holy cow(redirected from Holy Mackerel)
Also found in: Acronyms, Wikipedia.
1. what a surprise â€œI was paying 23 percent interest on that credit card.â€ â€œHoly cow!â€
2. how wonderful "A friend of mine is in Hollywood filming a movie this month." "Holy cow, that must be so cool."
Also, holy mackerel or Moses or moly or smoke . An exclamation of surprise, astonishment, delight, or dismay, as in Holy cow, I forgot the wine, or Holy mackerel, you won! or Holy Moses, here comes the teacher! or Holy smoke, I didn't know you were here too. The oldest of these slangy expletives uses mackerel, dating from about 1800; the one with Moses dates from about 1850 and cow from about 1920. None has any literal significance, and moly is a neologism devised to rhyme with "holy" and possibly a euphemism for "Moses."