Green’s Dictionary of Slang

damned adj.

also damb’d, dam’d, demmed, domned

1. a strong expression of reprehension or dislike; thus damnedest [the ‘Damned Crew’ (cite 1610) were a specific gang of violent aristocratic rowdies].

[UK]‘I.T.’ Grim The Collier of Croydon III i: Damned Strumpets, Authors of this woe.
[UK]Shakespeare Comedy of Errors IV iv: Dissembling harlot! thou art false in all; And art confederate with a damned pack To make a loathsome abject scorn of me.
[UK]J. Day Blind Beggar of Bednall-Green Act III: This damb’d perpetual Rogue Swash, has kept me here in little ease of the bare ground. [Ibid.] IV: Surely it is a damn’d Magicion.
[UK]Rowlands Martin Mark-all 15: You are acquainted with all the damned Crew about the City.
[UK]J. Taylor Laugh and Be Fat 43: And such are you you damn’d Tartarian whelps.
[UK]Middleton Women Beware Women II ii: Y’are a damned bawd!
[UK]R. Brome Sparagus Garden IV iv: O damn’d old counterfeit.
[UK]W. Cartwright Ordinary IV i: Hell!—Death!—Damn’d luck!
[UK]T. Killigrew Parson’s Wedding (1664) V iv: I find our plot’s betrayed [...] ’Tis that damned captain has informed.
[UK]Dryden Wild Gallant IV i: If ever man play’d with such cursed fortune, I’ll be hanged, and all for want of this damned ace.
[UK]Etherege Man of Mode II i: Dissembler, damned dissembler!
[UK]Behn Rover III i: Wou’d I cou’d met with some true damn’d Gipsie, that I might know my Fortune.
[UK] ‘Song of the Wives’ in Wilson Court Satires of the Restoration (1976) 113: Mary Gerrard does stare, / And fain would prefer / Her ugly damned carcass, but none would have her.
[UK]Character of the Beaux 16: Damme, here’s a dam’d Play.
[UK]W. King York Spy 10: Will Winker hit me such a Damn’d bang.
[UK]C. Walker Authentick Memoirs of Sally Salisbury 33: You Damn’d Confounded Pocky Whore.
[UK]Newcastle Courant 26 May 3/3: On Mrs D-m-d’s Preaching [...] Boys come running with their Breeches down, Thus Quaking Crowds to D-m-d lending Ear [...] She thunders out [...] As loud and senseless as a lowing cow.
[UK]Low Life Above Stairs II i: It is a damn’d Thing that a Man of my Quality should be taken in so grossly, by a Pack of scoundrel Sharpers.
[UK]Sheridan Rivals (1776) II i: Pray Mr. – what’s his d---d name?
[UK]Sheffield Register 9 Feb. 4/2: Ambo. How are the Turks? Uproar. Damn’d mad.
[UK]Bridges Burlesque Homer (4th edn) II 164: Though your old cuckold-pated whlep, / By that damn’d brim Minerva’s help, / Did win this match.
[UK] ‘A Post under Government’ Jovial Songster 92: Says my Lord, that dam’d bell is as loud as the thunder.
[UK]W. Scott Heart of Mid-Lothian (1883) 175: I’ll take some measures with this d----d Bess of Bedlam.
[UK]‘Secrets Revealed’ in C. Hindley Curiosities of Street Lit. (1871) 21: King Ludgate’s Hill --- I think the dem’med name of the place is called.
[UK] ‘Ye Rakehells So Jolly’ Swell!!! or, Slap-Up Chaunter 26: Without those d---d tricks, French brandy to mix, / But genuine – neat as imported.
[US]R.M. Bird Nick of the Woods III 77: This same sodger younker [...] has been butchering Shawnees there, aye, and in this d---d town too.
[UK]D. Boucicault London Assurance in London Assurance and other Victorian Comedies Act IV: It was all that damned brandy punch on top of the burgundy. What a fool I was!
[Ire]S. Lover Handy Andy 14: They are destroying the place with their d---d improvements.
[US] ‘Jumping Over a Bear’ Spirit of the Times 30 Dec. (N.Y.) 535: ‘D--n you,’ said he, ‘I don’t see anything so d---d funny to laugh at’.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 25 Feb. 2/6: Dem the fellow [...] demmed nuisance.
[US]M. Griffith Autobiog. of a Female Slave 138: As you treed dat ar’ d----d nigger-wench, you desarves a drap or so.
[UK]A. Mayhew Paved with Gold 94: One with very shiny hair [...] answered the lady at the window, calling her ‘a d---d old cat’.
[UK]J. Greenwood Seven Curses of London 203: There is no danger of being brought in for perjury in this case, not a d[amned] bit.
[UK]J. Greenwood Wilds of London (1881) 116: As for the broken window, summon for that and be ------.
[US]Abbeville Press & Banner (SC) 26 Nov. 2/5: I intend to give you the damnedest licking you ever had.
[US]G. Devol Forty Years a Gambler (1996) 15: The captain refused, and told Burges that he was a ‘d[amne]d gambler’.
[Aus]H. Lawson ‘His Last Ride’ in Roderick (1972) 26: Pull yerselves together! Worse than a pair of d[amne]d old women.
[US]Indiana State Sentinel (Indianapolis, IN) 30 Aug. 11/3: ‘I’ll be gosh-darned ef that ain’t the damnedest’.
[UK]D.L. Sayers Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (1977) 66: What’s the dem’d total now, Fentiman, just out of curiosity?
[UK]Radclyffe Hall Well of Loneliness (1976) 151: It’s all this damned animal’s fault that you met her!
[US]E. Anderson Thieves Like Us (1999) 26: She run off with some damned guy.
[UK]Wodehouse Mating Season 17: He said of course I didn’t get the damned gist.
[US]‘Hal Ellson’ Tomboy (1952) 15: I’d do every damned ride in Coney Island.
[US]Cab Calloway Of Minnie the Moocher and Me 12: I’d be in church every damned Sunday.
[UK]A. Sayle Train to Hell 64: I was talking about this damned dead Englishman.

