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holy-liftin' \'ho-lee-'lif-ten\ interj - An exclamation of surprise, fascination, or frustration; "Holy-liftin'! These mittens cost $20!" Origin unknown, but etymology suggests a reference to the resurrection of Christ ("Holy-liftin' Lordy" is a common derivative). This is consistent with the regional practice of cussing through iconoclastic reference: similar terms are used in local French dialects. The theological associations of such terms, however, have been largely forgotten in English-speaking communities. Holy-liftin' is quite versatile, and may be truncated ("liftin'") conflated ("holy-ol'-liftin'") or pluralized ("liftin's") at the speaker's whim. The ressurection imagery is reinforced by another popular usage, "holy-liftin' dyin'," or sometimes just "holy dyin'." Both "liftin'" and "dyin'" are frequently employed in the regional habit of elaborate compound-cussing, e.g.: "Holy ol' liftin' dyin' bald-headed Jesus!" See also: Geehover, holy revs, jeepers, jeez, jeezum-crow, jumpins. NEXT»

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