(Submitted and Written by Natalie K.)
It would be logical to assume that Jewish Young Adults would, in keeping with their ethnic heritage and embracing of kitsch make use of uniquely Jewish expressions of exasperation and annoyance. But in their native habitats, whether that’s Cherry Hill, Huntington Woods or Mercer Island, their profanity resists this sort of stereotyping.
JYAs today are much more likely to invoke the famous but contentious figure of Jesus Christ. In addition to the classic exclamation: “Jesus Christ!” The Hebrologist will also note a number of variations on the theme, ranging from the more profane “Christ on a Cross!” or “Jesus son of Joseph!” or “Jesus, Mary and Joseph!” to the silly “Jeezy Creezy” and “Jumping Jesus on a pogo stick!”
This phenomenon is not isolated to diaspora Jewry. When JYA Rebecca moved from New York to Tel Aviv she commented, “I have to start practicing not saying Jesus Christ anymore, I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea.” After a year in the ancestral homeland, her usage has increased, and this is hardly atypical.
Maybe it is rooted in irony, or maybe it just feels good to say, but if you hear an under the breath “Jesus Christ!” look around, it’s probably coming from from a JYA.