How Joe Made Holy Mackinaw Famous

Pretty much everyone knows Joe Bowen the voice of the Toronto Maple leafs. The man is more respected than the team with good reason. Sorry guys win a playoff sometime and you might get more respect. Poor Joe he has been the voice of the Maple Leafs for so long but never during a Stanley Cup Game!

The interesting thing about Bowen is how he made a common expression into a personal possession so to speak; so much so that people seem to think that he created the phrase HOLY MACKINAW!

How do I know this, simple when I was a kid a buddy of mine Robert (in his church going days) used to use the expression to avoid swearing? It would be Holy Mackinaw Bill look at that, or Holy Mackinaw Bill did you hear that. Personally I thought the expression was a bit lame he may as well have said Holy S–t because that was what he really meant.

So how does this prove that Joe Bowen did not originate the phrase? Simple I am almost 50 years old and Joe Bowen didn’t start using this catchphrase until 1982. Robert and I had long since stopped hanging out together by that time and I suspect that his Holy Mackinaw expressions had turned to something more colourful by 1982.

In a way I do think Joe Bowen was the first to coin the phrase but only in the sense that he was the first to make a buck off it.


2 thoughts on “How Joe Made Holy Mackinaw Famous

  1. Hey I just read Wikipedia on Joe Bowen and Bowen claims he got the phrase from his dad who said “Holy Mackinaw” instead of swearing. I see a trend. How long has Holy Mackinaw been kicking around?

    • My dad used the phase around us kids. He also called his warm shirt or maybe raincoat his “mackinaw”. I always figured it meant “bummer”, cause what good is a “holey mackinaw”, you get cold or wet!!

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