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Related to moly: molly
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!
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!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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."
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.