Lord willing and the creek don't rise

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

See Usage notes

Phrase[edit]

Lord willing and the creek don't rise

  1. (idiomatic, US, informal) Barring unforeseen circumstances.
    Lord willing and the creek don't rise, we'll have that new barn finished in time for the harvest.

Usage notes[edit]

  • This is a mildly irreverent variant of the more religious indications of acceptance of God's will: Lord willing and God willing.

The best known version of this originates from the Bible in James 4:15. In the King James version, that which would have been used during the 18th and 19th centuries, this is, "For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that." The New International Version (NIV) of the Bible, which is in wide usage today, this phrase is "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." The reference to the creek(s) rising was obviously added later, with an obvious tie-in of God's will and the rising of the creek(s).

  • Numerous alternative forms can be found, some examples of which are shown on the Talk page.
    • For "Lord" common substitutes are "Good Lord" and "God".
    • For "creek", "crick" and "river" are common; also "Creeks" based on an alternative etymology.
    • The weather is often a substitute for the the second part of the phrase
    • Some believe "creek" may have once been a reference to the Creek Indian tribe.
    • The devil is invoked as a source of trouble.
    • There are numerous substitutions of worldly agency, sometimes for humorous effect.

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