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(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?
a holy stink
slang A fuss. There's no need to raise a holy stink about this, Eleanor—we'll figure something out.
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.
be in holy orders
To have been ordained 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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
An exclamation of surprise, shock, or astonishment. Holy Hannah, the bill for that dinner is nearly $200! We won the lottery? Holy Hannah, that's amazing news!
1. A minister or clergyman. I hope the Holy Joe is in the chapel right now—I really need to talk to someone.
2. Someone who is very pious or moralistic, especially in a sanctimonious or self-righteous manner. Our neighbor Clarence can be such a Holy Joe to us whenever we miss Mass.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Inf. Wow! Holy cow! I never expected such a nice gift! Give me a chance! Holy cow, don't rush me!
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.
Inf. Wow! Holy mackerel! What a beautiful day! Holy mackerel! What's this? A new car?
Inf. Wow! Holy moley! A whole quarter! Look, here's another one! Holy moley!
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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."
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.
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]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
holier than thoucharacterized 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’.
holy of holiesa 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.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
mod. superior in piety; condescending. She has such a holier-than-thou attitude.
exclam. Wow! Give me a chance! Holy cow, don’t rush me!
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.
Holy mackerel!(ˈholi ˈmækrəl)
exclam. Wow! Holy mackerel! What a day!
Holy moley!(ˈholi ˈmoli)
exclam. Wow! (The exclamation used by the comic book character Captain Marvel.) Holy moley! A whole quarter! Shazam!
n. anything repellent; a real mess; a great argument or debate; a major issue. You really created a holy stink with that silly remark.
n. a devilish person; a badly behaving child. Why is the boss such a holy terror today?
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
holier than thou
Sanctimonious, pretending moral superiority. This term comes from the Bible (Isaiah 65:5), where the prophet, speaking of sinners, holds that they say “Come not near me, for I am holier than thou.” The term is often used as an adjective (and hyphenated: holier-than-thou) as in Sinclair Lewis’s novel Babbitt (1922), “But I don’t want you to think you can get away with any of that holier-than-thou stuff.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer