Green’s Dictionary of Slang

gum n.2

[God, or abbr. God almighty]

a euph. for God (almighty) and used in various phrs., esp. by gum!

implied in by gum!
[US]Ouachita Teleg. (Monroe, LA) 17 Sept. 1/6: I bedam if I can’t just whollip the pea-green stuffin’ out o’ the gum-dashed galoot.
[UK]H.G. Wells Kipps (1952) 205: ‘O Gum!’ he protested.
[US]Carr & Chase ‘Word-List From Eastern Maine’ in DN III:iii 243: dod gum, v. Mild form of God damn.
[US]Vanguard Library 31 Mar. 4: ‘Gum!’ gasped Billy.
[UK]Wodehouse Psmith Journalist (1993) 221: Gum! you’ll need to.
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 405: Gum, I’m jiggered.

In exclamations

by gum! (also by gom! by gummie! by gums! gum! my gum!)

a euph. excl. for by God!

[UK]G. Colman Yngr John Bull IV i: Six thousand, by gum!
[US]J.K. Paulding Bucktails (1847) II ii: By gum, that’s jist what I want you to tell me, I swow. [Ibid.] IV iii: Did you now, by gum – marry?
[UK]T. Hood ‘True Story’ Works (1862) I 311: But Hunks still ask’d to see the tooth, And swore by gum! he had not drawn it.
[UK]A.L. Campbell Tom Bowling II v: It is – Henry Lanyard, by gums!
[UK] ‘Ar’nt This Rummy Fun?’ in Fun Alive O! 63: You shall not sit at home by gum, / All day idle on your ...
[US]T. Haliburton Clockmaker III 200: Where on airth have I seen that goney, for seen him I have, by gum!
[US]W.C. Hall ‘Mike Hooter’s Bar Story’ Spirit of the Times 26 Jan. (N.Y.) 581: If you don’t wabble off from thar purty soon, Misses Bar will be a widder, by gum!
[UK]‘Cuthbert Bede’ Adventures of Mr Verdant Green (1982) II 151 : My gum, Billy ! [...] you’re as hard as nails!
[US]T. Haliburton Season Ticket 275: By gum, Squire Shegog, we have had the greatest bobbery of a shindy in our carriage as you ever knowed all your born days.
[US]H.G. Murray ‘Tom Kittle’s Wake’ in D’Costa & Lalla Voices in Exile (1989) 99: My gums! when I tink pon dat gal I don’ t know what fe say.
[UK]W.E.A. Axon Billy O’ Bent’s Berryin’ 7: By gum, Tom, drop it.
[UK]‘Cuthbert Bede’ Little Mr. Bouncer 22: What! You gave Blucher Boots the three five-pound notes? My gun, Giglamps!
[UK]H. King Savage London 384: By gom! yeow shew a good spirit yo yeowr baily fulla.
[US]County Paper (Oregon, MO) 15 Sept. 2/6: Exclamations as by gum [...] lack-a-daisy. Such words as obstropolous for obstreperous.
[Aus]‘John Miller’ Workingman’s Paradise 29: ‘By gum!’ interjected Ned. ‘Those girls were hummers.’.
Witchita Eagle (KS) 22 May 4/4: By gum, y’ought ter seen th’ mayor.
[US]Courier (Lincoln, NE) 2 Jan. 11/2: ‘No, by gummie, not half so purty’.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 12 Feb. 4/7: ‘Gum,’ he said, ‘a dull paper this to pass a dull hour away with.’ Voicing the public opinion to an afifraphy.
[US]W.M. Raine Wyoming (1908) 57: I made my getaway about three shakes too soon, by gum!
[Aus]L. Esson Drovers (1977) 5: By gum, that Bob can ride.
[UK]T. Norman Penny Showman 41: By gum, Tom, you had a good sale old man.
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 538: Gum, he’s a champion.
[US]Dos Passos Manhattan Transfer 403: By gum if I were a painter, maybe they’ll let me paint in the nuthouse.
[US](con. 1900s–10s) Dos Passos 42nd Parallel in USA (1966) 79: ‘By gum, I’ll do that,’ said Mac.
[Aus]Townsville Daily Bull. (Qld) 3 June 12/4: ‘Hullo, in a hurry, mate?’ yelled Steve. The podgy chap [...] yelled back over his shoulder ‘By goom, yes’.
[UK]H. Ranfurly diary 22 Oct. in To War With Whitaker (1994) 290: Ee, by goom I was in such a fuss.
[UK]C. Day Lewis Otterbury Incident 64: And by gum the rustic did step up.
[UK]I. & P. Opie Lore and Lang. of Schoolchildren (1977) 38: Went through the mangle he did, by gum, / Came out like linoleum.
[UK]G. Melly Owning Up (1974) 108: She’s got a fair pair of bristols and muscles like an Irish bluddy navvy. By gum she can go and all.
[US]L. Bangs Psychotic Reactions (1988) 125: Jerry runs wildly away [...] and by gum here comes another song!
[UK]R. Dahl Rhyme Stew (1990) 24: By gum, I never would have guessed.
[UK]Guardian Guide 22–28 May 52: The professional Northerner little Shit [...] enthuses about eeeh-by-gum brass bands.
[US]J. Stahl I, Fatty 144: By gum, he wanted me on celluloid.