Gowdon Beynet yu arfin a larf?, mice knock at the front door - "We've come to talk to you about cheeses", Mini Spies, On Marilyn M- "I remember her on the screen- huge as a colossal doll- mincing and whispering and simply hoping her way into casual vulnerability."-Gloria Steinem
A commonly known phrase in some parts of the world, used to convey surprise/disbelief/irritation, which I found myself wishing I’d used, when commenting upon a blog last night. Then I thought of Gordon, Mr Bennett and wondered who this man was? Why do we use HIS name when expressing ourselves thus? So I sent the Cloud off on a fact-finding mission to find the answer, and it presented me with the following link – The Phrase Finder, a nifty little site if I ever found one. Which I did not, for it was the Cloud, as I said. Do keep up, I have Clouds to clean you know.
‘It is commonly thought that this expression refers to James Gordon Bennett. JGB was a real person – in fact, with the expansiveness that is appropriate for this story, two real people. The elder James Gordon Bennett was born in Banffshire, Scotland in 1795 and emigrated to the USA, eventually becoming a journalist and founding the New York Herald in 1835.’ – The rest is on the link previously mentioned and now to follow, should you be inclined to read on – The Phrase Finder
I particularly liked this nugget – ‘The expletive Gordon Bennett appears to be a minced oath. It is a version of Gor blimey, which is itself a euphemistic version of God blind me. That, combined with Bennett’s famously outrageous lifestyle and newsworthy stunts, is sufficient to explain why his name was picked out.’
A ‘minced oath‘! How great is that?! So, on-wards, (and, if not upwards, certainly sideways with a melancholy limp,) I clicked to find a long list of said mincers. I now see it is my duty to learn all such oaths in order to save humanity (or something along those lines, I haven’t quite worked out all the details, don’t rush me, it’s a big job). A minced oath is one to replace an actual oath, so instead of ‘Fucking hell’, you would say ‘Flipping Heck’, which has all the impact of swapping a sledge hammer for a banana skin.
There’s a long list of them here, but I’ve cherry-picked a few favourites for this post, and should you know of any that are not mentioned in the list, I’d be very keen to hear them;
Cheese and Rice –> Jesus Christ – Hahahahahahaha
Drat –> God rot it – (I prefer the original now, but both work for me to be honest.)
Figs –> Fuck – (They are awful figs, to be fair.)
Gee willikers –> Jesus – (The mincer is a clear winner here, and takes me by the hand to the Dr. Terwilliker from the wonderful film – ‘The 5000 Fingers of Dr.T which you can have a little peek at by clicking the film title and popping over to another page upon the Cloud.)
Godfrey Daniel –> God (What the deuce?!)
Good garden party –> Good God – (Cheese and Rice…)
Jason Crisp –> Jesus Christ – Hahahahahaha
Odds-bodkins –> God’s sweet body (I beg your pudding?)
Zounds –> God’s wounds (this is an old favourite of sonmi’s, which she had let slip over the years, but has now found again, and all thanks to God!).
Mr Gordon Bennett – Otherwise known as ‘that bloke with a face like a slapped arse’.