Green’s Dictionary of Slang

Christ n.

also the Christ

a general abstract intensifier, implying quantity, strength, essence etc; synon. with hell, the phr. (3) .

[US]E. Hemingway letter 14 Nov. in Baker Sel. Letters (1981) 604: I wish the christ I owned him.
[Aus]D. Ireland Glass Canoe (1982) 75: I lob home, and next thing she’s abusing Christ outta me.
[US]S. King Christine 484: I’m going to get into Christine and we’re going to motivate right the Christ out of this one-timetable town.
[US]R. Atkinson Long Gray Line (1990) 154: A promise to ‘clobber the living Jesus Christ out of you.’.

In phrases

bash the Christ out of (v.) (also belt the Christ out of)

(Aus.) to beat severely.

[US]J.E. Macdonnell Jim Brady 154: I’ll belt the Christ outa yer!
[Aus]D. Ireland Burn 16: Gunner bashed Christ out of him. Knocked him silly.
to Christ (also to Christmas, to krist)

a general intensifier; usu. as wish to Christ.

[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 91: I wish to Christ he did!
[UK](con. 1916) F. Manning Her Privates We (1986) 4: Wish to Christ they’d get a move on.
[US] in W.C. Fields By Himself (1974) 446: I hope to Christ the next cold I get knocks me off and then you will know what real hardship is.
[US]H. Miller Tropic of Cancer (1963) 107: I wish to Christ I could stop thinking about myself.
[UK]H. Brown Walk in Sun 121: I wish to Christ we had a mortar.
[UK]J. Maclaren-Ross Of Love And Hunger 170: I made a bolt for the exit. I hoped to Christ Sukie hadn’t played another double shuffle on me.
[US]R. Chandler Little Sister 103: I hope to Christ this doesn’t mean Sunny Moe Stein’s mob have started in business again.
[Aus](con. 1944) L. Glassop Rats in New Guinea 174: I wish to Christ I was going with you.
[US]H. Selby Jr Last Exit to Brooklyn 117: He wished to krist he could take the sounds and shove them up her ass.
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Pimp 22: I have wished to Christ [...] that the lunatic lovers had left me in Rockford.
[US]S. King Stand (1990) 257: I’m getting to Christ out of here. [Ibid.] 918: I wish to Christ I hadn’t left him behind.
[UK]F. Norman Too Many Crooks Spoil the Caper 121: They didn’t know me and I hoped to Christmas that was the way it was going to stay.
[US]W. Murray Tip on a Dead Crab 208: I swear to Christ I’ll go straight from here to the stewards and the police.
[UK]M. Amis London Fields 26: I wished to Christ I could do Keith’s voice.

Proper name in slang uses

In compounds

Christ-bitten (adj.)

(US) a general derog. description, lit. ‘bitten by Christ’, i.e. fanatically religious.

[US]D.W. King L.M.8046 144: ‘God damn those Christ-bitten .... Hope to hell we get another chance at them before we clear out!’.
[US]Dos Passos Adventures of a Young Man 257: The boys in Slade Country was f—d and now here was this christbitten hellbound party line f—g them proper.
McHenry & Myers Home Is Sailor 95: She’s Christ-bitten. She thinks I need saving.
[US]L.F. Cooley Run For Home (1959) 169: Nuthin’ to do and nuthin’ to drink on Sunday in this Christ-bitten place!
Globe and Mail (Toronto) 3 Aug. F3: That was when his father, although not Catholic, sent his son to a Jesuit high school to live with what Mr. Moriarty now calls ‘the Christ-bitten winos’.
Christ-killer (n.) (US)

1. a derog. term for a Jew [the teaching by trad. Christianity that the Jews killed Christ].

