PO Box 248
February 13, 2005
Michael Judge in his recent book, The Dance of Time, has this to say
"Although mighty Orion still commands the southern sky, Leo who now
springs in from the north, threatens his reign; below Leo's haunches,
gentle Virgo peeps above the eastern horizon. Directly overhead stand
Castor and Pollux, the Gemini twins. These sons of beautiful Leda, whom
Zeus ravaged in the form of a swan, were thought by the ancients to stand guard
over mortal adventurers during this cold and dangerous time of the year.
Greek sailors looked up to them for protection as they fought the choppy waves,
and Roman cavalrymen often finished oaths by swearing, 'by Gemini,' which
American sailors later turned into 'by Jimminy.'"
Gemini (The Twins):
On Ocracoke, a variation of this expression, "Dey Jimminy Criminy"
[pronounced 'Jeeminy Croiminy']
has survived the centuries, and even the recent onslaught of television and
While "Jimminy" (sometimes spelled "gemony," "geeminy,"
"jimini," or "jiminy")
apparently comes from Gemini, "criminy," according to Random House
("The Mavens' Word of the Day" at www.randomhouse.com)
is "one of those mild, old-fashioned euphemisms for 'Christ,' like crikey,
cracky, cripes....," etc.
Random House adds that "criminy" (sometimes spelled "crimini"
or "crimeny") is listed in the Oxford English Dictionary as "a
vulgar exclamation of astonishment: now somewhat archaic."
Criminy seems to have been in use since at least 1700. At some point
the combined expression, "Jiminy Criminy," became a
euphemism for "Jesus Christ," that forbidden expression of
astonishment, anger, or frustration proscribed by the third commandment.
I imagine you might still hear the phrase "Jimminy Criminy" in a
few small towns in America, but probably only on Ocracoke will you hear it
spoken frequently, melodramatically, and with that distinctive island brogue,
as in "Dey Jeeminy Croiminy, younguns, this February it's the coldest it's
On your next visit to the island, listen for this and other expressions and
words that help define our unique island community.
In other news, Ocracoke's "Island Path" announces their Ocracoke
Island workshops for 2005:
Path's Ken & Ruth Fordon:
- For MIDLIFE WOMEN - MAY 12 - 15 AND SEPT 8 - 11
This popular weekend workshop called ”AWAKENING AT MIDLIFE” is offered
by Kathleen Brehony, psychologist and author of the bestselling book of the
same name, along with Ruth Fordon, co-founder of Ocracoke's "Island
Path." Kathleen and Ruth offer themselves as coach, mentor and friend
for this midlife potluck for a woman’s soul.
- For WRITERS - Sept 25 - Oct 1
Wherever you are in your writing journey, this workshop will speak to your
needs. This is the 5th year of hosting this weeklong creativity camp.
Join noted authors Kathleen Brehony and Karen Jones for this life changing
experience. Structured class time, lots of exercises, visiting authors, one
on one mentoring combined with beautiful beaches make this a winner.
- THE HEALER'S PATH NEW FOR FALL - Oct 5 - 11
A weeklong residential camp for medical professionals.
Have you lost your passion for working with medicine? Are you feeling empty
and drained, or angry more than you would like? Do you tell yourself
that you can’t leave, can’t change it and should just accept it?
You are not alone. This week of mind/body/spirit healing for the
healer will offer the opportunity to recapture your passion for medicine and
to reclaim the call to heal.
For more information, see their website, www.islandpath.com;
phone them at 928-1821 (TOLL FREE 877-708-7284); or email Ruth at firstname.lastname@example.org.