. However, many might not realize that is what the exclamation stands for and some might even be offended at the mistaken notion that one was implying that they were swearing.

There are quite a number of similar minced oaths here. A number are very surprising to me.

By the way, a minced oath is a way to mince your words, using a shorthand for another phrase which might be offensive, especially on religious grounds.

So what what the purpose of the expression? The person speaking it stated that he/she did not have any idea why he/she said that. I would suggest it was one of these:
  1. Expressing pain at the sitting motion
  2. Expressing a state of being tired or weary
  3. General expression of frustration with life's challenges.
  4. State of a release of emotion and stress - upon relaxing
What other ideas do you have for what this might be expressing? (Share in comments). What are some alternative options:
  • Sitting down really hurts!
  • I am very tired!
  • Oh, life is rough!
  • Oh, what a relief it is!
Is there also a sense of awkwardness by being explicit in telling your feelings rather that using something that implies it but may cause people to ask about it? Do we want to avoid saying I am frustrated and would rather give some exclamation of that feeling?

Share other suggestions in the comments.

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