holy

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holy crap

A mildly indecent exclamation of surprise, shock, or astonishment. Holy crap, the bill for that dinner is nearly $200! We won the lottery? Holy crap, that's amazing news!
See also: crap, holy

holy crap on a cracker

A mildly indecent exclamation of surprise, shock, or astonishment. (An emphatic form of "holy crap.") Holy crap on a cracker, the bill for that dinner is nearly $200! We won the lottery? Holy crap on a cracker, that's amazing news!
See also: cracker, crap, holy, on

holy crickets

An exclamation of surprise, shock, or astonishment. Holy crickets, the bill for that dinner is nearly $200! We won the lottery? Holy crickets, that's amazing news!
See also: cricket, holy

a holy terror

A very troublesome, aggressive, or aggravating person; a person who is exasperatingly difficult in manner or behavior. I know that I was a holy terror when I was young, so I guess it's fitting that my own kids give me so much trouble.
See also: holy, terror

(Holy) Mother of God

An exclamation of alarm, amazement, or exasperation. (Could be considered blasphemous to some.) Holy Mother of God, I thought that car was going to hit me! Oh, Mother of God, could you work any slower?
See also: god, mother, of

holy fuck

rude slang An exclamation, typically of surprise, dismay, or anger. Holy fuck, did someone hit my car? Look at the size of that bear! Holy fuck!
See also: fuck, holy

holy shit

rude slang An exclamation of surprise, shock, or astonishment. Holy shit, the bill for the dinner is nearly $200! We won the lottery? Holy shit, that's amazing news!
See also: holy, shit

holy cow

An exclamation of surprise, shock, or astonishment. Holy cow, the bill for that dinner is nearly $200! We won the lottery? Holy cow, that's amazing news!
See also: cow, holy

holy mackerel

An exclamation of surprise, shock, or astonishment. Holy mackerel, the bill for that dinner is nearly $200! We won the lottery? Holy mackerel, that's amazing news!
See also: holy, mackerel

holy moley

An exclamation of surprise, shock, or astonishment. Holy moley, the bill for that dinner is nearly $200! We won the lottery? Holy moley, that's amazing news!
See also: holy, moley

holy smoke(s)

An exclamation expressing surprise or amazement. Holy smokes! Have you ever seen a car go so fast? We won the lottery? Holy smoke, that's amazing news!
See also: holy

holier-than-thou

Sanctimonious; maintaining an obnoxious air of moral superiority or condescension. (Usually used before a noun, especially "attitude.") While he makes good points, his holier-than-thou attitude is not likely to win him many allies.

holy of holies

A sacred or special place. Although used more generally today, the phrase originally described the sanctuary of the tabernacle in the Temple of Jerusalem where the Ark of the Covenant was kept. When it comes to college basketball, this is sacred ground—the holy of holies.
See also: holy, of

be in holy orders

Said of a priest. ("Holy Orders" is the sacrament by which one becomes a priest.) Michael always wanted to be a priest, so I'm not surprised to hear that he's in holy orders now.
See also: holy, order

take holy orders

To join the priesthood. ("Holy Orders" is the sacrament by which one becomes a priest.) Michael has always wanted to be a priest, and he's finally going to take holy orders later this year.
See also: holy, order, take

Holy cow!

Inf. Wow! Holy cow! I never expected such a nice gift! Give me a chance! Holy cow, don't rush me!
See also: holy

holy Joe

 
1. a chaplain; a cleric; a clergyman. I went to see the holy Joe, and he was a lot of help. Old holy Joe wants to see all of us at services.
2. a very pious person. Martin looks stuffy, but he's no holy Joe. Don't let that holy Joe hear about what you've done.
See also: holy, joe

Holy mackerel!

Inf. Wow! Holy mackerel! What a beautiful day! Holy mackerel! What's this? A new car?
See also: holy

Holy moley!

