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Jesus "H" Christ
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Agent69
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Feb 17, 2005, 11:34 PM
 
Since I was young, I have heard the phrase "Jesus 'H' Christ". Does anyone know where this came from and what the H is supposed to mean, if anything?
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OldManMac
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Feb 18, 2005, 12:16 AM
 
We've all heard about the manger scene. What isn't well known is that one of the wise men was much taller than the average person at that time, so he smashed his head into a beam when arriving, and yelled out, "Jesus Christ," whereupon Mary looked at Joseph, and said, "Now there's a better name than Herbert," so they made it his middle name.
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dreilly1
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Feb 18, 2005, 12:26 AM
 
Thus Sayeth Google:
[Q] From Paul Tracy in the UK: “During an Internet dialogue, the question came up—why do people say Jesus H Christ? It never seems to be any other letter. It sounds American, but what does it stand for and where did it originate? Holy seems to be a strong candidate, or could it be from ‘Hallowed be Thy (middle) name’?”


[A] There have been various theories, but the one that seems most plausible is that it comes from the Greek monogram for Jesus, IHS or IHC. This is formed from the first two letters plus the last letter of His name in Greek (the letters iota, eta, and sigma; in the second instance, the C is a Byzantine Greek form of sigma). The H is actually the capital letter form of eta, but churchgoers who were unfamiliar with Greek took it to be a Latin H.


The oath does indeed seem to be American, first recorded in print at the end of the nineteenth century, although around 1910 Mark Twain wrote in his Autobiography that the expression had been in use about 1850 and was considered old even then. Its long survival must have a lot to do with its cadence, and the way that an especially strong emphasis can be placed on the H.


Nineteenth-century Americans weren’t the first to take the Greek letters to be Latin ones—since medieval times the monogram has often been expanded into Latin phrases, such as Iesus Hominum Salvator, Jesus Saviour of Men, In Hoc Signo (vinces), in this sign (thou shalt conquer), and In Hac Salus, in this (cross) is salvation.

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ThinkInsane
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Feb 18, 2005, 02:15 AM
 
It's a family name. "Our Father, who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name...*"

*Gratuitously stolen from Christopher Moore's hilarious book Lamb : The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal
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constrictor
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Feb 18, 2005, 03:40 AM
 
Originally posted by ThinkInsane:
It's a family name. "Our Father, who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name...*"

*Gratuitously stolen from Christopher Moore's hilarious book Lamb : The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal
I thought it was Harold? "Harold" be thy name. No?

Next thing you're going to tell me that the letters above the Catholic cross...INRI...DON'T mean "I'm nailed right in"?????

And then I suppose you're going to try to convince me of the "fact" that Easter is NOT when Jesus crawled out of the cave, saw his shadow, and there were 6 more weeks of winter?

Ridiculous.
     
Agent69  (op)
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Feb 18, 2005, 08:46 AM
 
It is interesting that no one really seems to know for sure where it came from. The only thing that I do know for sure is that some Christians don't like it.
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finboy
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Feb 18, 2005, 02:22 PM
 
I've always heard that it was for "Howard" as in "our father, who art in Heaven, Howard be thy name."

Or "haploid." You can look that one up on straightdope.com . Wonderful site, beautiful plumage.
     
   
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