How To List A Movie Title In An Mla Style "For Crying Out Loud!" What is the Origin of This Strange Expression?

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"For Crying Out Loud!" What is the Origin of This Strange Expression?

What’s up with the expression, “For crying out loud?” Have you ever thought about that? I mean, what the hell does that expression mean? Where did it originate from?

Expressions like “Hot dog!” or “Man alive!” it makes sense to me. Hot dog implies that you are excited about something – as excited as you would be if someone gave you a hot dog. “Live man” means you are surprised by something; It was probably coined by mountaineers when they found half-dead men in the snow. Imagine running on a boot sticking out of the snow, and when you pull on it, a semi-conscious Sherpa is attached to the other end. You would shout “Man alive!” too, and you would have every right to do so.

My father was a big proponent of the expression “for crying out loud.” He would yell at me when I did things like draw with pencils on the wall or put the cat in the dryer. Every time I heard it, I would navigate to cannonball position and try to roll into a tight corner where he couldn’t reach me. One day, as I was reaching into a basket, I thought, “This for crying out loud doesn’t make sense to me. The English language certainly has its share of strange expressions and illogical grammatical points, but expressions like this are just plain reckless. Frankly , they make me a little uncomfortable and I refuse to use any expression that doesn’t have at least a semi-logical origin.” (Yes, I spoke like that when I was 8). I had reached the bottom of the basket when my father’s footsteps approached. “For crying out loud Marcus, where the hell are you!?” That’s when I made a decision. With a sock stuck to my cheek I declared, “I’ll get to the bottom of this irresponsible expression, for better or for worse!”

So today, 25 years later, I’m happy to report that I discovered the origin of the euphemism “for crying out loud”…kind of. The expression is part of a long list of sayings that find their origin in Christian culture. These are called “chopped swears” and allow you to express your frustration without saying something sinful.

For example, if you were a peasant in the dark ages and someone stole your sandal, you wouldn’t want to shout something like, “When I find you, I’m going to hit that sandal on you…!” Instead, you’d say something like, “For the love of Pete!” which draws attention to the right hand of Jesus, St. Peter. You will still be able to express your anger, but you will pass God by without him knowing what happened. And who knows, maybe San Pedro will help you get your sandal back.

Expressions like “Gee” are even Christian. The “G” sound represents the “G” sound in Jesus Christ, and is also responsible for the famous Hip Hop saying: “G-Unit”, which gangsters use as an underground code word when referring to their personal lord and savior .

“For crying out loud” is said to originate from the expression “for Christ’s sake.” How you get from “for Christ’s sake” to “for yelling” I don’t know, but I bet it has something to do with a parent who was disgusted with her bud’s incessant crying. He was probably a man of influence, and as he stood on the verge of saying, “For Christ’s sake,” he said, “For crying out loud!” His eyebrow probably flew right after he said it; the “ah-ha” kind of brow we all strive for. And with that the expression was coined.

Euphemisms play an important role in our culture, and I tip my hat to my father for having the drive to carry on the tradition. The next time you hear an expression that alludes you to meaning, think of our early Christian ancestors and thank them for their contribution. I mean for crying out loud, at least they provided us with some fantastic comedy.

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