Oh my god!

iggy-azalea-clueless-2Does anyone know the origins of this exclamation?

Does anyone know when it rose to such prominence?

Does anyone know why this phrase (and not some other) is so popular at the moment?

I did a very quick search and came up with this:

Jonathan Quayle Higgins from the TV show “Magnum P.I.” apparently said it a lot.

It also featured in the movie Clueless.

Any other thoughts?

10 thoughts on “Oh my god!

  1. Scott Underwood

    “Oh my god!” is prominent in the Frank Zappa song “Valley Girl” (sung by his daughter Moon Unit Zappa), which was a minor hit in 1982.

    I was 20 then, and I played it for a female friend still in high school, whose voice Moon had captured pretty well. She was imitating a particularly San Fernando Valley sort of girl (thus the name) who lives in Encino and shops at the Galleria, but that voice and phrase was common in my Bay Area high school at the same time.

    1. Grant Post author

      Scott. excellent, thank you, so this is perhaps one of those “birthed and nursed in the valley before taking flight thanks to the satirists” kind of thing. It is weird how often satire delivers things into speech that we use often without a trace of irony. Thanks, Grant

    1. vpostrel

      Maybe I’m out of date, but to me the southern “Oh, my lord” means something different–more negative, more like “Good grief” or “that’s terrible.” You wouldn’t go into a room reveal on a house makeover show and say, “Oh my Lord.”

  2. Carrie Rickey

    “Dios mío!” is a very common exclamation among Mexican Americans, which may account for it appearing translated in “Clueless” and later abbreviated to omg. Just a hunch from a Southern Californian by birth.

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