Manchester Gardian 17 Apr. 6/4: The petition at the Town hall was carried by ‘catter-wauling mountebanks and hireling Christ-killers’.
[US]Knickerbocker 46 629: Often have we heard a Jewish child in our city sneered at by other urchins as a ‘little Christ-killer’.
[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor IV 223/1: They [i.e. ‘bunters’] was mostly Christ-killers, and chousing a Jew was no sin.
in Glanz Jew in Old Amer. Folklore (1961) 10: Get out, you bloody Christ-killer.
[Aus]Sydney Sl. Dict. (2 edn) 2: Chousing a Christkiller - Swindling a Jew (there used to be a prevailing superstition that it’s no sin.) Or, Having a Christkiller.
[UK]J. Ware Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era.
[US]S. Anderson Dark Laughter 278: Boys who were ragging one of the Jewish boys. They followed him along a street shouting, ‘Christ-killer!’.
[US](con. 1910s) J.T. Farrell Young Lonigan in Studs Lonigan (1936) 130: ‘Sa-ay, Christ Killer!’ Johnny said to his man.
[US]J. Conroy World to Win 146: A damned Christ-killer kike asking all sorts of questions.
[US]E. Anderson Thieves Like Us (1999) 41: I called him a Christ-killer and a few other things.
[US]S. Bellow Augie March (1996) 12: We were chased, stoned, bitten and beat up for Christ-killers.
H. Teichmann George S. Kaufman, An Intimate Portrait n.p.: You goddamn Christ killer.
[US]T. Fontana ‘God's Chillin’ Oz ser. 1 ep. 3 [TV script] You don’t have a problem with me being Jewish? [...] You don’t think of me as a Christ-killer or anything like that?
Dean’s World 19 Mar. [blog] You know, I’ve been around Christians of just about every stripe my entire life, and I have never in my entire life heard the words ‘Christ killer’ come out of anyone but Jews.
[US]T. Pluck ‘Hot Rod Heart’ in Life During Wartime 106: ‘Stop calling him kid, Christkiller [...] It’s too bad the Krauts didn’t get all of you’.

2. a noisy political orator [the majority of such orators were self-proclaimed atheists].

[US]L. Adamic Laughing in the Jungle 208: I stopped to listen to soap-boxers [...] and to the argufyers or ‘nuts’ in Pershing’s Park and on the Plaza, most of them professional atheists, or ‘Christ-killers,’ full of sound and fury.

In phrases

when Christ was a corporal

(US) a very long time ago.

G. Boas Never Go Back 176: [W]hen Harper protested that after all he had the rudiments on which to build, he answered, ‘Why, what I know was old stuff when Christ was a corporal in the Jerusalem Hoosars’.
Camden News (AK) 8 Dec. 21/1: Some of the gripes about Army life, first heard ‘when Christ was a corporal,’ will probably never change.
[US](con. 1970) J.M. Del Vecchio 13th Valley (1983) 113: Egan was a cherry way back when Christ was a corporal.
M. Rausenberger Somalia Journal [ebook] He looked like he was in the military when Christ was a corporal so l figured he had some rank.
S.M. Mahoney Fighting for Afghanistan [ebook] ‘Okay, here we go again. This goes back to when Christ was a corporal’.

As an oath in combs. and excls.

In derivatives

Christless (adj.)

(US) lit. god-damned adj.

[US]R.C. Murphy Logbook for Grace (1948) 16 July 14: That usually leads to a gentle admonition [...] that he’ll be goddamned if he’ll stand for one such word from any Christless bastard on board, afore or abaft the mainmast.
[US]‘F. Bonnamy’ Blood and Thirsty (1952) 45: I’ve been tryin to figger for years how t’git that Christless picture down.
[US]‘Richard Hooker’ M*A*S*H 108: We wouldn’t be going out of our way for a Christless Regular Army Colonel if we didn’t mean it!
Lewis How to Talk Yankee n.p.: I never did think we’d get that Christless truck out of the ditch [DARE].
in N.E. Folklore XXVIII (1988) 43: He got this christless big book and opened it up [HDAS]. 17 May [blog] Get away from me, you Christless little choad.

In compounds

Christ almighty (adj.)

a general intensifier.

[US]Dos Passos Manhattan Transfer 387: Jesus Kerist Almighty look at a guy who’ll give up a good job clerkin [...] to sign on as messboy in Davy Jones’ own steam yacht.
[US]C. Cooper Jr Weed (1998) 119: The Christalmighty work he had to do.
Christ-awful (adj.) (also Christ-all) [var. on God-awful adj.]

(orig. US) especially appalling; also as excl.

[US]N. Algren Neon Wilderness (1986) 83: The fellas begun giv’n me a Christ-awful razzin’ then.
[US](con. 1943) A. Myrer Big War 192: Heading for what Christ-all horror we can’t imagine.

In phrases

In exclamations

Christ almighty! (also Christ al-bleeding-mighty! Christ allbloodymighty! Christ all hell! Christ all hemlock! Christamighty! )

a common blasphemous excl.

