Writing

who coined the phrase: “what the — ?”

have you ever wondered who coined the phrase: “what the — ?”

I have. I’ve been thinking about this for years. I’ve even googled it. more than once. nothing. what the — ?

trendy slang words and phrases come and go. and as a mom of a tween and a teen I hear a lot of them. epic. yolo. epic fail. photo bomb. and of course, the Minecraft slang lexicon: trolling, griefing, mob, mod, spleef, butter, and the list goes on…

but my favorite phrase is “what the — ?” It reminds me of my youth and the variety of expletives that we used to fill in the blank. the bleep. LOL.

what the — ? It’s so innocent and yet so satisfyingly close to swearing without swearing that I’ve adopted it into my middle-age mom vocab. I don’t think kids today even fill in the blank.  it’s good enough to just say “what the ?” without the —

so, are you ready?

here it is © 1997  —
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. 

thank you J.K. Rowling if indeed you coined the phrase.

Image

please, if you know an older or better source please comment here!  and, yes, I’ll look up the page number.

2 comments on “who coined the phrase: “what the — ?”

  1. Maybe it’s not really a phrase but a simple expression for the lost of words. It would be cool though, if Rowling coined it.

    Like

  2. Jonathan Safran Foer’s, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close makes the most wonderful use of this perfect expression.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: