Where did that darn 'h' come from?
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I've heard that phrase numerous times, usually spurred by some frustration. But I always thought it was a silly thing created somewhat recently. Then in class a while ago there was a written passage in Middle English that used it. I forgot to jot down what it was from and I no longer have the text book (rental). I was just wondering where it came from/does it actually stand for something.
No one I've asked so far has an answer. Mostly they thought it was some modern creation too. I thought maybe you linguistically inclined may have an idea, or at least a much better chance then the people I usually see. Thanks :)
(The expansion as "Harold" is, I think, a conflation with a quite separate and very well-worn tale about "Our Father, Harold be thy name". Though of course, Jesus might naturally take God the Father's name as his middle name!)
I'd like to see the Middle English passage with "Jesus H Christ" in it! Can you copy it or give a link?
I was surprised to find "suburbs" (spelled "suburbis" I think) in a Middle English text. I no longer have the anthology I read it in, though. I'd assumed "suburbs" was a modern coinage, even though the elements are Latin.
Obviously not, since υἱός doesn't start with eta (and it's just "son", not "son of god"...). Not being the religious type, I thought it stood for Institute for Humane Studies, but Wikipedia says it's just the first three letters of Ἰησοῦς (Jesus) in this context.
By the way, Information Handling Services seems to prefer to brand itself globally merely as IHS, with no upfront indication of what the letters stand for--maybe on the basis that the punter might regard such a service as a euphemism for something a little more sinister?