When I arrived home Friday, I commented to my friends that I had heard someone use the expression "Heavens to Betsy." I think it is a sweet and endearing euphemism, but I can't recollect anyone using it since ... Hmmm, well, I know I've at least read it in a book!
To whichever etymology you choose to subscribe, heavens to Betsy, don't name your rifle Hortensia. (Can you imagine? Heavens to Hortensia!)
Cassidy, Frederic G., ed. Dictionary of American Regional English. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1991. Print.
Rogers, James. The Dictionary of Cliches. New York, NY: Facts on File Publications, 1985. Print.