首页  | 专栏作家

For crying out loud?

中国日报网 2023-03-30 15:24


Reader question:

Please explain “for crying out loud”, as in this: He’s not okay, for crying out loud.


My comments:

He’s not all right, for Christ’s sake. He’s in big trouble.

What sort of trouble?

We don’t know.

What we do know is that he’s not okay, for crying out loud.

For Christ’s sake, in other words.

People use “for Christ’s sake” as an oath to voice their extreme anger or frustration, impatience or other emotions. However, as it is not considered okay to invoke the name of Jesus Christ in everyday conversation, especially in the presence of the devout, somewhere along the line, people begin to use “for crying out loud” instead of the name of Jesus Christ.

Crying out loud?

Yes, literally, when people say “for Christ’s sake”, they usually say it in a loud voice. They do cry out loud.

Grammarist.com explains this euphemism, which is American in origin, as follows:

For crying out loud is an idiom that has been in use for about 100 years. We will examine the meaning of the common saying for crying out loud, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

For crying out loud is an idiom that is exclaimed when one is annoyed at a situation. For crying out loud is an expression of frustration, impatience, or exasperation. The phrase for crying out loud originated in the United States in the 1920s, and the cartoonist Thomas Aloysius Dorgan is credited with popularizing the idiom. For crying out loud is a minced oath, which is an oath in which the profane or offensive word is replaced with a euphemism in order to make the term suitable for all audiences. The inappropriate oath replaced by crying out loud is for Christ’s sake.


Remember, you say “for crying out loud” to emphasize your point, what you’re trying to say. In our example, the speaker emphasizes that he’s not okay.

Not at all.

All right, here are media examples of “for crying out loud”:


1 Republican West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice told CNBC on Monday the pro-Trump riot at the U.S. Capitol last week made the country “look terrible” and he urged Americans to put aside their political affiliations.

“What happened with the attack on our Capitol, with people who were just out of control, is despicable,” Justice said on “Squawk on the Street.” “That’s all there is to it. There’s no other way around it.”

First elected as a Democrat, Justice switched to the GOP in 2017 at a rally alongside President Donald Trump. While acknowledging Trump supporters are frustrated their candidate lost to President-elect Joe Biden, Justice said a moment of reflection needs to take place because “we have gotten off the rails.”

“We have got to step back and take some deep breaths and realize that we’re Americans first and foremost,” he added. “We aren’t Democrats and Republicans first and foremost. We’re Americans, and for crying out loud, this makes us look terrible beyond belief.

House Democrats are once again moving to impeach Trump, this second time for encouraging supporters to march to the Capitol while Congress was finalizing Biden’s Electoral College victory.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, has called on Trump to resign, saying “he has caused enough damage.” Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said that while there’s probably not enough time for impeachment before Biden’s inauguration next week, “I think the president has disqualified himself from ever, certainly, serving in office again.”

- GOP West Virginia governor calls pro-Trump Capitol riot ‘despicable,’ urges country over party, CNBC.com, January 11, 2021.


2 Lupita Nyong’o learned lots of valuable lessons as an acting student at the Yale School of Drama – on Shakespeare, accents, the Alexander technique – but there was one crucial omission from the curriculum. “We kept being told that it’s going to be one long, lonely, hard and fruitless journey, being an actor,” Nyong’o says. “You’re going to be Policewoman Number Three for a long time before you can get anywhere. They helped us to mentally prepare for failure, but they did not prepare us for success.”

In Nyong’o’s case, success came quickly and dramatically when she earned an Academy Award for her very first feature film role straight out of Yale, in 2013’s 12 Years a Slave. In videos of Nyong’o at that time, as she did press and accepted awards, she seems preternaturally poised. But that grace was masking a turmoil underneath that would have serious ramifications for her health. “I was mitigating my panic at all times because extreme failure and extreme success, the body doesn’t know the difference,” says Nyong’o, now 39. “Either way, you are in distress. I’m proud of how I weathered that particular storm, but it cost me. It cost me physically. I was extremely thin. My body was ravaging itself, and I got fibroids.”

Nyong’o eventually underwent surgery to remove the fibroids, and today she’s healthy. As she shares this story over lunch at a seaside restaurant in Malibu in August, the Kenyan Mexican actress cuts a conspicuously glamorous figure among tables of Californians clad in athleisure. She’s wearing a yellow and brown floral jacquard jumpsuit with puffed sleeves, made by Nigerian American designer Autumn Adeigbo, and a Christian Dior ring of a snake about to swallow a monkey. “A sad and beautiful scene,” she says of the ring. “It’ll double as a weapon.”