2. a general intensifier, complete, utter.

[UK]D. Carey Life in Paris 424: You couldn’t be such a d----d fool as to leave Liddy to walk in Paris by herself?
[UK]G.W.M. Reynolds Mysteries of London II (2nd series 280: It’s a lie – a damned lie!
[UK]Paul Pry 5 Mar. 5/3: Miss B—t, of Wellclose square, to get married. We should not think that a hard matter, as she is a ‘demmed nice girl’.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 18 Apr. 6/1: This was to show his Lordships demmed indifference to the opinion of decent people.
[US]W.M. Raine Bucky O’Connor (1910) 90: ’Tis a domned shame about this man Henderson.

In derivatives

damnedest (adj.)

a general intensifier, the most, the best; thus as n. in one’s damnedest, one’s utmost.

[US]R.M. Bird Nick of the Woods III 80: I have made myself jist the d---dest rascal that was ever made of a white man.
[US]‘Madison Tensas’ Louisiana ‘Swamp Doctor’ (1850) 181: You are the d--dest fool and coward unhung.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 13 Feb. 3/2: She heard the defendant call her a d—d b—h and tell her [...] she would give her the d—st walloping she ever got in her life.
[US]H. Melville Moby Dick (1907) 258: Cussed fellow-critters! Kick up de damndest row as ever you can.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 11 Apr. 14/2: The ‘damnedest thing’ looks nice, Sir John, / Sometimes, as we must all agree; / But better rat for vice, Sir John, / Than for a bastard chivalry.
[US]A.C. Gunter M.S. Bradford Special 220: God keep me from being the damnedest villain unhung.
[US](con. 1918) W.T. Scanlon God have Mercy on Us! (1930) 78: Nagel always tried his damnedest to give us good chow.
[US]I. Bolton Christmas Tree in N.Y. Mosaic (1999) 267: Traveling in America was the damnedest – all the towns and cities so similar somehow, so ugly and exposed.
[US]Kramer & Karr Teen-Age Gangs 151: It was the damnedest place you ever did see, all red velvet.
[US]H.S. Thompson Hell’s Angels (1967) 167: Hell, I wish I had a movie camera, this is the damnedest thing I ever saw.
[US](con. 1916) G. Swarthout Tin Lizzie Troop (1978) 173: I did my damndest.
[US]W. Murray Tip on a Dead Crab 208: I’ll do my damnedest to get that horse scratched.