The ‘H’ in ‘Jesus H. Christ’ explained by the best grammarians on the planet

Bumped into this fantastic piece by The Grammarphobia Blog explaining the ‘H’ in ‘Jesus H. Christ’ considering that it’s not even a middle initial! Now, I’ll be honest — I didn’t know this and was even surprised, since I don’t remember reading this variant in the bible.

Wikipedia says it’s, “typically uttered in anger, surprise, or frustration, though sometimes also with humorous intent.” This makes sense, considering this dialog below:

The Creation, a satirical verse play in the June 13, 1885, issue of the Secular Review, an agnostic journal in London. Here’s an exchange between the Adam and Eve characters in a scene set in the Garden of Eden:

Wife. O Lord! How them apples is pecked!
And fruit that is pecked by the birds
Is always so nice, I am told.

Man. If Jesus H. Christ hears your words,
He’ll tell, and his Father will scold.

The expression was undoubtedly used in speech earlier. Mark Twain recalled hearing it when he was a printer’s apprentice in Missouri in the mid-1800s.

Jesus H. Christ, The Grammarphobia Blog

This is strange and funny. I just checked with a devout Catholic friend about Jesus H. Christ. Her response, “Never heard of him. Who’s he?” And I’m glad I wrote this post 😉

Nonetheless, I should thank god (pun intended) that I found this post! I had almost forgotten about the Grammarphobia blog. It’s a fantastic resource for anyone interested in Grammar. The G Nazi’s should make it their home page! And If you’re new, start with language myths. It’ll make you laugh and all the more knowledgable about the English language.

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