So, I don't know why nine years later,I have become intrigued by one of my mother's sayings: "My Land O Goshen," which sounded like one word, "malandagoshen," when she said it. Actually, I often thought it sounded more like, "My Lantic Ocean."
She used it as an exclamation of mild astonishment, as when she was surprised or somewhat shocked about learning a certain fact.
So, off I went to Google to discover what I could about the expression. Did others use it, or was it hers alone?
I discovered that there is a blog entitled My Land of Goshen, but I won't bother linking as there are no entries — just a blog title. Strange.
My Google search also revealed several religious posts based on the phrase.
Here is what I found in the Urban Dictionary, which is pretty well how my mother used the term — at least the amazement part if not the frustration part.
Land O Goshen is a Southern expression of amazement or frustration. The Land of Goshen is a place referred to two times in the Bible, once as a province of Egypt (in the time of Joseph) and another time as a Canaanite land renamed Goshen in the book of Joshua. After Moses led the Jews out of Egypt (Goshen) and Joshua finally led them into Canann, they named a portion of the Promised Land, Goshen. This may be why the phrase is used as an exclamation of amazement and frustration, as the Land of Goshen was the place of the Israelites bondage, and later a place in the Promised Land.
1. Land O Goshen, I just saw a shooting star!
2. Land O Goshen, if I have to tell you to close that front door again I'm gonna tan your hide, boy!
3. Land O Goshen, that apple pie is the tastiest I ever et, Ma!
Just as Dad seemed to have picked up a archaic New England phrase, apparently, Mom appropriated a southern expression. It's an odd thing in both cases as neither of them were Americans nor travellers, but both of my parents were quite religious and knew the bible really well, so perhaps it isn't such a big leap after all.
The Free Dictionary defines it as a mild oath much equivalent to saying, "My goodness gracious!" which was also a Mom phrase.
This is part of what the Perspective Sun Journal replied to a query about the term. You can link for the whole article if you like, but these are the key parts. Perhaps, she did learn the phrase from the Barney Google comic strip mentioned in the quote. Who knows?
"Land o' Goshen" is an old-fashioned expression that is rarely heard these days, although it has not dropped entirely out of use. We have found some evidence of its continuing occurrence (in one form or another) in recent years . . .So, there you have it. The definitions that I found were consistent with how she used the idiom. I cannot know where, exactly, she picked up the expression, but she was certainly a religious woman, and I think she also would have been at least somewhat familiar with the Barney Google comic strip. Those two things probably sealed the deal for her, and I think both her, Land O Goshen and Dad's Dan to Beersheba idioms were quite wonderful expressions.
There isn't really a "story" for the phrase - other than that it was a favorite usage of the cartoon character Loweezy, wife of Snuffy Smith, in the comic strip Barney Google . . .
. . . "Goshen" is from the Hebrew "Goshen," the name of the land allotted to the Israelites in Egypt, and is found in the Bible at Genesis, chapter 45, verse 11: "And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen ... and there I will nourish thee."