[US] in Randolph & Legman Ozark Folksongs and Folklore (1992) II 638: The moonlight lit on the nipple of her tit, / Oh, Jesus Christ, almighty.
[US](con. 1900) L. Riggs Green Grow the Lilacs I iv: Christ all hemlock!
[US]B. Appel Brain Guy 148: Christ all hell, what sort of life was Bill leading?
[Aus]D. Stivens Tramp and Other Stories 49: Christ all bloody mighty! The little bitch!
[Aus]K. Tennant Battlers 118: Christamighty! [...] Anyone ’ud think I was trying to pinch the filling from your back teeth instead of doing you a good turn.
[Aus]Cusack & James Come in Spinner (1960) 331: ‘Christallbloodymighty!’ Lofty bellowed.
[US]M. Braly On the Yard (2002) 112: Christalmighty, if you don’t know, how the hell am I s’posed to tell you?
[US]D. Goines Swamp Man 145: ‘Christ Almighty, Sheriff,’ Sonny Boy yelled.
[US]T. Wolfe Bonfire of the Vanities 272: Christ almighty . . . I’ve got to think for a second.
[UK](con. 1950s) J. Byrne Slab Boys [film script] 101: Christ Almighty, Phil, it’s no’ every day somethin’ as tragic as this happens.
[UK]K. Waterhouse Soho 78: Oh, Christ al-bleeding-mighty, all he needed.
[US]Codella and Bennett Alphaville (2011) 317: Jesus fucking Christ. if she knows about it, every bad guy in the neighborhood must know about it.
Christ on a bike! (also Christ on a bicycle! ...bleeding toboggan! ...buckboard! ...Harley!! ...a pony!)

a mild excl.

[US]W. Styron Set This House on Fire 67: Christ on a bleeding toboggan!
[UK]J. Gielgud letter 10 Oct. in Mangan John Gielgud’s Letters (2004) 268: Christ on a bicycle!
[US]J. Kirkwood There Must Be a Pony! 152: ‘Christ-on-a-buckboard,’ Sally Knapp says.
[UK](con. 1968) P. Theroux My Secret Hist. (1990) 337: ‘Christ on a bike!’ Potter cried.
[US]C. Hiaasen Native Tongue 155: Christ on a Harley, who wants goddamn lizards!
[UK]A. Close Official and Doubtful 186: Christ on a bike, I forgot about the battered sisters.
[UK]‘Squee Rat’ ‘This Sordid Little Business: The Furry Manifesto’ 🌐 If you don’t think you’re the astrally projected soul of a wolf trapped in a human body, or you don’t answer the phone with a ‘meow,’ you’re not furry. Yep. Don’t you feel terribly inferior now? Christ on a fire engine, what some people will try and force on you.
[UK]G. Turner Guardian 25 June 🌐 Christ on a flippin’ bike! England were so, so lucky there.
[Scot]T. Black Ringer [ebook] n.p.: Christ on a bike, do I have to do everything around here?
[US]S. King Finders Keepers (2016) 18: ‘Christ on a pony,’ he said, ‘I call that pretty’.
Christ on a crutch! (also Christ on a raft! ...stretcher! ... on crutches! Jesus on a moped!)

a mild excl.

[US](con. 1944) N. Mailer Naked and Dead 10: Christ on a crutch! Right off the farm, a barefoot boy.
[US]H.S. Thompson letter 31 Mar. in Proud Highway (1997) 113: Christ on a crutch, man: if you people are as hard up for writers as you appear to be, then you need help in the worst way!
[US](con. early 1950s) J. Peacock Valhalla 30: Oh Jesus Christ on a wobbly crutch! [Ibid.] 54: ‘Jesus H. Christ on a stretcher!’ Giff exploded.
[UK](con. WWII) B. Aldiss Soldier Erect 132: Christ-on-fucking-crutches!
[US]L. Kramer Faggots 242: Oh, Jesus H. Christ on a crutch, whatever have we done!
[US]R.M. Brown Southern Discomfort (1983) 79: Jesus H. Christ on a raft.
[US](con. 1969–70) D. Bodey F.N.G. (1988) 107: Jesus fuckin’ Christ on a warped yellow-pine crutch.
[US]L. Heinemann Paco’s Story (1987) 50: Christ Jesus on a bloody fuckin’ crutch [...] how long was this guy left like this?
[US]D. Hecht Skull Session 205: Christ on a crutch! Place is a mess, isn’t it?
[UK]K. Waterhouse Soho 24: Christ on crutches, was she up for it or was she up for it?
[UK]G. Iles Turning Angel 370: ‘Christ on a crutch,’ he says in his heavy drawl.
[UK]Eve. Standard 20 Dec. 15/3: Dior perfume. Jesus on a moped.
[US]T. Robinson Rough Trade [ebook] ‘Christ on a crutch’.
Twitter 27 May 🌐 Christ on a crutch, this [book] is hardcore in the best possible way. Bleak as with razor sharp prose.
for Christ’s sake!

see separate entry.