for Saturday, 26 September 2020
[ hwil-i-kerz, wil- ]
(used as an intensive after gee or golly gee to express astonishment, delight, etc.)
WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF WHILLIKERS?
Whillikers and its variant whillikens are used only in the exclamatory phrase (golly) gee whillikers (whillikens). There is no satisfactory etymology for whillikers or whillikens. Gee whillikens first appeared in print in 1851.