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God Idioms In Everyday Speech


Lerato
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This morning my mother was having a sneezing fit and I said "God bless you" - a fairly mundane and forgettable event I agree. However as a new deconvert it got me thinking about how many idioms and other sayings referencing God and religion there are in everyday language. "Thank God", "Honest to God", "For God's sake", "God Forbid", "Oh my God", "Heaven help them", just to name a few examples. In my family we say "I'll pray for you" a lot when someone is going through a rough time, and yesterday I caught myself saying this without even realizing it (I don't actually pray anymore). As a relatively new deconvert I was just wondering what everyone's thoughts are about the proliferance of references to God and religion in everyday language.

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Here are some "neutral" equivilents I picked up from various sources:

  • "God bless you" for a sneeze--gezundheit (German for Health; approximate pronunciation: gay ZOOND hide; oo as in foot).
  • thank God--how fortunate!
  • honest to God=frankly, in all sincerity
  • oh my God=oh no!
  • for God's sake=PLEASE!
  • God forbid=I would hope not!
  • Heaven help them=I hope the best for them; I wish them the best
  • I'll pray for you=I'll be thinking of you; you will be in my thoughts

NOTE: Some of these depend on culture and where you live as to the exact meaning. I mention this just in case my "interpretations" don't fit your intended meaning.

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I still say blasted near everything on the God side of Ruby's list with the exception of "I'll pray for you," and "God bless you." I never know when the rest of them might come popping out of my mouth, though.

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Admittedly, I never said those things because I was taught that is using God's name in vain.

 

Just so I don't steal credit from Lerato, all those items are taken from Lerato's opening post.

 

And the one about "I'll pray for you" was not part of our particular vocabulary. We'd say "I'll be thinking of you," and everyone knew it meant "I'll pray for you." For a culture where all prayer was silent prayer, that was being pretty open about the secret personal things of the soul and its god.

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Or if you feel like making waves you could just substitute your favorite deity.

 

Thor smite you!

Oh, my Zeus!

Honest to Saturn!

Thank Spock!

McCoy bless you!

Honest to Kirk!

For Picard's sake!

Oh, my Scotty!

Starfleet help them!

I'll be sending warp plasma your way!

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The only things I catch myself saying anymore that has to do with a diety or religion are "bless you" and "goddamnit"

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"God-damn!" and its variations are the only "godly" part of my speech. I often say things like "For the love of Gene [Roddenberry]!", "I swear to Frank [sinatra]", along with the occasional "Zeus!". My friends know swearing to Frank is pretty serious for me. :lol: (Big fan of Ol' Blue Eyes.)

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As a relatively new deconvert I was just wondering what everyone's thoughts are about the proliferance of references to God and religion in everyday language.

 

I don't mind others saying this to me or in my hearing range, though I have pretty much purged my own vocabulary of this. As one of Dem Damn Ebil Polytheist Heathens™ I made myself say "May the Gods bless you" or similar some time ago... which at times results in a puzzled look but is mostly accepted without much questioning.

 

But then I live in Gawdless Liberal Germany™, so... :fdevil:

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This morning my mother was having a sneezing fit and I said "God bless you" - a fairly mundane and forgettable event I agree. However as a new deconvert it got me thinking about how many idioms and other sayings referencing God and religion there are in everyday language. "Thank God", "Honest to God", "For God's sake", "God Forbid", "Oh my God", "Heaven help them", just to name a few examples. In my family we say "I'll pray for you" a lot when someone is going through a rough time, and yesterday I caught myself saying this without even realizing it (I don't actually pray anymore). As a relatively new deconvert I was just wondering what everyone's thoughts are about the proliferance of references to God and religion in everyday language.

 

My female co worker will say" god bless you", after a sneeze. In the next sentence she'll say jesuschrist! that coffee is hot! Go figure.

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"Bless you" and "God Damn it" are the only holdovers that I still have, I never liked terms like those anyway, regardless of my deity affiliations.

 

I always assumed that gezundheit was just German for "God Bless You". Glad to know it is not. That will be a good substitute.

 

I have always liked the phrase, "Mother of God". It just carries such weight. Course, now you have to figure out which God and Mother I am referring to. (Possibly Gnostic, possibly Roman).

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I've always disliked the old "Heaven only knows..." or "God only knows...."

