Hello, Pete!
June 2, 2011 3:55 PM   Subscribe

Have you heard "Hello, Pete!" used as an exclamation?

My seventy-one year old Southern (American) boss is always saying, "Hello, Pete!" in a context in which most people would say something like, "Dang!" or "Jesus!" (Example: "Hello, Pete! It's hot outside today!") I've googled and this does not seem to be something the internet has heard of.

Was this a common slang term at some point? Is it a regional thing? I'm not from the South (we live in North Carolina) but I have also not heard anyone else here use this expression.
posted by something something to Grab Bag (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
i haven't, but when i visited my grandfather (Roy) in Georgia recently, i noted that the majority of his friends and family called him Pete for no discernable reason.
posted by radiosilents at 4:00 PM on June 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

Sounds like something he made up. Probably based on St. Peter, as in: you're dead and at the pearly gates.
posted by 2bucksplus at 4:00 PM on June 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

Like "Zounds!" originated as a way to not say the mild blasphemy "God's wounds!" (referring to Jesus on the cross), and "Sheesh!" and "Jeez!" avoid saying "Jesus!", and "Shostakovitch!" to avoid saying "shit", this is probably a euphemism for the mild blasphemy "Hell".
posted by orthogonality at 4:10 PM on June 2, 2011

Well "For Pete's Sake" is a pretty standard idiom, I'd imagine this could be an extension of that. As 2bucks said that's from St. Peter

Sounds like invoking Pete does have some idiomatic history

posted by bitdamaged at 4:17 PM on June 2, 2011

My grandmother in law says "Well for the love of Mike!"

Kinda unrelated.
posted by entropone at 4:18 PM on June 2, 2011

For the Love of Pete seems to be an easier idiom to Google.
posted by bitdamaged at 4:20 PM on June 2, 2011

Are you sure he's not saying "Holy Pete"?
posted by inkyz at 4:24 PM on June 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

No, he's definitely saying "hello."
posted by something something at 4:31 PM on June 2, 2011

Maybe it's a take on "Hello, nurse!"
posted by who squared at 4:49 PM on June 2, 2011

According to Urban Dictionary, an individual may use this phrase when s/he passes gas loudly. Saying, "Hello, Pete!" apparently shifts the blame and incites confusion.

Tl;dr -- Your boss may be actually be a flatulence ninja.
posted by WaspEnterprises at 6:05 PM on June 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

Hello, Pete!

*may actually be
posted by WaspEnterprises at 6:06 PM on June 2, 2011

People make up all kinds of nonsensical exclamations. I know someone who says, "Shut the door!" when she hears something exciting or unbelievable.
posted by cmoj at 7:27 PM on June 2, 2011

Yes, I've heard the expression all my life. The way it is spoken around these parts is more like, "Hell - o - Pete!" Google it that way and you will get a few hits.
posted by maggieb at 10:45 PM on June 2, 2011

Just checking: is your name Pete?
posted by Aizkolari at 7:59 AM on June 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

Also perhaps related is Geez-o-Pete, which is apparently a Michigan thing.
posted by shaun at 9:06 AM on June 3, 2011

posted by srrh at 10:52 AM on June 3, 2011

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