The term "Holy cow!" is one exclamation the astonishment or surprise, both positive and negative. Supposedly, that is a minced oath (euphemism) for "Holy Christ!"; although no all speakers might be conscious that they room acclaiming a higher Being.

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Holy cow! You in reality looked it up.Holy cow! This is why America is together a mess. They elect vacuous populists.Holy cow! There space two points being conflated here. Divine cow ... Talk about paralysis through analysis!Holy cow, i forgot the wine divine cow, below comes the teacher! holy cow, Batman!

Similar Expressions

Here space some comparable phrases which can be used rather of “Holy Cow”.

Holy smokeHoly mackerel holy MosesHoly catHoly Molly (euphemism because that "Holy Mary", Molly being a nickname for Mary)

A perform of various other words because that Holy Cow i m sorry have much more or less the very same (or similar) meaning.

Golly, Egadmild surprised or wonder Blimeysurprise or excitement Wowwonder, amazement, good pleasure, or outstanding successOh, boy!Meaning: simlar to WowOMGShort for: five My GodGoshMeaning: simlar to GollyMy GoodnessMeaning: simlar to GollyGeemild expletive the surprise, enthusiasm, or sympathy Gadzooksmild or ironic oath(Oh) because that heaven’s sakeMeaning: for crying out loud(What the) Heckused to intensify Damn (it)irritation, contempt, unsympathetic or annoyance Dang! darn (it)see over

Related Terms

These terms space somewhat concerned the synonyms above. However, they are outright swears, and do not shot to ~ pretend anything else.

Good grief!Holy crap!Good heavens!Mercy sakes!Bless mine soul!My word!Goodness gracious!Oh dear.Hell"s bells!Gosh darn it!Shoot!Inconceivable! (See, e.g., The Princess Bride)¡Ay, caramba!Dear lord!Holy Mary, mommy of God!Man-oh-man!Jesus H. Christ on a bicycle!Mercy me!My heavens!Holy sh.t!What the ????For Christ"s sake!Lordy, lordy!Sweet Mary, mommy of Christ / Jesus!Oh my dear God!Christ Almighty!

Translations in other languages


In German exist two virtually identical expressions:Heiliger Bimbam! Heiliger Strohsack! and these are closely related:Was zum Kuckuck (What the heck)Donnerwetter (Golly)


In Spanish, no direct translation appears possible. Nearby Synonyms are:¡Córcholis (Good Lord, Gosh)¡caramba! (Good grief, Wow)¡caracole! ((literally: snail, (sea) shell); great heavens!)Santos cielo (Holy Heaven, five my God)Dios bendito (Good God)


Also in French, no direct translation appears possible. Close Synonyms are:Bonté divine!Ça alors!Oh, La Vache!

The phrase "Vache sacrée" refers to “sacred cow” (with its spiritual context and implications).

Origin & History

The catch-phrase "Holy cow! This is great!" was printed in 1919 through the Oakland (CA) Tribune, and also there exists evidence, that is has remained in use due to the fact that 1913.

In the joined States, this exclamatory expression is closely connected with two well-known baseball announcers; Phil Rizzuto (1917 – 2007) and also Harry Caray (1914 –1998). Both supplied the expression frequently, in order to protect against themselves native lapsing right into vulgarity. In addition, the phrase was brought to public fist by reporter and broadcaster Halsey hall (1919 –1977), who introduced it to the baseball lexicon.


This hatchet is taken into consideration to be really popular among teenagers. That is also the usual oath and popular exclamation in the entertainment industry and is universally heard top top radio, television, and in the movies (maybe an ext often than in actual life).

In ethnology, the expression sacred cow advert to livestock declared inviolable for religious reasons. In part pastoral and nomadic cultures, livestock (cows and bulls / oxen) were thought about to be a statutory symbol and also an indicator because that a person’s wealth.

Cows are taken into consideration holy by many Hindus, and in many Indian states it is illegal to slaughter castle (alos in Nepal, Myanmar and also other countries).

Although, for bulls and also buffaloes, a "fit-for-slaughter" certificate may be issued relying on factors prefer age and gender, continued economic viability, etc. In some Indian states-

Traditionally, Hindus do not slaughter cattle; the intake of beef is a taboo. After ~ the milk production (which is allowed to it is in consumed) a cow is commonly fed approximately its natural death.

Metaphorical Meaning

In colloquial language, the idiom "a divine cow" refers to a taboo, the is, something the cannot it is in touched, eliminated or changed with other else.Examples:

So yes, we would sacrifice an entire generation prior to talking about leaving the euro, it"s a holy cow for Spanish people.Cricket is India"s divine cow.At my comedy shows, there are no holy cows.For virtually seventy year the life insurance industry has been a smug sacred cow feeding the public a secure line of spiritual bull.
Of Greek Origin: eu = ‚good‘ and phēmí = ‚speech‘Euphemisms space intentionally used, come distort fact (a bit). Instead of describing the facts with appropriate words, several of them are changed by mild, indirect or faint terms. The mostly has actually an ironic touch, but not always. It is not direct lying, but likewise not, as regularly described, is the instead of done, through the intention, to no offend the listener. It is the intention of the speak to present and also convey the tardy of the world much more “agreeable”.Examples:You no broke; you have temporary an unfavorable cash flowYThere have actually been no accidental deaths, just collateral damage.

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Minced oaths space a sub-group of euphemisms provided to avoid swearing when expressing excited or annoyance.To mince your words, means to pick words that no one (especially Church Authorities in previous times) can possibly (officially) it is in offended.Thus, MINCED OATHs are a type of cursing by replacing a part of a profane, blasphemous or taboo term with a much more acceptable word and thus removed the objectionable characteristics. The “new” term is commonly a variation of the original, formed by misspelling (mispronunciation) or rearrangement w/o obliteration of the letters.