Today was a very exciting day. First I won the lottery and then I went on a horsie ride. My horsie Dobbin and I won the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Also the Silver Cup, Bronze Cup, Tin cup, china mug, and thimble. Then I went home for my tea and guess who was there? Queen Elizabeth II. Her Maj. Old Liz-features herself. We played Space invaders and I beat her twice. Then she punched me. She's got a mean right hook, that old Queenie. Then Claudia Schiffer came and tucked me up in bed.
I've never kept a diary. I've had diaries before, but back when I was a kid my life was not crammed full of stuff to write about, so I never did. Anyway, that's by the by. I just wrote that stuff because it was way more interesting than anything I have to talk about, but still, I have to make myself write something - it's been three days for Pete's sake. Here's a thought - who are the Pete and Mike we hear about in for Pete's sake and for the love of Mike?
It's known as a "minced oath". To mince words so as not to offend anyone. The substitution of one offensive word with a less offensive one. Think of St Peter. Think of the omnipresent medieval church and think of hitting your thumb with a hammer. You can't swear, or else the local priests will have you up before the Bishop and the Lord alone knows what the outcome of that will be, so you exclaim, in the appropriate tone of voice, "For Saint Peter's sake" and carry on erecting the shelves. This phrase was amended to "For Pete's Sake" in later, less religiously oppressive, times. Betcha didn't know that. I certainly didn't. I had not really even thought about it until now.
Similarly, for the love of Mike refers to St. Michael.