It shows up in Max Shulman"s 1951 collection of stories, The numerous Loves of Dobie Gillis:

"Holy Toledo!" stated Petey reverently. He hurry his hands into the raccoon coat and then his face. "Holy Toledo!" he recurring fifteen or twenty times.

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But digital explanations of its origin disagree, and also dictionary coverage that the expression is hard to find.



It"s a humorous mock-swearword based on the taboo against blaspheming religious terms. There are hundreds of variations ~ above the phrase, such as "Holy Guacamole!" and also "Holy Cow!" many of this are considered entirely non-offensive, through the exemption of the best-known version, "Holy Shit!," which worsens the taboo by combining the religious modifier through the taboo against directly introduce to the fruits of the bathroom.

In the campy 60"s tv version the Batman, his sidekick Robin was noted for unlimited versions of the phrase (a habit summary satirized in the 1997 movie "Batman and also Robin").

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answer Apr 25 "14 at 1:23

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What a funny question.

I could not uncover the origin, despite the hypothesizing is amusing.

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Some suggestions:

came about because the the hefty concentration of churches located on Collingwood Boulevard (Toledo, Ohio)Toledo, Spain is often dubbed “the holy City of Toledo.”Holy main has constantly been a bad week for show business; old-time Vaudeville actors competed that any type of week in Toledo was holy Week. Toledoans Joe E. Brown and Danny cutting board popularized the term as they came to be nationally known performers (? - This provides sense)

Another colorful possibility comes from a former policeman that joined the city police force in 1931. At the time, there was an alleged agreement between the police and underworld safecrackers (also well-known as crate blowers and nitromen). Safecrackers would certainly not be harassed if they would certainly refrain native their activities in Toledo. Consequently, castle could complete a project in Detroit, Cleveland or elsewhere and then retreat come Toledo - the “Holy Land.”

Searching books, the faster I come up through was a quote indigenous 1936:

But in this forecast the manager was wrong, for practically as he perfect speaking a an excellent booming voice to be heard in the wings. "Holy Toledo, officer, ns don"t savvy her lingo..."

There room indeed holy cows (India) and also holy smoke (Bible). "Holy Smoke! together an expression came into use ~1870s, adhered to by "Holy cow!" (~1915). Probably out that reverence to religions, and because it flows so well, divine Toledo (that assonance) came right into being.

Joe E. Brown began in the vaudeville circuits in 1902, so... It"s possible. Danny Thomas started touring in the "30s, therefore it"s much less likely the he was the very first to speak it if it to be in publish in the 30"s already.