Nyong’o, who lives in Brooklyn, is known as a serious and committed actress, and she is undoubtedly that, but she’s also, as fewer people know, playful and self-deprecating. Because the loud ocean waves are interfering with the recording of this interview, she has taken a digital recorder and tucked it into her bandeau top, its red light blinking from the middle of her chest as she talks. “Don’t worry,” she says, with a wave of her hand. “Nobody is looking at my cleavage.” That lighter side, as well as her status as a major foodie, is more evident on her Instagram and TikTok accounts, where she shares videos of her eating her way across Italy or trying a dish with ants.

After the Oscar, lots of interesting work came Nyong’o’s way – a terrifying dual lead role in Jordan Peele’s Us, a motion-capture part as pirate queen Maz Kanata in the Star Wars films, a stage role playing a rape victim during Liberia’s civil war in the Broadway play Eclipsed, which earned Nyong’o a Tony nomination. She also played Nakia in Black Panther, a fighter-activist and lover of T’Challa, the king of Wakanda. Once again, Nyong’o was part of an extraordinary and unprecedented success, a movie that grossed $1.3 billion worldwide, became the first Marvel film nominated for best picture and marked a defining moment for the global impact of Black culture.



She bucked expectations again after the Oscar, partly thanks to some advice she got from Emma Thompson. “I got told a lot, not just by my team but by other actors that I would meet, ‘You’ve got to strike now,’ ” Nyong’o says of the pressures to capitalize on her sudden success. After months of talking about acting to promote 12 Years a Slave, Nyong’o wasn’t sure she even remembered how to do it. In London to film Star Wars, she called Thompson, whom she had met on the awards circuit. “She invited me over, and I went to dinner with her, and she totally demystified all of that,” Nyong’o says. “She did save my life. I had won this huge award, and my imposter syndrome was at an all-time high. I was so intimidated by this new platform that I seemed to have. I mean, I acted in one film. I didn’t even know what the ‘martini shot’ was, for crying out loud.” Many in Nyong’o’s circle were pushing her to do more film work and discouraging her from doing theater. Thompson disagreed. “She told me that she quit acting for over eight years at some point, and everybody told her that she would never be able to come back to it, and she did,” Nyong’o says. “She encouraged me to do what I thought was best for my instrument.” Because of that conversation, Nyong’o took the role in the Broadway play Eclipsed. “My first place where I cut my teeth was in the theater, and I wanted to touch base with that because I knew how to do that, and it really, really helped me,” she says. “It helped me rededicate myself to the work of acting because I was so disillusioned by it. The awards circuit is so far away from the work. Becoming a celebrity, that’s a whole other job than being an actor. I needed to get back to what got me here in the first place, and the theater did that for me.”

- Lupita Nyong’o on the Intense Shoot for ’Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ and the Weight of Global Stardom, HollywoodReporter.com, October 19, 2022.


3 Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo was scolded by his ESPN colleagues after he admitted to taking a weed gummy at a Bruce Springsteen concert.

On Wednesday’s First Take, Russo delivered several rants for his weekly rage segment titled What Are You Mad About! – in which he screams about the day’s hot topics. As the segment ended, the ESPN crew decided to play a video showing Mad Dog seated right in front of the stage at a Springsteen concert in Boston earlier in the week.

“Mad Dog” was surrounded by a sea of people as the Rock and Roll artist jammed out his greatest hits, and when Springsteen walked past Russo, the sports talk radio icon had a big smile on his face. The former Mike and the Mad Dog host explained how he got through the concert with a little bit of help.

“” was so happy! I needed a gummy, a couple of cocktails…” Russo said. “What could go wrong with that?! For crying out loud! What could go wrong with that?!

Co-host, Stephen A. Smith, was on remote in Los Angeles, and he began to crack up laughing at Mad Dog’s admission.

Russo pleaded with Stephen A. to “say something funny!”

First Take co-host Molly Qerim reiterated what Russo said he took before the drinks he consumed.

“Okay, you said gummy, so that was fine,” Qerim said. “We’re good. You lost me at gummy. We’re gonna leave it there.”

‘This Is a Disney Operation!’ Mad Dog Russo Scolded By ESPN Cohorts for Taking a Weed Gummy Before Springsteen Concert, Mediate.com, March 22, 2023.


About the author:


Zhang Xin is Trainer at chinadaily.com.cn. He has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.


(作者:张欣  编辑:yaning)


Diamond in the rough?


Fat cats


Back to square one?


Bottom feeder?


Hero to zero?


Got it in the bag?

中国日报网 英语点津微信
中国日报网 双语小程序