I could not begin to add up the times I have heard the phrase “Holy Toledo” but not until last night while watching the “Antiques Roadshow” on PBS did I get my curiosity to stir beyond just curiosity to actually where the origin of this ‘term of exclamation’ had been derived. Some unsuspecting lady found out her garage sale treasure was indeed just that, a treasure, and exclaimed with a resounding “Holy Toledo”! And after all these years it struck me at that moment that I did not have a clue as to what that term meant? I certainly knew what it was meant to portray – surprise. But why Toledo, of all places? So I made a quick note on a handy piece of paper and vowed that come the morning light I would embark on that intellectual journey.
And so it was as dawn broke over yon’ hills that I would call forth and invoke the name “Google” within the vast infinite realm of Cyberspace! And so it was that I did beseech the all-knowing ‘Google’ to spew forth thy wisdom and enlighten thy Kingdom henceforth and forever with the origins of ‘holy Toledo’!
Holy Toledo! – This exclamation of surprise refers to Toledo, Spain, which became one of the great centers of Christian culture after its liberation from the Moors in 1085. Its thirteenth-century Gothic Cathedral, one of the largest in Europe, is the seat of the Cardinal Archbishop of Spain. (Reference: “Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins” by William and Mary Morris [HarperCollins, New York, 1977, 1988]).
Hmmmmm! Well…..there you go, now we know the rest of the story! 🙂