Holy Roller

Holy Roller

Holy Roller is a term in American English used to describe Pentecostal Christian churchgoers. However, "Holy Roller" is also more commonly used to describe any religion follower that tries to promote their religion at doorsteps or in public forums. The term is commonly used derisively, as if to describe people literally rolling on the floor or speaking in tongues in an uncontrolled manner. For this usage, the "Oxford English Dictionary" cites an 1893 memoir by Charles G. Leland, in which he says "When the Holy Spirit seized them..the Holy Rollers..rolled over and over on the floor." [ [http://dictionary.oed.com/cgi/entry/50208190?query_type=word&queryword=roller "roller, n1", definition 17b.] "The Oxford English Dictionary". (Account required for online access).] It is generally considered pejorative, but some have reclaimed it as a badge of honor, "e.g." William Branham's statement "And what the world calls today holy-roller, that's the way I worship Jesus Christ." [ [http://www.nathan.co.za/message.asp?sermonum=119 "Why I Am a Holy-Roller"] , a sermon by William Marrion Branham, August 1953] Similar disparaging terms directed at outspoken Christians include Jesus Freaks and "Bible Bangers". The name Shakers was created as a portmanteau of shaking Quakers.


*Rock band Kings of Leon from Nashville released a song called "Holy Roller Novocaine" in their Youth and Young Manhood album.
*Throwdown, the metal band, also have a song called Holy RollerCheck This:In the famous song Come Together (by the Beatles) Lennon sings " He one holy roller"In the famous song Peace Train by Cat Stevens, he sings "Peace train holy roller..."
*"The New York Times"; May 2, 1923; page 1. "Bound Brook Mob Raids Klan Meeting: Thousand Hostile Citizens Surround Church and Lock In 100 Holy Rollers."
*"Time"; March 4, 1929; "In the village of New Hampshire, Ohio, the Rev. Ray Dotson, 'Holy Roller' Methodist, so wailed and shrieked, so frothed and grovelled, that he got Fred Conrad, a 200-lb. traction worker, all worked up."
*"Time"; October 12, 1936; "When Jesus Christ first appeared to His assembled disciples after His resurrection, He told them that believers 'shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents' (Mark: 16:17, 18). To many a U. S. religionist of the Pentecostal or "Holy Roller" variety, the 'gift of tongues' has long been vivid reality."

ee also

*Bible thumper
*Fundamentalist Christianity
*Jesus freak


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Holy Roller — noun count OFFENSIVE someone who belongs to a Christian church where people are very enthusiastic about their religion …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Holy Roller — ☆ Holy Roller n. a member of any of various Christian sects that express religious emotion in an unrestrained manner during services of worship, as by shouting or falling to the floor: usually a derogatory term …   English World dictionary

  • Holy Roller — noun a) A member of any Christian church characterized by ecstatic behaviour; especially of the Pentecostal Church. I attended a worship service where I was astounded to see holy rollers convulsing on the floor and speaking in tongues. b) A… …   Wiktionary

  • Holy Roller — Holy Rollerism. Disparaging and Offensive. a member of a Pentecostal sect: so called from the frenetic religiosity expressed during services. * * * …   Universalium

  • Holy Roller — noun Date: 1841 often offensive a member of one of the Protestant sects whose worship meetings are characterized by spontaneous expressions of emotional excitement …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • holy roller — noun informal, derogatory a member of an evangelical Christian group expressing religious fervour by frenzied excitement …   English new terms dictionary

  • Holy Roller — Ho′ly Roll′er n. usage: This term is a slur and should be avoided. It is perceived as insulting. off sts Slang: Offensive. (a contemptuous term used to refer to a member of a Pentecostal sect marked by the frenetic excitement expressed during… …   From formal English to slang

  • holy roller — /hoʊli ˈroʊlə/ (say hohlee rohluh) noun Colloquial (derogatory) a member of any Christian group that worships in an enthusiastic or ecstatic way, with shouting, trances, etc …   Australian-English dictionary

  • Holy Roller —   Holelola …   English-Hawaiian dictionary

  • Holy Roller — noun a member of a religion that expresses ecstatic fervor • Hypernyms: ↑churchgoer, ↑church member …   Useful english dictionary

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