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I never say "God Bless You" although I often use "bless you." I actually prefer gesundheit, but I only use it about 25% of the time just because of habit and because the other form is more common. While I could never bring myself to invoke the xian deity directly when somebody sneezes, I don't sweat the "bless you" form too much. It's seems more like a little ritual that's a vestige from superstition revolving around the old gods. Frankly, that's not just what it seems like, that's exactly what it IS, the mythological old god being none other than xian diety himself.

 

I never took up swearing with any sort of passion after my deconversion, but I did overcome any hangups I had about it. Now, on extremely rare occasions, I'll belt our a hearty "God damn." By no means a recognition of the xian god, it can be almost more of an affirmation that he's not there and there are on divine consequences for slaughtering this sacred cow. That and act of defiance against my programming. I deprogrammed so long ago that it's not so important to me now, but it still feels good in its own way.

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It was so hilarious and bizarre that my response was, "Thor's beard lady! Lighten up!". The reaction to that was even more funny. :HaHa::HaHa:

That's hilarious! I'll have to try to remember the "Thor's beard" reference when the opportunity comes up!

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I just say...

 

Thank the gods..

 

May The gods Bless you...

 

The Gods forbid.

 

It usually gives me a raised eyebrow or two... to which I say...

 

What.. :mellow: ....?

 

 

 

 

 

 

:HaHa:

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I've switched from saying "Oh my God!" to "Oh your God!" thanks to Futurama.

 

Bender rules!!!

But when you're talking to most of us regular members here you'll have to say, "Oh their God!"

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Or if you feel like making waves you could just substitute your favorite deity.

 

Thor smite you!

Oh, my Zeus!

Honest to Saturn!

Thank Spock!

McCoy bless you!

Honest to Kirk!

For Picard's sake!

Oh, my Scotty!

Starfleet help them!

I'll be sending warp plasma your way!

 

 

Lol, thank the the powers that be for Star Trek. ^_^

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Or if you feel like making waves you could just substitute your favorite deity.

 

Thor smite you!

Oh, my Zeus!

Honest to Saturn!

Thank Spock!

McCoy bless you!

Honest to Kirk!

For Picard's sake!

Oh, my Scotty!

Starfleet help them!

I'll be sending warp plasma your way!

 

This cracked me up. Thanks for the laughs. Maybe instead of saying "I'll pray for you" I should say "Live long and prosper". :grin:

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It does seem that the overuse of some of these terms has diluted the original meanings, but it just seemed weird for me to still have God slip into my speech all of the time after going through my deconversion process - which was why I started this thread. I'm going to try to make an effort to wean some of the God references out of my speech and replace them with some of your suggestions. I think the hardest one for me will be "Oh my God" since it tends to slip out when something sudden happens and I don't have time to think about it.

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This is something I was thinking about the other day, mere hours before I discovered this site. I tend to use a number of such phrases reflexively. I ended up getting into a debate with myself over whether I should try to modify this behavior or write it off as a function of a language highly influenced by Xianity, the phrases conveying the meaning I wish to communicate regardless of the words used. The jury's still out, goddammit. ;)

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'Bloody', 'God's Teeth', 'God's Death', 'Hell's Bells', 'Jesus, Mary and Joseph', 'Inshallah' are the ones I use regulary that spring to mind.

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'Bloody', 'God's Teeth', 'God's Death', 'Hell's Bells', 'Jesus, Mary and Joseph', 'Inshallah' are the ones I use regulary that spring to mind.

Here in the US, 'Bloody' is of course known as a common expletive in the UK, but it's pretty much unheard of for and American to use the word (unless he's talking about an injury or his drink).

 

Seeing it juxtaposed with the other allusions to god got me wondering how the word was perceived in the UK with respect to any religious overtones. I immediately wondered if it was some form of sacrilege involving the virgin mary (and any relation to the drink Bloody Mary?), but I didn't see any mention of that from my quick search, more widely speculated was a corruption of "by our lady." Also mentioned was "God's Blood" as well as a few non-religious explanations. Seems nobody knows the etymology for sure.

 

Is it perceived as a corruption of something with religious origins in the UK?

 

Incidentally, one of my more common terms is "Jeez!" or "Sheesh!" which seem like fairly obvious corruptions of "jesus" to me.

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