Inf. Wow! Holy moley! A whole quarter! Look, here's another one! Holy moley!
See also: holy

holy cow

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."
See also: cow, holy

holy of holies

A place of awe or sacredness, as in The corporate board room is the holy of holies here. This expression is a translation of the Hebrew term for the sanctuary inside the tabernacle of the Temple of Jerusalem, where the sacred Ark of the Covenant was kept (Exodus 26:34). Its figurative use dates from the second half of the 1800s.
See also: holy, of

holy terror

An exasperating individual, as in He was only five, but he was a holy terror, running wild through the house and throwing whatever he could lay his hands on . The adjective holy here is an intensifier. [Late 1800s]
See also: holy, terror

holier-than-thou

If you describe someone as holier-than-thou, you mean that they seem to believe that they have better moral qualities than anyone else. He has always sounded holier-than-thou. I'm not going to be all holier-than-thou about this.

the holy of holies

If you describe something, especially a place, as the holy of holies, you mean that people think it is the most special or important thing of its kind. Last year, his work was performed at the Aldeburgh Festival, the holy of holies in the contemporary British music scene. Note: In a Jewish synagogue, the holy of holies is the inner room which only the chief rabbi may enter.
See also: holy, of

holier than thou

characterized by an attitude of self-conscious virtue and piety.
This phrase comes from Isaiah 65:5: ‘Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou’.
See also: holy, thou

holy of holies

a place or thing regarded as sacrosanct.
The reference here is to the Hebrew phrase for the inner chamber of the sanctuary in the Jewish Temple at Jerusalem, separated by a veil from the outer chamber.
See also: holy, of

ˌholy of ˈholies

(humorous) a special place which only particular people can enter: This room is the holy of holies. It contains the most valuable books in the world.The boss invited me into his holy of holies this morning. What a fantastic office he’s got!
In a Jewish temple, the holy of holies is the inner part, which only the chief priest can enter.
See also: holy, of

holier-than-thou

mod. superior in piety; condescending. She has such a holier-than-thou attitude.

Holy cow!

exclam. Wow! Give me a chance! Holy cow, don’t rush me!
See also: holy

holy Joe

1. n. a chaplain; a cleric; a clergyman. Old holy Joe wants to see all of us at services.
2. n. a very pious person. Don’t let that holy Joe hear about what you’ve done.
See also: holy, joe

Holy mackerel!

(ˈholi ˈmækrəl)
exclam. Wow! Holy mackerel! What a day!
See also: holy

Holy moley!

(ˈholi ˈmoli)
exclam. Wow! (The exclamation used by the comic book character Captain Marvel.) Holy moley! A whole quarter! Shazam!
See also: holy

holy stink

n. anything repellent; a real mess; a great argument or debate; a major issue. You really created a holy stink with that silly remark.
See also: holy, stink

holy terror

n. a devilish person; a badly behaving child. Why is the boss such a holy terror today?
See also: holy, terror
References in periodicals archive ?
From the opening jokes about leprosy to the grand finale featuring the refrain "I'm holier than thou" the show - needless to say American in origin - is a series of tasteless gags.
Why do the holier than thou brigade and Tory bigots spout their predictable doctrine when something occurs that they disagree with?
But since people like Mr Crines has come on the scene with the rest of the holier than thou brigade, they feel it is justified to look down on those who smoke, calling it a 'vile habit' and suggest those who smoke at the entrance to the hospital should be arrested by the police.
That usually comes from holier-than-thou, city-dwelling vegetarians, or even holier vegans, who don't seem to know that you'd be pushed to grow crops year after year without animal manure or artificial fertiliser from the highly-polluting petrochemical industry.
His attacks on dairy farms come not from concern about animals but from a vegetarian standpoint which he neglects to mention in his holier than thou letters.
The money is being accepted by people who represent themselves as holier than thou.
STEPH She's sweet, innocent and acts holier than thou.
5) We will propose that the Bishops of the United States make every effort to implement the challenge of the Holy Father that the present crisis "must lead to a holier priesthood, a holier episcopate, and a holier Church" by calling for deeper holiness in the Church in the United States, including ourselves as bishops, the clergy, the religious, and the faithful.
Yet Birmingham jumps in with its holier than thou ranting.
These women covering up everything apart from their eyes are doing it not to divert attention but to attract it - and prove themselves holier than their unveiled sisters.
Her husband has common sense, as I too have stopped watching the X Factor programme as Simon Cowell and his fellow judges believe they are holier than thou under the false illusion that the programme is about them and not the contestants.
To me they are holier than any church, in the same way a mother's belly is holier than any church, because those sweet bellies and those holes in the grass are where souls entered and left this intricate realm; they are places of mercy and mystery; they are the portals from which the created emerges and through which the created departs.
If these liturgical books are religiously and gladly received, we shall all be a holier Church.
He said: "I don't want to sound holier than thou, but it's been disappointing that you've followed the ethics of the sport, yet when the mud starts to fly, you get implicated.
I find it increasingly repulsive to listen to the holier than thou pontificating fromthe Manx, after all, evil dealers pedalling death and their anti-drugs campaign by highlighting the fact that 95% of their drugs come fromMerseyside.