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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 mackerel!

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

a sprat to catch a mackerel

If you describe something you do as a sprat to catch a mackerel, you mean that it involves a small cost or amount of effort but it will bring you great rewards or benefits. Setting a sprat to catch a mackerel, the store is offering in its summer sale a chrome blender for £99 (was £149) to those who spend £50 or more. Note: A sprat is a type of small fish and a mackerel is a larger fish. Both fish may be eaten.
See also: catch, mackerel

Holy mackerel!

(ˈholi ˈmækrəl)
exclam. Wow! Holy mackerel! What a day!
See also: holy
References in periodicals archive ?
Our contribution to next year s comprehensive egg survey will play an essential role in securing the data we need to safeguard the marine environment and ensure we have enough mackerel for generations of fishermen.
Nothing makes me happier than fishing for mackerel of the rocks at Gourock or Wemyss bay.
Drizzle the mackerel with the butter sauce and top each fish with a sprig of peppercorn.
Start by watching your sonar closely to determine where the best concentrations of baitfish and mackerel are holding in the water column.
Up until recently you could buy Scottish mackerel - they feed on herring though, which are starting to move south into warmer waters, so the mackerel you'll be buying now will be English and from places like Cornwall.
7 FOR a taste of Thailand, try having steamed mackerel with fresh ginger and lemongrass.
The problem is the mackerel we usually catch from Easter and through the summer didn't show up this year.
The fish caught was transported to the Gendev processing facility where it was established that horse mackerel can be caught and processed on land without compromising the quality of the product.
There have been one or two mackerel taken from Amble pier, with the same venue giving flounders to 2lb plus on worm and mackerel strip baits.
Schools of mackerel swim in sync together, fast and strong like miniature tunas, their big cousins.
Yoghurt is used as a marinade and sauce ingredient in lots of different cuisines and you spread it over the mackerel before cooking.
1 WHAT YOU WILL NEED 4 mackerel fillets, 2 limes, a bunch of chives, sea salt, 100g chorizo, 12 single mussels, 1 shallot, 1 punnet of pea shoots, white wine, frying flour, olive oil 2 PREPARE THE MACKEREL FILLETS Pin bone them, then cut each of the fillets in half and use one for pan frying, the other for the tartar.
Seven mackerel fisheries in the North East Atlantic - one of them British, including several Scottish vessels - are expected to have their MSC status suspended soon because Iceland and the Faroes have refused to reduce their mackerel quotas and put a stop to fishing irresponsible amounts.
Iceland's decision to raise its mackerel fishing quotas last year has brought it into conflict with Britain, Ireland and Norway, threatening the island nation's bid to join the EU.
In blind-tasting tests on the Tesco crab paste, 58 per cent of people thought it tasted of mackerel.