For Pete's Sake
Does anyone know where the saying for Pete's sake and for the love of Pete, came from?
It euphamizes the exclamiations "for Christ's sake" and "for the love of Christ" and probably substitutes a reference, in particular, to St. Peter.
I was always told that the correct term is "For pity's sake." In other words, to have pity. For example, if a child spills a glass of milk, and you say, "For pity's sake" you are saying, have pity on me. (or be more careful, now it has to be cleaned up.)
"For pity's sake" is simply a corruption or softening of "For Pete's sake", similar to the process which gave us "Gosh" "By golly" "Gee" "Jiminy Cricket" "Jeepers Creepers"... (for "[by]God", "Jesus [Christ}")
Lewis Joplin II
FOR PETE'S SAKE - The phrase is simply a polite version of a common and profane expression involving the name of Christ. We'd surmise that the original 'Pete' was St. Peter." From the "Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins" by William and Mary Morris. Substituting less offensive words - like Godfrey Daniel for the other GD - is called a minced oath.
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